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A day on the water in Lackawanna County

A non-profit in our area is making sure everyone, no matter their ability, has the chance to experience the joy of water sports.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — A day on the lake is meant for everyone to enjoy.

"We are basically here to help assist people with mobility impairments to enjoy life and try different experiences they might not have had access to otherwise," said Joe Salva, Individual Abilities in Motion.

The non-profit Individual Abilities in Motion partnered with Leaps of Faith to bring the thrill of water skiing to people on Chapman Lake near Scott Township. 

One by one, volunteers helped each person into the special gear before sending them off.

"Oh, it's incredible. It feels like you are flying, there's no limitations, you don't have the limitations of the chair or the crutches for some people, and you're just like everyone else who is able-bodied," said Max Malec, Roaring Brook Township.

"The thought of me being able to water ski is something I never thought I would be able to do again," said Derek Raines, Scranton.

For people like Derek Raines of Scranton, life before his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis meant lots of adventures on this very lake. Newswatch 16 caught up with him as he waited for round two of water skiing.

"Oh my gosh, I felt, after the initial shock of getting in the water, just to feel the spray come up, it was just wonderful to have that experience once again," said Raines.

The best part of the day? Participants didn't have to pay a dime to enjoy their day on the water.

"We do it all through our fundraising and sponsorships from other organizations and companies that sponsor our organization to help offset the costs," said Salva.

"Having these opportunities truly gives us more to do and just shows other people that we can do it no matter what our abilities are," said Malec.

Individual Abilities in Motion host a variety of support programs. To learn more, head to their website by clicking here.

Coming soon to WNEP’s YouTube channel.

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