The Lewes Polar Bear Plunge, one of Delaware’s largest fundraising events, will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, at the Boardwalk and Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. The 2014 plunge is presented by Wawa.
The event has grown each year, from its beginning in 1992 when 78 plungers raised $7,000 to last year’s effort of 3,500 raising more than $652,000. Since its inception, the plunge has raised more than $6.8 million.
At the event, thousands will take the chilly dip into the Atlantic Ocean, raising money for Special Olympics Delaware’s year-round program of sports training, athletic competition and related programs for more than 3,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Rehoboth Beach hosts a weekend-long Plunge Festival Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 that includes several Saturday activities: 11 a.m. to noon Pooch Plunge, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rehoboth Beach Convention Center activities, 1 p.m. 5K Run to the Plunge, 3 to 5 p.m. restaurant chili cook-off and ice-sculpting contest, judging at 1:30 p.m.
Restaurants and retailers throughout the Rehoboth Beach area have teamed up with Special Olympics Delaware to provide registered plungers with special discounts and activities throughout the weekend.
“Our polar bears continue to support this fabulous event year after year,” said Ann Grunert, executive director of Special Olympics Delaware. “And based on our increasing numbers each year, they also continue to recruit their friends to join them. This event truly is family-friendly, and the perfect way to give back to the community and support such a worthy cause.”
More information on the plunge and all weekend events can be found at www.plungeDE.org.