BEMUS POINT The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick is officially back.
The ice pick has been placed on the ice and bets are now being accepted at www.clakeicepick.com. Peter Sullivan, event organizer, said proceeds from the contest will benefit the Chautauqua Lake Association.
''Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the CLA,'' he said. ''The other 50 percent will be split among the five winners. The first winner will receive half. So if we raise $10,000, they would receive $2,500. The other four winners will split the rest of the money.''
The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick contest is based on a successful Alaskan tradition, the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick is a fundraiser where people predict exactly what time and date the ice will break and the tripod placed on the ice will fall into the lake.
The contest's inaugural year was 2011, when $8,000 was raised to benefit the Chautauqua Lake Association. However, in 2012, due to unseasonably warmer temperatures, the contest was canceled.
The idea for the event was brought back by Sullivan, who traveled to Nenana, Alaska, and witnessed an event held annually to predict when the ice breaks. The Alaskan tradition started as people waited for the ice to break on the Tanana River, which would mean the start of supplies coming their 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.
Sullivan transformed the idea into a local fundraiser, with BOCES classes constructing the tripod that is connected to a clock to mark the exact time the ice cracks on Chautauqua Lake. In the inaugural contest in 2011, Greg Peterson won by correctly guessing 9:37 a.m. on March 18.
Each guess costs $5. Bets will be accepted until the end of February. Sullivan said the contest is ''off and running'' because a private foundation has already donated $5,000 toward the competition.