As the temperature went up this past week, the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick fell through the ice in Bemus Bay. This ended the Chautauqua Lake Association’s signature fundraising event with cash prizes awarded to individuals with the six closest guesses. More than 500 guesses were submitted for this year’s competition.
The ice pick was placed on the solid ice of Chautauqua Lake in the beginning of the year. The ice pick fell at 1:59 pm on April 10, 2015.
“The past two ice pick competitions have ended on the same day. We weren’t sure if we would see the same result in 2015 due to the record lows we had this winter,” said Peter Sullivan, chairman and founder of the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick competition. The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick competition is based on a successful Alaskan tradition when locals would wait for the ice to break on the Tanana River. This meant that needed supplies were on the way. Although Alaskans may not be as dependent upon the ice breaking to get supplies now, the guessing is still carried on as thousands of dollars are raised for charity in the process.
This year’s event raised just under $10,000 with half benefitting the CLA’s annual lake maintenance program and the other half divided the top six closest guesses. The first place winner of the contest was Scott Schrecongost with a guess of 1:47 pm (12 minutes away from the mark). Philip Brunskill came in second, Laura Stetzko came in third, Barb and Mike Lyons came in fourth, Jim Larson, came in fifth, and Craig Butler, Rebecca Haines, and Christine Turner all tied for sixth.
“This year’s competition was very interactive and we received a lot of support from area residents,” said Doug Conroe, president of the Chautauqua Lake Association. “The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce filmed the ice pick from above the water in March with their drone camera and the ice pick was also featured in the Buffalo market on Channel 4 (WIVB) News,” said Conroe.
The ice pick competition, Light Up the Lake 4th of July flare sale, and newly announced Dragon Boat Race (www.chqdragonrace.org) are just a few of the interactive ways to help support the CLA’s efforts to keep Chautauqua Lake beautiful.
For more information about the Chautauqua Lake Association, visit the CLA on the web at www.chautauqualakeassociation.org or call 716-763-8602. You can also stay updated by visiting the CLA on Facebook page.
The CLA’s mission is to provide effective and efficient lake maintenance services for the benefit of all Chautauqua Lake users. As the “Stewards of the Lake,” the CLA serves to promote and facilitate the ongoing scientific monitoring of Chautauqua Lake and its ecosystem.