Despite warmer temperatures melting the ice on Chautauqua Lake earlier than expected, the Chautauqua Lake Association was still able to conclude one of their signature fundraisers in mid-March. The annual Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick competition helped raise nearly $3,000 in less than four weeks.
The ice pick was placed on the solid ice of Chautauqua Lake on February 15. The ice pick fell at 12:13 pm on Thursday, March 10.
“The past three ice pick competitions have ended on the same two days in early April. This year was a little unorthodox,” said Craig Butler, president of the Chautauqua Lake Association. “We rely heavily on donations from the community to continue our lake clean up and maintenance throughout the year. We were happy that so many of our supporters still participated despite the unusual weather and abrupt end to the ice pick competition,” said Butler. 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 $3,000 with half of the proceeds benefitting the CLA’s annual lake maintenance program and the other half divided among the top seven closest guesses. The first place guesses were a tie between William and Pat Lock and Al McConahy. Second place guesses were also a tie between Edwin Rodriguez Jr. and Christine Turner. Jane Conroe came in third, Daniel Wells came in fourth, and Kelley Marker came in fifth.
“We want to thank the community for their support in this year’s ice pick competition,” said Craig Butler, president of the Chautauqua Lake Association. “The money collected during this event and other CLA events help benefit programs we provide in and around Chautauqua Lake,” said Butler. The CLA has scheduled a formal dinner fundraiser for June called Denim and Diamonds and the organization’s annual flare sale for the Fourth of July weekend will begin at the end of May.