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Over 300 Hikers to Climb Mount Washington in Record-Breaking Seek the Peak Hike-a-Thon

North Conway, NH – June 2, 2009 – For more than seven decades, the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory has been bringing the science and wonder of Mount Washington to the world, helping connect countless individuals to this incredible mountain peak. On July 25, more than 300 passionate Observatory fans will show their appreciation and support by climbing Mount Washington in the Observatory’s 9th annual Seek the Peak hike-a-thon fundraiser.

“Seek the Peak has grown to become New England’s premier hiking event,” notes Mount Washington Observatory Executive Director Scot Henley. “It combines the immense satisfaction of completing a demanding physical challenge, with helping to support a legendary cause.”

Seek the Peak is a classic participant-driven fundraising event. Hikers register in advance, and then raise a minimum of $100 in donations. The night before the hike, a kick-off party is held at Flatbread Pizza Company to collect funds and get things rolling. Then, on Seek the Peak Saturday, participants embark for the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington, enjoying a day-long adventure on the northeast’s tallest peak. Afterwards, they are invited to a huge awards bash, featuring a turkey dinner by Hart’s Turkey Farm, live music, and thousands of dollars in prize giveaways.

Presented by Subaru and L.L.Bean, the 2009 edition of Seek the Peak is set to be the largest fundraising event in the Observatory’s history. Over eight years, Seek the Peak has raised more than $380,000 for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory. In 2008, Seek the Peak raised a record $102,000. The event’s participants are already on track to break that record fundraising figure.

The first 300 hikers to raise at least $100 will receive a Seek the Peak logo stuff sack filled with event “goodies,” as well as a long-sleeve event t-shirt and admission to the highly anticipated awards bash. There, hundreds of prizes will be given away, including a one-year lease on a brand new Subaru, two complete L.L.Bean Manatee Deluxe Kayak packages, and a never before imagined “Keys to the Castle” all-inclusive winter overnight excursion to the Observatory’s summit station for the winner and five friends.

“This is by far the Observatory’s most important fundraising event,” says Henley. “As a relatively small, nonprofit institution, we depend on the support of our dedicated members, donors, and fans. Seek the Peak hikers work hard for the Observatory, and we are thrilled to be able to reward their efforts with some truly amazing prizes.”

“Fundraising in a down economy is not easy,” notes Henley, “but our cause is one that resonates deeply in the hearts of so many people. Mount Washington is at the heart of everything we do, everything we are, and everything we stand for, and people who love Mount Washington are glad to give back.”

To participate in Seek the Peak 9 as a hiker, donor, or sponsor, visit SeekthePeak.org or call (603) 356-2137 x 230. To learn more about the Mount Washington Observatory, visit MountWashington.org.

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. For more about Seek the Peak, visit SeekThePeak.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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