Thousands gather in Upper Valley for annual cancer benefit

HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) Cancer touches everyone's lives and this weekend in the Upper Valley thousands are walking, riding, golfing, and even rowing, to raise money for research.

Most of the events at The Prouty each year take place on Saturday, but some riders have already hit the street for the cause. The Ultimate 200 mile ride is just one of several events on tap for the weekend fundraiser. Riders finished half the course Friday afternoon and will be back out for the other half Saturday. Around 4,000 participants are taking part in the event along with another 1,100 volunteers.

The Prouty is in its 38th year and many participants keep coming back year after year. "The town comes alive. Everyone is supportive, riders look out for each other. If you are riding by yourself, someone will come up and say, 'Hey, how you doing?' or something like that," said Steve Schnyer of Swanzey Center, N.H.

"It is very heartwarming and emotional, and you got people who are better than me. There are some riders out there who are survivors, so I give them a lot a lot of credit," said Jeanine Farris of Weare, N.H.

If you are driving through the Upper Valley Saturday morning, organizers ask that you are alert for the riders.

Events kicked off Friday evening with a spaghetti feed. A ceremony will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. to announce how much money they raised. The goal this year was $3 million, but as of Friday afternoon they had already surpassed that, with close to $3.2 million. Over the last 38 years the event has raise $39 million for cancer research and support services at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.