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250 Hikers Scale Mount Washington, Raising Just Over $100,000

Mount Washington Observatory’s 8th Annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-Thon smashes attendance, fundraising records

MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH – July 26, 2008 – Hikers came in droves to support the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory during Saturday’s annual Seek the Peak hike-a-thon, making the 2008 edition the most successful event in its eight-year history. 250 hikers from as far away as Texas, Colorado, Florida and the Carolinas, ventured to the summit of the tallest peak in New England, raising a total of just over $100,000 for the Observatory. That sum surpassed the event’s 2007 fundraising totals by more than $37,000 and more than doubled the 2006 effort.

Despite its reputation for being home to some of the most extreme conditions on Earth, Mount Washington was rather tame on Saturday, with sunny skies and pleasant hiking conditions. This was a welcome sight, after a week’s worth of torrential downpours and strong thunderstorms in the area.

"This was an unbelievable event and we are very, very thankful,” says Scot Henley, Mount Washington Observatory's Executive Director. "This just illustrates the passion that so many people have for Mount Washington and how they feel about the important work being done here at the Observatory."

Presented by Subaru and L.L.Bean, Seek the Peak is Mount Washington Observatory's largest annual fundraiser. All proceeds from the event benefit the 76-year old organization’s ongoing efforts in weather observation, education and research. The cumulative total that this specific event has raised over its eight year history is now over $383,000.

"We really owe a lot to our partners and sponsors,” says Karen Hemeon, the Observatory’s Special Events Coordinator. “This event has been growing year after year, but the addition of some really amazing prizes led to a giant leap this year. We’ve been able to double the event in just two years and we’re looking forward to continuing that momentum with the 2009 event as well.”

A record $40,000 worth of prizes and hiker goodie bags were given away at Seek the Peak, including two grand prizes. Drawn among participants that raised at least $1,000, a one-year lease of a 2009 Subaru Forester was awarded to Brad Griswold of Orford, NH. Ed O’Malley of Mantoloking, NJ was the top fundraiser, personally raising $5,225 in support of the Observatory. For his efforts, O’Malley took home a $1,000 family camping package from L.L.Bean. All participants that raised at least $1,000 received a specially-embroidered Seek the Peak fleece jacket from L.L.Bean.

Several other prizes were claimed at Seek the Peak. Valentin Gribkoff of Wallingford, CT won a trip to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, complete with air travel on JetBlue Airways. Myra Adorno of Portland, ME won a 2009 overnight winter EduTrip to the Mount Washington Observatory.

The event was presented by Subaru and L.L.Bean, with support from Lakes Region Coca-Cola, Cooper Cargill Chant, HEB Engineers, Dwell Creative, Appalachian Mountain Club, USDA Forest Service, Mt. Washington State Park, Mt. Washington Auto Road, 93.5 WMWV-FM and WPKQ-FM.

The 2009 edition of Seek the Peak is scheduled for July 24-25, 2009.

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit, member-supported organization with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements in one of the most extreme locations on Earth, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach.

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