Historically, The Prouty honorary chairs have been selected in part on the basis of their association with Norris Cotton Cancer Center: the event's founding nurses, survivors, directors of the Cancer Center, or leaders in the State of New Hampshire, the Upper Valley community or at Dartmouth or DHMC. Yet beyond credentials, honorary chairs are always strongly committed to The Prouty and to making a real difference in the fight against cancer and to Norris Cotton Cancer Center. It is this particular quality--the dedication to the success of the event, making The Prouty a year-round project, and living The Prouty which is the ultimate guideline for choosing an honorary chair. It's also what made the choice of Doug Lewis feel so right for this year's honorary chair of The Prouty.
Doug is a fifth-generation Vermonter who grew up on a dairy farm in Pomfret. Except for a ten-year stint in Rhode Island for college (obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering) and a first job at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Doug has always lived in Vermont, currently residing in South Pomfret. Throughout his career, Doug has made his mark at many local manufacturing companies including Luminescent Systems, Centricut (Hypertherm), and General Electric. He's currently a manufacturing engineer at GE Aviation - Aircraft Engines.
Yet it's Doug's Prouty work and commitment to the Cause that for our purposes distinguishes him. Doug started Team Hoss in 2006 to honor his brother, Dale "Hoss" Lewis, who died the previous year of cancer at the age of 41. That first year Team Hoss had 73 members and raised $14,800. Right from the start Doug and his family began to think of ways to remember Hoss and keep the spirit of The Prouty ever-present: first there were Hoss Hats, knitted by Mom Theresa and Aunt Ann Bassett, that are still on sale to benefit NCCC; then the end-of-day party to celebrate the team's Prouty experience and to issue challenges for the coming year.
2012 saw the first "Half-way to The Prouty" party at Long Trail Brewery in January to get teammates thinking about The Prouty early in the year. Also added in 2012 was an additional challenge for teammates to ride not just the 200-mile Ultimate, but five members tacked on an extra 100 for a 300-mile ride! Then in October Doug introduced the Vintage Prouty. "I wanted to keep the energy of The Prouty going," Doug said, so we started the Fall Vintage Prouty with Team Hoss and guests cycling the original century route through the White Mountains." Team Hoss finished the 2012 year with 139 teammates who raised an amazing $90,540!
Doug Lewis not only raises his Prouty bar higher every year, but reinforces for us another critical part of The Prouty: "For someone who has lost a loved one to cancer, The Prouty is much more than an event that raises money for cancer research and patient services, The Prouty keeps their memory alive, and supports a cause that helps prevent other families from experiencing such a loss. For me, The Prouty is therapeutic." Doug Lewis truly embodies the very essence and spirit of The Prouty, making him an ideal choice for the 2013 Honorary Chair.