The 2021 Plane Pull® fundraising event raised more than $110,000 in support of Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, according to Keith L. Fishburne, SONC President/CEO.
Held annually since 1999 for SONC, the event is a unique team building fundraising activity for groups of five people, racing to pull a 30,000-pound airplane 25 feet the fastest. Each five-person team raised a minimum of $800 total by the event date in order to participate. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
One of SONC’s signature fundraising special events, the Plane Pull features divisions for law enforcement/first responders and businesses/organizations. The winning teams for each division are listed below:
- Law Enforcement/First Responders: Foothills Correctional Institution (Foothills Regulators)
- Businesses/Organizations: UPS (UPS Two Ton Moose)
Sponsors include Credit Suisse Americans Foundation and long-time partners, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, American Airlines, Envoy Air Inc. and United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS). Sheetz and the North Carolina Knights of Columbus joined the event as 2021 sponsors.
“RDU is proud to welcome back and compete in the Plane Pull for Special Olympics North Carolina,” said Michael Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “The competition was intense but regardless of who took home bragging rights, we are all winners when we team up to help Special Olympics athletes in our community.”
“The money raised through events, such as the Plane Pull, allows us to provide our sports and wellness programs at no cost to the Special Olympics athletes,” said Fishburne. “We’re especially grateful to our partners and sponsors for making this event a unique tradition for Special Olympics North Carolina.”
About the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics North Carolina
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an international fundraising campaign for Special Olympics. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition for more than 5.4 million children and adults around the world who have intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics in North Carolina, making it one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is officially endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriff’s Association, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the National Association of School Resource Officers, NC Association of School Resource Officers, NC Department of Justice and the NC Department of Public Safety.
About Special Olympics North Carolina
Since 1968, the organization has used the transformative power of sports to improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes in North Carolina inspire thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers year-round training and competition in 20 Olympic-type sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through Unified Champion Schools, an education and sports-based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.