As polar bears plunge into the icy waters, so will local water skiers from in and around Montogmery County. On January 1st, a select group of water skiers will take to the water on New Year’s Day with an altogether different mindset. “The skier generally tries not to get wet, but it’s usually just not possible” Brian Birsa, Port Indian Ski Club president said of the 35th annual Port Indian Ski Freeze, adding that the stay dry tactic has had mixed results. “If you do it just right, you can stay pretty dry, but most skiers get a dunk in the cold water … That’s part of the excitement and fun of it.”
But, with the day’s contributions helping to fund Montgomery County based Camp Rainbow Inc.’s week-long overnight summer camping experience for hundreds of deserving county children, getting wet and being cold is worthwhile. “It’s a lot of fun to watch,” Birsa said. “We expect this to get bigger and bigger every year. We’re in growth mode, and it’s for a great cause.”
For 2015, Birsa is hoping that the ski club and community event will help generate $3,000 in contributions, which would more than double last year’s donation. The camp, which is located in Lower Salford Township and operates as a nonprofit organization, provides a camping experience to children ages 7 to 16 each summer. Anyone willing to sign a waiver and make a donation can come out on New Year’s Day and water ski. “Ideally you’ should know how to water ski – it’s not a good time to learn,” Birsa said of participants. Spectators are welcome to cheer on the participants, and often come with noisemakers from the previous night’s festivities.
So what prompted folks to take to water skiing 35 years ago – in the middle of winter? “It started as a bet in 1979 between some river folks about who was going to start the waterski season earlier,” Birsa said. “You can’t get any earlier than Jan. 1.st”. If you go to the 35th annual Port Indian Ski Freeze, the event will be held from noon to 3pm on Jan. 1st at #18 East Indian Lane, located next to the Norristown Boat Club. The event is free, but donations for Camp Rainbow Inc. are appreciated. For more information on the event, email Brian Birsa at [email protected] Click here to learn more about Camp Rainbow Inc..
January 1, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Beside Norristown Boat Club
18 East Indian Lane
Norristown, PA 19403
Proceeds to benefit Camp Rainbow Inc.