adaptive skiing



















The year 2010 marks the 15th year of the P. K. Filling Adaptive Water Skiing Clinic, a joint venture of The Easter Seals Society - South Central PA, Lake Aldred Wakeboard & Ski Club, and Pequea Water Ski Club.

Named in memory of one of LAWSCís original coordinators of the event, Pat Filling, the ski clinic provides an opportunity for children and adults with disabilities and their family members to experience the thrill of water skiing through the use of adaptive ski equipment and special training tools. Additionally, skiers are given the opportunity to take personal watercraft (jet ski) and pontoon boat rides.

Safety is the governing goal during this event. All skiers must submit an approval from their physician and all volunteers are required to be certified in a half-day training clinic. Skiers are followed throughout their ski run by two personal watercrafts, each with a trained jumper who will immediately enter the water in the event of a fall. The jumpers assist the skier in the water and help him or her to get restarted.

If a skier's disability prevents him or her from standing up on traditional skis (which is usually the case), an adaptive sit ski is utilized. These sit skis can be custom fitted to accommodate any age and size and can be configured with or without outriggers and back supports to accommodate all skill levels. A towline is attached directly to the sit ski for beginners and skiers with limited use of their hands, or can be directly held by more experienced skiers. The towline is attached to the boat via a quick-disconnect, operated by the boatís observer, that can be immediately released in the rare event of a fall. We have successfully pulled hundreds of skiers with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, spinal trauma, loss of sight, severe ADHD, and many other conditions, all without injury.

The smiles, the family's cheers, and the skiers who return year after year tell the true story of this exhilarating event. Many thought they could not do it, but they all want to go again.

Contact Matt Ernst at the Easter Seals Society of South Central Pennsylvania, 717-741-3891, for information on the 2003 event registration.

The clinic is held on Weiss Island, Lake Aldred, Susquehanna River between southern York and Lancaster counties. Skiers and their families are transported to the island on pontoon boats running from Gamler's Campground and Boatyard near PP&L's Otter Creek Recreation Area or from the public boat launch on Pequea Creek. Transportation should be previously arranged through Matt Ernst at Easter Seals (see address below).

Contacts and Links: (This is OLD info... We'll attempt to update ASAP)

Skiers:  Matt Ernst, Easter Seals Society of Central Pennsylvania
Phone 717-741-3891, Fax 717-741-5359, Email

Volunteers & other ski clubs seeking information:  Larey Kauffman
Phone 717-757-9131, Voice Mail 800-203-3405 ext. 29, Email

Ski Clinic Press Liaison:  Bill Filling
Phone 717-840-6419, Cell Phone 717-880-9974, Email

Easter Seals Society of Central Pennsylvania

USA Water Ski:

Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA):

Pequea Water Ski Club:

Lake Aldred Wakeboard & Ski Club:

Directions to Event:

From Lancaster County (all distances are approximate)

Transportation from the Lancaster side must be previously arranged with Matt Ernst from Easter Seals. Rt. 30 to Rohrerstown exit. Follow rt. 741 S 8 mi. to light at New Danville Pike. - turn right toward Conestoga. Follow New Danville Pike. 5 mi. into Conestoga and bear left at the Post Office onto River Corner Road. Follow River Corner 3 mi. to Stop sign. Turn left on River Rd. 1.5 mi. Bear right onto River Hill Road at top of hill. 2.5 mi. to Stop sign (Pequea Creek will be in front of you). Park in public lot on your right. Look for pontoon boat with an Easter Seals banner parked at dock.

From York County (all distances are approximate)

I83 to Mt. Rose/East Prospect Road exit - east toward East Prospect on Rt. 124 E 6 mi. to Stop sign in East Prospect. Go right at Stop sign following 124 E 3 mi. to 4 way Stop sign at Craley. Go straight, continuing to follow 425 S 4 mi. to Stop sign in New Bridgeville. Turn left (continuing to follow 425 S) 8 mi. to Otter Creek recreation area. As soon as 425 turns back up the hill away from the river, turn left onto Indian Steps Rd. Just past Indian Steps Museum, turn left into Gamler's Campground. Go straight down hill toward river and look for Easter Seals registration desk or pontoon boat with Easter Seals banner.

Special Thanks to Previous Sponsors, Supporters and Participants:

Hershey Foods Corp. for providing most of the funds to get this event going.

Local businesses and individual members of the ski clubs for providing the funds to keep it going.

Don's Kawasaki in Hellam, PA for providing a Jet Ski used for training and safety.

The Workshop in Hellam, PA for providing a Polaris PWC used for training and safety.

Lake Clarke Rescue and Columbia Fire Rescue for providing on-site ambulance and rescue services, and functioning as traffic cops.

All the volunteers of the ski clubs, especially Event Coordinator Larey Kauffman, PWC Coordinator Scott Prowell, Pontoon Boat Coordinator Joe Sexton, and Food Chairperson Marlene Schaeffer.

Other Water Ski Clubs Interested in Conducting Adaptive Ski Clinics:

If your club is looking for a rewarding event, we encourage you to consider an adaptive water skiing clinic. Our event has become one of the most successful, best-attended recreational events offered by our local Easter Seals chapter. We would be happy to provide you with information and training for conducting such an event. Contact Bill Filling at the address shown above.


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