NEW WINDSOR, NY – The force was on display Sunday at New York’s Stewart International Airport as 18 teams of local residents took turns pulling a 50-passenger plane to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and mark the start of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Kristi Greco, senior director of local development for the Cancer Society, noted that cancer screenings have declined during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re down 30% in all areas of cancer screenings, which equates to bigger issues in the long run,” Greco said. “Early detection saves lives.
Debbie Whittemore and her daughter, Lyndsey, who are part of the 50 Shades of Pink team, joked that they did 50 push-ups and ate 50 apple cider donuts a day to prepare to pull the plane off. 97 feet long, supplied by United Airline Affiliate CommutAir.
CommutAir chief pilot John Secour watched the teams pull the aircraft, which can weigh up to 50,000 pounds with passengers, crew, baggage and fuel. Secour said it was “good to give back to the community” and to support a worthy cause.
David Claisse, Director of Online Services at Atlantic Aviation in Stewart, partnered with the Cancer Society to organize the event. Claisse said it was something he wanted to do for a long time because cancer “has touched us all at some point in our lives.”