SOILL Partners With Windy City Smokeout
Windy City Smokeout welcomed more than 40,000 guests to the festival held in Chicago on July 15 – 17. Hosted by Chicago’s favorite BBQ restaurant, Bub City, and ACM award-winning Joe’s Bar, Special Olympics Illinois shared almost 275 volunteers for the event.
Attendees tasted offerings from some of the best BBQ talent and craft breweries from around the nation. But the highlight for most, was enjoying some of country music’s biggest names. Old Dominion, Billy Currington, Big & Rich, Chase Rice and Maren Morris were among the performers at the weekend festival.
Again festival organizers reached out to Special Olympics Illinois for volunteers. Recognizing that Special Olympics Illinois works with enthusiastic, dependable and hard-working volunteers, this was the third year of the volunteer partnership.
Bub City and Joe’s Bar placed tip jars throughout the festival announcing that all tips would be donated to Special Olympics Illinois. Volunteers each received a restaurant gift card and festival organizers also shared gift cards valued at more than $12,000 to Special Olympics Illinois.
“Windy City Smokeout is the absolute highlight of the summer for anyone who loves BBQ, craft beer or country music,” said Kathy McLaughin, SOILL Director of Development. “The festival is so fun and so friendly for everyone who attends. And the weather couldn’t have been more cooperative. We are so grateful for the relationship with Bub City and Joe’s Bar. But none of this would be possible without the continued awesome of Special Olympics Illinois volunteers!”
Young Professional Board Hosts Beach Volleyball Tournament
Sunshine, volleyball, friends and Special Olympics Illinois – hard to resist!
The Special Olympics Illinois Young Professionals Board (YPB) was created in 2005 to raise funds for the Chicago program of Special Olympics Illinois. The board, which includes more than 100 members, meets monthly to discuss and plan opportunities and to host fundraising events.
Mark Oles, member of the YPB Executive Committee has organized YPB Beach Volleyball which will be held on Aug. 13 at Montrose Beach in Chicago. “The purpose is to raise funds to support Chicago athletes, but we always look for a fun way to do it. We are excited to host a beach volleyball event and hoping for a great turnout and great weather.”
Teams or individuals should register online for the co-ed 4-a-side tournament.
Key Volunteers – We Couldn’t Do It Without You!
SOILL Chicago/Area 3 would like to send a special thank you to three of our Key Volunteers who have dedicated their time and talents to the program this year. “These volunteers add so much value to both our office and Area 3 program,” said Jacquelin Kogut-Marks, Manager of Sports, Training & Education for Area 3. “We can’t express enough how grateful we are for their time, passion and endless support. We are truly thankful for all that Maureen, Mari and Ian have done for us and the athletes of Area 3.”
- Maureen Hunt – Maureen has been volunteering with the Area 3 office for many years. She has helped us prep for just about every event we do. We are able to hand her a project and know that it will get done. She has a fantastic attitude and no job is too small for her. In years past, she has created brackets for basketball and tennis, she was a major component of running our tennis skills event a few years ago, she has volunteered at Winter Games for many years and has volunteered at several Area Spring Games. This
year, she was instrumental in getting our office ready for Spring Games and was on-site for Opening Ceremonies and 4 days of Spring Games competition. She even brought friends to volunteer at our Spring Games this year. Maureen has become not only a volunteer, but a friend we can rely on.
- Ian Pearlstein – Ian joined the Area 3 volunteer family in the Spring. He jumped right in, coming in to our office helping us keep on top of filing, paperwork for the various events we had going at the same time and helping us prep for MATP and gymnastics. He was so committed, he came in after an ankle injury in a boot, and came to most of the Spring Games competition days in the last phase of his ankle recovery. He also volunteered at Summer Games this year. At the end of the summer, Ian is heading to Pennsylvania to pursue a law degree. We are sad he’s leaving us, but are hopeful Special Olympics Pennsylvania will gain a new key volunteer!
