The Orlando Watersports Complex hosted Above The Wake, a local nonprofit that helps disabled kids get on the water.
Last weekend, OWC staff taught 25 kids with varying degrees of autism how to wakeboard, kneeboard, or ride on top of the water. It was the first time many had experienced those activities on the water.
Above The Wake seeks to create positive experiences on the water for children with autism and cognitive delays, also seeking to break down stigmas and unleash potential through individual teaching moments and inclusion.
“We are very thankful that we have been able to partner with Orlando Watersports Complex to further our mission,” said Above The Wake executive director Tom Hart in a statement. “Events like this wouldn’t be possible without community partners like 0WC and the Gator Week community for volunteering. We also had the Vargas family supply lunch for the day which is a pretty tall order when you look at the amount of people that were at the event. We are grateful for the support that Central Florida has provided us in the last five years.”
OWC parent company Aktion Parks makes a concerted effort to reach out to communities that are typically excluded from certain activities, said Aktion Parks operations director Kellan Rudnicki. Aktion Parks is owned by Correct Craft.
“We always get excited to help kids learn how to ride on the water for the first time,” Rudnicki said.
“Part of our culture of ‘Making Life Better’ is serving and improving the lives of those we can help,” said Correct Craft CEO Bill Yeargin. “Hosting the kids with Above The Wake was an absolute joy for our OWC team. We know their positive water experience created lasting smiles.”