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Cedar Rapids water skiing team’s sound equipment stolen
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Five Seasons Ski Team, a water skiing team in Cedar Rapids that puts on free weekly shows each summer, is raising money to replace sound equipment that was stolen last week.
The equipment — 10 speakers, a sound board, an amplifier, three wireless microphones and several cords, plugs and speaker stands — will likely cost $10,000 to $12,000 to replace, according to Ryan Furnish, the president of the team.
Furnish discovered the equipment was missing Thursday, when he went to check on the team’s storage trailers. The locks on two of the trailers, including the one with all the equipment, had been cut off. The other trailer that was broken into didn’t have anything of value, Furnish said.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department is investigating the theft, and in the meantime the team is hoping to raise money to replace the equipment.
Members of the Five Seasons Ski Team pay a yearly membership fee, which goes toward operating costs, and the team regularly holds fundraisers to produce enough money to continue providing free shows on the Cedar River.
“It’s hard to find enough time to do enough fundraising just to cover operating costs, but then when you have to make up for something like this, it makes it almost impossible,” Furnish said.
He said the trailers that held the equipment were insured, and he had assumed that insurance also covered the cost of whatever was stored in the trailers, but that turned out not to be the case.
“The policy was set up years ago, and it hadn’t been reviewed in a while, and obviously, hindsight’s 20/20,” Furnish said.
The sound equipment is vital to the shows, which are set to music and usually include a plot outlined by an announcer. The team competes two to three times a year, usually out of state, and their sound system goes with them to all their competitions, Furnish said.
“Without the sound system, it’s not a show. It would just be an exhibition, if we just have skiing happening and no show. When we go to competitions, it’s a big part of the score, the sound effects and the announcing, the announcer being able to say, ‘look to your left’ and describe what’s happening on the water,” said David Lammers, the co-show director for the team. “My main goal this year … is to take the quality of our stage show and our sound and stuff up to a higher level. I’ve been putting a lot of work into what songs we’re using and what sound effects and how we’re doing it. Since August I’ve been working on that. So, for them to attack this part of the show is kind of hurtful.”
The team has already had a few donations come in, and a couple of people have reached out to offer the team some used equipment, Lammers said. Over the next couple of weeks the team will be looking into what equipment is available and if it fits their needs.
No matter what happens, the team intends for the show to go on in 2023.
“It could be that we might be a little bit scaled down, maybe we won’t have as many speakers this summer, but there will be a show. It’ll be as good as we can make it,” Lammers said. “It makes a difference in the community, and (people) would miss it if we didn’t have it.”
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