93,000 Pounds? No Problem!

Posted by Matt Calavano on April 25, 2012

Kean University fraternity Nu Sigma Phi participates in “Plane Pull” event and raised over $1700 for The Special Olympics of New Jersey!

On October 1, 2011, the brotherhood of Nu Sigma Phi participated in the annual “Plane Pull” competition held by the New Jersey Special Olympics. The Plane Pull was first introduced in 1997; and the success of this event has helped more than 22,000 athletes train and compete free of charge, year-round in 24 Olympic-type sports.

During the competition, teams of 20 competed to pull a Boeing 737 plane, weighing over 93,000 lbs., on the united tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport. Prizes went to the team able to pull the 737 a total of 12 feet the fastest and to the team who can pull the 12 feet in 2 minutes with the lowest combined team weight. The brothers gritted out a time of 9.3 seconds on the speed pull — a better time than four competing PBA forces and a collection of teams with prior experience in the event.

“I am extremely proud of what we accomplished today,” said Matthew Calavano, the brotherhood’s vice-president and team captain for the event. “It shows what we can do as brothers when we work our hardest toward a common goal, and it’s something we can always look back on as a defining moment for our fraternity,” continues the junior business management major.

In addition to the pulling, competition teams are also responsible for monetary donations – both from the competitors and from outside sponsorship through individual donations. On a list 40 teams — which includes four PBA’s, a sheriff’s office, a fire department, and two airlines — Phi sits 9th on the funds raised list with over $1,750 dollars given in donations. “It’s really an awesome thing to see; guys who deal with all the financial struggles of college recognizing the importance of this good cause and being willing to do all they can do to support it. I’m very proud of our guys and have nothing but respect for the efforts of every team,” said senior English major and president of Nu Sigma Phi, Christian Restrepo.

Pulling a plane is about more than good-will and dollar signs; any brother one would ask can attest to the anxiety before undergoing such a daunting task. “You get to the airport and see teams who look like pro athletes and you really start to wonder if you even have a shot, but then grabbing that rope and hearing that whistle is such a huge adrenaline rush, you forget about everyone else and can only focus on pulling as fast and hard as you can,” said brother William Moore, senior earth science and secondary education major.

As proud as the brotherhood is of what they accomplished that day, they are even more proud to let others know more can be done. Donations are being accepted until November 14, and the brothers hope to have surpassed the $2,000 mark by that time. Donations can be made at http://planepull.sonj.org/ and following the “Sponsor a Team” Link through use of credit card.

“We’re proud of what we’ve done, but knowing that we can go even farther, and do better is what keeps our fraternity going in everything we do,” said sophomore physical education major, Tyler Solan.

All proceeds collected by Plane Pull teams benefit the Special Olympics New Jersey athletes and help foster the Special Olympics New Jersey mission: providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the commun

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