A pair of local organizations are teaming up as they help support the families of Wisconsin's military service men and women. And as a result, fans of the Mad City Water Ski Team may be surprised to see some new members sliding through the surf this summer.
Andy Burish wants to help local youngsters make a special splash in Madison's Lake Monona. He explains, "They're welcome to join our team. The team is gonna pickup their dues this year, which is about $250 per member."
The sweet deal comes as the president of the Mad City Water Ski Team joins forces with Military Family Compassion Groups to offer an opportunity to shred water.
Burish continues, " We thought it'd be a good idea for parents who are serving in Iraq right now, and might be financially constrained if they're children want to join our team, the Mad City Ski Team was gonna offer that."
Children are eligible for the program if they are at least five years old, with at least one caregiver who has been deployed, is currently deployed, or is scheduled for deployment. "We feel that, you know, why not have those kids have the opportunity to water ski in the summer?" Burish asks.
Speaking via phone Sunday, Jane Jensen, founder of "Military Family Compassion Groups," encourages area families to take advantage of this opportunity. "It's such an opportunity to have fun, to learn how to do something that lots of other people never learn how to do, and to work together and have a project that will keep them busy," says Jensen.
Jensen says the deal fits well with her group's efforts to help local military families strengthen their bonds during these difficult times.
Meanwhile, Burish says the children will also help build new bonds.
"Water skiing's pretty difficult when you're putting on pyramids with 30 or 40 people in it, so they're gonna learn how to work on a team. They're gonna have camaraderie with other kids. They're just gonna enjoy the summer like a lot of other kids do."
For more information on the Mad City Water Ski Team's "Free Ski" opportunity, contact Jane Jensen at (608) 277-1249.