Seek the Peak 2015 Raises Crucial Funds to Support the Work of Mount Washington Observatory
Mount Washington, NH—July 21, 2015—Mount Washington Observatory's 15th annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-thon fundraiser was held on July 17-18th and brought Observatory supporters and hiking enthusiasts from near and far to the highest and most fabled peak in the Northeast, Mount Washington. With nearly 650 registered participants, Saturday's hike-a-thon raised over $235,000 before event expenses.
"Seek the Peak is our largest annual fundraising event and the monies raised are critical to funding our work but more importantly it is about the people," said the Observatory’s President, Brian Fowler. "The participants, sponsors, volunteers and staff gather for the weekend events and the level of energy, comradery and spirit of adventure is overwhelming and truly appreciated by everyone involved with Mount Washington Observatory."
Seek the Peak kicked off with a gathering on Friday night at the Observatory's Weather Discovery Center in North Conway Village where hikers were given Eastern Mountain Sports backpacks chock full of hiking goodies. Hikers spoke with representatives from the Appalachian Mountain Club for tips on trail selection and were fortified for the next day's adventure with delicious refreshments from Flatbread Pizza and Tuckerman Brewing Company. Though Saturday morning started off wet, spirits were not dampened as hikers set out on their chosen routes. After a tough and satisfying day on the trail, participants headed over to the Auto Road for the Expo and After Party hosted by WMWV 93.5 and emceed by meteorologists and good friends of the Observatory, Sarah Long from WMTW Ch 8 ME and Eric Fisher WBZ Ch 4 Boston.
"We couldn't put on this fantastic event without the generous support of our sponsors," said Krissy Fraser, Director of Marketing for the Observatory. "In addition to being the presenting sponsor, Eastern Mountain Sports steps up every year with added prizes including SmartWool socks this year for all participants and volunteers, Vasque always kicks in several pair of hiking boots, and Fairpoint Communications added a GoPro Camera. Beyond that, we had over 40 other sponsors from both the Mount Washington Valley community and the hiking community nationwide."
Chris Choma of Woburn, MA raised the most money for the fourth year in a row and took home the coveted 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 and all meals; as symbolized by the Golden Crowbar trophy. Choma also captained the top team Chawkanaw and along with his son, Cole raised $13,469. The Kilted Hikers placed second at $10,347 and were recognized for their continued support of Seek the Peak, year after year, with an overnight winter trip for the team. Vice President of Special Projects, Ed Bergeron, raised the second highest individual amount at $6,255 and largely attributes his success to the incredible support of local businesses and community support.
"We are thrilled with the support from our community businesses this year and look forward to continuing to get them more involved," said Bergeron. "The Mount Washington Auto Rd, White Mountain Oil, North Conway Lodging.com, M&M Assurance Group and many more really stepped up to the plate to make this event an incredible success."
As the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory, the money raised is crucial for the Observatory to maintain its iconic weather station on the summit of Mount Washington and to continue its important work collecting weather data, performing research, and educating the public about the science of climate and weather.
Registration for STP 2016 will be announced in the late fall.
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 in one of the most extreme locations on Earth, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800)706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.
Photos furnished upon request