Special Olympians to challenge plane

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Advocacy Resource Center will send 30 Special Olympians and ten volunteers to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on April 9 to participate in the ARC of Georgia's FedEx Plane Pull Festival.

The competition, the ARC of Georgia's largest fund-raiser this year, consists of a 20-member team of Special Olympians and volunteers pulling a 140,000-pound FedEx Boeing 727 a distance of 12 feet.

Trophies will be awarded for fastest pull, slowest teams and most enthusiastic team.

"When we asked our Special Olympians who wanted to go to Atlanta and pull an airplane, they all got very excited," Albany ARC Marketing Director Eddie McCarty said. "They were ready to go. Our Olympians are the most incredible people. They love their sports and they love to compete.

"We'll be the team farthest away from the competition, and we'll load up two buses at six that Saturday morning then head on up."

Along with the Special Olympians, members of the Albany ARC staff and community supporters will be also going to Atlanta.

Executive Director Annette Bowling will be pulling with Albany ARC Team No. 1 -- "The Just Plane Champions," and Assistant Executive Director Sandy Edge will be pulling with Team No. 2 -- "Just Plane Tough Guys."

The first FedEx Plane Pull Festival was held in 1992 to raise money for Special Olympics Virginia. The event was so successful that it spread across the nation and Plane Pulls are now held all over the world.

Albany ARC is a non-profit organization founded in 1963. Its basic purpose is to promote the general welfare of persons with disabilities and to foster the development of programs on their behalf.