Ice Golf Tournament Canceled

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The annual Ice-Tee Golf Tournament on Lake Wallenpaupack is a casualty of the warmer Winter weather.

Open water and no ice means no golf on the lake in Pike County.

Warmer weather postponed and now, officially cancelled the 21st annual Ice-Tee Golf Tournament, a winter tradition that usually has hundreds of golfers teeing off on the frozen lake.

"As everyone can see, we do not have any ice out on Lake Wallenpaupack right now and safety is our main concern. Even if the ice in the lake did freeze over, it wouldn`t be safe enough by February 26 to have the event," said Debbie Gillette, executive director of the Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, more than 250 people hit the frozen links. There were greens and snow traps, creative carts and bundled caddies.

The Ice-Tee tournament is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce.

"A lot of people look forward to it, they travel from as far away as Virginia to come and play. It`s a very unique event and we`re disappointed, but we have to cancel," added Gillette. "The ice doesn`t always cooperate, and the weather, but it hasn`t cooperated at all this year. Good for the heating bills, but not for our fundraiser."

The chamber of commerce said to hold the Ice-Tee Golf Tournament, there needs to be a minimum of eight inches of ice out on the lake. Last year there was more than 18, but this year, there is none.

"The water hazard got a little big and overtook the whole course this year, so basically, no Ice-Tee," said Eric Ehrhardt.

Eric Ehrhardt owns Ehrhardt's waterfront restaurant, which normally overlooks the ice course. He said the tournament brings in big business.

"Well it`s a big day for us. The restaurant`s full and people are in here enjoying the day so it definitely hurts that we don`t have it this year," said Ehrhardt. "But it`s just one of those Winters where it`s not conducive and can`t have an Ice-Tee Golf Tournament without any ice."

Chamber officials said the Ice-Tee event brings in anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000. They hope to make up the lost funds with other fundraisers throughout the year, including a a wing and chili cook-off on March 4 at Ehrhardt's.