Anticipation rising for Mustang waiting to break through ice in Saskatchewan

The Watrous Kinsmen club is raising money for its endeavours while waiting for a Ford Mustang to break through the ice. Evan Stacey / Supplied

The winner of a Saskatchewan fundraiser depends on when a Ford Mustang will break through the ice near Watrous, Sask.

Member Evan Stacey said that this is the first “When Will it Sink” the Watrous Kinsmen club has attempted.

Read more: Police caution of unsafe ice conditions on Lake Simcoe after 7 people rescued

“We decided this year with COVID, we couldn’t really do any of our fundraisers that we’ve done in the past, so one of our members had an old car and we thought we’d throw it on some ice and we would guess when you think it will go through,” he said on Thursday.

“We got lines marked on the tires … two of the tires have to go through the ice and when water passes that line, that’ll determine the winner.

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“It was something easy that we could do, virtually avoided any contact tracing with anyone. So it’s all e-transfers and we got $2,500 in gift cards to local businesses in Watrous and the surrounding area (for the winner).”

Over two weeks ago, the vehicle was placed on a slough along Highway 2 around eight km west of Watrous.

“We have a video camera set up on it, TJ’s Mobile here in town, donated his time. So we’ve got a camera on it. So we’re able to see it. And the one guy’s land that it’s out on, he’s doing quite a few drive-bys a day watching it,” Stacey said.

“All the fluids were drained out of the vehicle before and it was cleaned of everything that was in it that could have caused any harm to the environment.”

As of the noon hour on Thursday, Stacey said just over 250 of the 500 $20 tickets had been sold through their Facebook page or by calling 306-222-3633.

All of the proceeds go to the Kinsmen club’s endeavours to give back to the community.

“We have a Kinsmen kids fund where we help kids with extracurricular activities … so if they’re playing hockey or band or anything like that, we’re helping families out to cover some costs,” Stacey said.

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“We donate to local dance festivals, band festivals, a lot of festivals that go on through town that involve the kids — that’s our big thing.”

Read more: ‘Active’ ice fishing season soon wrapping up: Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation

The fundraiser also coincides with the deadline for all ice fishing shacks to be removed from water bodies in the province.

“As spring approaches, the ice conditions can change rapidly and they do deteriorate quite fast. So it’s important that people get their ice shelters off the ice so that they don’t fall through and become a hazard or pollution to the water,” Conservation officer John Moysey said.

“About 30 shacks (annually) across the province that conservation officers have to step in and deal with,” Moysey said.

Moysey urges people to always use caution when venturing out on Saskatchewan’s frozen lakes.

“Any time you’re on the ice, whether it’s March or January, you should use caution. Word of mouth is good but just use caution when you’re on the ice, drive slowly and check the ice depths but the temperatures do obviously melt the ice a little bit quicker,” he said.

Watrous is roughly 95 km southeast of Saskatoon.

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