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Oregon's Abili-Ski helps differently-abled people enjoy the water

For almost 30 years, Abili-Ski has been helping people with disabilities enjoy water sports.

Friday morning on the dock at Willamette Park, a group of adults with disabilities was taken for a ride on the water.

The nonprofit group, Imagine Possibilities, sets up the water day for their participants every year.

"It's just a day for people who don't necessarily have these opportunities to come out," said Program Director Karissa Justice, "Abili-Ski workers are really great at giving them those opportunities that they might not otherwise have."

Abili-Ski Adaptive Water Sports was started by Chris Quackenbush almost 30 years ago. On the river today, he uses two ski boats, one for boat rides and the other to tow inner tubes or sit-skiers.

"Every year it's like a brand new experience for them. That's the best part, right. Every time they do this it's like they've never done it before and they can't believe they can do this. For me, I just love that." Quackenbush said.

The ability to enjoy something that many might take for granted or not think twice about being able to do is empowering not only to those who watch but also those who participate.

"When someone can get up on those water skis, it's so empowering and it just boosts their self-esteem like no other."

It leaves them with a smile for days and a sense of pride to hold onto until next year.

If you want to know more about Abili-Ski call Chris at 503-440-2827.

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