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Foundation News

The 2020 USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony is being postponed until April 24, 2021.

“Polk County has asked us to delay our celebration until the spring due to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 Pandemic. At that time, Hall of Fame inductees will be honored in a large ceremony. It should be an incredible event,” says USA-WWF President Ed Hickey.

If you purchased tickets for the 2020 Hall of Fame, those will be valid for the 2021 event. Additional tickets will also be sold after January 1, 2021.

Thanks to the hard work and support of USA-WWF Project Executive Director Hank Longo and Polk County Sports Marketing, the Hall of Fame festivities will be an All-Polk County event taking place in Auburndale and at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. More details will be available at the end of the year.

​If you can't attend but want to help make this event happen, please make a donation.

For more information, email

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The USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Hall of Fame is moving to a new home at the Polk County Visitor Information Center in Davenport, Florida.

The first display in the new museum, a 1954 Correct Craft Ski Boat, has been installed with much more to come by the end of the year.

New USA-WWF Project Executive Director Hank Longo has spent much of the past two weeks moving and sorting through the many displays and items that represent the great history of Water Skiing and Wake Sports in the United States.

“More than 50,000 people go through the center every year. It’s a great opportunity for us to introduce a whole new audience to water skiing and wake sports,” says Longo. “This will be home of all things water sports as we approach the 100th Anniversary of Water Skiing in 2022 and the Show Ski World Championships.”

Special thanks to Mark Jackson, Neal Duncan, Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, and Visit Central Florida for making this happen.

The Foundation would also like to send a special thank you out to Bolton’s Towing Service for moving the Correct Craft, Ruth Johnston, Lucky Lowe, and Chance Lowe for helping move of the items to a new storage facility at Phoenix Logistics & Cold Storage. And Hank Longo for wearing out his truck, trailer, and back for weeks.

For more information on the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation and the Hall of Fame go to or email

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While our nation is enduring a national health emergency, the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation is going through a crisis of its own.

Executive Director Tracy Mattes is no longer employed by The Foundation as of March 2020. The foundation currently has no employees.

All of the work for the foundation, from the financial negotiations to the website, and legal issues will be handled by volunteers and the volunteer Board of Trustees.

We plan to pursue our core mission and values to preserve, honor and celebrate our past through the Hall of Fame while we promote and support the future with our scholarship program.


The Foundation’s current revenue is not enough to pay our expenses and service the debt incurred by the plan to move our headquarters to the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex.

We have to build trust in the Foundation and strengthen our relationships with members and sponsors. We are going to need everyone to believe in our mission and our plan to come back stronger than ever.

The 22 members of the Board of Trustees held their annual meeting on May 3, 2020 via Zoom and elected new leadership for the foundation. The Trustees will now be meeting once a month to tackle issues right away.

President: Ed Hickey will be taking the lead on managing the business of the Foundation. Contact:

Chairman of the Board: Mark Overbye will manage the Board of Trustees and make sure actions of the board are implemented.

Vice President: Tim Huston

Secretary: Kim Laskoff

Treasurer: Teri Larson Jones

22 Volunteer Members of the Board of Trustees


1. Polk County Sports Marketing has helped us create a plan. It’s all about our roots and celebrating water sports in Polk County, where they first came to prominence. We can’t thank PCSM enough for standing by us through this difficult time.

2. Hank Longo is now an unpaid Project Executive Director – Hank will help us with events and day-to-day operations. Contact:

· Hank has found a place to display our Hall of Fame and Museum at no cost to the foundation.

· He has secured free storage for the rest of our memorabilia and has even mowed the grass at the Lake Myrtle property.

· He will also be taking the lead on planning the 2020 Hall of Fame Banquet which we currently plan for October 24, 2020. More details soon.

3. Market the Cable Park - Aktion Parks (Correct Craft) may be leaving Lake Myrtle in August. We rely on the cable park income. Polk County Sports Marketing has presented a marketing plan to help bring visitors to the park. Successful marketing will make the park attractive to any future operator.


We need your time and talent and when the time comes, your financial assistance. Any time you can volunteer to help us sort this out would be appreciated.

The Board of Trustees believes in the Foundation’s mission. It is not going to be easy. There is no quick fix, short of a two-million-dollar donor… so let’s all work together and make it happen.

Volunteer and believe in our future!

Ed Hickey

President, USA-WWF

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