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Delaware Memorial Bridge Run to Acceptance for Special Olympics raises awareness, financial support
By JSalmon on 10/01/2018:  

 Delaware Memorial Bridge Run to Acceptance for Special Olympics raises awareness, financial support

New Castle, Del. – Yesterday, at exactly 7:00 a.m., with three of the four lanes on the northbound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge closed, 189 men and women from several neighboring states embarked on a 5k run across the bridge. Joe Grasso of Penns Grove, New Jersey’s Liberty Fire Company #1 was top overall finisher with Adrienne Borrelli, a Wilmington ER nurse, the first female to cross the finish line.

"Like last year, I’m thoroughly impressed with the meticulous planning, coordination and cooperation, and significant volunteer support that made today’s event so successful,” said Tom Cook, Executive Director of the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA). “The bridge run is a win-win, bucket list type of event – participants get a chance to walk or run on the iconic Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Authority is able to help such a worthy and special community organization raise money to further their mission goals; but everyone knows that the real winners are the beneficiaries of Special Olympics Delaware.”

More than $34,500 was raised for Special Olympics Delaware, a nonprofit that provides sports training and competition opportunities for more than 4,200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. For some of the runners, it was an opportunity to support an event that raises money for the very cause that has given so much to their own family.

“Special Olympics has been a vital part of our family's life for over 15 years,” said Kim Bates, who ran the span for the first time and has a son who participates year-round in the program. “Special Olympics has provided Justin with incredible opportunities through sports, camps and attending the 2018 USA Games in Seattle. All of this wouldn't be possible without the financial support of the community, especially our first responders who ran today to promote acceptance for Special Olympics Delaware athletes.”

In addition to the outpouring of support from the DRBA, key contributors to the event included presenting sponsor M&T Bank, Delaware Law Enforcement for Special Olympics, Delaware National Guard, Larkins Bus Services, Emergency Medical Service, and a host of law enforcement and fire officials from several agencies across the First State who volunteered to ensure the safety of all involved.

“This second Bridge Run could never have happened without the complete support of the DRBA, M&T Bank and many other individuals,” said Ann Grunert, Executive Director of Special Olympics Delaware. “Their efforts as a collective group not only made this event a success, but helped us achieve our goals of creating awareness of the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, raising funds to reach more athletes, and providing the first responders of our community with the exclusive opportunity to be part of this unique event.”

Like the inaugural event a year ago, this second event on the bridge was limited to active and retired first responders.

“It was an honor to work with all the volunteers who made this historic run such a success,” said Col. Richard Arroyo, DRBA police administrator. “I want to thank our commissioners, Executive Director Tom Cook and his senior staff for permitting this event to take place. Special Olympics Delaware is a great organization and this event will benefit thousands of people with intellectual disabilities.”

Radio read
Today/yesterday, one-hundred and eighty-nine runners and walkers participated in the Delaware Memorial Bridge Run to Acceptance for Special Olympics. The five-k race from New Jersey to Delaware took place across the northbound span of the bridge for the second consecutive year. It raised over thirty-four thousand dollars for Special Olympics Delaware, which provides sports training and competition for more than four-thousand two-hundred children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

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


PDF of Press Release

Borrelli photo

Grasso photo

SODE Bridge Run 2018