Nonprofit Watersports Organization Ann's Angels Needs Your Help

  • Nonprofit Watersports Organization Ann's Angels Needs Your HelpAnn's Angels
  • WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A local nonprofit group that teaches people with special needs to water ski has been ordered to stop holding water skiing events on a Winter Haven lake.

  • "Some of them, it's the ability to do something they've never done before," Ann's Angels Vice President Steve Meschke told News Channel 8.

  • Meschke helps run the nonprofit Ann's Angels.

  • Meschke's Winter Haven property sits on Lake Jessie, making his dock the perfect place to hold events.

  • The organization provides adaptable equipment so anyone can ski, no matter their limitations.

  • "The kids come out, the adults come out, the seniors come out. Everybody comes out and gets involved in this," Ann's Angels President John Lipscomb said.

  • But, the group is finding out that not everyone is on board. Neighbor complaints prompted Polk County Code Enforcement to get involved.

  • "The organization that sponsors the event and makes a donation to help offset the costs, you know, lunch, and gas, whatever it might be, that means we're a ski school," Meschke explained that a ski school is not allowed in a residential area.

  • Now Ann's Angels members have to fight to continue doing what they love.

  • "We just want to continue doing this and providing for the disabled," Lipscomb said.

  • Meschke said the group needs people to come forward if they have ever taken ski lessons on Lake Jessie in Winter Haven.

  • "The county was nice enough to explain to us that if we can prove that we've been a ski school back long enough, back in the 1970's, that we can get grandfathered in as a ski school," according to Meschke.

  • Otherwise, the group hopes to get enough donations to hold their events somewhere else.

  • For more information about Ann's Angels, click here.