When I started as EVP for the AWSA Eastern Region, I knew I had a lot to learn. We’re involved in a sport with a rich history and some quite amazing people from right here in the Eastern Region. I asked Jon Thacher to help me understand some of that history and to know the stories behind the people and awards that we hand out each year. Here are a few…
Check out the “Awards” page to see the recent winners of these awards!
Each one of us is on a journey. We travel from day to day in work, in play, in life. We are fortunate to have others with whom we can share in our journey. Through our love of a sport, we are blessed with an opportunity to meet people that we otherwise may never know. We find ourselves inspired by the accomplishments of others, knowing that what they’ve done is not easy.
Emmy Healy was one of those who inspired many in the water ski community. She is remembered as a very humble, kind person, and of course a great skier. It is a Blessing knowing she is no longer in pain and may she Rest In Peace. Prayers for Emmy and her family. Our deepest sympathies to those who were close to her.
Records held by Emmy include:
W4 Trick – Emmy Healy 3520 pts East Regionals – Avon 8/1/1996
W5 Trick – Emmy Healy 3560 pts MC Eastern Regionals “R” – Dave’s Pond 8/5/2002
W6 Trick – Emmy Healy 3560 pts Eastern Regionals “R” – Avon 8/0/2003
Paul Allebach passed away September 19 at his home in Harleysvile, PA, following an extended illness. He is survived by his wife Sarah, sisters Alice Kolb and Esther Kauffman, brothers Jim and Abe, nieces Nancy Swartout and Kathy Becker, and many other nieces and nephews.
Paul was a member of AWSA for almost 60 years, participating in many local, regional and national tournaments as both a trick skier and a senior driver. He was a member of the Diamond State Water Ski Team, served as chief driver of Nationals and drove several Pan-Am tournaments. Paul was a member of the AWSA board of directors and chairman of the towboat committee for a number of years.
He also enjoyed many snow skiing trips, visiting new resorts whenever possible. He followed Philadelphia sports teams and NASCAR.
Read the full obituary at WilliamsBergeyKoffel.com.
This Spring I was fortunate to be part of one of the best grass roots tournaments ever!
The Buskey Cider Cup
Roughly 120 water skiers and cider enthusiasts gathered on a Saturday in Bumpass, VA for the second annual “Buskey Cider Cup.” The event features an all levels, all ages, all for fun water ski tournament, surrounded by a festival atmosphere. While skiers were giving their best performance on the water, spectators enjoyed swimming, lounging, merchandise shopping, a cash prize cornhole tournament and delicious Buskey Cider. As the sun was setting Continue reading
Ed Brazil, a Lifetime Ambassador Member of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, passed away on Friday, April 26. Brazil, a native of Laconia, NH, was known throughout the water ski world for his work as a technical controller, his contributions to water ski site development, and innovation for all things water ski related.
Skip was a longtime member of the Abenaki Water Ski Club of Wolfeboro and was a ski jumping fixture in their water ski shows for years. He participated in competitive water skiing over four decades, setting the Eastern Regional Jump record in 1992 and 1993. He was a multi-time Eastern US Regional Champion, placed second in the World Masters Games in 1985 in Toronto, and placed third at the US Nationals in 1983. Continue reading
Very sad news: Stuart Abelson’s wife Betsy died in a snowmobile accident Saturday. The family is requesting privacy. More information when available.
The following obituary was located at the two links at the bottom of this post and is copied here (with slight modification simply to merge the two) because obituary pages are sometimes removed from their websites.
On February 9, 2019, Elizabeth (Betsy) O’Leary Abelson died tragically in a snowmobiling accident in Greenwood, Maine. She was 30 years old. Betsy was due to give birth in March to daughter Brooke Betsy Abelson, who also passed away in the accident. Continue reading
Longtime member Gene Davis has passed away after a brief illness. Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Sharon, and daughters Kristen and Shannon and all of the family. Gene was a jumper in local, regional and national competitions’ and always gave us a thrill. He was a senior Judge and was a very sought-after technical controller for record tournaments including the Masters, Nationals and World Championships. He was Chair of the AWSA Technical Committee for many years, past AWSA president, and was instrumental in bringing the technical standards up their current standards and has taught many the tricks of the trade.
With great sadness and grief, the family of Lee Mershon announced his sudden passing in West Palm Beach, Florida on November 8, 2018. The obituary may be viewed here.
Roger Hammel passed along: Lee and another former Eastern Region skier were working on skis when lee was stricken with a heart attack. He had been skiing and driving with others a couple of hours prior. Lee was participating in our sport that he loved quite literally right up to the last moments of his life.
Lee was an avid water skier and won many state, regional, and national championships. He was a senior three event and Pan-Am judge at waterskiing events and was chief boat driver and chief judge at Nationals. He was a test driver and helped design and approve the ski boat “Ski Centurion” for tournament use. He served on the American Water Ski Association rules committee for many years. He was the first recipient of the Gertha Hancock Award. Lee found a great deal of pleasure in sky diving, scuba diving, and flying his own airplane.
Please keep his wife Bonnie in your thoughts.
A memorial service will be held Friday November 16th 2pm at Williamsburg United Methodist Church 500 Jamestown Road ,Williamsburg, VA 23185, (757) 229-1771.
There is also a memorial service for Lee in Wellington, Florida. It will be held at St. David’s In The Pines Episcopal Church, Forest Hill and Wellington Trace, at 2 pm on November 27, 2018.