OBSERVER STAFF REPORT
The inaugural Ice Out Challenge held by the Lake Iroquois Association wrapped up at precisely 1:39 p.m. on March 27. That’s the moment a cinderblock broke through the ice on Lake Iroquois during the spring thaw.
Valarie Patten of Hinesburg won the competition by guessing within two minutes when the cinderblock would fall. Patten guessed March 27 at 1:41 p.m. “I was so excited to find out that I was the winner of the Lake Iroquois ice out,” Patten said.
There were 2,262 tickets sold, far exceeding the organization’s goal of 1,000.
Patten won half of the overall money raised while the other half will go toward the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Lake Wise Program.
The Lake Wise Program is designed to influence lakeshore owners to establish vegetative buffers and practice low-impact development.
A total of $950 was raised for the program.
“(The Lake Wise Program) helps the health of the lake by slowing runoff and improving water quality of the runoff that does make it into the lake,” said Lake Iroquois Association board member Shannon Kelly.
The association plans to make the Ice out Challenge an annual tradition.
“Even if you were not the lucky winner, please know that your contributions will go a long way toward incremental improvements in shoreline protection of Lake Iroquois,” Kelly wrote in a press release. “We hope that you plan to participate in years to come for some mid-winter fun and a chance to win some money, but most importantly, for the health of the Lake Iroquois.
Camille Sweet, a reporter with UVM’s Community News Service, contributed to this report.