Alpena — The Special Olympics Michigan ‘Water Warriors’ made their way down the coast of the sunrise side for their 27th ride Monday afternoon, from Mackinac City to the port of Alpena.
The warriors ride their jet skis 450 miles off the coast of Lake Huron to help raise funds, support, and awareness for the Special Olympics.
“I met this group of people and it just blew my mind,” said Water Warrior Mike Boutsikaris. “It’s so much more than a jet ski ride, we stop in Port Austin on day three and it’s very interactive with all of the area athletes.”
19 jet ski riders made this particular trek on Monday. The group stops at various ports along Lake Huron, gassing up their jet skis, grabbing food, sleep, and interacting with local Special Olympic Athletes. A few of the athletes even ride on support boats with the ‘Water Warriors.’
“Doing all the fun outings with them [water warriors] and acknowledging the other athletes that we come along the way and ones that are like me,” said Special Olympics Michigan Athlete Viann Markel.
Each rider is expected to raise $1,500 minimum for the water adventure. The crew will head to Tawas tomorrow and finish in Algonac on Friday.
“It’s remarkable what it does for your soul,” said Boutsikaris.