Help reveal a brighter tomorrow with Rotary’s Ice Melt Contest

Photo courtesy Al Myatt

By JoAnn Laird
Pagosa Springs Rotary Club

Pagosa Springs Rotary, as a local, national and international service club, has had a tough time in raising funds in the midst of a year-long pandemic. However, the curtain is rising to reveal a brighter tomorrow, and Rotary is on the charge again to make life better in ways only it can do. Usher in the third annual Ice Melt Contest as its first 2021 fundraiser.

This armchair event is based on precise timing, down to the month, day, minute and second. A drum with a clock has been placed on Lake Hatcher and when the ice melts enough for the barrel to drop into the lake, the clock will stop and three lucky winners will be announced. 

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, in conjunction with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA), will be awarding $1,000 to the person whose guess is the closest to the time marked on the then-useless clock, $750 for second place and $50 for third place. 

To be counted, entries must be submitted to Rotary no later than midnight, March 17, or earlier if the thawing happens and the barrel plunges to the depths of Lake Hatcher. Tickets for your guesses are $5 each, $20 for five and $100 for 30. 

Guessing forms are available through links at and, the PLPOA Administration Office, PLPOA Rec Center, The Choke Cherry Tree, and Ski and Bow Rack. 

For insight as to where the funds will go from the Ice Melt Contest, look no further than to your graduating Pagosa Springs High School seniors. All funds raised from this event will go toward scholarships for higher education, be it college or trade. A pandemic didn’t keep Rotary from carrying on an almost four-decade tradition by awarding $27,000 to deserving students in 2020. 

In addition to the Scholarship Fund, Rotary supplies weekly manpower and food to the elementary school Backpack Program, filling in the need for food left by the gap between Friday’s school lunch program and the Monday morning bell. Rotarians pick up highway trash, place benches for those awaiting public transportation, give beautifully crafted dictionaries to every third-grader, endow teacher mini-grants to defray their expenses, donate monies and items to the Food Pantry, help fund the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s greenhouse project, host foreign students for the Student Exchange Program plus send local students to study abroad, fund expenses for high school students to attend a leadership training program and assist the town with the Fourth of July Parade — rewarding, fun and in some cases, life-changers.

Internationally, we are the face of eradicating polio from the world. We’re almost there. While polio still exists in two countries, between Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it is only a matter of time before this deadly disease will be forever gone.

Your local Rotary also funds educational and humanitarian efforts to Niger and Senegal and donated medical vehicles in Pakistan. Rotary monetarily assists other regional clubs with funds for some of their projects, like the installation of clean water systems and wheelchairs in Mexico and Central America. 

Rotary’s main fundraisers like Casino Night and the Barn Dance had to be canceled last year. While Rotary expects to host these two events this year, your participation in the first fundraiser of the year is crucial to Rotary’s success in giving as we head toward a brighter future. Help us raise the curtain a little higher and buy one ticket or 100. It’s a win/win for someone else and for you.