William Howard II’s first Plane Pull Challenge team in 2019 to benefit Special Olympics Indiana consisted of friends and family.
However, Howard, a Carmel resident who is on the board of directors for Special Olympics Indiana, wanted to do something different with this year’s team.
“I wanted to have local organizations within Carmel and Hamilton County come together, because not only is it a worthwhile thing for Special Olympics, but it’s also good for the community to come together,” Howard said. “We’ve created a pretty diverse team. We have people from different backgrounds and different political affiliations. The common goal is, let’s do something good for our community.”
The Plane Pull Challenge is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 11 at Indianapolis Airport/Postal HUB, 2475 Hoffman Rd. To participate, each team must have 12 members and raise at least a collective $1,200 in pledges.
“It was an exhilarating experience trying to pull a 757 plane,” Howard said. “My children and wife got to cheer me on, so hopefully my team members will have a similar experience.”
Howard’s team, called Hamilton County Strong, includes three members from the Carmel Democratic Club, three from the Hamilton County Leadership Academy class of 2021, two from the Carmel Masonic Lodge 421 and three other friends or family members.
Noblesville residents Mike and Jodi Snell are part of Howard’s team. Jodi was part of the 2021 HCLA class with Howard.
“Special Olympics is important to us, because my aunt LeAnn had Down syndrome,” Mike Snell said. “This brought challenges for her, and Special Olympics gave her an opportunity to interact with her peers in a unique setting. She participated in swimming and skiing in the Special Olympics in Michigan. LeAnn passed away in 2020, and knowing the happiness the Special Olympics brought her, we felt that supporting the Special Olympics was the perfect way to remember her while raising money to make sure others can have that same great experience.
“We believe if we told her we were going to pull a big plane, she would respond with her excited expression of, ‘Whoa, baby!’”
Jodi said the couple supported Special Olympics Michigan, but this is their first time participating in an event with Special Olympics Indiana.
“It is our hope that this becomes a tradition for our family,” Jodi said.
Visit secure.e2rm.com/p2p/event/363872/en-CA and search for Hamilton County Strong to make a donation.