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Seek the Peak Hike-a-thon Raises $231K for Mount Washington Observatory

Mount Washington, New Hampshire—July 23, 2014—The 14th annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-thon held July 19th to benefit the Mount Washington Observatory was an overwhelming success, according to the Observatory's Events and Marketing Manager, Krissy Fraser. "It was a perfect weekend, with spectacular weather. With nearly 600 participants, we raised $231,490 for the Observatory, the second highest amount in the history of the event. That brings the 14-year total to more than $1.6 million."

The largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory, Seek the Peak is presented by Eastern Mountain Sports, Subaru and Vasque, with additional support by FairPoint Communications, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Hampshire, White Mountain Oil & Propane, and others. The money raised helps the Observatory maintain its famous weather station on the summit of Mount Washington and continue its important work collecting weather data, performing research, and educating the public about the science of climate and weather.

"I can't say enough about how terrific our sponsors are," said Fraser. "Maile Buker, VP of Marketing for Eastern Mountain Sports, was on hand to give away products at their Expo booth-and EMS added a GoPro Camera and a Guide 10 Adventure Kit from Goal Zero to the prize drawing, and issued gift cards to the top two teams. Chris Miller, Vasque footwear's Director of Sales, brought up two through-hikers participating in the Vasque through-hiker syndicate to speak; and he gave away six pairs of Vasque boots to participants. I was especially pleased to see that local sponsor Memorial Hospital had a team of six hiking, the Memorial Mountaineers, that included three students they selected from Josiah Bartlett Elementary School."

The event welcomes hikers of all ages and abilities, since participants choose when and where they hike, though many choose to scale Mount Washington the day of the event. "We had parents with toddlers in their backpacks, a fellow hiking with a Maine Coon cat, a team of kilted hikers...there's literally a story for every one of our 593 participants," continued Fraser. "From the kick-off party on Friday at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway Village to the after party with live music, awards and raffle prizes worth more than $40,000, it was a high-energy, fun event. We couldn't have done it without all the wonderful volunteers and staff."

As the hiker who raised the most money, Chris Choma of Woburn, MA, took home the Keys to the Castle: The Ultimate Mount Washington Winter Adventure for six including transportation to and from the summit in the deluxe, heated snowcat, overnight lodging in the mountaintop weather station, all meals, and the Golden Crowbar. The team that raised the most money-$13,469-was Chawkanaw, made up of Choma and his son, Cole, with The Kilted Hikers in second place for raising $8,424.

"Forty-two hikers raised more than $1,000 each, and were entered into a grand prize drawing for a one-year lease on a brand new 2014 Subaru Outback. After being in the drawing for five years, Veronica Renna from Nashua, NH, had her name drawn-an especially fortuitous result since she'd been in an accident a week earlier and her car was totaled," Fraser explained.

"Each year, we present the Brad Bradstreet Award, named for a long-time Observatory member who we lost to cancer several years ago, Brad was a member of our Board of Trustees, an active summit volunteer, a dedicated Seek the Peak hiker, and tireless advocate for the Observatory. This year, the award went to John Donovan of Cranston, RI, who not only enthusiastically participates in this event but supports the Observatory through volunteering, spreading good will and helping in any way he might be needed."

Registration for the 2015 event will open December 1, 2014 on SeekThePeak.org.

About Mount Washington Observatory
Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution 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 from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

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