ELMHURST – York High School football players work hard to stay in shape, but a group of seniors from the team decided to test their muscles against some 80,000 pound tractor-trailer recently.
“I thought, ‘who better to help pull a truck than this football team?’” Maureen McCoy said.
A broker at Elmhurst’s Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, McCoy immediately thought of her 17-year-old son and his teammates when her coworker, Diane Mohalley, suggested the company participate in Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana’s “Pulling for the House” fundraiser earlier this month.
McCoy didn’t count on the teens having football practice the same day as the contest.
“A lot of us were pretty exhausted,” York senior Dominic Ravenna said.
The third annual contest required each team to pull three tractor-trailers as fast as possible across the finish line in an effort to earn the fastest combined time. The teens arrived at McDonald’s Plaza in Oak Brook about an hour after practice to help Coldwell Banker sales associates in the competition.
The event raised money for five Ronald McDonald houses and a family room at Edward Hospital, which provide homes-away-from-home at little or no cost for seriously ill children and their families during treatment.
Emmett McCoy, Maureen McCoy’s son, admitted he underestimated how difficult it would be to pull the 40-ton trucks, but said it still was easier than football practice.
The team’s competitive nature helped motivate it even after its long day at practice.
“We saw this other team with these huge guys so we definitely wanted to beat them,” said Emmett McCoy, a senior on the team.
They didn’t win the contest, but the Coldwell Banker team raised $2,000, and the York football players helped another team pull one of their trucks. The group of ravenous teens might have broken a different record for the most expensive trip to a fast-food restaurant when they continued to support McDonald’s after the competition with a feast under the golden arches.
From the beginning, he said his teammates needed little convincing. Emmett McCoy mentioned the fundraiser only once, and 15 other football players joined him on a Saturday afternoon in mid-August to further strain their muscles.
“It was a team bonding experience,” Ravenna said.
Members of the York football team have volunteered for other service projects such as Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit that handpacks meals and sends them to malnourished children all over the world. Emmett McCoy hopes the York juniors on the football team will make the “Pulling for the House” fundraiser a tradition, but he’s happy to come back next year if possible.
“We’d do it again,” he said.