Bagel Bombers, Polar Bears and service
“You'll be human beings long after you're baseball players. Never pass on an opportunity to help others. - Bagel Bombers Coach Dave Vitella
An article in the sports section of Tuesday's Cape Gazette publicized a $4,000 collection effort by members of the Bagel Bombers baseball team. The players collected items to send to troops overseas through the Operation We Care program. Coach Dave Vitella didn't miss the opportunity to talk to the players about service to others.
The entire effort was positively reinforced by a grateful visit from members of Operation We Care and the 946th Transportation Company of the Delaware Army Reserve in Lewes. The players were also able to get close with a World War II bomber that owner Larry Kelley keeps at the Sussex County Airport. It's the bomber that inspired the team's name.
The story serves as a reminder of the positive interaction that goes on daily among teachers and coaches and young people reinforcing the importance of respect and service for each other.
In that same vein, this week's cold snap and snow serve as a fitting reminder that one of the biggest fundraisers of the year - the Lewes Polar Bear Plunge to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Delaware - will enliven the wintry streets of Rehoboth Beach next weekend.
The festival that Special Olympics has created is growing into an increasingly important off-season event bringing people and dollars into the resort at a time of year when they are needed most. Many businesses have joined with the effort to offer support and extra energy to the weekend's events.
And of course, thousands of people from all over Delaware collect money for Special Olympics Delaware and participate in the plunge.
Jumping into icy water accentuates the fact that service often involves sacrifice; but when it helps others, as the Bagel Bombers and the Polar Bears have learned, the sacrifice adds greater meaning to our lives.