GOSHEN - The Goshen Meltdown ended not with a bang but with a gentle slide into the quickly warming waters of Hammond Pond.
According to Bob Labrie, Meltdown organizer, the 69-pound concrete block he placed on the ice Feb. 3 fell into the water at noon (and 11 seconds) on Saturday. There was still a coating of ice on the water in places, but as Labrie noted, "It was only a matter of time."
The winner of this year's contest, Diane Mollison of Goshen, guessed the ice would go out on April 20 at 4:10 p.m. She came the closest to the actual time without going over. A resident of Hammond Pond, Jackson Seifert, guessed the ice would go out on Saturday, April 21, but the time he chose of 1:37 p.m. was a bit too late.
Only 3 percent of this year's 962 participants chose times of April 21 or later. Mother Nature fooled almost everyone, in Labrie's words. Mollison will receive about $430 - that's half of the contest proceeds - and the Francis and Ruth Dresser Emergency Medical Services Fund will receive the other half, plus some additional contributions made separate from the ticket sales.
Labrie, whose organizer role kept him busy longer than expected, sends his thanks out to all participants. For now, he's ready to think about summer.
For pictures of this year's contest, go to www.goshenmafire.com .