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"Be a Part of It": Moments from the 41st Annual Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame Celebration

Thanks to everyone for attending this year's USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame Celebration in April. Our theme this year was "Be a Part of It." About 300 people attended the 41st Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Nora Mayo Hall in Winter Haven, Florida, and more than 1400 people watched The Water Ski Broadcasting Company Webcast of the event on YouTube. Hank Longo was once again our sparkling Master of Ceremonies.

Elaine Heller Fatla's Speaks about her life on the water

Elaine Heller Fatla (Barefooting) was the inductee into the Hall of Fame along with the Award of Distinction Recipients: Joe Knapp (Barefooting), Alex Lauretano (Water Skiing), Jason Lee (Barefooting), Dennis Longo(Water Skiing)and Dusty Schulz (Ski Racing).

Award of Distinction Recipients: Jason Lee, Dennis Longo, Alex Lauretano, Joe Knapp and Dusty Schulz

During our ceremony, we were honored to have U.S. Wakeboarding athletes Dallas Friday and Cathy Williams and Wakeboarding official Janifer Ellis inducted into the International Waterski & Wakeboard Hall of Fame.

IWWF Inductees Cathy Williams and Dallas Friday

The IWWF Hall of Fame's physical home is within our museum in Davenport, Florida, and the entire list of inductees is on our website.

Nova tries to put a lifetime of water skiing into a few minutes.

Lynn Novakofski also entered the IWWF Hall of Fame. You may know him as the man behind the most epic photos in water skiing history or as the showman who set Cypress Gardens on fire back in the day. You may call him Lynn or Nova, or if you're like us, you call him HERO. Lynn was inducted into the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and hasn't stopped contributing and making a difference.

USA-WWF Scholarship Recipient Marcus Mortensen, Southern Methodist University

During the ceremony, we also celebrated our scholarship recipients and our new grant program. The foundation gives away tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships every year. The 2023 Banana George Blair Ambassador Scholarship recipient, Marcus Mortensen, spoke about what water skiing means to him and his education at Southern Methodist University. Check out a list of all of our scholarships on our website.

We hope to see you all again next year! The date is set for May 3, 2025, at the Nora Mayo Hall in Winter Haven, Florida! Thanks also to all of our sponsors, especially Visit Central Florida, Huston Cadillac, and Central Buick GMC.

Established in 1968, the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation celebrates the history of all towed water sports and promotes these sports through our Scholarship Programs and the Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame.


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