Area 18 – North Suburban Cook

Area 18 was founded in 1982 and provides programming for people in the North and Northwest Suburbs of Cook County.

There are many opportunities available for you to get involved with Special Olympics including serving as a volunteer or committee member, helping with fundraising or competing as an athlete. If you live in the Area and want to find out more about the local program,  please contact the Area Director.

Download the Area Profile Sheet for more information

area18Area 18 Contact Info


Jordan Feldman – Area Director

Katelin Sheppard – Manager Sports

Kristen Wisniewski – Manager Business Development & Partnerships

103 Schelter Rd., Ste. 25
Lincolnshire, IL, 60069
Phone: 224-234-8635
Fax: 847-478-0982


Volunteer Today


Region D Basketball (High School Teams) @ IIT Keating Center
Jan 22 @ 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Region D Basketball (High School Teams) @ IIT Keating Center
Jan 23 @ 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Region D Basketball (High School Teams) @ IIT Keating Center
Jan 24 @ 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Region D Basketball Individual Skills (Jr / HS Skills South) @ KROC Center
Jan 25 @ 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Region F Alpine Skiing @ Snowstar
Jan 25 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Region D Basketball (Senior Teams) @ Quest Multi-Sport Complex
Jan 26 @ 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Region E Basketball (Sr) @ Joliet Park District
Jan 27 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Region E Basketball (Sr) @ Thornwood High School
Jan 27 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Region E Basketball (Sr) @ Richards High School
Jan 27 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Region G Basketball – Individual Skills @ Illinois Central College Cougar Plex Main Gym
Jan 27 @ 8:00 am
Region D Basketball (Junior Teams) @ University of Chicago: Henry Crown Fieldhouse
Jan 29 @ 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Region D Basketball Individual Skills (Jr / HS Skills Central) @ Quest Multi-Sport Complex
Jan 30 @ 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
LETR Kickoff Conference @ Doubletree Hotel
Feb 1 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Register Now

You Are Invited!

LETR_Mark_Illinois_ColorThe 2019 LETR Kickoff promises to be the best to date, providing a more interactive and exciting experience to all attendees.  A variety of sessions will be offered, covering topics from fundraising best practices, athlete engagement, working with individuals with disabilities, social media engagement, and much more!  This is also a unique opportunity to network with Torch Run officers throughout the state!  All law enforcement personnel are invited to attend. There is no registration fee and lunch will be provided.

Win a HD Smart TV!

Attend the Kickoff and be entered into a drawing for a HD Smart TV! Winner will be selected at the end of the conference and must be present to win.

Tentative Agenda

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Onsite Registration and Check In
10:00 a.m. – Flame of Hope & Welcome


Social Media Update
Special Olympics IL Global Messenger Speech
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Keynote Speaker
Special Olympics Illinois 50th Anniversary Recap
2019 LETR Overview & Resources
New LETR Merchandise Vendor
Law Enforcement, Athlete, and Family Testimonials
Flame of Hope and Top Fundraising Awards

Keynote Speaker

Check back soon for more information about this years’ Keynote Speaker!

Hospitality Suite

We will be hosting a hospitality suite in the Brookridge conference room at the Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center on Thursday, January 31st. This event is scheduled from 8 p.m. – midnight, so if you’re in town, please stop by!


65 rooms have been reserved for Thursday, Jan. 31st, at a special rate of $109 (plus tax). Reservations can be made by calling the Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center at 309-664-6446 and asking for a room in the Torch Run block. Rooms must be reserved by Jan. 10, 2019.

Register Now

LETR Kickoff Registration

  • Attendee Information

  • To register or order merchandise offline please complete your order in the LETR Webstore. (LINK) Merchandise orders placed after Wednesday, January 10 will not be completed in full at the Kickoff and would be mailed at a later date. Please Note: You may still register for the conference after the above date (Jan. 10).
  • Will this be the first time you are attending the LETR Kickoff Conference?
  • (please select "+" sign to add a row for each individual attending)
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Region D Basketball (Female Teams and Senior Skills) @ Northwestern Illinois University
Feb 2 @ 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Winter Games @ Chestnut Mountain
Feb 5 – Feb 7 all-day

What is Winter Games?

Winter Games is one of 9 state sports competitions. It is the culminating competition for those participating in Alpine Skiing and Snowshoeing. Winter Games is hosted at Chestnut Mountain in Galena, IL. Over 450 athletes will compete in this 3-day event and show off their winning form!


Competition is offered in Alpine Skiing and Snowshoeing. Athletes cannot participate in more than one sport.

Sports competition runs from Tuesday, Feb. 5, to Thursday, Feb. 7. The public is invited and encouraged to attend any and all parts of Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games.

Volunteer Opportunities

Please click on the buttons below to register to volunteer for this event.

Volunteer for Tuesday Volunteer for Wednesday Volunteer for Thursday

Tentative Competition Times

All times listed below are tentative and subject to change once event specific schedules are determined. Times only reflect actual competition times and do not include time frames for coach meetings, weigh-in times, etc. For a final schedule please check the Supporting Documents section close to competition day.

Alpine Skiing

  • Tuesday, 1:30pm Assessments
  • Wednesday, 9am – 4pm
  • Thursday, 9am – 4pm


  • Tuesday, Noon-4pm
  • Wednesday, 9:00am – 4pm
  • Thursday, 9:00am – Noon

Young Athletes

Young Athletes from around the state will enjoy participating in snowshoeing, socializing and so much more during the 2019 Winter Games.

