Fenwick Freeze Swimmers Ring In New Year

Fenwick Freeze Swimmers Ring In New Year
Participants of the 19th annual Fenwick Freeze are pictured on the Bayard Street beach New Year’s Day. The fundraiser collected $800 for the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol. Submitted Photo

FENWICK ISLAND – Town officials are celebrating the success of Fenwick Island’s 19th annual Fenwick Freeze.

On New Year’s Day, the Town of Fenwick Island the Fenwick Island Beach Committee hosted its 19th annual Fenwick Freeze, a fundraiser to support the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol. Officials report the event attracted more than 100 people and raised roughly $800.

“It was a blast,” said Councilwoman Jacque Napolitano, chair of the town’s beach committee. “A lot of people came out, and it was just a fun day for everybody.”

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 last week. “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.

“It definitely supports our Fenwick Island Beach Patrol for any supplies they might need for our summer season to serve the public,” Napolitano said.

The 19th annual Fenwick Freeze was held on the Bayard Street beach, with the plunge taking place at 10:30 a.m.

Napolitano said the event featured commemorative Fenwick Freeze T-shirts, free hot chocolate and a bonfire, which kept swimmers warm.

“We had a bonfire, a bunch of kids, and hot free hot chocolate for everyone,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano said between 100 and 130 community members turned out to Monday’s plunge. She said warmer weather contributed to the success of the Fenwick Freeze.

“It was a beautiful day,” she said, “sunny and fairly mild.”

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.