LONG BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 9, 2017) – There are videos of individuals performing unique things that make you say “I want to try that” all over social media. If you are one of them, Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) has just the opportunity for you, and it benefits the more than 30,000 local athletes.
The ultimate man-versus-machine Plane Pull© fundraiser for SOSC is back for its 12th annual run at the Long Beach Airport on Saturday, Aug. 19. Law enforcement agencies, fire departments, college groups, corporate teams, and other community members will compete in teams of 25 to pull a 124,000-pound FedEx airplane a total of 12 feet.
“The Plane Pull is a very unique and fun way to support Special Olympics,” said SOSC President and CEO Bill Shumard. “First it is a competition. Teams compete against each other to pull a plane as well as raise funds for our athletes. The funds raised help us serve more athletes, changing their lives, the lives of their families, and of the community.”
Teams or individuals can register at www.sosc.com/planepull. Registration for teams and team assignment for individuals is also available on the day of the event beginning at 8 a.m. The competition begins at 10 a.m. at the Long Beach Airport (2830 E. Wardlow Rd.). Each team must raise a minimum of $1,250 ($50 for each team member). Each team member will receive the official Plane Pull T-shirt, a BBQ lunch, and of course, the opportunity to pull the plane.
Trophies will be awarded for the fastest pull, slowest pull and the team and individual who raises the most money. Each member of the team that pulls the plane 12-feet in the fastest amount of time will earn a Pelican Flashlight (valued at $150) and the team will take home the sought-after trophy for bragging rights! The top fundraising individual wins two JetBlue tickets. Each participant on the top fundraising team wins a $25 gift certificate to California Pizza Kitchen in Cerritos.
Last year the Los Angeles Police Academy team won with an impressive time of 5.277 seconds. The top individual fundraiser last year was Yosemite Hamilton and the top team was Karma Crossfit. The “winner” of the slowest time trophy went to Sports Dentistry Club with a time of 12.229 seconds.
“Second piece to this year’s Plane Pull is that it’s so much more than teams pulling a plane. It really is a day perfect for the entire family,” said Shumard. “From a fitness challenge to a Kids’ Pull to great food, this really is a fun day. We want to thank our partners and all of those who have registered for helping this event grow into a highlight of the year.”
Partners to this year’s Plane Pull include SEIU Local 99 (Education Workers United), Northrop Grumman, Katten Law, Ecology Recycling Services and Taco Bell.
The Plane Pull will have activities for the entire family. The Family Festival will include a BBQ lunch (free for participants), food trucks with a variety of delicious desserts, the Taco Bell food truck with $4 combo packs, face painting, a raffle that includes LA Rams tickets and an aerobatics flight, a dunk tank and of course the Kids’ Plane Pull of the CHP Cessna. Special Olympics athlete Robert Ward will DJ and provide all the musical entertainment for the event.
There is more. The day will include the High Flying Classic Car and Motorcycle Show, a Functional Fitness Competition ran by CrossFit Belmont Heights, and a used clothing drive. For information on these events, click here.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California has been involved in the planning and success of the Plane Pull since its inception in 2006. Retired CHP officer Adam Christen has served as the event chair since it was brought to Long Beach in 2007. More than 10 law enforcement teams compete every year to support Special Olympics Southern California.
ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports, health, and leadership programs. Special Olympics helps athletes become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives. They inspire people to open their hearts and create more accepting and inclusive communities. All Special Olympics programs are free to the athletes and their families. Learn more at www.sosc.org.
ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN
Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC). In 2016, more than 3,500 Southern California officers and 200 law enforcement agencies raised $1.5 million. LETR is changing the future for people with intellectual disabilities and lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion. For more information, visit: www.SOSC.org/LETR