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July 12, 2023

Travis Mills Foundation will raise money with 'plane pull' event

Molly Lovell-Keely This year’s event will be held Oct. 28 on the tarmac at Northeast Air at Portland International Jetport.

The countdown is on for the Travis Mills Foundation Plane Pull.

Get the weights pumping and the muscles flexed to help pull an 80-ton FedEx plane for post-911 veterans and their families served by the Travis Mills Foundation.

Last year the event raised around $270,000 and the inaugural event in 2019 raised more than $100,000. The foundation is hoping to meet or exceed last year’s total. 

Molly Lovell-Keely
Travis Mills Foundation

“The Travis Mills Foundation empowers our nation’s veterans to live life off the sidelines through various adaptive activities,” said Heather Hemphill, executive director of the foundation. “For last year’s teams, I know there wasn’t anything more empowering than coming together and moving an 80-ton plane with a group of your friends, family or co-workers on the tarmac of a major airport.”

Mills, who served as a staff sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, founded the race. Mills was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan and lost parts of all four limbs from an IED (improvised explosive device). He was one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries.

In September 2022, he and his wife Kelsey opened the Travis Mills Foundation Retreat, a 9,800-square-foot, $7 million healing center. The foundation’s programming provides activities for veterans and their families, combined with the tools and skills needed for a healthy recovery. The center includes an indoor pool, massage rooms, fitness rooms and state-of-the-art workout equipment.

Mills was honored as a Mainebiz 2023 Business Leader of the Year

Event details

The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the tarmac at Northeast Air at Portland International Jetport.

There will be awards for top fundraiser, quickest pull, drag award (slowest pull) and most patriotic. The event's presenting sponsor is Hammond Lumber. 

Molly Lovell-Keely
Travis Mills

Registration is open and each team must have 20 to 25 people and raise $2,500, with proceeds supporting the foundation. 

The event will also include food trucks, children’s activities, military presentations and an opportunity to meet Mills. 

“We love holding this event each year,” said Mills. “Anyone and everyone can absolutely pull this plane — it’s great for team building with your friends and co-workers — or get your family together to form a team. You won’t regret taking part in this incredible event, which supports our nation’s heroes who experienced life-changing injuries while bravely serving our country.”

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