GILFORD — On Saturday July 13, the 15 members of Gilford-based Team A2Z participated in bicycling and walking events at The Prouty fund raising event in Hanover, and raised over $10,000 for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
Team A2Z was founded in 2012 by Jim Zimmermann of Gilford in honor of his wife, Anne Marie Zimmermann, who has been receiving treatment for ovarian cancer at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center for the last six years. When Anne Marie was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at LRGH, the doctor immediately referred her to Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Since the original diagnosis, Anne Marie has undergone five major surgeries and dozens of chemo treatments at the center. She is still currently undergoing treatments at the Center.
Team A2Z members include Gilford residents Jim Zimmermann, Tim Zimmermann, Douglas Doyle, Cynthia Palage, Katie McCutcheon, Diane Hanley, and Mike Dowe. Other team members came from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania and included Tom Zimmermann, Paul Zimmermann, Edie Wagner, Walter Zimmermann Jr., Lou Paolini, Nancy Paolini, Linda Zimmermann, and Robert Strong.
Jim Zimmermann, the founder and captain of Team A2Z, had been doing the Prouty as an individual participant for four years before he started the team; "Each year I tried to raise a little more money for the center which has been providing such incredible care for my wife. Last year I realized the best way to increase the amount raised was to create a team and invite others who have been touched by cancer to participate. In the first year the team raised about $5,000, and this year we added new members and more than doubled the amount of money we raised. We hope to at least double the number of team members and the amount we raise for the 2014 event."
The Team received donations from well over 50 individuals, families and businesses, and donations came in from people that Jim works with all over the world, including one donation from New Zealand.
Employees of Skillsoft (Jim Zimmermann's employer) in Nashua, donated over $2,500 to the team and Skillsoft is providing a corporate match donation of nearly $2,000. Petersen, Mann & Associates Ameriprise Financial Advisors of Meredith and Lakes Region Dental Care of Gilford also made generous donations to support Team A2Z and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
According to the Friends of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, this year's event featured 5800 registered participants (a record), 3240 Bikers (a record), 1906 Walkers (a record), 1300 Volunteers (a record), 183 Rowers (a record), 109 Prouty 200 mile 2-day Ultimate Riders (tied the record), 141 Golfers (new event), and 215 virtual participants. The event also broke its fund raising record with over $2,650,000 in donations.
Gilford-based Team A2Z before the start of the 2013 Prouty fundraising event for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Standing, left to right: Katie McCutcheon, Tom Zimmermann, Edie Wagner, Walter Zimmermann, Tim Zimmermann, Robert Strong, Nancy Paolini, Lou Paolini, Doug Doyle. Front row, left to right: Cynthia Palage, Linda Zimmermann, Paul Zimmermann, Jim Zimmermann. Not pictured: Diane Hanley, Mike Dowe. (Courtesy photo)