The Special Olympics Delaware Lewes Polar Bear Plunge, presented by Wawa, is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 3 in Rehoboth Beach.

The Plunge, celebrating its 28th year, began in 1992 when 78 plungers raised $7,000. In 2018, 3,383 Bears raised more than $875,000. Since its inception, the plunge has raised more than $11 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 13th consecutive year. In addition to their support at the event, leading up to and for a few weeks afterward, Wawa “change coins” in stores benefit Special Olympics Delaware.

“All of us at Wawa are proud to support the inspiring athletes of Special Olympics and honor the heroes who have and will continue to change the game,” said Wawa Senior Director of Store Operations for Delaware Adam Schall. “We’ve been partnering with Special Olympics for more than a decade and it’s exciting to be a part of their annual Polar Plunge and to support all participants with free coffee and hot chocolate during the event. We are also proud to have a team of almost 100 Wawa Associates plunging to show their support of Special Olympics and we invite everyone to join them at the event this weekend.”

Participants will take the 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.

Events set for Feb. 2, the day before the plunge, 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 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Fire Department, 219 Rehoboth Ave.; 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 participants with special discounts.

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