Camaraderie, Great Cause Motivate Lake County Sheriff’s Team

This year, the Lake County Sheriff’s Plane Pullers team will be involved for its 7th year with the Special Olympics Illinois Plane Pull on Sept. 19 at O’Hare International Airport.

The Plane Pull features the ultimate tug-of-war competition, as teams of up to 20 battle a UPS Airbus A300, weighing more than 190,000 pounds. Each team raises a minimum of $1,000 to participate (only $50 per person for a team of 20) and competes to pull the plane 12 feet in the fastest amount of time.

Members of the Lake County Sheriff's Dept. Pullers team receive instructions before pulling at the 2014 Plane Pull
The Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. Pullers team receives instructions before pulling at the 2014 Plane Pull

Teams compete in one of 3 divisions: Open Division (ideal for companies, school teams, gyms, crossfits, clubs, friends and families); Public Safety Division (law enforcement officers, fire fighters, paramedics, DNR, DOC and military personnel; teams need at least 10 public safety competitors to qualify); and Hotel Division (back by popular demand, this is a division solely for groups in the hotel industry).

Plane Pullers team – made up of deputies, correction officers, court security deputies, staff members, Explorers, family and friends – became involved in 2009 when the Plane Pull was first being held at the DuPage Airport. And, they haven’t been able to stop pulling for Special Olympics.

They were, and still are, motivated by the amazing opportunity to raise money for a great cause. “Our favorite part in doing the Plane Pull is that is brings all the team members together to raise money for a great cause and have lots of fun doing it!” says Deputy Sheriff Dave McNichol.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Plane Pullers were proud to finish in first place in the Public Safety Division for 2014. The team plans to return with the same driving force and defend their title this year.

To new teams participating in the Plane Pull, McNichol says “have fun and don’t be intimidated by the size of the plane!” He also recommends telling everyone what you are doing and why to help fundraising. “You will be amazed as to how much support you will get for this event,” says McNichol.

The team looks forward to participating this year and in future years to come. “The Plane Pull builds a solid bond for all the team members in which we all strive to support such a great cause,” says McNichol.

Special Olympics Illinois and the Law Enforcement Torch Run will host the 7th Annual Plane Pull at O’Hare International Airport on Sept. 19.  The 2014 event was a record-breaking success, as 83 teams participated and more $150,000 was raised for the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois!

By Krista Bilow, Communications Intern