Area News – February 2016


Area 3

Chicago’s Business Community is “Unified” with SOILL

CCC 2016 Champs Res LifeOn Feb. 5, an impressive group of professionals from the Chicago area who are typically busy with putting together work teams and business deals were challenged to try a whole new brand of collaboration with Unified Sports® and Special Olympics Illinois.

Several hundred employees from Capital One, Accenture, Deloitte, Resolution Life and Baxter came together for the inaugural Chicago Corporate Cup basketball tournament sponsored by the CapAbilities Network within Capital One®.

“Our hope with this event is that we can introduce the concept of Unified Sports to a much larger population and provide more and more opportunities for authentic inclusive experiences to local Special Olympics athletes and members of the Chicago corporate community,” said Morris Taylor, Vice President of Technology for Capital One. Read More

BCBS Employee Knits Bond With Winter Games Athletes

Thanks to a thoughtful group of knitters, many Winter Games athletes found warmth and comfort on top of Chestnut Mountain in Galena this year.

Andrea Whitmore models a scarf with SOILL's Jacquelin Kogut.

Andrea Whitmore models a scarf with SOILL’s Jacquelin Kogut.

Andrea Whitmore met Special Olympics Illinois staff members at a Blue Cross Blue Shield volunteer event where a number of organizations present their purpose and mission and share opportunities where BCBS members can get involved.

In her spare time, Whitmore is the Vice President of the Knitters of the Dunes, a knitting guild in Indiana where she resides. Special Olympics is one of the organizations supported by that guild.

Whitmore and her fellow Knitters of the Dunes made several red and white scarves, that were distributed to athletes at Winter Games through a raffle at the Families Table. Read More

Area 6

Area 6 Newsletter

Get the latest news on Heartland/Area 6 by reading the February Area newsletter.

Area 9

Undefeated Mattoon/Charleston Hornets Win District Championship

The Mattoon/Charleston Hornets basketball team was unsure of what to expect when arriving at the Special Olympics Illinois District H Basketball competition on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Wesclin Matton-CharlestonHornets1High School in Trenton. Even though the team entered the competition with a 7-0 game winning streak, the Hornets had just started their team in November and they had no past experience at a District basketball competition.

It soon became clear that the Hornets were the underdogs of the Division 3 bracket, facing seasoned teams like the Mt. Vernon Mavericks, Alton Redbirds and Phoenix Chargers of Belleville, the reigning Division 3 State Champions at the 2015 Special Olympics Illinois State Basketball competition. Undeterred by these odds, Hornets’ coaches Brad Duncan and Jeff Raboin quickly started scouting the competition and developing a coaching strategy that would hopefully help the Hornets to victory. Read more

Area 11

Tim’s Place Owner Visits Quincy

Special Olympics athletes in SOILL West Central/Area 11 got the chance to meet Tim Harris (top photo), owner of Tim’s Place Restaurant in Albuquerque, N.M., at Breakfast with the Champions and the 5th Annual Rhinestones and Rodeo fundraiser on Feb. 13 in Quincy.

Harris, who has Down syndrome, has given out more than 70,000 hugs at his restaurant. He serves up breakfast, lunch and hugs at the self-described “World’s Friendliest Restaurant.”

Special Olympics athlete Christine Maxwell (bottom photo) of Heroic Fitness and North Suburban Cook/Area 18 also spoke at the Breakfast.

Thanks to Down Country, a rural awareness and education initiative,  for inviting us!


Area 17

Area 17 Newsletter

Get the latest news on Sangamon/Area 17 by reading the February Area newsletter.