This past weekend, hundreds of people from throughout the region converged on the cargo facility here at RDU to pull for the community. Literally. For many years now, the Airport Authority has been proud to be one of the sponsors of the Special Olympics North Carolina’s annual Plane Pull.
More than 100 teams dug in and pulled their hardest to see who could move a 30,000 pound Delta Air Lines regional jet 25-feet the fastest. The fastest time recorded was by the Cumberland County Special Response Team at 9.27 seconds. The real winners, however, are the 38,000 North Carolinians with intellectual disabilities who benefit from funds raised through the event.
Through that one day event, we’re able to touch many lives for good. But, at the Airport Authority, we view giving back as a year-round part of our work and a key part of what we do to improve the lives of those in the community. That’s why we are proud to partner with outstanding community organizations in our region.
In 2013, we’ve committed to supporting the work of the Durham Rescue Mission. Many Airport Authority employees have spent time working at the mission helping to serve meals to those in need in Durham County. We also held a one day project to collect meat to stock the mission’s freezers when we received word that it was running low. On fairly short notice, our employees packed the trunk of one of our vehicles with more than 200 pounds of frozen meats.
And each day, we couldn’t be prouder to partner with the USO of North Carolina to serve the many men and women of our armed forces. As a state with a rich military history and bases from each branch of the armed services, it’s a practical way to give back to all of those who serve.
The Airport Authority provides the space for the USO of N.C. RDU Center. Located in Terminal 2, the USO assists service members and their families along with retired military members. From travel assistance, to lifting morale, to just giving a place for rest in between flights, the USO is a great support for those in uniform.
We also support the Foundation of Hope’s annual Walk for Hope at the Angus Barn, by providing parking for participants and logistical support. The annual fundraiser raises funds for mental illness research, treatment and support of mental illness.
These are just a few of the ways we pull for those in our community each and every day.