A non-profit organization in our region ensures that everyone, regardless of ability, has the chance to discover the joys of water sports.
LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pennsylvania — A day on the lake is meant to be enjoyed by all.
“We’re basically here to help people with mobility issues enjoy life and try different experiences that they might not have had access to otherwise,” said Joe Salva, Individual Abilities in Motion.
The non-profit organization Individual Abilities in Motion has partnered with Leaps of Faith to bring the thrill of waterskiing to the residents of Lake Chapman, near Scott Township.
One by one, the volunteers helped each person put on the special equipment before sending them off.
“Oh, it’s amazing. It’s like you’re flying, there are no limits, you don’t have the limits of the chair or the crutches for some people, and you’re like everyone else who are valid,” said Max Malec, Township of Roaring Brook.
“The idea of me being able to water ski is something I never thought I could do again,” said Derek Raines, of Scranton.
For people like Derek Raines of Scranton, life before his multiple sclerosis diagnosis meant plenty of adventures on this same lake. Newswatch 16 caught up with him as he waited for the second round of waterskiing.
“Oh my God, I felt, after the initial shock of getting into the water, just to feel the jet rise, it was just wonderful to relive that experience,” Raines said.
Best time of day? Participants didn’t have to pay a penny to enjoy their day on the water.
“We do all of this through our fundraisers and sponsorships from other organizations and businesses who sponsor our organization to help offset the costs,” Salva said.
“Having these opportunities really gives us more to do and just shows others that we can do it no matter what our ability,” Malec said.
Individual capacities in motion host a variety of support programs. For more information, visit their website at click here.
Coming soon to WNEP’s YouTube channel.