Disabled Kansans take to the lake in Holton

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HOLTON, KS — Several people with disabilities came to Prarie Lake in Holton to water ski for the first time ever.

The Rough Water Warriors Ski Team hosted their first free adventure on the water at Prairie Lake. The City of Holton’s commission actually re-wrote their by-laws so they could ski on the lake.

“Incredible, incredible. You get to see him and you just see his expression and he’s just excited,” said Kim Haney.

Kim Haney’s son, Gayle Warren has cerebral palsy. She never thought she would be able to see her son go water skiing.

“I’m most likely going to want to do it again,” said Gayle.

About a year ago, the Rough Water Warriors Ski team saw a similar ski team from Florida host a camp for disabled people to get the chance to ski. And they knew it needed to come to Kansas.

“When you see this and you see the smiles on their faces, you can’t hardly wipe them away. So that’s what we wanted to see was to be able to give the opportunity that we have to ski to other people who might not get that opportunity,” said Mark Weber, co-organizer.

Through generous donations, the ski team was able to purchase the equipment necessary for these first time skiers to get out on the water. Each special board costs about $3,000.

But every single person involved says it is worth it for those smiles as they come out of the water.

“I like it. I like everybody here,” said Angel, participant.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience that something that I didn’t think my son would ever be able to do with his limitations, there’s very little things that they can do, so it’s exciting to do,” said Haney.

The Rough Water Warriors say they are already looking to do more free clinics for disabled persons. They are planning to do two to three camps a summer across Northeast Kansas.

On the web: http://www.skipomona.com/ for more information on the Rough Water Warriors.

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