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12th Annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-thon Raises More Than $250,000 for Nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory

MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH—July 24, 2012—Mount Washington Observatory’s Seek the Peak fundraiser broke a new record on Saturday, topping $250,000 in donations and sponsorship support. Presented by Eastern Mountain Sports and Subaru with support from SmartWool and Vasque, the 12th annual event brought in approximately $60,000 more than any previous event, making it the single most successful fundraiser in the 80-year history of the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory.

“Our hikers, donors, and sponsors have raised the bar once again,” says Observatory Executive Director Scot Henley. “I speak for our entire staff and board of trustees when I say that we are truly humbled by their support of our cause.”

The two-day event, held Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, was attended by more than 450 participants and an additional 200 guests. The festivities kicked off Friday night with free food and drinks from Flatbread and Tuckerman Brewing Company, and continued on Saturday with picture-perfect conditions for the hike. The event culminated Saturday afternoon with an after party at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road, featuring an outdoor expo, a multimedia presentation about the Observatory’s work, free food, live music, and hundreds of prizes worth thousands of dollars.

All hikers who met the event’s $200 fundraising minimum were given an Eastern Mountain Sports Techwick t-shirt, SmartWool socks, and an EMS day pack loaded with freebies. Those who exceeded the $200 minimum were awarded incentives based on their fundraising total, including headlamps, rain jackets, sleeping bags, tents, and backpacks.

The top fundraiser was Chris Choma of Reading, MA, who single-handedly raised $16,716. He was rewarded for his efforts with a “Keys to the Castle” ultimate Mount Washington adventure featuring private snow cat transportation and overnight accommodations for six at the Observatory’s famous mountaintop weather station. The top team, Team Margarita, collectively raised $17,916 and were each awarded $100 gift cards to Eastern Mountain Sports.

Other prizes included a one-year lease on a 2013 Subaru Outback, a $500 shopping spree at Settler’s Green Outlet Village, an all-inclusive Mount Washington Observatory winter summit trip for two, a $250 Eastern Mountain Sports gift card, and outdoor gear and gadgets ranging from hiking boots to GPS units.

“No other event rewards its participants like Seek the Peak,” says event coordinator Abby Blackburn. “We are incredibly thankful for our sponsors, who make these great prizes and incentives possible.”

Seek the Peak has raised more than $1,150,000 over its twelve year history, supporting the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory’s work in weather observation, research and education.

The 13th annual event will be held July 19-20, 2013, and registration is scheduled to open December 1, 2012. To learn more about becoming an event participant, sponsor, or volunteer, visit SeekthePeak.org or call (603) 356-2137, 230.

About Mount Washington Observatory
Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the conditions atop 6,288-foot Mount Washington, NH, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

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