POCOPSON – The 11th annual Polar Plunge hosted by the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance will take place Saturday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. in the icy waters of the Brandywine River at Brandywine Picnic Park.
“I think everyone should do it once,” said Jim Jordan, BRCA director. “This tryly is a badge of honor. It takes a certain amount of charisma to plunge. And it becomes a topic of conversation year-round. People are intrigued by it, and it tests yourself.”
In the past decade, the event has raised nearly $150,000 and attracted more than 1,800 plungers.
No one has ever been seriously hurt in past plunges, and every year a water rescue team is deployed into the waters, and West Chester Ambulance crews are on site.
Jordan said this year’s plunge is a great opportunity for people to get outside and view or participate in a fun activity.
“The Eagles aren’t playing, so there’s no excuse,” Jordan said.
John Sanville, superintendent of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District will be Master of Ceremonies, and local icon Del Bittle will spin the tunes. A bon fire will keep plungers warm, and there will be free hamburgers, hot dogs, and hot chocolate.
The plunge is the annual fundraiser for the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance and helps raise awareness about their work for the Brandywine Creek Watershed and helps to protect and conserve the natural resources of the Brandywine and Red Clay Valleys. The Brandywine Red Clay Alliance undertakes improvements in local watersheds, turns red streams blue, and educates school children in local school districts. Funds from the plunge help to offset the cost of environmental education programs reaching nearly 12,000 school students per year.
The Polar Plunge was supported by Flyway Excavating, Inc., Brandywine Valley Heating & Air Conditioning, Longwood Rotary/Unionville High School Interact, WSFS Bank, Hickory House Catering, Brandywine Picnic Park, Meadow Springs Farm, Draper & Kramer Mortgage Co., Champion Specialty Advertising, Embreeville Mill, The Daily Local News, Aztec Printing, Del Bittle Music, McGovern Septic Services, Solitude Lake Management, Christiana Truck Stop, Sotheby’s International Realty-Brandywine Fine Properties and Trail Creek Outfitters.
The plunge is modeled after the Polar Bear Clubs that have been cropping up in the Northeast, in places like Coney Island and Atlantic City and Dover, Del. -- groups of brave souls who dive into the frigid depths in the middle of winter.
Registration fee is $25 for students and $35 for adults. Participants also collect additional donations from friends and family in toward the clean water effort. The first 200 participants to register are guaranteed an official 2019 long sleeve t-shirt to commemorate the event. Team participation is encouraged. Prizes are awarded to: top individual fundraiser, largest group, group raising the most funds, best costume and special awards to recognize community service clubs.
To register for the punge: http://www.brandywineredclay.org/event/polar-plunge-2019.