(LOS ANGELES) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced today that the firm sponsored and participated in the 13th annual Special Olympics Southern California Plane Pull to raise awareness and funding for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
A team of Katten attorneys, staff, family and friends from the firm's Los Angeles Century City, Downtown and Orange County offices competed against 60 other teams in the Special Olympics Southern California event, testing their strength and stamina in an attempt to be the fastest to pull a 124,000-pound FedEx Boeing 757 airplane 12 feet down the runway.
"Katten cares about and is dedicated to giving back to the communities where we live and work," said Katten Chairman Roger P. Furey. "Special Olympics has such a significant impact on so many children and adults through sports. We're very proud to partner with this wonderful organization and to be part of the movement for a more accepting and inclusive society."
The Katten team, led by honorary co-pilot Rachel Osterbach, a Special Olympics athlete, global messenger and cast member of A&E's "Born This Way" reality TV series, tugged the jet in 6.95 seconds, only one and a half seconds slower than the winner.
"It was so hard to pull a plane but I did it though. It's about trying your best," Osterbach said. "It was a whole lot of fun."
The annual event, held Saturday at Long Beach Airport, raised more than $198,000 – a record-setting figure – for Special Olympics athletes.
As a major sponsor, Katten's contributions will go toward keeping programs cost free for participating athletes. The funds raised will go towards equipment, uniforms and transportation. Katten also is a sponsor of the Pier del Sol culinary festival featuring top chefs and unlimited amusement park rides on October 14 at the Santa Monica Pier, and the Fall Games in November.
"Special Olympics is a game changer. The work the organization does really matters," said David Halberstadter, Katten partner and deputy general counsel for the firm's four California offices. "It was very inspiring to watch such amazing, determined athletes compete and receive medals at the Summer Games in June. We wholeheartedly support this organization and that means giving it our all at events like the Plane Pull with Rachel leading the team."
Osterbach has been involved in Special Olympics, a global organization celebrating its 50th anniversary, since she was eight years old, and has participated in basketball, bocce, track and field, floor hockey, softball and gymnastics.
"Through the Special Olympics, I made a whole new group of friends," said Osterbach, 35, who lives in Fountain Valley, California. "It helped me a lot to gain confidence."