Indianapolis, IN (Aug. 22, 2013) – Miami Correctional Facility was among the more than 500 Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) staff members representing 24 teams participating in the 2013 FedEx Plane Pull Challenge at the former Indianapolis International Airport recently.

Through various fundraisers and donations, the IDOC raised almost $45,000 for Special Olympics Indiana (SOI). While every IDOC team put forth a valiant effort to pull the 164,000 pound FedEx Boeing 757 across the tarmac, Putnamville Correctional Facility’s team, The Dark Knight Rises II, had the fastest overall time for the second year in a row, pulling the plane 12 feet in just 5.116 seconds.

MCF’s team made the pull in 6.003 seconds coming in 12th in the Public Safety Division. The team raised $2,090 for Special Olympics.

The Indiana Department of Correction has been a longtime supporter of Special Olympics and the FedEx Plane Pull Challenge. IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon expressed his gratitude to staff who participated. “It is truly remarkable to see so many of our staff spending their own time to come out and support a great cause and participate in this event. The Department is proud of our staff, and their continued support for so many organizations like Special Olympics is a testament to their willingness to give back to the community.”

"Special Olympics events have the capacity to bring all elements of a community together for a single cause. However, no group has ever done so much on a single day as the Department of Correction teams that competed in the 2013 Plane Pull Challenge. It shows how one organization can make an amazing difference for some deserving people," commented SOI President Michael Furnish.

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Plane Pull History

Trademarked as a fundraising event unique to Special Olympics programs throughout the United States, the FedEx Plane Pull® Challenge got its start in Indiana in 2002 through the inspiration of FedEx Senior Ramp Tower Controller and Special Olympics Indiana volunteer Eric Garrett. After hearing of Special Olympics Virginia's success with its own Plane Pull event, Garrett introduced the idea to Special Olympics Indiana.

The Plane Pull Challenge is a giant tug-of-war between teams and a FedEx Boeing 757 aircraft that weighs more than 164,000 pounds. The event, held at the Indianapolis International Airport, helps raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Indiana. More than 2,000 people from over 70 teams of 20 signed up for the 12th annual Plane Pull Challenge. The Indiana Plane Pull grew from about 15 teams in 2002 to 79 in 2013. This year's event raised $181,200, up from $150,000 last year.

About Special Olympics Indiana

Special Olympics Indiana is a not-for-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in over 21 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, reaching more than 12,000 athletes across Indiana. The organization receives no federal or state appropriated funds, is not a United Way agency and relies entirely on corporate, civic and individual donations. For more information about Special Olympics Indiana, visit http://www.soindiana.org