Leo Brady Polar Plunge to hit the beach | Lifestyle

Leo Brady Polar Plunge to hit the beach | Lifestyle

The Leo Brady – New Year’s Day Plunge, sponsored by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and benefiting the William O. Murray scholarship fund, started in 1997 and is a 25-year tradition in Bethany Beach. The plunge into the ocean will go as planned at noon on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, with a new beach crossover at the north side of Garfield Parkway near the Bethany clock on the boardwalk providing access.

Mayor Rosemary Hardiman told Coastal Point that the dunes and beach may be accessed now at the main bandstand area of the boardwalk. Ambient air temperatures are expected to rise to the mid-50 degrees range by the weekend on the day of the polar plunge this Sunday.

“DNREC constructed one dune crossover last week on the northside of Garfield Parkway,” said Hardiman. “They have said that they will be constructing a second crossover. We’re hoping it is sometime this week (before Jan. 1st). We have told DNREC where we would like the crossover built. The agency said that the location depends on their assessment as to where it would be most feasible and safe.”

“The sand for the first crossover came from a project in Fenwick Island State Park, and we’re told there is plenty more,” said Hardiman. “So, they (DNREC) will keep hauling it up by truck to rebuild. That’s all we know right now. Hopefully we’ll know more tomorrow.”

Zach Evans, the Chamber president who is community relations manager at Mountaire Farms, said the Chamber was pleased to host this annual event. “We are excited to continue our plunge with a more normal program post-pandemic, and we want to remember and honor Leo Brady as a lifetime chamber member.”

“With the temperatures warming up this weekend, there is no excuse not to come out and take the plunge,” said Evans. “Let’s start the new year invigorated and feeling fresh. Let’s have some fellowship and create some networking at the Bethany Boathouse venue,” he said, noting that the higher water temps of “44 degrees is about as good as it’s going to get!”

“Leo Brady was the founder of the Plunge in 1997, said Lauren Weaver, executive director. “The event was named after him in 2002. In 2010, the event was held in his honor. He was a father, a U.S. Army Veteran, a lifetime Chamber Member, and a 2001 Lighthouse Award recipient, volunteer and friend of the community.”

“William O. Murray was an early Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce president, and the QRCF scholarship awards became a part of our mission, to direct funding to high school seniors in his honor,” said Weaver, executive director of the Chamber.

“Bill was very active in local politics, the Lord Baltimore Lions Club, boating safety, and the environment. He was also instrumental in the start-up of the Center for the Inland Bays. After his death, the Chamber created the William Murray scholarship,” according to the chamber’s scholarship background.

Bethany Boathouse at Hickman Plaza on Route 1 is hosting the Leo Brady New Year’s Day Plunge this year. The price of the plunge, commemorative shirt, and post-plunge party is $25 and the registration increases by $5 for day-of registration on New Year’s Day.

Bethany Boathouse is located at 39187 Hickman Plaza Rd. and will offer a packet pick-up for plungers from noon to 4 p.m. for registration at the outdoor Gazebo Bar. Here are the safety policies for those wishing to take the plunge:

  • Plunge will take place as a rain or shine event (with the exception of lightning);
  • All plungers must wear their wrist band to indicate affiliation with the event;
  • Waivers must be signed for all participants;
  • There will be lifeguards and the event is a “swim”/plunge at your own risk event;
  • There are no refunds for any reason as this is a charitable event for the scholarship fund.

There is also a discount of 15 percent for overnight guests of the Hotel Bethany nearby for a two-night weekend stay, with a special “warming package” for plungers who would like a room.

Coastal Point and WMDT-TV, ABC Channel 47 in Salisbury are media sponsors of the Leo Brady – New Year’s Day Plunge.

For more information, visit https://thequietresorts.com/