It has been a cold winter with chilling winds and record snowfall across the region. The waters of Chautauqua Lake have frozen with 13-inch ice reported in some areas allowing the annual Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick (CLIP) competition to begin. Proceeds collected from the CLIP competition help the CLA funding annual lake maintenance including the removal of nuisance aquatic vegetation. The competition is ongoing through early spring.
“Due to unseasonal temperatures, we were not able to place the ice pick on the lake in 2017. We’re excited to be able to resume this annual fundraiser again in 2018,” said Doug Conroe, executive director for the CLA. “The tripod has fallen through the ice during March or April the last few years. It really is up in the air this year as to when it will submerge,” said Conroe. The ice pick is located on the ice in front of the Lawson Center in Bemus Bay.
For a $5 donation, competition participants can guess the exact date and time the tripod will fall through the ice. Individuals with the closest guesses will win cash prizes. Multiple guesses are encouraged for better odds of winning.
The contest was brought to Chautauqua Lake by Peter Sullivan, a former CLA board member, and is based on a successful Alaskan tradition when people waited for the ice to break on the Tanana River to signify that much needed supplies were coming their way. Although Alaskans are no longer dependent upon the ice breaking to get supplies, the tradition is still carried on with hundreds of thousands of dollars being collected for charity in the process. Many lake communities around the world mimic this tradition to date.
“The winner will receive 25 percent of the entire jackpot,” said Conroe. “The five closest contestants will each receive 5 percent of the jackpot,” he said. The rest of the proceeds will go to the CLA to help provide an enjoyable lake for all lake users. The event has collected close to $10,000 in recent years.
Placing a guess in the CLIP contest can be done three ways. Participants can CLICK HERE to guess online or to download a mail-in form. Community members can also visit the CLA office at 429 E. Terrace Avenue in Lakewood to place their guesses.