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!


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.

How to Get Involved as a Volunteer

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

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

Inspire Greatness Gala to Feature Junior High Student’s Story

Inspire Greatness Gala to Feature Junior High Student's Story

Meet Deming Fanslau, the featured athlete at the 2014 Inspire Greatness Gala. In addition to being a Special Olympics athlete, Deming is a Global Messenger and member of the Project UNIFY Youth Activation ...

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Athlete’s Family Caps Her Outstanding Year with Brick Purchase

Athlete's Family Caps Her Outstanding Year with Brick Purchase

Athlete Taylor Reidel, 24, of Normal, has had quite a year with Special Olympics and one that she will never forget. Taylor competed in athletics at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in ...

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Longtime Volunteer Instrumental in Success of Special Olympics Golf

Longtime Volunteer Instrumental in Success of Special Olympics Golf

Longtime Special Olympics Illinois volunteer Bob Gavelek is retiring on Oct. 31 from his career as a golf pro. Gavelek has been supporting and working closely with Special Olympics Illinois Far Western Suburban/Area 2 ...

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Daniel Johnson enjoys CAMP with counselors Christina and Lily

Athlete's Involvement in Special Olympics Gives Him, Family Opportunities

Daniel Johnson, 13, of Normal has been involved with Special Olympics since he was in third grade. He competes in basketball individual skills competition and athletics (50-meter run and tennis ball throw) through ...

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Zinyra Ross introduces Gov. Pat Quinn at the Brookfield Zoo

Global Messenger Introduces Gov. Quinn at Brookfield Zoo Announcement

Special Olympics athlete and Global Messenger Zinyra Ross of Aurora introduced Gov. Pat Quinn at a Brookfield Zoo press conference recently where he announced a $1 million investment for improvements designed for adults ...

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Unified Golf a Great Fit for Twins, Allows Them to Compete in Sports Together

Unified Golf a Great Fit for Twins, Allows Them to Compete in Sports Together

About 3 years ago, Kristi and Bryan Schache of Dunlap were looking for a sports activity that their then 8-year-old twin sons Joshua and Jonathan could do together. Traditional sports programs were not ...

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