2016 SOILL Outstanding Athlete of the Year

Charles Dunn of Belleville has been named the 2016 Special Olympics Illinois’ Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award. He was honored at a reception June 10 before the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games Opening Ceremony at Illinois State University in Normal.

The Outstanding Athlete Award recognizes a Special Olympics Illinois athlete whose achievements, dedication and commitment to their team and themselves exemplifies the purpose of Special Olympics.

Charles Dunn - CopyCharles has been involved with Special Olympics over the past 10 years. He competes in basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, softball, snowshoeing and track and field through the Southern Illinois Grasshoppers. He also volunteers and serves on committees for Special Olympics to make competitions and fundraisers a success.

Charles has been a crucial part of Special Olympics and is known throughout the community as a diplomat for the organization. Through his contributions, he has helped raise more than $75,000 benefiting Special Olympics Illinois Southwestern Area 12. He brings energy, enthusiasm and dedication to competing and volunteering.

Throughout his time with Special Olympics, Charles has inspired other athletes and coaches to get involved and make a difference in the lives of individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. His nominator said, “Over the past three years, I have had the privilege and honor to get to know Charles as a competitor, Global Messenger, Special Olympics ambassador and most importantly friend.”

Charles’ leadership and dedication to Special Olympics explains why Charles is honored as Athlete of the Year. He is always looking for opportunities to help and contribute to the organization.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and completion in 19 sports for more than 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 20,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills, and encourage family and community support. If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562.