3,500 people raised $652,000 at the 2013 Lewes Polar Bear Plunge benefiting Special Olympics
In 22 years, more than $6.8 million has been raised.
THANK YOU BEARS!
Hottest: Dos Locos
Most Unique: Cafe Azafran
Best Vegetarian: Cake Break
Judges' choice: Mixx
Run to Plunge results
Thanks to the 757 participants who raised $32,700!
51 dogs participated in the inaugural Pooch Plunge!
Ice Cream Throwdown
Winning flavor is Polar Mint Flurry
Photo by Dennis Forney/Cape Gazette (downloadable as souvenir)
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Recent News and Events
Brandywine Electronics donates sound system
Joe Dombroski followed his wife to Rehoboth Beach last year to watch her and a group of friends take part in the Polar Bear Plunge.
This year he'll attend the event again, only this time he'll get just a tad bit wetter.
"Last year my wife started a team and I just tagged along to watch," Dombroski said. "I was so swept up in the positive energy on the beach that I really felt left out watching that sea of humanity plunge into the ocean. This year the Dombroski's are ALL IN!"
Dombroski's day at the Plunge will start earlier than most Bears. As president of Brandywine Electronics Ltd., he offered to provide and set up a complete sound system for the event. The state-of-the-art system has the ability to broadcast not only througout the boardwalk area as in year's past, but also to reach the thousands of Bears who will converge on the beach as the 1 p.m. plunge time approaches.
"When you have an event with as many people as the Plunge has, one of the most vital things to have is the ability to communicate with everyone in attendance," said Jon Buzby, director of media relations for SODE and an emcee at the event. "Whether we are interviewing a Bear, communicating an important safety note, or counting down the time until the plunge -- it's critical for everyone in the vicinity to be able to hear us. The equipment Brandywine Electronics is going to donate to us will give us that ability. We will be powered by BEL."
Artist combines talent with passion to create 2013 poster
The Lewes Polar Bear Plunge is all about timing.
How much time before “go” do you give yourself to strip down to your bathing suit? How fast can you run into the ocean? And most importantly, how swiftly can you run out, get back to your towel and attempt to get dressed?
Erica Brignac is debating whether or not to take her first plunge on February 3. And if she does, she’ll have all those questions to ponder.
But even if Erica doesn’t plunge, she credits timing with the opportunity to make an everlasting, impressionable mark on the 22nd annual event.
Erica is the artist who created the official 2013 Polar Bear Plunge poster, and by chance was asked to do so just days after agreeing to allow her oldest son to become a “Bear.”
“My two sons are involved in Special Olympics, one as a young athlete and the older one as a Unified partner [a peer without a disability],” Erica explained. “When my older son heard about the Plunge, he asked me if he could participate and of course, I agreed. Coincidentally, I was asked a few days later if I would create the designs for the 2013 Plunge poster. I thought it was perfect timing and enthusiastically agreed.”
Erica has been an art director/graphic designer for more than 25 years. For the past 19 years she has worked for Enterprise Creative Solutions, an in-house advertising agency for Bank of America. With her vast experience, creating one poster for one event might seem simple. But Erica admitted that like any creative piece of art, there were challenges.
“I wanted to create something very graphic, simple and attention getting, while incorporating all the important information in a functionally aesthetic way,” she explained.
Erica said she also enjoys face-painting and decorating cupcakes. She volunteers her multiple design talents to several nonprofits, many which serve children with special needs.
“My sons are my inspiration,” she said passionately. “Special Olympics has provided a support program that encourages and develops my son's individual strengths and talents and gives him a chance to publicly compete and display his achievements. With the skillful guidance and dedication of coaches, counselors and volunteers from the Mary Campbell Center Youth program, both my sons have gained determination, compassion, sportsmanship and friendship.
“Through the program our family has had a chance to connect with other families who share similar challenges and it is a thrill to stand with them while we cheer on all the athletes at the games.”
Time will tell if the Plunge becomes a family affair for the Brignacs.
“Although I’ve donated to other Bears, I’ve never had the guts to plunge myself,” Erica admitted. “However, since my son is plunging this year I may have to get up the nerve.”
2013 poster will be on sale at the Plunge.
Check out the new Polar Bear Plunge commercial, video and appearance on radio.
Polar Bears can now pick up sweatshirts early
Bears who pre-register must also register at the event, where they turn in additional money and receive their sweatshirt. This year, we've added a registration day on the Wednesday before the Plunge in Newark.
Registration days, times and locations are as follows:
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Special Olympics office in Newark
Friday, Feb. 1, 5 - 7 p.m., Atlantic Sands Hotel, Rehoboth Beach
Saturday, Feb. 2, 4 - 8 p.m., Atlantic Sands Hotel, Rehoboth Beach
Sunday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m. - Plunge, Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach
New events added to Weekend Festival
Special Olympics Delaware is excited to announce two new events added to Saturday's festivities during the Plunge Weekend Festival.
The Pooch Plunge, sponsored by M&T Bank, is the perfect way for our four-legged friends to support Special Olympics Delaware. The event is at 11 a.m. on the beach at Rehoboth Avenue. Each pooch registers for $25 and then "plunges" into wading pools that will be lined up on the beach. Each pooch receives an official Pooch Plunge bandana and portable bowl. More information to follow.
The Polar Ice Cream Throwdown featuring King's Ice Cream takes place from 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. At the Throwdown, the three most popular flavors will be available for people to sample and vote as their favorite. The winning flavor will be featured all summer at King's Ice Cream in Lewes.
List of anniversary Bears announced
Each year we celebrate Bears who have plunged for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. Are you one of them? Check the list to see.
Bears shatter records in 2012
Plunge records were broken on Sunday as 3,685 "Polar Bears" took an icy dip into the Atlantic Ocean to help raise over $650,000 at the 2012 Lewes Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Delaware. Both numbers are records for the event.
"It was another remarkable year, which just goes to show you the support the community has for the 3,500 Special Olympics athletes here in Delaware," said Jon Buzby, spokesperson for Special Olympics Delaware. "What we hope more than anything, is that the Bears who plunged, and those who watched them, walked away with an even greater appreciation for the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, and not just on the playing fields. For that, we can't thank the Bears enough!"
The water temperature was 47 degrees, which made the 2012 Plunge the warmest to date. The previous record for water temperature was 43 degrees, set in 2006 and 2008. The air temperature was 42 degrees, slightly higher than the 20-year average of 39 degrees.
Over the past 21 years, over $6.15 million has been raised at the annual event, which is presented by Wawa and Comcast.
SHARE YOUR 2012 PLUNGE STORIES!
This is an opportunity for our Plungers to tell their stories: Why they plunge. How they started. What keeps them going. Who they plunge with. Share your plunge story with us.
Questions? Please contact us at email@example.com or 302-831-4653