Area News – August 2015

Chicago/Area 3


Celebrating the 9th year, NELARUSKY has become one of the premier launch parties for Chicago’s Lollapalooza.  Since its launch, the event, which is held at Metro in Chicago, has featured bands including Imagine Dragons, Icona Pop and Alabama Shakes.

Nelarusky 2015
NELARUSKY organizer Lauren McClusky presented a check to Special Olympics Illinois

On July 29, Nelarusky 9 didn’t disappoint fans at the sold-out concert. Bands Young Buffalo and John Splithoff entertained more than 900 audience members before headliner Toro y Moi took the stage.

Event organizer Lauren McClusky invited Special Olympics Illinois athletes, Barbara Kozdron and Christine Maxwell to join her on stage and introduced them to the audience before she announced the amount of the donation. The proceeds of Nelarusky is $25,000 and will once again be shared with Special Olympics Illinois. Read More

Heartland/Area 6

Holiday Dinner & Auction

Mark your calendars now for the Heartland/Area 6 Holiday Dinner and Auction on Nov. 12. It’s a fun evening out with friends and family to support a great cause. Enjoy delicious food  along with a cash bar and live musical entertainment at the DoubleTree Hotel & Conference Center in Bloomington. You can also start your Christmas shopping by taking part in the live and silent auction. Tickets can be purchased online for $65 per person or purchase a table (10 tickets) for $600 and bring your family and friends.

For more information, please contact Area Director Jill Bertelsen at 309-888-2012.

Southwestern/Area 12

Alton Athlete Realizes Potential Through Special Olympics

Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. That is especially true of Matthew Maag (Matt), 18, of Alton. Since his start with Special Olympics in the fall of 2011 with Alton School District, Matt has surpassed all expectations that his family, coaches and friends could ever have for him.

Matt Maag was named
Matt Maag was named

Matt’s start in his career with Special Olympics came at just the right time. As a high school freshman, he faced some challenges at school from bullying and low self-esteem, said his mother, Lisa Maag. Then Matt was approached by coach Tammy Talbert to get involved with Special Olympics. Starting with track and field, Matt now also competes in bowling, basketball and aquatics.

His swimming career has blossomed into more than he could have ever hoped for. In addition to swimming on the Alton High School team, Matt has joined begun swimming with the Tri City Tidalwaves, a year-round community competitive swim team affiliated with the Tri City YMCA in Granite City.

Family members have been amazed by the transformation they have seen in Matt. Read More

Area 15

Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash

The Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash at the DuQuoin State Fair is a signature fundraising event for Special Olympics Illinois. On Sept. 6, thousands of spectators will watch 5,000 ducks splash into the lake behind the Exhibition Hall on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds and race towards the finish line. Race Day kicks off at 11 a.m. behind the Expo Hall with entertainment for the entire family – live music, face painting, games, and an appearance by Splash, the Duck Mascot.

Southern IL Ducky Art_3You can adopt a duck for only $5. Get more chances to win by purchasing a Quack Pack (6 ducks for $25), Flock of Ducks (24 ducks for $100) or Ducky Derby Donor package (60 ducks for $250)!

You could be the winner of one of our great prizes including a three-day all-inclusive Apple Vacation or a tickets to the 2016 XFINITY Series Race at the Chicagoland Speedway!

Sales teams are forming now. Put together a group of friends, colleagues or family members to join the fun. Teams compete for bragging rights and great prizes. To form a sales team, click here. For more information on starting a team or to volunteer, contact Paul Melzer at  618-457-2969.