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

Alex Kallenbach with Don Vock, coach for the Rockford Red Hots

Special Olympics Helps Rockford Athlete Learn to Change and Adapt

Alex Kallenbach, 29, of Rockford, has Fragile X Syndrome and change makes him uncomfortable. However, since getting involved with Special Olympics in high school, “his ability to deal with change has improved steadily,” ...

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We All Need to Connect

We All Need to Connect

By Angela Kallenbach of Rockford, mother of athlete Alex Kallenbach Let me preface this with a quote I once heard, "In this world, we all need to connect." Our son, Alex, was on sensory overload ...

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Darling Ducklings Busy Selling Adoptions for Derby

Darling Ducklings Busy Selling Adoptions for Derby

Last year, the Darling Ducklings Sales Team was a force to be reckoned with. This group of 33 athletes, led by Special Olympics Illinois staff member Leona Brescher, sold almost 6,500 ducks which ...

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L-R: Tricia Brawley,

Trio Develops Friendship Through Volunteering

Special Olympics creates strong friendships between athletes, volunteers and families. That’s true for volunteers Sarah Moss, 27, of Wood Dale; Tricia Brawley, 22, of Arlington Heights; and Vicky Plikas, 32, of Mount Prospect. Even ...

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USA Games Athlete, Trainer Develop Friendship in the Gym

USA Games Athlete, Trainer Develop Friendship in the Gym

Brent Kampert was one of the 52 athletes Special Olympics Illinois who competed in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey in June. He won a silver medal in the 100-meter ...

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Rams’ Johnny Hekker Attends Summer Games

Rams' Johnny Hekker Attends Summer Games

St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker made a special trip to Normal on June 13 for the 2014 Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games. Hekker spent the day cheering on the athletes competing in soccer ...

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