On Sat., Feb. 6, Milford School District held a Polar Bear Plunge event in the parking lot of Brigg’s Stadium in partnership with Carlisle Fire Company. This year’s Special Olympics fundraising event was revamped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to protect the safety of the Bears and volunteers who help put the event on each year, Special Olympics decided to create a virtual only plunge. Those who wished to participate were asked to plunge however they wanted and post video on social media. Bears were encouraged to plunge into any body of water and set the temperature to any level. They could plunge in a hot tub, kiddie pool in the backyard, a bathtub or simply have someone pour water on them.
“This year’s Polar Bear Plunge will certainly look different,” Trish Gerken, Public Information Officer of Milford School District, said. “The annual fundraising event is usually held at Rehoboth Beach and draws thousands of plungers to the Atlantic Ocean, all while raising money for Special Olympics Delaware. The district team is captained by Gary Zoll, Milford Central Academy principal. With 37 members on the team, the district has raised over $9,800.”
At 11:00 AM, Carlisle Fire Company set up a hose in the parking lot of the stadium. Plungers then ran through the water from the firehose as part of the “plunge.” There were groups of participants running through each time, some dressed only in swimwear despite the cold temperatures. The plunge was viewable on the Milford School District Facebook page and only plungers were permitted at the event in order to follow COVID-19 protocols. The Special Olympic Polar Bear and Buccaneer mascot were in attendance.
“That is a creative alternative to the Polar Bear Plunge at the beach!” Judy Campo-Soboto commented on the video posted on the Facebook page. “Great job raising awareness for Special Olympics.”
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the event can still do so by visiting the Milford School District plunge page.