CALGARY – The power of community was fully displayed earlier today as more than 1,200 Calgarians gathered on an airport tarmac to haul a 200,000 pound Airbus A300 in support of United Way of Calgary and Area’s Plane Pull challenge. Hosted annually in partnership with UPS® Canada, 35 teams of 15 people pulled together this year to raise more than $100,000. Since its inception seven years ago, Plane Pull has raised more than $600,000 to help people overcome poverty, set kids up for success, and build strong communities.

“Plane Pull shows what we can accomplish when we all pull together toward a common goal,” says Karen Young, president and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area. “What a great metaphor for what we are trying to achieve as we begin our 2018 campaign. Just as one individual cannot pull a plane alone, no one organization can tackle our city’s unignorable social issues alone. But when we all pull together to do local good, we can make a difference.”

The Kids Pull challenge, led by team captains from the University of Calgary Dinos, demonstrated that kids have strength in numbers too. More than 80 kids between the ages of 7 and 17 showed their love for doing local good by tugging an 11,000 pound Beechcraft 1900D.

“The Kids Pull is always one of my favourite parts of the event,” says John Dumigan, transportation division manager, UPS Canada. “Kids are the future of our city and participating in this fun event teaches them about teamwork, which is crucial for success in both the challenge and in life. Learning to pull together in support of others at a young age has lifelong learnings that benefit all of us as individuals and as a community.”

Teams were cheered on by more than a thousand onlookers, who also enjoyed face painting, long putt golf, cage baseball, race track, and an appearance by Holybatman with his batmobile. As teams competed to pull their plane 50 feet across the tarmac, Team Purebred Champs and Pembina Pro Pullers tied with a time of 20.565 seconds. Following an intense pull off tie-breaker, Pembina Pipelines Corporation held their title of champions for the third year in a row with a winning time of 19.09 seconds. Purebred Champs’ final time was 19.56 seconds, and Alberta Health Services came in third at 21.55 seconds.


United Way of Calgary and Area brings together donors, corporations, agencies, and government to solve complex issues and improve the lives of more than 150,000 people every year. Since 1940, United Way has supported agencies that assist vulnerable Calgarians. Today, United Way invests in programs and collaborations with common outcomes, brings people together to coordinate systems change, and designs solutions that address root causes to create lasting social change. Collectively, this work deepens community impact.

UPS (NYSE) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Learn more about our efforts at Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_Canada on Twitter.

For more information:

Lisa Rushka
[email protected]

Yvette Biggs
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
United Way of Calgary and Area
[email protected]

Whilna Franklin
UPS Canada
[email protected]