"The "Homer Mercury Classic" will help to ensure funds that will allow the Club to stay open and fully staffed for years to come."
- Rep. Paul Seaton
"An Act relating to mercury classics; and providing for an effective date."
House Bill 232 will allow the Homer Chapter of the Kenai Peninsula Boys and Girls Club to operate and implement the "Homer Mercury Classic." As you may know, classics are not permitted under a gaming permit without legislation allowing a specific group or area to conduct one. There are many classics in Alaskan Statute, ranging from ice classics to a canned salmon classic. Currently, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce is the only organization allowed under Alaskan law to conduct a "mercury classic."
The "Homer Mercury Classic" will be held bi-annually, with winnings awarded in the spring to the person who most accurately guesses when the temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The other cash prize will be given to the person who most closely guesses the time and date that the mercury drops to 15 degrees Fahrenheit each fall. Each entry into the classic will cost $2. The proceeds from the classic will be divided evenly between the Boys and Girls Club of Homer and the classic winner.
Members of the Boys and Girls Club, who already have the necessary equipment and expertise to manage the operation, will monitor the temperature hourly through a weather station at the Homer Clubhouse. The program that inspired this classic is called GLOBE, which stands for Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment. GLOBE is an international program in association with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. State Department. The data collected from schools and other groups around the world are deposited into a database that is accessed by the aforementioned organizations to assist atmospheric scientists in their work. This program allows children to participate in scientific processes, while earning money for their program in a fun, non-competitive and educational way.
Three hundred, primarily seven to twelve year-olds, are involved in the Homer Chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. The "Clubhouse" provides an excellent place for kids to "hang-out" in a safe and learning friendly environment. In light of dwindling State revenues, this will be a valuable fundraiser when other sources of monetary support cannot be guaranteed. The "Homer Mercury Classic" will help to ensure funds that will allow the Club to stay open and fully staffed for years to come.