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Appleton Airport Announces date for Pulling for Honor

Event is major fundraiser for the Old Glory Honor Flight

How far can 20 people pull a 200,000-pound jet plane? Far enough to give local veterans a free-of-charge flight to Washington D.C. to visit war memorials erected in their honor. This year, regional teams will participate in Pulling for Honor on September 16, 2023. The event is the primary fundraiser for the Old Glory Honor Flights and last year raised $132,000 to fully fund one flight of veterans to Washington, D.C.

The Appleton International Airport will host the Pulling for Honor fundraiser on Saturday, September 16, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Appleton Flight Center. Community members can register teams of up to 20 people and each team is required to raise $1500 to participate ($75/person). Teams will use a rope to pull a 200,000-pound FedEx A300 aircraft 12 feet and the team with the fastest time will win the competition. Prizes will also be awarded for the top three fastest pulls, most funds raised, and slowest pull.

The winning team for past years has been the Green Bay Rugby club with a winning time of 11.285 seconds to pull a 200,000-pound plane 12 feet.  

The sheer size of the Green Bay Rugby Club does not intimidate the team from Sure Dry, a participant for several years. “They’re strong, but our mindset every year is we’re going to win,” said Nick Rainer, director of sales and marketing for Sure Dry LLC. His company has so much response for the event they could almost enter two teams.

“We’re a philanthropic organization and this is our opportunity to give back to the community we serve,” Rainer said. “We wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for our clients, and many are active or retired military. And it’s a fun way to participate.”

“The community response to this event has been overwhelming,” said Diane MacDonald, Old Glory Honor Flight of Northeast Wisconsin executive director. “No matter the relationship to the veteran, this event proves our community values and respects the service our veterans have given to our country and our freedom.” To date, the Old Glory Honor Flight has given 5,450 veterans the opportunity to visit their memorial. On each flight, veterans travel with trained volunteers who act as guardian escorts, a volunteer medical team, professional photographers and others like the D.C. Park Police who ensure the veterans get the ‘red carpet’ treatment. 

Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson considers the Old Glory Honor Flight and Pulling for Honor one of the most cherished partnerships for the airport. “This year we will host the 61st Old Glory Honor Flight,” Nelson said. “Our commitment to this organization, our veterans, their families, and the businesses that support them is critical to making the Fox Cities a thriving community.”

“Our staff has embraced this event with open arms,” said Abe Weber, Appleton Airport director. “It takes about 40% of our team to ensure all participants have a fun and safe experience and we are proud to invest that time as a thank you to our veterans.”

In addition to the main event of pulling the giant jet, the event will also feature:

  • Children’s plane pull
  • Airfare giveaway – ATW will be giving away two pairs of Allegiant tickets, all event attendees can enter.
  • A wide variety of food trucks featuring sweet and savory treats.
  • Veteran’s exhibits (providing vital information regarding services available for veterans in our community).

Sponsors for the event are open and teams may register at this link.


About Appleton International Airport                                                                                                           Appleton International Airport connects our community to the world through American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air. In addition to offering nonstop service to 15 destinations, Appleton Airport connects to six major international airport hubs from which travelers can fly to almost anywhere in the world. Using Appleton Airport, travelers can safely and more conveniently get to their destination and home again, leaving them more time for what really matters. Appleton International Airport is the third largest airport in Wisconsin according to arrivals and departures. Visit atwairport.com to learn more.