October 7, 2022 — On a sunny Saturday morning, under a clear blue sky, a team of Gallagher Bassett's very own lined up to pull a 180,000-pound United Airlines plane as fast as possible to raise funds for the Chicago O'Hare Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Illinois. GB hit the runway, competing against teams of first responders, military personnel, CrossFit groups, and other Chicagoland organizations, and pulled a plane 12 feet in an impressive 8.356 seconds — a mere 3 seconds more than the winning team!

"I'm incredibly proud of our team and the way they showed up and how excited everyone was to participate in the great event," said Mike Hessling, CEO — North America, a proud member of Team GB.

Helping others is in our DNA. Team GB collected over $5,245 — the most raised by a team in the open division — and contributed to the event's total of nearly $140,000. Our collective contributions will benefit more than 21,000 athletes who will have the chance to participate in year-round sports training and competitions at no cost to them or their families.

Mike emphasized how important it was for GB to share in this experience, saying, "We're a part of the community, and our participation shows what a great culture we have and how much our team is invested in bringing that culture into the community."

Kelly Smock, Resolution Manager Lead, championed GB's involvement in the event, taking on the role of liaison between our organization and Special Olympics/LETR. "Everyone was excited and represented Gallagher Bassett wonderfully. It's all about teamwork and giving back."

Fueled by the challenge and excitement of the day, GB's rookie team is ready to get back out there.

"We came together, we said, 'Let's give it the best we've got,' and we did," Kelly said. "Next year, Gallagher Bassett's going to come out even stronger."

"I think we need a little calisthenics before we do the plane pull next time," Mike quipped about the team's readiness, and he has high hopes for next year's pull. "Our team did a great job today, and it's upwards from here."

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