Escape to the Lake 2016

Escape 2016: Scenes from shore
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GALLERY PHOTOS: Theresa Knox

Nelson Lake in North Dakota's Oliver County was a busy but happy place June 18, 2016. It was the site of the 22nd annual Escape to the Lake.

There was ample evidence of waterskiing, but they were hardly normal trips on the lake. These were adaptive skis used for people with disabilities -- the very participants who have made Escape to the Lake a summer success since its debut in the early 1990s.

Thirty-one individuals with disabilities went waterskiing; three of them skied around the lake twice.

And each trip around the lake for an Escape participant required an average of 12 or more volunteers to make it possible. That was for the waterskiing itself, and not all the other support activities that took place at Nelson Lake Recreation Area for the event.

The event also featured pontoon rides, a free lunch and a performance waterski show featuring the Aberdeen (S.D.) Aqua Addicts ski team. Plus plenty of family and friends to add a special note to the activities.

Besides the Aqua Addicts, on-site support featured founder NDAD and its technical support team, Texas Adaptive Aquatics, that helped the charitable nonprofit start the event all those years ago, then on Devils Lake.

Sporting Chance North Dakota also has been a very big part of Escape to the Lake since its move a few years later to western North Dakota's Nelson Lake, near Center.

This year, volunteer assistance also included a group of airmen from Minot Air Force Base.

Bismarck's Pub 21 and Grand Forks' Southgate Casino, Bar and Grill joined Grand Forks-based Revolutions Power Sports and Marine as additional sponsors.

Dean Knutson
Dean Knutson performs volunteer respite care visits in East Grand Forks, Minn., on behalf of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. The Grand Forks resident likes the fit, for several reasons. “I’ve been told I can talk,” he said, smiling. He says he’s a good listener, too – a key component of respite service. Knutson ...
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