Young Athletes have the opportunity to participate in the 50-meter and 100-meter snowshoe exhibition on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5 & 6! Participating in exhibition events is a great way to help Young Athletes transition to the traditional Special Olympics program! To take part in the transitional exhibitions Young Athletes must have a valid Medical Application. For more information, please email

Family Activities

Families are an integral part of Special Olympics Illinois and of Winter Games. Parents and family members attending Winter Games should stop by the Family Registration area, located on the lower level of Chestnut Mountain Resort to pick up their family packet and goody bag.

WG-OpeningCeremoniesFamilies are invited to take part in the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday evening in downtown Galena.  At 5:30 p.m., the Parade of Athletes will walk through downtown Galena and end up at the Post Office for the official Ceremony ending at 6 p.m. Dress appropriately for the weather – it is all outdoors.

Family members attending Winter Games will also be invited to the Eagle Ridge Reception from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa. Space is limited so pre-registration is required for attendance at this event. The dress is business casual. Light appetizers will be served and guests will enjoy presentations, socializing with other families, sponsors, volunteers, Board members and staff.

Family members are also invited to the Victory Dance at Chestnut Mountain or the Ramada from 7:30 – 9 p.m. Wednesday. The dance is typically a highlight for many of the athletes as they get to dance away the night!

Opening Ceremony

WG-TorchRunOpening Ceremony and the Parade of Athletes will be in downtown Galena beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Line-up will begin at 5:15 p.m. on Green Street near the historic Post Office building. Agencies will line up behind their Region flag. The parade will progress through the downtown area and back to the Post Office area where Opening Ceremony will be held. Finally, to top off the Ceremony, Law Enforcement Torch Run officers will hand off the torch to athletes who will carry it along its path and light the cauldron holding the Flame of Hope to kick off the Games! Please dress appropriately for the weather – it is all outdoors.

A fireworks display will take place at the end of the Opening Ceremony.  An announcement will be made to allow time for those that want to leave before the fireworks display begins.

Dinner Downtown

After the Opening Ceremony, agencies will be escorted to local restaurants for dinner. Please check your agency’s registration packet for more detailed information.WG-Dinner

Winter Games Reception

The Winter Games Reception will be at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Space is limited, please RSVP to Emily Merkle ( by Jan. 25.. The dress is business casual. Light appetizers will be served and guests will enjoy presentations, socializing with other families, sponsors, volunteers, Board members and staff.

Victory Dance

The Victory Dance will be from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Chestnut Mountain and Crossroads Community Church. The dance gives the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois a chance to celebrate their accomplishments and to socialize with others from around the state. Old friends will catch up and new friends will be made. The smiles and joy of the athletes are a testament to how Special Olympics Illinois helps transform lives.


Souvenir items will be sold from 10am-4pm on Tuesday and 8am-4pm on Wednesday.  Items range from $1 to $55 and will include clothing and other traditional souvenir items.  Winter Games specific items will be sold.  Cash and most major credit cards are accepted.  CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.  Souvenir items are offered by Minerva Promotions and a percentage of sales are given to Special Olympics Illinois.

You can save time and pre-order items and pick them up on-site.  Customization is offered for both pre-order and on-site sales.  Please go to to view items and submit your preorder.

Click here Interactive Winter Games Souvenir Flyer to pre-order your Winter Games gear!


In case of inclement weather, schedule changes or cancellations check the website here for updates. You can also call 309-888-2000 Ext. 245

For Winter Games updates during the event, text “Winter” to 77453.

View the Visit Galena site for information on lodging and activities in Galena.

Supporting Documents

Winter Games Family Information

2019 Winter Games Event Handbook Memo

2019 Winter Games Event Handbook

2019 Winter Games Agency Listing

2019 Winter Games Tentative Schedule

2019 Winter Games Activities & Families Information

2019 Winter Games Menu

2019 Winter Games Awards Locations

Alpine Information

Snowshoe Course Map

Interactive Winter Games Souvenir Flyer

2019 Winter Games Memo

Winter Games Lodging Information 2019


First Look for Charity @ McCormick Place
Feb 8 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
First Look for Charity @ McCormick Place | Chicago | Illinois | United States

The First Look for Charity is the nation’s largest auto show and a formal gala benefiting Special Olympics and 17 other vital charities in the Chicagoland area. Now in its 28th year, the First Look offers complimentary hors-d’oeuvres, champagne, wine, soft drinks and desserts all on the show floor. Guests will also enjoy live music and have the chance to win one of two brand new 2018 vehicles. The Special Olympics Illinois hospitality suite will be open all evening beginning at 6:00 pm and will be themed as a Soiree, enjoy the open bar, hors-d’oeuvres and complimentary coat check. Remember – this is a tax-deductible contribution.



Region E Swimming Time Trials @ Stagg HS
Feb 9 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Region H Basketball (Sr) and Skills @ Illinois College - Bruner Fitness Center
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am – 8:15 am
Region J Basketball Skills @ Wesclin High School
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am
YPB Bingo @ Happy Camper
Feb 10 @ 12:00 pm

Try to arrive by noon .. Happy Camper gets crowded. Bingo will begin at 1:30pm

Region K MATP @ Brownsville School
Feb 13 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm



Area 18 Sponsors