Skiers brave frigid waters for charity

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - With temperatures dipping into the 30's Friday, water skiing is the last thing you would expect to see people doing.  But skiers like Brian Hopkins said they would do a lot of things for their favorite charity.

"It's nice," Hopkins said. "The water's nice; the air's nice."

Hopkins was just one of dozens of people who donated $30 for the chance to ski Friday on the chilly Mississippi.  

The event was the 33rd annual Ski Freeze, which raises money for the Dream Factory, an agency that grants Disney trips and other outings to critically ill children and their families.

"They're just all about helping the charity and we really appreciate them," Hopkins said. "The Dream Factory needs them."

The ski freeze has become an annual event for biker clubs, like the Harley Owner's Group and the Wild Pigs.  

Natalie Henke and her parents cheered the skiers on at the event. Earlier this year the Dream Factory sent them on a cruise to Disney Island.

"It actually just elated her," said Natalie's mother, Kathy. "She had the best time ever and she was the queen of the world and she had the best thing ever."

Over the years the Dream Factory has made life enjoyable for hundreds of children and their families, and every dollar collected from skiers Friday will go to helping make more dreams come true in the future.

Dream Factory coordinators said the event raised $10,000 last year, and they hope to raise even more than that this year.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.