Many charity events involve a 5K run or a golf outing, but the Pulling for Wishes Airplane Pull hosted by Republic Airways is a completely different kind of fundraiser.
Teams of 10 attempt to pull a 24-ton jet at least 15 feet the fastest. The April 21 event also includes activities for kids and families.
“Kroger has a big kids zone that they sponsor with their vendors,” said Amy Chiappe, director of corporate and community responsibility for Republic Airways. “We have bouncy houses for the kids. We have a stilt walker, a juggler, face painting, balloon making. We have a tiny home on display.”
Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett will host the day’s activities, and former Colts player and radio show host Joe Staysniak will emcee. The event benefits the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and Riley Children’s Foundation. Children from those organizations participate in a pull with local celebrities.
“Anybody that has been or is one of those kids comes out, and they pull with any of the celebrities we have,” Chiappe said. “It’s really neat to see. Those kids get so excited.”
The event is in honor of Tyler Frenzel, an ICWF recipient and Carmel resident who died at age 9 in 2004.
“Tyler was diagnosed in 2002 with leukemia,” said Tyler’s mother, Pam Frenzel. “He chose a family trip to Disney World (for his wish). Then he had to go through a bone marrow transplant and relapsing.”
Tyler’s family was approached by Republic Airways to name the event in his honor shortly after they stopped an annual fundraiser they were doing.
“When Tyler was sick, his school would sell cards the kids created, and all the proceeds would go to an organization,” Frenzel said. “One year it went to the ICWF when he was alive. He had these connections where he was giving back to different organizations when he was sick. They just wanted to honor him and felt he was a special kid.”
Pulling for Wishes
When: 9 a.m. to noon April 21
Where: Republic Airways Indianapolis Maintenance Center, 2745 S. Hoffman Road, Indianapolis
Cost: $500 per team to participate, free to attend
More info: rjet.com