Volunteers play tug-of-war — with a plane — for charity

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At the 8th Annual Plane Pull to benefit Special Olympics Illinois, 80 teams of 20 people each used their strength, grit and determination to try and pull one of two planes parked on the tarmac at O’Hare Airport.

On one side, a United Airlines 737, weighing about 140,000 pounds. On the other, a slightly larger UPS Airbus A300, weighing a whopping 90 tons.

"It’s definitely not easy, it’s hard -- you gotta wait a few seconds and then pull,” said Leticia Phocis.

Teams came from all over including businesses, church groups and law enforcement.

"Its’ a great event for charity and its a very good cause," said Lake Villa Chief of Police Craig Somerville.

Each of the 80 teams had to raise a minimum of $1,000, and they’re hoping to raise $150k for Special Olympics Illinois, and of course bragging rights for the next year for the winning team. Money is raised even if the team doesn't get the plane to move and inch.

Eric Smith the Director of Torch Run Special Olympics Illinois says the work the organization does for athletes and families keeps him coming back year after year.

"It’s a phenomenal organization and I can’t quit; it’s great," Smith said.


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