2019 Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick Underway

CLA volunteers place the ice pick onto the ice outside the Lawson Center in Bemus Point.

Article Contributed by
Edwin Rodriguez Jr.
Chautauqua Lake Association

We have had some bizarre winter weather the past few weeks with warm temperatures, then chilling winds, unseasonable rain, ice, and of course the snow. Though many of us would prefer the sunshine of summer we do live in western New York. Despite these conditions the waters of Chautauqua Lake have once again turned to ice and the annual Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick competition is underway for another year of tradition.

“The countdown to spring begins! The ice pick has been placed on the frozen waters of Bemus Bay in front of the Lawson Center. Don’t miss you chance to get in on the fun,” said Heather Nolan, CLA Manager of Finance and Community Relations.

The contest was first brought to Chautauqua Lake by community member Peter Sullivan. It 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, like ours, mimic this tradition to date.

For a $5 donation, participants can guess the exact date and time the ice pick will fall through the ice. Multiple guesses are encouraged. Individuals with the closest guesses win cash prizes. “The ice pick can be seen in Bemus Bay at the Lawson Center where it will remain until Mother Nature sends us spring and the ice disappears. Proceeds collected from this fundraising event help the CLA with their annual lake maintenance program,” said Nolan.

To place a guess in the contest, visit http://chautauqualakeassociation.org/chautauqua-lake-ice-pick/ to download a form or place your guess online. The first place winner will receive 25 percent of the entire jackpot! The next five closest contestants will each receive 5 percent of the jackpot. The remaining half directly benefits the Chautauqua Lake Association’s lake maintenance and clean-up efforts.

For more information about the CLA, visit our website, check us out on Facebook or call our office at 716-763-8602.

The CLA has provided assistance to Chautauqua Lake for 65 years. They are a non-profit 501(c)3 with a mission to provide effective and efficient lake maintenance services for the benefit of all Chautauqua Lake users.