Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Disabled water skiing group hits the Mississippi River for charity

ST. LOUIS – It was well below zero wind chill when a few people decided to water ski in the Mississippi River – in life-threatening cold temperatures.

“I think I just broke my own record, which was -16. Today were down around -20,” said Kevin Day, Missouri Disabled Water Ski Association.

The group has a 43-year tradition of skiing on the river on New Year’s Day. They’ve been water skiing for charity for the past 33 years.

Day has raised $112,000 over the years for charities and his friends have his back.

“I can’t feel my feet. It’s surreal seeing the ice float by. I didn’t want to fall on that. It’s the coldest I’ve been in water,” said Anthony Fussner, Missouri Disabled Water Ski Association.

Money raised is used to provide a day of skiing for the disabled at Creve Coeur Lake every July, in far different temps than these.

“We took our life jackets off, set them down as we got our clothes off and, within a minute, the jacket was frozen solid like a brick when you hit it,” Day said. “It’s brutal.”

It was so cold and so much ice was in the Mississippi River they had considered cancelling Monday’s skiing event, but Day and the group took their chances with just a couple quick runs and called it a day.