WEBSTER, MASS. - It may have been cold on Webster Lake Saturday, but it didn't stop some people from putting on their wetsuits and strapping on their waterskies for an important cause.
The second-annual Swaterski event helped raise money for the National Brain Tumor Society. The event was hosted by the Webster Water Ski Collective, a nonprofit focused on making water skiing and watersports fun and safe for all ages and skill levels. Keith Menard, a member of the collective, came up with the idea for the event to remember his mother who passed away after battling brain cancer. The group also accepted donations of non-perishable food items for the Webster Dudley Food Bank. Twenty-six skiers from all over New England took part, with some dressed dressed up in holiday-themed costumes. Ryan DesRoches, the collective's president, says the water was a chilly 38 degrees Saturday.
"This is definitely a unique experience," DesRoches said. "I don't think there's any waterski club in the country, at least up in the northern areas, that go out and waterski in December. Most people, they're done Labor Day. So, that's typically when our waterskiing ends, around Labor Day. We always have a couple diehards that extend through September and October. But, December is definitely unique and to be able to do waterskiing and snow skiing on the same day, it's a lot of fun."
The water skiing was just the first half of the days festivities. Participants ended their day at Wachusett Mountain for snow skiing. The event raised more than $10,000.