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11th Annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-Thon Raises $181,000 for Nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory

New England’s Premier Hiking Event Celebrates Record Attendance and Income

MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH—July 26, 2011—The combined fundraising efforts of more than 500 individuals made Seek the Peak 11 the single most successful fundraising event in the 79-year history of Mount Washington Observatory. Presented by Eastern Mountain Sports and Subaru of America with support from Stonyfield Farm, Saturday’s hike-a-thon raised a record $181,000 for the nonprofit institution. This figure represents a net increase of $10,000 over 2010, and brings the event’s eleven year total to nearly $900,000.

“Once again, we are absolutely blown away by the dedication of our hikers, sponsors and volunteers,” says Executive Director Scot Henley. “The support for our cause is humbling, and the passion for this event is unbelievable.”

With more than $15,000 in prize giveaways, some of the best alpine trekking in the lower 48, a huge after party and a free Eastern Mountain Sports backpack loaded with goodies for all who raise $100 or more, it’s easy to see why the event is so popular.

The top fundraiser was awarded a $500 Eastern Mountain Sports gift card with an Eastern Mountain Sports Schools experience for two, while each member of the top team was awarded a $100 Eastern Mountain Sports gift card. Other prizes included a one-year lease on a 2012 Subaru Outback, a $500 shopping spree at Settler’s Green Outlet Village, an all-inclusive Mount Washington Observatory overnight EduTrip, two $250 Eastern Mountain Sports gift cards, a deluxe New Hampshire yurt getaway and a “Keys to the Castle” ultimate Mount Washington adventure for the winner and five friends, featuring private snow tractor transportation and overnight accommodations at the Observatory’s famous mountaintop weather station. All who raised $100 or more were also entered into door prize drawings for tents, iPods, GPS units, trekking poles, sleeping bags and more, and those who raised $1,000 or more received specially-embroidered Seek the Peak softshell jackets.

“Great prizes help motivate our hikers to raise the bar,” says Henley. “A record 501 people met or exceeded the event’s $100 fundraising minimum, and 28 brought in $1,000 or more. The top fundraiser, Ed O’Malley, single-handedly raised $9,703.87. The top team, ‘The Kilted Clan,’ brought in $10,994.58. Their dedication to this institution—and this event—is amazing.”

Seek the Peak is Mount Washington Observatory’s largest annual fundraiser, and all proceeds directly support the nonprofit institution’s work in weather observation, research and education.

To learn more about Seek the Peak, New England’s premier hiking event, visit SeekthePeak.org or call (603) 356-2137, 230. Registration for Seek the Peak 12 is scheduled to open December 1, 2011.

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.

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High-resolution photos are available to accompany this release.

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