Posted by: sonewjersey | September 22, 2011

Pulling Planes for Special Olympics New Jersey

This week’s guest blogger is Nathan Tick, who is part of Johnson & Johnson’s IT Leadership Development Program (ITLDP) Class of 2009. Nate describes how teams of J&J employees and ITLDP graduates support Special Olympics New Jersey. They have three teams participating in the SONJ Plane Pull on October 1st at Newark Liberty Airport.

by Nathan Tick

Pulling a commercial jetliner down the tarmac with your bare hands, especially a Boeing 737, is no easy feat. Weighing over 93,000 pounds and 10 stories long, pulling a plane takes some serious muscle, a dedicated team, and a passion for supporting Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ). Every year this passion continues to grow as J&J I/T teams raise donations to compete in a Plane Pull competition supporting SONJ.

SONJ provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. SONJ provides its athletes with 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 community.

The SONJ Plane Pull, which is sponsored by the NJ Law Enforcement Torch Run, was first introduced in 1997 to support this mission and has been a success story since its inception. 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.

Competing since 2001, Johnson & Johnson has been a huge contributor to the Plane Pull by fundraising over $100,000 in donations. For 2011, Johnson & Johnson continues this tradition with three teams from I/T and Finance. “It’s a really meaningful activity and a great way to support a wonderful organization,” said Amanda Basile, ITLDP class of 2010.

To learn more about Special Olympics New Jersey and the Plane Pull event, please click here.

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