Special Olympics Oregon hosts Record-Breaking Plane Pull Fundraiser

The Special Olympics Oregon 2021 Plane Pull event raised a record-breaking $71,000 in support of its mission and athletes.


Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR), Oregon’s premier sports organization for individuals with intellectual disabilities, hosted a record-breaking 2021 Plane Pull fundraiser – a national fan favorite challenge for supporters of the Special Olympics movement.

In its 6th year in Oregon, the Plane Pull (https://soor.org/fundraising-events/plane-pull/) presented by Subaru (https://www.subaru.com/) was held at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon on Saturday, September 18th. This unique and thrilling event challenged teams of 6 ‘Pullers’ to face off against a 35,000-pound NASA Gulfstream II Shuttle Simulator. Teams competed for fastest time in pulling the aircraft 50 feet across the tarmac, with trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awarded to teams in two divisions.

In addition to Plane Pull presenting sponsor Subaru, gold level sponsors Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and Pacific Outdoor Advertising also gave major contributions to support the event.

In 2019, the Oregon Plane Pull had 20 teams that raised over $15,000 to support Special Olympics inclusive sports programming across the state. In 2021, following a year off due to the global pandemic, the event returned a huge goal of recruiting 50 teams to fundraise $60,000. After its conclusion, the event had a total of 35 teams participate that raised more than $71,000 for SOOR. In order to achieve this, SOOR backed the event for the first time with a robust array of social and digital marketing, radio, television, and outdoor advertising, and invited all new audiences to compete.

Plane Pull is a test of strength and teamwork that was targeted to the construction, lumber, industrial, fitness, and similar industries. This year’s Plane Pull featured an expanded food and festival experience with local food trucks, music, vendors, and games that participants enjoyed before and after their Plane Pull.

Teams of 6 were asked to fundraise a minimum of $400 to participate with proceeds raised providing sports trainings and competitions, health and wellness activities, and inclusive school programs across Oregon. The top fundraising team, Team Gain Season, was comprised of local area business owners from the Portland Business Advantage BNI Chapter, who collectively raised more than $8,000. The top individual fundraiser, Sandro Marc-Charles who owns Gladiator Excellence was a member of this group. To learn more about the event visit soor.org/planepull.

Across the country, the Plane Pull for Special Olympics is a fan favorite event among supporters and athletes alike. Though it has been around in Oregon since 2014, SOOR has a big opportunity to pull best practices from other state programs to grow the event’s footprint and impact for athletes.

About Special Olympics Oregon
Special Olympics Oregon serves more than 12,000 participants with intellectual disabilities year-round and statewide through the organization’s life changing sports programs. Athletes gain self-confidence, social competency, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. Learn more at http://www.soor.org.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. For more information: http://www.subaru.com/

All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile manufacturing plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise (http://www.subaru.com/love-promise.html), which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $200 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 63,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.