Pulling For A Purpose!

Special Olympics Colorado Plane Pull – August 17, 2019

It’s no secret that Special Olympics Colorado provides many wonderful opportunities for community participation for people of all abilities. Every year on a Saturday in August, they host one of our favorite events to participate in: The Plane Pull at Denver International Airport.

This year Special Olympics Colorado beat their expected fundraising goal and had their biggest pull ever with 92 teams pulling! That’s 30+ more teams than their previous highest team attendance!

For the past three years, Developmental Pathways has been a proud supporter of the Plane Pull. Our team, “The Ground Crew,” raises awareness, funds, and their arms (literally) to pull a plane for a purpose. The Ground Crew is a team of staff, individuals, and families connected to DP.

Two veteran participants reflect on their experience:

Rachel, Early Intervention Program Manager

I’ve participated in the Special Olympics Plane Pull on the Developmental Pathways Team the past three years. The Plane Pull is one of my favorite events to volunteer for. It is SO.MUCH.FUN! Our team of 25 people pull a plane (Yes! A real plane!) to raise money for Special Olympics Colorado. Special Olympics Colorado is an amazing local organization that supports athletes with intellectual disabilities.

At the event, participants go all out with dressing up in fun costumes. Although we have never won for fastest or slowest pulls, two years in a row we won the Spirit Award! 

Volunteering for this event just makes me feel good! First, it’s a wonderful cause for wonderful people. Second, Developmental Pathways’ Community Outreach Department, who sponsor the team and event, are about the loveliest group you will ever meet. They do such a good job organizing our team and keeping it fun, but competitive. Lastly, the event is filled with activities, food, and fun. Local police bring their SWAT truck for young and old alike to explore and enjoy. There are bouncy houses for the kids and a Segway obstacle course. Subway provides a meal and there are many vendors with giveaways.

I’m very proud to be a part of the Developmental Pathways Plane Pulling (ahem… award-winning) Team! 

Allison, Senior Case Manager

As a Senior Case Manager, whenever I visit with individuals and families who participate in Special Olympics, they LOVE to share with me how much fun they have at events. After seeing the joy this organization brings to people, I knew I wanted to get involved.

In 2017, a Community Outreach coordinator invited me to join and I have been a huge fan of this event ever since. This is my third year on the DP team! Not only is it just plain fun, but there are so many benefits to being involved. Additionally, with family ties to Boeing, I have an affinity for planes. The way the event is set up, not only do I help pull a giant jumbo jet across the tarmac (and yes, the plane does move), but also, I get to go inside the cockpit and see other parts of the plane. Plus, our team dresses up in costumes! There are prizes for best team spirit, and Developmental Pathways has won two years in a row for our costume creativity. This year, I constructed a costume of the Blue Horse Statue informally known as “Bluecifer”!

Everyone who attends the Plane Pull is there for a common purpose: to help. Local police and military participate in the event and always have one of the fastest pulling scores. It’s also a chance to network with other companies that support those in Special Olympics. Over the years, I have learned of several new resources which helps me be a better case manager.

If you are ever looking for a fun, community-based, unique way to support those with intellectual/developmental disabilities, look no further than the Special Olympics Colorado Plane Pull each August. Who knows what crazy costume ideas will come up next year?!