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



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


Miss Quincy's Advocacy Platform Near and Dear to Her Heart

Montanna Neisen, 20, was named Miss Quincy 2015 in March and since then she taken the  opportunity to make a difference and advocate for Special Olympics. Montanna knows the importance ...

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Longtime Area 2 Director Sandy Hutchins Retires

When Sandy Hutchins became an Area Director for Special Olympics, her Area office was one of only 3 in Illinois. A lot of has changed in the last 41 years ...

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Father and Son Team Contribute to Darling Ducklings Sales

Last year, the Darling Ducklings sold a record setting 11,000 duck adoptions for the Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby. This team, comprised of Special Olympics Illinois athletes from across the ...

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Coaster Challenge Offers Exclusive Ride Time, Miles of Fun

Last year Special Olympics Illinois debuted a brand new fundraiser called the Coaster Challenge. The inaugural Coaster Challenge included more than 200 registered participants who raised $50,000. One of last year’s ...

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Photo by Rich Howe

American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary Feed Thousands During Summer Games

Tens of thousands of visitors flock to the Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan campuses in Bloomington-Normal each June for the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games. Nearly 2,500 are volunteers ...

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Dancing With (Dis)Ability - For Sam Dancer, CrossFit QTown It's All About Giving Back

By Brittney Saline. Reposted with permission of The Box Sam Dancer held his breath as he watched his athlete, James, wrap his thumbs around the 45-pound barbell, settling into a partial squat. ...

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Lincolnway SRA Athlete Retires After 15 Years Competing in Pentathlon

Athlete Plans to Switch Attention to Coaching On Sunday, June 14, Michelle Kendall competed in the pentathlon and 4x400-meter relay at Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games, earning gold medals in both events, ...

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