January 18, 2018

Major Meagan McGrath to speak at inaugural RMSC Women’s Council Dine & Discover luncheon Feb. 16

ROCHESTER, NY—The Women’s Council, a volunteer service organization that supports the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC), is pleased to announce its inaugural Dine & Discover luncheon on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Rochester (125 East Main Street, Rochester, N.Y. 14604). Major Meagan McGrath, a high-altitude mountaineer, polar expeditioner, and Canadian Forces aerospace engineer, will deliver the keynote address, relating experiences and lessons learned from running, cycling, skiing, climbing, and trekking in extreme environments all over the world.

Mountains are McGrath’s passion and she is the first Canadian woman to have climbed both the Kosciuszko (Bass) and more challenging Carstenz Pyramid (Messner) versions of the Seven Summits—the highest mountain on each continent, including Everest, Denali, and Kilimanjaro. A Canadian Forces aerospace engineer residing in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, McGrath was inducted into the Canadian Forces Sports Hall of Fame for her high-altitude and mountaineering accomplishments, which also include climbing—often solo—high peaks in Antarctica, Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Tibet.

McGrath is the first Canadian (male or female) to ski solo to the South Pole. Traveling more than 680 miles in 40 days, she hauled a sled weighing more than 200 pounds across a vast expanse of Antarctica. Also an elite endurance athlete, she has run rim-to-rim-to rim through the Grand Canyon in a single day, bicycled across Canada in 49 days, run Morocco’s Marathon Des Sables in 113-degree heat while carrying most of her supplies on her back, and marched—wearing combat boots—for four consecutive days in Holland.

McGrath is one of the exemplary leaders profiled in the 2017 book, Canada 150 Women, by Paulina Cameron, and has been featured in National Geographic Adventure magazine, on numerous CBC television and radio broadcasts, and in the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, and Edmonton Journal. A sought-out presenter, she has been a guest speaker for the International Military Sports Council (the second largest multi-sport discipline organization after the International Olympic Committee), International Women’s Day, the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the Royal Military College of Canada, the National Conference for Women in Engineering, and the Canadian Border Services Agency. Among McGrath’s many honors and military decorations are an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Laurentian University, the Rotary Foundation’s Paul Harris Fellowship Medal for substantial contributions to humanitarian and educational programs, a Governor General’s Commendation for involvement in rescuing a Nepalese climber on Mount Everest, the Canadian Forces General Campaign Star with Bar for deployment in the presence of an armed enemy, and the Canadian Forces Decoration for completing 12 years of service.

Individual tickets for Dine & Discover are $45 and may be purchased online at RMSC.org. VIP tables of 10—which include an RMSC family membership and a meet-and-greet/autograph session prior to the luncheon for $600—and corporate sponsorships are also available; contact Kim Osur at 585.697.1988 for details. Proceeds help bolster RMSC’s impactful programs and allow the Museum to provide unforgettable experiences that inspire a lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

ATTENTION MEDIA: For high-resolution images, additional information, or to schedule an interview with Major Meagan McGrath, please contact Mare Millow, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC, 585.697.1944, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit RMSC.org/press-news.

The Women’s Council is a volunteer service organization that supports the RMSC with special events and fundraising activities. Founded in 1941, the council is dedicated to providing members with opportunities for educational growth and social interaction.

Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit RMSC.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


McGrath will speak at RMSC’s Cumming Nature Center in Naples at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, as part of the Nature Center’s two-day NordicFest. NordicFest will run Saturday, Feb. 17–Sunday, Feb. 18 from 9 a.m.­–4:30 p.m., with a full weekend of food and activities celebrating the best of winter. In addition to McGrath’s presentation, attendees are invited to:

  • Opt outdoors with Saturday’s 10k Snowshoe Race by Goose Adventure Racing or Sunday’s Ski Orienteering by Rochester Orienteering Club
  • Dig into locally sourced chili (vegetarian option available) and homemade baked goods for purchase to benefit the Genesee Valley Ski Patrol, the volunteer organization that patrols the Nature Center’s ski trails
  • Learn about the latest in winter wear in presentations by L.L. Bean and The North Face
  • Explore Scandinavian culture with representatives from the Scandinavian Heritage Society and Sons of Norway Lodge 
  • Enjoy crafts, snow fort building and more for the kids

Weather permitting; the Nature Center’s 15 miles of groomed ski trails and three miles of snowshoe trails will be open with rentals available. 

NordicFest Admission: RMSC members free; general public donation ($3 per person; $10 per family). The Cumming Nature Center is located at 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY 14512.

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