New Rotary ice melt contest a fun fundraiser with big prizes


By Jim Garrett

Special to The SUN

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs has announced a new winter-weather contest open to all community members and visitors for fun and profit, and to provide support for Rotary’s annual high school seniors scholarships.

The fun contest is the Hatcher Lake Ice Melt Contest. It is being conducted in cooperation with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA).

The contest is modeled on a highly popular contest conducted for over 30 years in Summit County on Lake Dillon by the local Rotary Club in that community.

Pagosa Springs Rotary President Shellie Peterson described the Ice Melt Contest, saying, “Here’s how it works: We will haul a giant drum out to the middle of Hatcher Lake,” which is currently frozen solid.

“Attached to the drum are clocks,” Peterson continued. “When the ice gives way as the weather warms, the drum will fall through, the clocks will plunge into the water and stop working, and the date and time will be registered.

“Locals, visitors and other astute guessers (such as yourself) can use skill and luck to predict the exact time of the icy plunge.”

Winning guesses submitted to Rotary will earn significant prizes. First place will earn $1,000, second place $500 and third place $250.

Plus, noted Allen Roth, PLPOA executive director and Rotary member, major “bragging rights” will be garnered by winners. Everybody has an opinion on weather, but how often do you have the chance to be certified correct and get cash to boot?

Past Rotary president and board member Kim Moore emphasized the new contest is expected to provide major support to the Rotary Scholarship fund, which annually provides valuable support to graduating Pagosa Springs High School students to help further their educations.

In 2018, Rotary provided $28,000 in scholarship funding to graduating high schoolers.

A ticket to submit a guess on the date and time of the drum’s plunge through the ice costs $5 and discounts are available for five guesses at $20 and 30 guesses at $100. Entries will not be accepted after midnight, March 20, the first day of spring, so enter soon, enter often and keep your weather eye open.

Entries can be submitted through the March 20 deadline by completing a simple form on the Rotary website, After logging onto the website, click on “Hatcher Ice Melt Contest” at the top center of the page.

A link on the PLPOA website will also route users to the Rotary entry page. Entries submitted through the entry page will require a credit card.

Entrants who prefer to pay for their guesses by cash or check may submit a hard copy entry at The Choke Cherry Tree, the Chamber of Commerce in the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center downtown and at the PLPOA Recreation Center or its administrative office.

Judges’ decisions on winning entries will be final.