Summer officially arrived for Troy Williams on Saturday.
Shortly after tubing on Clarks Hill Lake, Troy was ready to try water skiing for the first time.
"It was amazing," said the 13-year-old Troy, who uses a wheelchair.
Troy was one of 50 children and adults with disabilities visiting Pointes West Army Resort at Clarks Hill Lake on Saturday for the fourth annual Adaptive Water Skiing Clinic.
Augusta resident Denise Brooks watched as Troy, her son, finished his rounds on the lake. It was the pair's first time attending the event.
"I think it helps them stay motivated, because it shows them they can do anything," she said.
Brooks, who heard about the clinic from Troy's therapist, said she and her son plan to return next year.
"Their inabilities to walk should not stop their ability to have fun," Brooks said.
The clinic provided participants with a self-confidence boost and a chance to move outside their comfort zone, said Jeff Snover, the chairman of Champions Made From Adversity, which sponsored the event with MCG Health.
"Our families can see how their loved one can experience something that's ordinary," he said.
In addition to sit skiing and tubing, there also was swimming and boat rides.
The clinic grows each year and draws people from Atlanta and Columbia, Snover said. Nearly 130 volunteers from Fort Gordon, area medical centers and the community spent the day at the lake, aiding in any way they could.
Carol Helmerich, an outpatient rehabilitation manager at MCG, was keeping track of those in line to go tubing.
"They just have such a good time," she said. "It's very heartwarming to see their little smiles."
Helmerich, who has volunteered at the clinic for three years, said she hopes participants realize they can be successful in all facets of life.
The event also gave families the opportunity to socialize with others in similar situations.
"Another thing that comes out of this is friendships," Snover said. "We see folks that normally wouldn't meet form friendships."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.