Pulling on the Same Rope Pull, Lions, pull. On one end of the thick rope was a 100,000-pound jet. On the other were 20 Lions from District 3 0 in Oklahoma. Sixteen teams took part in the airplane pull contest near Tulsa to raise funds for the nonprofit Camp Fire Green Country. The teams had to tug the plane 12 feet. Planes with jets turned off don’t move easily. “We lunged back and did a big pull. Nothing moved,” says Carol Ervin of the Bartlesville Lions Club. “Nothing was happening. We had to overcome the initial inertia,” says Joe Shveima, the Bartlesville Lion who recruited Lions for the competition. Some teams were from companies with thousands of employees. “They had some burly guys,” says Shveima. The Lions brought no ringers–just whoever agreed to show. A couple of Lions were in their 30s. But most were over 50 and some in their 70s and 80s. Even another nonprofit team physically dwarfed the Lions. “They were twice our size and half our age,” says Ervin. The jet finally lurched forward, and the Lions gained momentum. They crossed the finish line in 8.7 seconds. On their second try they cut their time to 8.1 seconds. That’s one mile per hour. That was good for 13th place. The winners blazed in at 5.6 seconds. “People were chomping at the bit. They want to practice next year,” says Shveima. “It’s fine. No one got hurt–just our pride.” The first-timers learned a lesson. “A lot of it is technique,” says Ervin. “We said we’ll practice using a trash truck.” The Lions succeeded in raising $1,250. And they also learned that pulling a plane is a team sport. “Every person counts. It takes the contribution of everyone,” says Ervin, who, as Lions know, could have been talking about any Lions project. –Jay Copp
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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