Tellico River Chicks celebrate banner year

The Tellico River Chicks gather for a recent Christmas party.

The Tellico River Chicks Jet Ski Group, one of the fastest growing clubs in Tellico Village, celebrated the end of another successful year of jet skiing on Tellico Lake with its annual Christmas party at the home of club leader Jeanette Steele.

Members gathered to reminisce about good times, laugh at their antics and celebrate the holiday season while enjoying food, beverages and swapping their favorite jet ski stories. I was presented a congratulatory gift for not falling off my jet ski in 2019. I plan to wear my waist-belt floaters as soon as the 2020 jet ski season begins.

Villagers may have seen members of the River Chicks on Tellico Lake, jetting to local marinas for lunch, picnicking at Fort Loudoun State Park or just out for fun. The group of women meet at least once a month during the summer. Jet skiing with other like-minded women helps to build confidence in the new “Chickees.” All River Chicks are quick to help if someone needs assistance mooring their jet ski, fueling up or getting out of the water and back onto their ski.

The July Poker Run was the highlight of the 2019 season. A poker run is an organized event in which participants — in this case on jet skis — must visit five checkpoints, receiving a playing card at each one. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run.

Steele planned a terrific, fun outing for the River Chicks, and 35 members of the club on jet skis hit the lake at 10:30 a.m. The Chicks were divided into six groups and assigned a start location and leader. They headed out simultaneously to the first checkpoint. Thanks to planning and volunteers, the run went flawlessly.

At each checkpoint, riders received an envelope containing one playing card. After accumulating five envelopes containing playing cards, the large group assembled at the Yacht Club, tying up on the courtesy dock. Because of the number of jet skis and limited space, the skis were double-, triple- and quadruple-parked. Volunteers registered the River Chicks at the Blue Heron Restaurant.

After lunch, the envelopes were opened, poker hands recorded and hopes were high. Following lunch, Steele announced first-, second- and third-place winners Pat Chappell, Joyce Winn and Mavi Smith, respectively.

As the River Chicks descended to their jet skis and began tying off, they paused for a group photo.

The River Chicks are women who enjoy the privilege of living near Tellico Lake and, most importantly, they are friends who appreciate camaraderie — whether on the lake or at a Christmas luncheon.

Kathy Economy is a member of the Tellico River Chicks.