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Chain Skiers returning to Rainbow Lake

The Waupaca Chain Skiers, which has performed for more than 50 years on the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes, will return to Rainbow Lake Sunday, June 18. Submitted Photo

First show to be held June 18 in King

By Holly Neumann

After three seasons away, the Waupaca Chain Skiers will return to the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes.

The water-ski team will perform its first show of the season on Rainbow Lake in front of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 18.

“In 2020 and for the two years following, we were unable to perform at the veterans home due to the pandemic and an effort to keep the residents and staff safe,” said Jamie Werner, the team’s secretary. “Their grounds were not open to the public during that time and spectators were unable to watch from their lawn.”

The show relocated to Bear Lake Resort near Manawa in 2021 and 2022.

“While we loved performing for their warm and enthusiastic crowds, our hearts always remained on the Chain,” Werner said. “It was always our goal to return and at the end of 2022, the veterans home gave us the go-ahead to return to their shores with a full audience.”

The ski team has a long history in Waupaca, according to Werner.

“As a show ski team, this will be our 51st year performing as the Waupaca Chain Skiers show team at the Wisconsin Veterans Home,” she said. “For over 60 years, the Chain O’ Lakes has been home to a water ski club.”

Werner said the pandemic and the move from the Chain O’ Lakes resulted in a small but determined team.

“We have been steadily growing and adding new members over the last few years and continuing to do what we love most; water-ski,” she said. “We are very fortunate to have faithful community support, encouraging and unwavering alumni support and dedicated volunteer leadership, all of which has seen us through the last few years.”

Werner admitted keeping the team together required creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

“In the end, it brought us all even closer,” she said. “We are a team who has spanned many generations and to this day, we have entire families involved in all aspects of the team, whether it be skiing, spotting boat driving, helping with costumes or just coiling ropes and cheering from the water’s edge.”

The season will kick off June 18 and at 3 p.m. each Sunday until Aug. 13. A July 4 show will take place at 6 p.m.

Audiences will be able to park at the veterans home and watch the shows from the lawn as in previous years, but only veterans home staff and residents will be allowed in the buildings.

The Waupaca Chain Skiers are always looking to increase sponsorship and donations, which have been a key part of the team’s fundraising efforts.

Werner can be contacted about sponsorship opportunities at [email protected]. Donations can be made through the team’s website, www.WaupacaChainSkiers.com.

“We are always looking for new members, local and seasonal families included, and all ages,” Werner said. “If you don’t know how to water-ski, we can teach you. We will be offering summer camps this year through the Waupaca Parks & Recreation Department as well. Check our website and Facebook page regularly for updates.”

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