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Ice Melt winners announced

Kevin Allerston
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Winners have been announced in the True North Ice Melt competition held by the Rotary Club of Yellowknife True North.

NNSL photo/graphic

Rotary Club of Yellowknife True North's Jeff Corradetti, left, and friends Ryan Wood, and Simon Larose, spent three hours Saturday hauling the "Ice Device" out of Frame Lake after it sank Friday. - photo courtesy of James Mackenzie

Since mid-April the club has been accepting guesses as to when exactly the bright-red 205-litre drum, dubbed the "Ice Device," would slip into the waters of Frame Lake.

About 1,800 tickets were sold for the contest, raising $3,635 for the club with 67 people guessing the correct day of May 18.

Rotary Club secretary Jeromy Ball said he was impressed by the community support for the contest.

"It's been really good for a first year fundraiser. I think Yellowknife supported it quite nicely," said Ball.

In the end only a matter of minutes separated the three winners, with Laborita Senhouse coming closest to the actual time of 12:28:07 with her guess of 12:30:15, winning her $3,000.

"I'm not too surprised that they came as close as they did. In other communities where people do the same sort of thing most of the winners come within seconds not minutes," said Ball.

Philippe Bouchard won $2,000 with a guess of 12:34:56 and Donna MacDonald won $1,000 with her third-place guess of 12:36:45.

Senhouse couldn't be reached for comment by press time, though Yellowknifer was able catch up with Bouchard and MacDonald.

Bouchard bought one ticket from his friend Jeff Corradetti the previous Sunday and thought there would be a good chance of the device sinking on the 18th, though his guess of the time of day was sheer luck.

"It was just totally random. I wrote 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... I just didn't have a clue. I didn't think I would get this close," said Bouchard.

As for what he's going to do with his $2,000 in winnings, he said he will probably spend it to pay down school debt.

Like Bouchard, third-place winner MacDonald said she never thought she had a chance at winning.

"I was shocked. I have never won anything in my life. When they called to let me know I won I thought they were joking," said MacDonald, who added there was no strategy to her guess.

"It was pure luck."

MacDonald said it is still sinking in that she won and that she doesn't know what she is going to do with her money.

While Mayor Gord Van Tighem has in the past described watching the progress of the ice device from his office window as somewhat boring, he said it became kind of interesting near the end.

"Near the end it was kind of neat because it was on a piece of floating ice that was moving all over the lake," Van Tighem said.

He said he made several guesses as to when it would finally fall through, with his closest guess being sometime on May 17.

"I went to the professionals to get them to tell me when it would most likely fall through," Van Tighem said.

As for next year, Van Tighem said he would like to see the contest happen again.

"It's a good contest. It's fun and it's raised a lot of money for some good causes," Van Tighem said.

Ball said it took a team of three people about three hours to get the drum out of the water by attaching a rope to a buoy linked to the device and hauling it to the shore of Somba K'e Civic Plaza.

Money raised will help the club pay for activities ranging from the Back Bay Cemetery Restoration Project to international efforts to eradicate polio.

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