Kevin Fitzpatrick has given up on staying cool.

Since Friday, Fitzpatrick, a 49-year-old UPS worker, has been baking away atop Jimmy the Greek’s restaurant in South Portland.

His feat of endurance is for a good cause – Fitzpatrick says he will not come down until he raises $20,000 for STRIVE, a South Portland nonprofit that helps young people with developmental disabilities. He raised a little more than $8,000 the first year, a bit more than $15,000 last year.

This is his third year on the restaurant’s rooftop, and he has all but resigned himself to the heat.

“Staying cool isn’t necessarily always possible,” Fitzpatrick said in a phone interview. “One lesson I learned last year is how easily a scalp can burn.”

To remain healthy during the charity stunt Fitzpatrick drinks plenty of water and uses liberal amounts of sun block and bug spray. He is surviving there with only a tent, a cot, a sleeping bag, a portable toilet and an umbrella for shade. He eats power bars and occasional donated meals.

Temperatures on the roof usually hover around 10 to 20 degrees higher than on the ground, said Peter Brown, associate director for STRIVE.

Although Portland and Southern Maine are unlikely to see temperatures in the 90s again this week, the mercury will remain in the upper 80s through at least a couple more days, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday’s Labor Day holiday was the hottest so far this week, reaching a sweltering 92, only three degrees shy of the record for that day, set in 1945. The record for Sept. 8 is 93 degrees, set in 1960, but Portland peaked at only 89 Tuesday, according to the Weather Service.

Fortunately for Fitzpatrick, southern Maine is expected to receive some rain, giving the area – and Fitzpatrick – a little relief, said meteorologist Eric Sinsabaugh.

“As daytime heating picks up we’ll see showers and thunderstorms developing,” he said. “With the high humidity and dew points we could see some pretty heavy downpours.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Fitzpatrick had raised about $7,000. If all goes well, he could get to shower and see his family before Thursday, he said

 

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