Archive Stories

Outdoor Sports Festival


Softball at Outdoor Sports Festival has been cancelled due to rain and unplayable field conditions. Golf is currently still running.

WHEN: September 7, 2019-September 8 2019
WHERE: Rotary Park & Hickory Point Golf Course Decatur, IL, USA
CONTACT: Nate Henry 309-888-2574 EMAIL


What is Outdoor Sports Festival?

Outdoor Sports Festival is one of 9 state sports competitions. It is the final competition for those participating in Softball and Golf. Young Athletes will have the opportunity to participate in both softball skills and golf skills. Over 600 athletes compete over this weekend and bring the joy of sport to Decatur.


SITE: Rotary Park & Hickory Point Golf Course, Decatur, IL

  • Softball –  Rotary Park
  • Golf – Hickory Point Golf Course
  • Young Athletes – Rotary Park / Hickory Point Golf Course

Volunteer Opportunities

Special Olympics Illinois needs your help as a volunteer for our Outdoor Sports Festival in Decatur. We are looking for volunteers to help at the Golf and Softball venues on Saturday and Sunday. If you are interested in volunteering click on one of the links below for the date and venue you want to register for and you can sign up online. If you want to register for more then one shift, then once you are logged into our system you can pick the next date and venue from the drop down menu.

Volunteer Saturday - Golf    Volunteer Saturday - Softball

Volunteer Sunday - Golf           Volunteer Sunday - Softball


Softball & Softball Skills

Softball teams come together from throughout the state for their final games at the Outdoor Sports Festival. All the teams have worked hard to get here, competing in numerous games throughout the year. In order to advance to the Outdoor Sports Festival teams must win gold at their District Competition. Come on out and cheer them on to victory!

Individual Skills competition will also be offered where individuals will demonstrate their skills in base running, throwing, fielding and hitting. They will be competing against others within divisions for the best scores.

Athletes may compete in Individual Skills competition or Team competition, not both.


Swing into the game with golf at the Outdoor Sports Festival. This represents the final tournament for our golfers as they show off their love of the game and demonstrate the skills they have developed. Athletes may compete in Individual Skills Competition, 3-Hole Competition, 6-Hole Competition or 9-Hole Competition. Athletes may choose 1 event. Athletes/Partners competing in Unified Golf may only compete in Unified Competition.

OSF Golf 1Competitors are expected to walk during the competition. Request for use of a power cart must be made to the Director of Sports and Competition at the time of the entry deadline. Requests will be handled on an individual basis and proof of medical need will be required from a doctor. Unapproved cart usage will result in disqualification.

Individual Skills athletes will be showing off their Golf skills in short & long putt, chip shot, pitch shot and iron & wood shot. They will be competing against others within divisions for the best scores.

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.


  • Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
  • Sunday, 8am – 3:30pm


  • Saturday, 9am-4pm
  • Sunday, 9am-12pm

Golf Live Scoring Links

Young Athletes

Young Athletes aged 6 and 7 will be invited to participate and showcase their talent in Decatur!  Young Athletes will have the opportunity to participate in Softball Individual Skills and for the first time Golf Individual Skills.

Opening Ceremony

OSF OC 2The Opening Ceremony is always one of the highlights of any Special Olympics Games and the tradition holds steady at the Outdoor Sports Festival. The Opening Ceremony will be held in Central Park in downtown Decatur. There will be entertainment followed by the grand entrance of the Torch Run and lighting of the cauldron. After the Opening Ceremony, athletes and coaches will parade in a stately march  to the Decatur Civic Center where dinner will be served.

Teams will be able to drop off athletes at Central Park then park at the Civic Center. Drop off begins at 5:45pm and the Opening Ceremony will begin at 6:15pm.


Souvenir information coming soon!


Stop by the family registration area at either of the competition venues to receive you event packet and a raffle ticket for the FREE Raffle. Don’t forget to wear your credentials.  Hours are as follows:OSF Awards


  • 8:30am – 4:00pm      Saturday
  • 8:00am – 11:00am     Sunday


  • 8:30am – 2:00pm      Saturday


Victory Dance

Let’s dance! The dance will take place at the Decatur Civic Center after dinner on Saturday, September 7 from 8-9 pm. There will be a DJ to play music and plenty of room to dance or sit as needed. Souvenir items can also be purchased at the dance, so make sure to stop by and pick up your OSF memorabilia before it’s gone!


