I love good news, and here’s some to start the New Year! After a 10-year absence the Refrigerator-Drop is coming back to Fraser. This year it’s going to happen on the Lion’s Pond near Safeway. It starts January 16 when the East Grand Fire Department places the refrigerator on Lions Pond. When it ends is anybody’s guess, and a big prize goes to the person that has the closest guess to when the refrigerator breaks through the ice and sinks.

The event is part fundraiser and part contest. Once the Refrigerator is placed on the ice, people can choose a time they think the refrigerator will fall through the ice. Their guess will have to include both a date and a time, to the minute.  The winner will collect 50% of the prize (ticket revenue) and the remainder will go to the Mountain Family Center (MFC). This year’s contest will also be known as the Drop Hunger event.

To find out how this unique event came back to Fraser I sat down with two members of the Fraser River Valley Lions club, President Greg Orzech and Charlie Teichman. Charlie told me that the Mountain Family Center contacted him about bringing back the Refrigerator Drop and the Lions readily agreed to co-sponsor the event. With the Lions and MFC in partnership the hard part came — making this happen. Here are some details.

First was finding a refrigerator, which was generously donated by The Inn at Silver Creek. After realizing that a white refrigerator on white snow would be hard to see, Charlie and some strong Lion members hauled the refrigerator to the Middle Park High School where art teacher Echo Zoyiopoulos and two students, Zoey Scott and Lili Lust, did the decorating. Design credits go to Zoey. An inflatable duck will sit on top of the refrigerator to help it stand out even more. The fully decorated refrigerator now rests outside Murdoch’s and will remain there until being moved to the pond on the 16th.

Because the pond is part of Fraser and overseen by the Winter Park Ranch Water & Sanitation department, Fraser’s town manager Jeff Durbin was contacted to gain permission for the event. Jeff liked the idea and gave permission but informed the Lions that the refrigerator needed to be placed safely on the pond and had to meet environmental standards, which meant removing the compressor and all refrigerants. This requirement was met and a certification was received. (As an aside, Jeff also shared with me some of the many improvements the town plans for the area around the pond. A grant for restrooms has already been won and Jeff is waiting to hear about a grant for a new playground and outdoor classroom. Fingers crossed for getting the grant).

Once permission was received, the East Grand Fire Protection was contacted. Fire Chief Todd Holzwarth agreed to both safely place the refrigerator on the pond and to retrieve it once it falls through the ice. Todd told me they plan to use an aerial tower to place the refrigerator on the pond. Placement of the refrigerator will occur on January 16 at 2 pm, barring any issues. Should be interesting to watch and come see what an aerial tower looks like in action. Come out and watch!

There will be several monitoring methods to document the exact time the refrigerator drops through the ice. First, cameras will be set up at various locations and all pointed at the refrigerator. There will also be a backup system, much more old-school and involve a rope which when pulled taut will trigger a clock to record the time. But the method I like best will be to place a watch inside the refrigerator. The watch will stop when water leaks into the sunken refrigerator.

To enter the contest you can buy tickets later this month at various locations, including the MFC and the Grand Foundation.  Lions members will also be at local locations to sell tickets. The Lions are also working to set up an online site to sell tickets and monitor the refrigerator (good for late night insomnia!). Tickets will be $5 per guess and $25 for 6 tickets. And with much of the money going to MFC, it’s a great cause.

A fun contest and raising money for a good cause – what’s not too like!  

Man about town…

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