Employees from Sallie Mae — the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company — successfully hauled a jumbo jet down an Indianapolis International Airport runway in the Special Olympics Indiana 2016 Plane Pull ® Challenge, raising $12,665 in the process. The employees collected $5,165 in donations from colleagues, friends, and family members, and The Sallie Mae Fund, the company's charitable foundation, contributed an additional $7,500.

The 40 employees, split between two Sallie Mae teams, joined 63 other teams in their attempts at towing an 80-ton 757 cargo plane at the day-long annual event.

"Sallie Mae raised the bar this year by fielding not just one but two teams in our Plane Pull Challenge," said Scott Furnish, senior director of development, Special Olympics Indiana. "We appreciate the company's strong support of the Special Olympics, and we are especially grateful for the volunteer work their employees do on our behalf throughout the year."

Special Olympics Indiana is a not-for-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, reaching nearly 11,000 athletes across Indiana. It is part of the international network of accredited Special Olympics programs that reach more than 3 million athletes with intellectual disabilities worldwide. The Plane Pull Challenge is Special Olympics Indiana's largest single-day fundraiser; this year, the event raised more than $160,000.

"Sallie Mae is committed to supporting organizations our employees are personally involved with and passionate about," said Mike Bandy, Sallie Mae vice president and Plane Pull Challenge team captain. "The Plane Pull Challenge is not only a lot of fun and a great team builder, but also a reminder that some of the challenges Special Olympians deal with on a daily basis are far more daunting than pulling an airplane."

Sallie Mae is a consumer banking business focused on helping students and families save, plan, and responsibly pay for college. In June, the company significantly expanded its Indiana footprint, moving into new offices in Indianapolis and announcing plans to add nearly 300 new jobs by 2018.

The Sallie Mae Fund supports employee volunteerism and community service in communities where Sallie Mae employees live and work. For more information, visit TheSallieMaeFund.org.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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