Fenwick Freeze Fundraiser Planned For New Year’s Day

FENWICK ISLAND – Community members are invited to the 19th annual Fenwick Freeze fundraiser.

On Monday, Jan. 1, the Town of Fenwick Island and the Fenwick Island Beach Committee will host the 19th annual Fenwick Freeze. Councilwoman Jacque Napolitano, chair of the town’s beach committee, encouraged everyone to participate in the yearly fundraiser and support the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol.

“We invited everyone to come out and participate and celebrate the new year by taking the plunge,” she said.

The Fenwick Freeze fundraiser is one of Fenwick Island’s more well-attended yearly events. And while organizers were forced to cancel the 2021 fundraiser in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants were eager for its return the following years.

In 2023, for example, more than 200 attended the Fenwick Freeze, with roughly 100 people taking a plunge into the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The event raised $2,300.

“The year of COVID we didn’t have it,” Napolitano said. “But it seemed to be back up to par last year.”

Napolitano said funds raised from the Fenwick Freeze will go to support the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol. In years past, the money has gone to support the beach patrol’s year-end competition at the national level.

“The proceeds will go to support the beach patrol for any summer needs they might have,” she said.

The 19th annual Fenwick Freeze will be held Jan. 1 at 10:30 a.m. on the Bayard Street beach.

In-person registration will begin at 9 a.m.

The town reports there will be no pre-registration this year. For a $25 registration fee, all registrants will receive a commemorative long sleeve T-shirt.

“Everyone will be set up at the street end at 9 a.m. for T-shirt sales, registration and free hot chocolate provided by the town,” Napolitano said.

Officials say the Fenwick Freeze will also feature a bonfire to keep everyone warm, as well as a visit from Fenwick Island’s new police chief. They encouraged everyone to splash into the new year, or simply buy a shirt to show support for the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol.

“This event has been going since 2005, and it’s always been a sweet, friend- and family-oriented event,” Napolitano said.

For more information, visit fenwickisland.delaware.gov.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.