LAKE OUACHITA – Blustery skies were unable to put a stop to the third annual Wake the World adaptive watersports event at Lake Ouachita Monday, July 29.
The event was organized by James and Bridgette Eason. While they live in Maumelle Bridgette stated that Lake Ouachita is their favorite lake to visit. They started the Wake the World Arkansas Adaptive Chapter after attending an event in North Carolina in 2013. She said that after their visit to North Carolina James was hooked and they decided they needed to bring the events to Arkansas.
Last Monday’s event was the third on Lake Ouachita. There were 15 participants with over 100 family and friends on hand to offer support. Bridgette shared that participants included those with Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Quadriplegic and Paraplegic Spinal Cord Injury.
“This was a day of inclusion and without limitations. Everyone should get the chance to go have a great day on the lake, and that’s what Wake the World is all about.” Bridgette stated in an email.
The event offers assistance and instruction in water sports for people of all ages and disabilities. Wake the World is a nationwide 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization that provides water sports opportunities to children’s homes nationwide. Wake the World has branched out to include adaptive water sports. Wake the World Adaptive teaches people of all ages and disabilities how to enjoy water sports.
Participants were able to enjoy a variety of water sports including: wakeboarding, wakesurfing, kneeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, swimming or just hanging out in a boat. Volunteers helped participants as they enjoyed the beauty and fun of Lake Ouachita.
All events are made possible through the support of individuals and businesses. Currently 100 percent of all funds donated are used for expenses directly related to events. There are no paid staff and Wake the World is managed through donated office space and volunteers.
Bridgette stated that they are very thankful for the support offered by Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa and EZ Dock of Texas. EZ Dock of Texas provided a dock that offered easy access on and off the boat from the shoreline on Lake Ouachita. Mountain Harbor provided an accessible location on the lake as well as assistance at the event. Students from the University of Central Arkansas’ physical therapy program were on hand to offer assistance as well.
Bridgette stated on the day of the event that the adaptive watersports event held on Lake Ouachita is the only Wake the World adaptive watersports event outside of North Carolina.
For more information regarding the event, or Wake the World Arkansas visit https://www.facebook.com/WakeTheWorldAR.