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Seek The Peak 9 Raises $113,000 For Nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory

North Conway, NH – July 28, 2009 – Despite thick fog, cold temperatures and winds up to forty-three miles per hour, an unprecedented 343 hikers made the trek to Mount Washington’s summit during the Mount Washington Observatory’s ninth annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-thon fundraiser this past Saturday. Their combined efforts brought in a record $113,000 for the nonprofit Observatory, surpassing the 2008 total by $11,000 and bringing the 9-year Seek the Peak fundraising total to just shy of $500,000.

“We are once again humbled and thrilled by the dedication of our members and fans,” says Executive Director Scot Henley. “This event is proof of people’s love for Mount Washington and their appreciation for the work we do there.”

Seek the Peak is the Observatory’s largest fundraiser, enlisting the help of its participants to solicit donations from friends and family. Presented by Subaru and L.L.Bean, all proceeds support the nonprofit Observatory’s work in weather observation, research, and education.

To reward participants for their efforts, more than $40,000 in prizes were given away this year. Top fundraiser Ed O’Malley of Mantoloking, NJ, who personally raised nearly $7,000 for the Observatory, took home the L.L.Bean Manatee Deluxe Kayak packages. Brad Bradstreet of Durham, NC was the winner of the one-year lease on a 2010 Subaru Outback, and Kendra Garrity of Derry, NH walked away with the $500 gift certificate to Settler’s Green Outlet Village. All participants that raised at least $1,000 received a specially-embroidered Seek the Peak fleece jacket from L.L.Bean, and fifty-four other prizes were given away to another twenty-two lucky winners.

Karen Hemeon, Observatory Membership and Events Coordinator, credits the event’s success in part to the generous support of its sponsors and prize donors. “Our sponsors have helped this event evolve from a relatively small affair to the premier hiking event on Mount Washington,” she says. “Participants are excited to sample new products and work towards the big prizes, and our sponsors are excited to gain exposure with such a highly qualified audience.”

With the tenth annual Seek the Peak just 362 days away (it’s scheduled for July 23-24, 2010), Hemeon and others are busy making plans for a truly blow-out event.

“I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag,” says Henley, “but we’re going big.”

For more information about Seek the Peak, visit SeekthePeak.org or call (603) 356-2137 x 230.

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. For information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

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NOTE: High-resolution photos are available to accompany this story. For information contact Mount Washington Observatory Marketing and Communications Coordinator Cara Rudio at (603) 356-2137, ext. 212 or crudio@mountwashington.org.

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