- Mari Moore – Mari reached out to our office seeking an internship for college credit. She knew she was going to have free time over the summer and wanted to learn about Special Olympics in a more structured way than just volunteering. She joined our team at the start of summer and has been put to work helping prep for our inaugural Young Athletes culminating events and our softball, tennis and golf events. She’s been a great addition to the team and we will be sorry to see her head back to college in the fall.
Area Special Olympics Athletes Honored at Sports Banquet
The Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission hosted the 9th annual State Farm Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet on June 21 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Bloomington.
The banquet recognized outstanding scholar athletes, coaches, teams, and others in McLean County for their achievements on and off the field. The banquet featured a speech by Special Olympics Illinois Global Messenger Drew White.
Awards given include Special Olympics Female and Male Athlete of the Year. This year’s finalists were:
Special Olympics Female Athlete of the Year Finalists:
- Bailey Keiser – Normal West
- Ally Davis – Olympia
- Mackenzie Carlson – Normal West
Special Olympics Male Athlete of the Year Finalists:
- Jamey McCabe – Olympia
- Brady Sutton – Tri-Valley
- Aaron Stuckey – Tri-Valley
“Sing” Your Heart Out at Lip Sync Battle
Special Olympics Illinois Heartland/Area 6 and the Law Enforcement Torch Run are hosting a Lip Sync Battle on Aug. 11. This inaugural event will feature Central Illinois celebrities who will “sing” their hearts out against other local celebrities to raise money and awareness for our Area 6 athletes and their families.
Lip Sync contestants will perform to one of their favorite songs for the audience, who will in turn vote for their favorite acts with a donation. They are encouraged to wear costumes and can invite friends or family to be their backup singers/dancers! In addition, Best Costume and “Keep Your Day Job” awards will be presented.
The Lip Sync Battle will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 11 at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard. The Vineyard will be selling its wine and beer selections throughout the evening. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased online.
Athlete Raises the Bar as Restaurant’s Manager for a Day
For many high school seniors and juniors, the thoughts of “what comes after high school?” occur often, and Jimmy Peterlich of Charleston High School is no different from his peers in that he too is considering his future endeavors. At his home, Jimmy often would create and write restaurant menus, which steadily grew to a passion for owning and managing a restaurant someday. Thanks to his family and some legislative support, Jimmy’s dream of learning restaurant management and working with customers was more of a reality on his horizon than expected.
In April, Jimmy and several other Global Messengers and Family Ambassadors attended the Special Olympics Illinois Capitol Day in Springfield to help raise awareness for individuals with special needs and their abilities to thrive, make friendships, be involved with their communities, learn sports, and compete like other athletes. Jimmy, a gold medal winner in basketball, athletics (track & field) and bowling, has been serving as a liaison and Global Messenger for SOILL since his early childhood.
While at the State Capital in Springfield, Jimmy and his mother, Colleen Peterlich, met with Illinois State Sen. Dale Righter and Rep. Reggie Phillips and expressed his passion to own and operate a restaurant someday. Hearing Jimmy’s passion and drive for his future endeavors, Rep. Phillips, a restaurant owner in the Charleston area, offered Jimmy a “Manager for a Day” experience to better understand the intricacies of restaurant management. Read More
Crystal Lake Road Sign Recognizes Athlete’s Achievements
The City of Crystal Lake has recognized Brent Kampert, Special Olympics Illinois athlete and Global Messenger, for his athletic achievement in Special Olympics.
Brent competed in the 2016 Special Olympics Illinois State Summer Games where he took first place in both the long jump and 100-meter run.
The City Council adopted a resolution at their meeting on June 21 to honor Brent stating, “The City of Crystal Lake is proud and honored to have a resident like Brent represent the City in athletic competitions across the State.”
Crystal Lake, like many cities, offers a Championship Signs Program that recognizes individuals or teams from the community who have won State championships. They awarded Brent with several signs placed around Central High School where he graduated high school and along Route 14 throughout Crystal Lake. These signs will be up for one year.
Congratulations to Brent Kampert on his accomplishments! Thank you to Crystal Lake for supporting Special Olympics Illinois.