The Tenth Annual Eskimo Escapades Shut Up & Ski Breaks Records
The Tenth Annual Eskimo Escapades Shut Up & Ski! Was held January 17, 2004 at Volunteer Landing in Knoxville, Tennessee. Eskimo Escapades had a record 124 participants who rode wakeboards, water skied, kneeboarded, barefooted or otherwise got wet for two great causes. Skiers and Riders collected donations and raised over $20,000 for charity. In a huge improvement from the frigid temperatures of 2003, the weather cooperated somewhat with a high temperature in the mid-40's and cloudy skies. Better yet, the rain held off (despite a few sprinkles) until the last participant was out of the water. There were lots of costumes, even Elvis rode, and a few barefooters. One of the highlights of the day included backrolls completed by Tyler Moore (riding tandem) and Justin Hill. The youngest participant, Bryson Funk, was 7 years old, and the oldest, James Wamsley, was 58. Five participants, Joe Thompson, Harvey Letson, Will Robinson and Daniel Funk, have participated all ten years.
The event is sponsored by the Eskimo Escapades Foundation (www.eskimoescapades.com), and all proceeds from the event benefit the Dream Connection which fulfills dreams for seriously ill children and the Patricia Neal IRC which provides recreational activities, such as wakeboarding and water skiing, for individuals with spinal cord injuries and brain injuries.
All participants were towed by world class tournament boats provided by MasterCraft, Malibu and Nautiques by Correct Craft. The boats were incredible, including a Mastercraft X Star boat that was lime green and gray, a yellow Malibu Response with a Corvette engine, and a Big Orange Air Nautique Team Edition 210. After they got out of the chilly waters of Ft. Loudon Lake, they warmed up in a hot tub provided by Aurora Pools and Spas. Gina Haas from 100.3 The River water skied, and Matthew Porterfield, who suffered a spinal cord injury 5 years ago, rode his wakeboard for the fourth year in a row. Steve Cox, a longtime volunteer and participant, raised the most money with $1,800. After the event, Steve was honored with the Tim Craven Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year for his dedication to the Patricia Neal IRC summer water ski clinics and his work for Eskimo Escapades. The award is in memory of Tim Craven, one of the first adaptive water skiers through the Patricia Neal IRC, who died three years ago.
It was a great time all for a great cause, and we thank everyone for all their hard work and support. See you next year!