GRAFTON, Mass. — Guess when Charlie the poker-faced mannequin will fall through the ice on Lake Ripple and you'll win $500.
The fundraiser will help the Grafton Lions Club with its charity events throughout the year.
“The winner is the person who comes the closest to the day, hour and minute,” said Lions member Phil Johanson, who is coordinating the contest.
For the record, Charlie doesn’t actually fall in. Dressed in a wool suit and fedora bought at the Salvation Army, the mannequin is propped in a plastic lawn chair and connected to a battery-operated clock attached to a large stone on a fishing pole. When the stone falls through the ice, it disconnects the batteries and stops the clock at the winning time.
This is the second season Charlie is taking the icy plunge. Last winter was unseasonably warm, and the mannequin “fell through” on Feb. 19 with four weeks of winter still ahead.
Guessing the exact date and time would be a long shot, but the person who comes closest wins. “We want people to have some fun this winter and see him out there,” Johanson said.
Charlie is realistic looking from a distance, so Johanson set up a large yellow Lions Club banner so residents won’t be alarmed.
Tickets are $5 and can be bought until Feb. 18 at Cancun’s Restaurant, the Grafton Inn, Wong’s Restaurant, the Grafton Country Store, Studio 79 Hair Salon, Grafton Discount Liquors, the Millbury Credit Union, the Grafton Senior Center, and Dr. Kathleen O’Malley Chiropractic Clinic.