18th Annual Plane Pull Challenge Set for Aug. 3
Presented by FedEx Express, the organization’s largest annual single-day fundraiser will again bring thousands of supporters to Indianapolis to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics athletes throughout the state.
INDIANAPOLIS — Special Olympics Indiana invites supporters and members of the public to be a part of its 2019 Plane Pull Challenge, Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Indianapolis International Airport.
Sponsored by FedEx Express and hosted at the airport’s Postal Hub (2475 S. Hoffman Rd.), this family-friendly fundraiser calls upon participants to “accept the challenge” by working together to raise a minimum of $1,200 per team in the months leading up to the event before competing against one another to pull an 80-ton Boeing 757 aircraft 12 feet in the fastest time.
The competition runs from 9 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m., with additional activities scheduled throughout the day including a 50th anniversary commemorative torch run, the annual Plane Pull Car Show, a basketball shooting contest sponsored by Pacers Sports & Entertainment, an adults-only oasis with beverages provided by Sun King Brewery, a kid’s exhibition pull, and a family fun festival with food vendors, games, and music. Admission is free and spectators are welcome.
“This is a big day for us, and it’s one that our staff and supporters look forward to each summer,” said Scott Furnish, senior director of development for Special Olympics Indiana. “The teams that have done it before will tell you that pulling a plane is more fun than it sounds—and when you combine that unique team-building experience with a chance to make a difference in the lives of our athletes, you get an event that’s really rewarding for everyone involved.”
More than 60 teams are expected to participate in this year’s Plane Pull Challenge, which annually raises at least $150,000 in support of Special Olympics Indiana’s year-round programs and events dedicated to improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1969 and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the organization is experiencing a period of sustained growth and aims to raise more than ever to bolster ongoing efforts to expand its reach beyond the 16,000 individuals it already serves.
Teams register to compete in one of six divisions, with awards presented to the fastest pullers and top overall fundraisers. Small businesses and major corporations are typically represented, along with local high schools, law enforcement agencies from across the state, Special Olympics county programs, sponsors, and others.
In addition to FedEx Express, sponsors of the 2019 Plane Pull Challenge include Orchard Software, CHA Consulting, Sallie Mae, the Indianapolis Airport Authority, MediaFuel, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Butler, Fairman & Seufert Civil Engineers, Allegion, Signarama of Carmel, and Markey’s Rental and Staging. Greg Browning of media partner WJJK-FM and Rachel Bogle of CBS4 will serve as masters of ceremonies.
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ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS INDIANA
Special Olympics Indiana is a nonprofit organization that is a part of the global Special Olympics movement, using sport, health, education, and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1969 and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Special Olympics Indiana is a sports organization that uses the power of sport as a catalyst for social change, working to open hearts and minds towards people with intellectual disabilities and to create inclusive communities across the state. With the support of over 10,000 coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics Indiana provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for more than 16,000 athletes and unified partners at no cost to the participants.