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Eskimo Escapades celebrates 26 chilly years

On Saturday, participants jumped into a 46-degree Ft. Loudoun Lake to help raise money for three great causes.

Did you know you can ski in East Tennessee? Water ski, that is.

Eskimo Escapades is an education awareness program that uses recreation activities to help develop life skills with people with disabilities, which takes place every year in Fort Loudoun Lake near Calhoun’s on the River and downtown Knoxville. 

In a half-mile loop, people can hit the water to ski, tube, foot or ride a stool on a disc being pulled by a ski boat.

The event encourages people to jump into frigid winter waters in a classic summer-at-the-lake-activity to raise money for several causes.

This year, event organizers raised $13,000. 

The fundraiser benefits The Dream Connection, Patricia Neal IRC and Adventure Amputee Camp.

Patricia Neal IRC provides creative recreation for people with disabilities, while the Dream Connection and Adventure Amputee Camp are targeted towards kids with life-altering disabilities and illnesses.

A coordinator for the program said the whole purpose is to make sure people know they are safe and have the opportunity to enjoy the sport.

"It's a challenge I mean, thinking about it, you know. It's a little bit crazy to be out skiing in, today's the first of February, in the middle of winter on the Tennessee River," said Al Kaye from Eskimo Escapades.

Participants were able to warm up in a hot tub after they jumped in the 46-degree lake. 

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