Eastern Region Skiing Community – we have several situations happening in the East that warrant some attention. First there are two sites that are working through local regulatory issues with slalom courses. This topic will be discussed during our AWSA East Region Winter meeting on Jan 8th. Second is about a site in Massachusetts that is seeking donations to save their ‘home site’. Please read on and contact the Holland Aqua Riders (https://www.facebook.com/AquaRidersofHolland) for more information.
The Holland Aqua Riders Water Ski Team desperately needs your donation to sustain operations propagating the sport of water skiing locally and nationally. Without your help we will not be able to generate the $35,000 needed to purchase our home site of 163 Mashapaug Rd Holland, Massachusetts and continue providing access to a sport that is becoming increasingly rare. Without this purchase, our access to the lake and our mission will be lost.
For over 50 years the Holland Aqua Riders have been crucial in developing and maintaining a love for water skiing despite decreasing accessibility and affordability of the sport. Our non-profit, federally licensed 501c3 organization is one of the last ski clubs in New England able to provide instruction for all aspects of waterskiing including both a full sized water ski ramp and full tournament slalom course on a public body of water. Through activities such as our learn to ski instructional sessions, free to the community, and held throughout the summer, we provide hands on participation for those without the resources to truly know the joys of water skiing.
In addition, we provide exposure to water skiing on a much greater scale, hosting such events as the Eastern Region Show Ski Championships and The Water Ski Show Extravaganza at Batterson Park in New Britain CT. We’ve successfully brought water skiing back to this site previously used in the 80’s and 90’s for the Budweiser Professional Water Ski Tour. A venue that produced record attendances as well as considered a favorite stop by competing athletes is used once again to showcase the finest water skiers in the northeast and push the sport back into the mainstream of accessible recreational activity
We are truly a grass roots organization responsible for introducing the sport of water skiing to those who otherwise would never be exposed or have the opportunity to take part. Our undeniable impact on the water ski community and those yet to discover the sport is now in jeopardy and requires your immediate financial support to continue. Any donation will help our club reach the needed $35,000 to secure ownership of our beach and continue providing development of the sport of water skiing.
Please see the attached list of distinguished alumni who were introduced to water skiing through the Aqua Riders and went on to have a substantial impact on the sport through skiing professionally, competing nationally, or becoming integral members of organizations and events developing or showcasing the sport of water skiing.
- Pat Byrne – USA Water Ski National Safety Director, Certified Safety Clinic Instructor, Former Eastern Region Executive Vice President of American Water Ski Association, Eastern Region Board of Directors of the American Water Ski Association Member, National Board of Directors of USA Water Ski Member, and President of Old Farms Skiers Water Ski Club, Avon Connecticut
- Matt Byrne – Eastern Region 3 event champion, Multiple 3 event National Championship podium appearances, Senior Driver rating, Served as eastern region 3 event chief driver, One of the youngest national tournament drivers
- Shelly D’Aleo – Eastern Region Doubles champion and Professional water skier, Sea World, Austin TX
- Kenny Jones – Eastern Region distance jumping champion, Eastern Regions Men’s I distance jump record holder, Senior Driver rating, Served as chief driver at numerous collegiate and regional events
- Keith Lyman – professional wake boarder
- Nick Lyman – Eastern Region freestyle jump champion, Ski Show Director Lego Land Florida, Repeat Member of Team USA at Worlds Show Ski Championships
- Tonya Maurer – Eastern Region Executive Vice President of American Water Ski Association
- Gary Naples – Eastern Region Doubles Champion, Eastern Region Freestyle Jump Champion, Multiple Division I National Show Ski Championship podium appearances
- Jeff Sargent – Eastern Region champion, Established water skiing as a club sport at UCONN
- Lauren Sheldon – Eastern Region Swivel champion, National Champion Division II Show Ski Championships
- William Pucci – Eastern Region Doubles Champion, Founder of Hamilton Adventurers Water Ski School
These individuals and many others who have come through the Aqua Riders program continue to spread the joy of water skiing across the country. And now we find the next generation of potential water ski hopefuls standing on our shores dependent on your donation to have a chance to be involved. Hopefuls such as Nichole Pelsky, who showed up on our beach with her mom to watch a weekly Friday night show. Nichole, at 8 years old, just didn’t fit in with conventional sports like soccer or basketball and struggled to find a place where she felt like she belonged. Her mom, desperate to help Nichole find the outlet and confidence she knew her daughter needed, took a chance by bringing her to see just what our organization can provide. She immediately knew she had found the right place for Nichole as she proclaimed “mommy, I’m gonna do that”, pointing to the girl atop our 4 tier pyramid. From that moment Nichole has been a changed girl, arriving to our site with energy, confidence, and feeling of belonging, all from water skiing. Stories like Nichole’s are common in our organization but need your support to continue.
The future of this program rests in the hand of donators and water ski enthusiasts like yourself. We are a 100% volunteer organization and dependent on your financial support to endure. In return for any donations towards the needed $35,000 to save our beach, we will send you a letter with proof of your donation and our Federal tax ID # to claim on your yearly tax filing as well as a hand written thank you and picture from the kids you’re helping. Please send a check payable to Aqua Riders of Holland Inc. to:
163 Mashapaug Rd Holland, Massachusetts, 01521.
Thank you for you much needed help, The Holland Aqua Rider family.