Blake Collins considers himself an expert water skier and nothing can convince him otherwise - not even the wipeout he took while skiing or the disability he lives with.
Blake, 12, was one of about 20 children, ages five to 18, with special physical or health care needs to water ski at the Fifth Annual Wee Can Ski.
The event was sponsored by the MCG Children's Medical Center and held at the Fort Gordon Recreation Area Saturday.
The children were pulled by a water craft while they rode on an air tube or a specially-made water ski that had a metal seat mounted on two skis.
Director of Family Services Development for MCG Children's Center Julie Moretz said the purpose of the event is to allow the kids a chance to do something they would not otherwise be able to. Another first for many of those children was the trophy each was given.
"For many of these kids, this will be the only trophy they get," Moretz said.
Moretz said more than 100 volunteers including soldiers from Fort Gordon were there to help the children enjoy the water. Many volunteers served as catchers by grabbing skiers once their run was complete.
For Blake, it was the second straight year he attended. His first ski run of the day ended a little early when his ski bent and sent him into the water. Two volunteers who follow the children in a personal watercraft immediately jumped in and pulled him out.
"The ski just broke," Blake said after he was pulled into the boat. "But falling was the best part."
For his mother, Genice Collins, the best part was seeing the confidence her son had while skiing - at one point, he was flying across the water without holding on.
"This is something they never thought the'd have a chance to do," Genice said. "It's an accomplishment for them to do this."
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