The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW students help disabled enjoy day on lake

NW+students+help+disabled+enjoy+day+on+lake

By Shameaka Jones/reporter

Kari Banta glides toward the dock after completing her ride around the lake. The Watersports on the Lake event, which allows the disabled to enjoy water sports, is held yearly, but this is the first time that TCC has participated. The event took place Sept. 15 behind NW Campus on Marine Creek Reservoir.
Photos by David Reid/The Collegian

Students from NW Campus spent part of Sept. 15 helping people with disabilities participate in adaptive water sports on Marine Creek Lake.

It was on a weekend, but students said they didn’t seem to mind.

“I have my whole life,” Tamika Edwards said as she prepared to go into the water to assist. “Why not give up a Saturday?”

This was the first year for TCC to take part in Watersports on the Lake, an annual event in which water sports clubs, nonprofit organizations and volunteers help the disabled undertake activities such as water skiing, jet skiing and sailing.

TCC’s participation came about when Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley learned of the event from Matt Carnes, a member of the Metroplex Ski Club, and agreed to furnish both the volunteers and the lake.

Metroplex Ski Club member Taylor Blackwood helps Kari Banta (below) and Jessie Hall (above) into the water. TCC students worked with members of the ski club to help the event run smoothly.

Twenty-seven students signed up to help – more than enough.

“Great volunteer turnout,” said Blaine Bridgeford, co-founder of the nonprofit Metroplex Adaptive Water Sports (MAWS). “I wish we had as many skiers as volunteers.”

Bridgeford helped start MAWS after his sister-in-law was diagnosed with spina bifida. He said that seeing smiles on the

Kaisa Wilson and Kim Deason talk after Wilson finishes skiing. Participants in the event were put in a special-made board and towed around the lake.
Photos by David Reid/The Collegian

faces of both the disabled and volunteers has been a wonderful experience.

“We give people an opportunity to do something they normally don’t do,” he said.

The TCC part of the event was coordinated by NW’s disability support services, some of whose students participated, and by the student activities office, which handled the volunteer aspect.

Student Jennifer Hampton said she heard about the event through an email blast. She said she loves to help people and was not doing it for a class.

Student development services director Vesta Martinez praised her team for getting students involved. William Smith, disability support services coordinator, took an active role, lifting wheelchairs and helping passengers in and out of boats.

Many of the students came, not for credit or to compile community service hours, but out of a desire to help.

“Volunteering is fun and rewarding, said Lauren Chester as she shivered while wading in cool water. “Though it is cold, it’s not too bad. It’s a good way to spend a Saturday.”

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