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Thousands of Delawareans expected to take the plunge Sunday

Special Olympics delaware
The average water temperature in the history of the plunge is 38 degrees.

While many Delawareans will spend Sunday afternoon gearing up for the Super Bowl, thousands more will be running into the frigid waters of Rehoboth Beach.

The annual Lewes Polar Bear Plunge is one of the First State’s largest fundraising events and benefits Special Olympics Delaware.

Last year, plungers raised more than $780,000 for the organization.

Jon Buzby is a spokesman for Special Olympics Delaware. He says the organization has a goal in mind for the event’s 25th anniversary this year.

“We thought, ‘let’s try to get to 3,700 polar bears to come out and support them’ and that’s what we’ve tried to do and we’re getting real close to that number,” he says. “If we do hit 3,700, it will go down as the most bears to have ever plunged at the Delaware plunge before and we thought that is the perfect way to celebrate 25 years.”

Plungers have raised more than $8.3 million for Special Olympics Delaware which Buzby says is about a lot more than just sports.

“It’s about life learning, it’s about leadership, and it’s about educational and health opportunities for our athletes,” he notes. “It’s not about the winning, even though that’s important to a lot of our athletes. It’s about participation, it’s about learning and it’s about becoming better individually at something that you set your sights on.”

The plunge takes place at 1pm Sunday, followed by a post-plunge party at the Baycenter in Dewey Beach.

Buzby adds there are no rules as to how many layers you have to wear into the water, but 99 percent of the polar bears wear just their bathing suits.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, you’ll find more information at

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