Delaware Memorial Bridge Run to Acceptance for Special Olympics to Debut this Fall
First-Ever Run across Delaware Memorial Bridge Set for October 1, 2017; Registration Opens in July

(New Castle, DE) Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials were joined by representatives of Special Olympics Delaware (SODE) to announce the first ever benefit run across the Delaware Memorial Bridge (DMB). The “Delaware Memorial Bridge Run to Acceptance for Special Olympics” will take place on Sunday, October 1, 2017. The entry fee is $100 and registration will be available on July 1, 2017 at www.sode.org. All proceeds benefit the Special Olympics Delaware.

“Special Olympics Delaware’s mission is a noble one and we’re pleased that the Delaware Memorial Bridge can play a role in raising money to further their goals,” said Thomas Cook, Executive Director of the DRBA. “We’re looking forward to a great event and hopefully it’ll sell out.”

“It is a humbling honor to partner with the Delaware River & Bay Authority on this unique run,” said Ann Grunert, Executive Director of Special Olympics Delaware. “We are excited that an event like this will fuel our ability to expand our program’s reach and impact across Delaware. This is an invaluable opportunity to bridge the gap toward acceptance for those whom we serve.”

“SODE’s proposal was comprehensive, emphasized safety, and should not result in any significant delays for bridge customers,” said Colonel Richard Arroyo, Police Administrator for the DRBA. Arroyo added that the number of participants is limited to 2,500 and only first responders – EMS, police, fire, and military personnel – will be eligible to sign up. “The limit on who can register will enhance safety of the event while also recognizing the value and importance of these men and women to our communities,” he stated.

The “Delaware Memorial Bridge Run to Acceptance for Special Olympics” 5K will take place on the New Jersey-bound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. On Sunday, October 1, 2017, three lanes will be closed to traffic at 5:00 a.m. The benefit run will start at 7:00 a.m. All lanes will re-open to traffic at 8:30 a.m. The participants will begin their 3.1 mile run at the New Jersey x-ramp; onto the New Jersey bound span heading south into Delaware; onto the Delaware x-ramp and then through the DRBA complex parking area to the finish near the maintenance garages. A recognition program will take place following the event at the Bridge’s Veterans Memorial Park.

Special Olympics is the law enforcement community’s charity of choice. “Our officers have seen firsthand the value and joy that the Special Olympics program brings to the community during our Torch Run celebrations, medal ceremonies, and our officers’ hands-on opportunities to coach the Special Olympics athletes,” remarked Greg Nolt, State Director, Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics. “When we are out in the community doing our everyday jobs, we see the need to continue to build bridges of acceptance for those with special needs.”

This first-ever Delaware Memorial Bridge Run to Acceptance will help to raise resources and aid the Special Olympics Delaware mission to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in 19 Olympic-type sports for 4,200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

“By joining Special Olympics I found acceptance and hope, and my life has changed completely,” noted Special Olympics Athlete Phil Saxon. “My life is richer because I have a circle of close friends who support me in Special Olympics. The amount of awareness and funds that an event like this will raise means that more people like me will get the chance for the life-changing opportunity to become a Special Olympics athlete.”

About Special Olympics Delaware
Special Olympics Delaware has been changing the lives of Delawareans since 1971. Through sports training and competition in 19 sports, more than 4,200 athletes with intellectual disabilities have proven that, given the chance, no disability is too great to overcome. Using sports as a platform, Special Olympics strives for acceptance of all people, regardless of ability, not only on the playing fields, but in their local communities.

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities. For more information, please visit www.drba.net.

Media Contact:
James E. Salmon

Jon Buzby
Special Olympics Delaware

Phil Saxon

Executive Director Tom Cook

Aerial of Delaware Memorial toward Delaware shore

PDF of Press Release