Participants showed some extreme support for the United Way this weekend as they pulled massive vehicles at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport Saturday.
The “I Pull for United Way” event kicked off the year’s fundraising and is meant to bring awareness of the United Way to the Illinois Valley.
“It’s all for fun,” said Julie Sloan, the area executive director for United Way. “Each year we try to make it bigger and better.”
This is the second year the event was held and featured 10 teams with 10 teammates. Each team paid a $200 entry fee and took turns playing tug-of-war with a 25,000-pound Maze truck, a 45,000-pound John Deere tractor and a 65,000-pound crane.
The teams had to pull the vehicles 15 feet. Sloan said the team with the quickest times after all three rounds won a $1,000 cash prize.
As the competition started, teams discussed strategies about how they would go about pulling the heavy vehicles. Laura Butterfield of Peru competed with the team from the Center for Youth and Family Solutions in La Salle. She said the team’s strategy was to line up tallest to shortest, pull the rope tight and pull hard.
“It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be,” said Butterfield after the team got done pulling the Maze truck.
The day also featured kids’ events, food and music and a 50-50 raffle. Sloan said the biggest part of the day was about showing support for the United Way and the 17 local agencies it supports.
“We are doing this just to give back to the community,” she said.
Alicia LeGrand-Riniker can be reached at (815) 220-6931 or firstname.lastname@example.org