Sunday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m. is the date and time for one of Delaware's largest fundraising events - the Special Olympics Delaware Lewes Polar Bear Plunge, presented by Wawa.
The plunge, celebrating its 27th year, began in 1992 when 78 plungers raised $7,000. Last year, 3,602 Bears raised more than $900,000. Since its inception, the plunge has raised more than $10 million.
"Our polar bears continue to support this fabulous event year after year," said Ann Grunert, executive director of Special Olympics Delaware. "And 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."
Wawa is the presenting sponsor for the 12th consecutive year, and in addition to their financial support, their Community Care Coffee vehicle offers free hot coffee and hot chocolate at the Plunge. In addition, leading up to and for a few weeks afterward, Wawa "change coins" in stores benefit Special Olympics Delaware.
"Once again, Wawa is thrilled to dive in to support Special Olympics at the Polar Bear Plunge," said John Sharpless, director of store operations for Delaware Wawa stores. "Wawa is proud to be a sponsor and provide support through the Wawa Community Care Coffee vehicle offering free hot coffee and hot chocolate to the chilly plungers and supporters as we celebrate the athletes and help raise awareness for Special Olympics Programs."
At the Plunge on Sunday, thousands of Bears 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 4,200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Saturday activities include a sand sculpting demonstration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the beach south of Rehoboth Avenue; a Fire & Ice event featuring ice cream and wing samples at the Rehoboth Beach Fire Department from noon to 3 p.m.; a 5K Run to the Plunge at 1 p.m.; and a Restaurant Chili Tasting contest from 2:30 to 5 p.m. In addition, restaurants and retailers throughout the Rehoboth Beach area provide registered Bears with special discounts and activities throughout the weekend.