Welcome to Special Olympics Illinois!

You are about to become part of an exciting training and competition program and will serve an integral role in transforming the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics participation encompasses over 19 official sports, fundraising events, event committees, coaching opportunities, Young Athletes sports play programs and community initiatives – truly a spectrum of choices! So let’s get started!

Read more about our Volunteer Opportunities.

How to Get Involved as a Volunteer


2015 Plunge Photos


There are two easy ways you can sign up to be a volunteer with Special Olympics Illinois!

  1. Sign up as a general volunteer (you will only be contacted when we have volunteer positions open matching your interests or location). If you have any questions please contact Aubrey Deerwester.
  2. Look through our calendar of events and sign up now for an event in your area


Volunteers are the core of the Special Olympics program and we could not exist today without the time, energy, education and commitment of our volunteers. Special Olympics Illinois relies on people of all ages to help in every aspect of the program – both at the local and state level.

It’s pretty great when we can have fun and bring something as great as this to so many people who deserve it.  This was my second year and I’ll be back.
-Jerry Arntzen

Anyone 10 years or older can be a general Special Olympics volunteer and coaches must be at least 14 years of age or older. For more information about coaching, see the Coaches section of the website.

Volunteer Information

Once you sign up as a volunteer you will be a representative of Special Olympics Illinois and as such we ask that you read and follow our Volunteer Code of Conduct.

If you have additional questions on Special Olympics Illinois and volunteering please email Aubrey Deerwester, you can also contact her by phone at 309-888-2551 or 1-800-394-0562.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Transforming Lives


Camaraderie, Great Cause Motivate Lake County Sheriff's Team

This year, the Lake County Sheriff’s Plane Pullers team will be involved for its 7th year with the Special Olympics Illinois Plane Pull on Sept. 19 at O’Hare International Airport. The ...

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World Games Parent Thanks All Involved in Son's Success

By Stacie McManus, mother of Special Olympics athlete Jacob McManus I confess to have started writing this wrap up for World Games about 5 different times. Each time I find myself ...

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Mom of ‘Reach Up’ Star Breanna Bogucki Recounts LA2015 Experiences

By Mary Ellen Bogucki, mother of Special Olympics athlete Breanna Bogucki. This story originally appeared on SpecialChronicles.com.  Driving up to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena was surreal.  This suburban ...

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Jerry and Carol 4th 2015

Coaster Challenge Couple's Upbringing Prompts Desire to Give Back

On Sept. 27, Special Olympics Illinois will partner with Six Flags Great America for the 2nd Annual Coaster Challenge. So far, more than 301 participants have registered to participate on ...

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Alton Athlete Realizes Potential Through Special Olympics

Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. That is especially true of Matthew Maag (Matt), ...

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Opportunity of a Lifetime for Chicago Fire Unified Soccer All-Star Team

Earlier this month, the Chicago Fire Unified Soccer All-Star Team had the opportunity of a lifetime. What began with tryouts in April turned into an unforgettable experience for the athletes, ...

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Nelarusky 2015

9th Annual NELARUSKY Another Success

Celebrating the 9th year, NELARUSKY has become one of the premier launch parties for Chicago’s Lollapalooza.  Since its launch, the event, which is held at Metro in Chicago, has featured ...

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