In case of inclement weather, schedule changes or cancellations check the website here for updates. You can also subscribe to our text alert system by texting “Outdoor” to 77453.


Supporting Documents

Jacob Dobson – 2019 Ducky Derby Dash Ambassador


Saline County-Resident and Special Olympics Illinois athlete – Jacob Dobson will serve as the 2019 Duck Derby Dash Ambassador at the 5th Annual Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash. The Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash takes place at the Du Quoin State Fair on Sunday, Sept. 1.

This summer Jacob is spreading the word about the Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash and on race day, he will hold up the winning duck for thousands of spectators to see.

Jacob is 23 years old and has been involved in Special Olympics since he was 5. He started with track & field, bocce, and bowling. While attending Brownsville School, Jacob played on the school’s volleyball and basketball team. He graduated Brownsville School and is now competing with the Saline County Superstars Young Adult team.

Through Special Olympics, Jacob has learned that having a positive attitude is more important than winning. In his free time, Jacob supports local school sports teams and attends many local ballgames. He will always be an advocate for good sportsmanship. Jacob has made an effort to pass on that mindset to everyone he meets.

Jacob is also an active member of his Ditney Ridge Church. He has been attending this church for many years and helps with the youth programs. This will be Jacob’s 3rd year involved in the Southern Illinois Duck Derby. He loves setting up his sales booth at the local Wal-Mart and engaging with customers to explain the Ducky Derby Dash and Special Olympics.

Race Day kicks off at 1:00 pm with a parade. At 3:00 pm, the ducks will splash into the lake behind the Expo Hall at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Following the duck race, will be entertainment for the entire family – live music, face painting, games, and an appearance by Splash Duck the mascot. Come out to help us reach our goal of adopting 11,000 rubber ducks.

Adopt a rubber duck for $5 for a chance to win one of the Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash’s great prizes. Ducks are available for adoption online at and every day of the DuQuoin State Fair from Aug. 23 – Sep 1. Join the conversation on social media by using #SIDuckyDerby.


SWAGTRON Custom-Designed Electric Bikes Signed by Cubs Manager Joe Maddon



On Friday, March 15, we were part of an exclusive charity event held at the Wrigley Mansion in Arizona, hosted by Chicago Cubs manager, Joe Maddon. This event featured live music, great stories and a charity auction benefiting the Special Olympics (Arizona and Illinois) and Maddon’s own Respect 90 Foundation.


But Maddon brought more than his charm, wit and funny stories with him to the event. He also brought with him one of the more exciting auction items of the night — a custom-designed SWAGCYCLE PRO Electric Bike from SWAGTRON®! But this wasn’t an ordinary SWAGCYCLE PRO. It was a special edition, custom designed and signed by Maddon himself.


SWAGTRON is a brand leader in the micro-mobility rideable industry and has been working with Maddon and the Chicago Cubs. In fact, SWAGTRON® was recently named the official hoverboard, eBike and electric scooter brand of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field.



“We’re honored to work with Coach Joe Maddon of a world-class organization like the Chicago Cubs in supporting the life-changing work of the Special Olympics,” says Jason Wakefield, SWAGTRON CMO. “It’s difficult to put into words how important and empowering it is to be able to help so many people realize their athletic potential.”


A big part of SWAGTRON’s mission is helping us live our very best #ElectricLife, where we are encouraged to explore, stay energized for the ride and engage with the world around us. And they’re no stranger to working with charitable organizations. Most recently, SWAGTRON® and Cubs Charity joined forces for the “Giving Is Electric” campaign.


Watch SWAGTRON® + Cubs Charity’s “Giving is Electric” video


Check out some of their other products, including off-road hoverboards, kids scooters and commuter solutions. But one of their main products that have caught our eye is their Swagger 5 Elite electric scooter  You’ve probably seen rental e-scooters out and about — usually in various states of disrepair — but SWAGTRON provides an affordable option for those of us who have asked the question, “Why rent when I can own?”


We’re getting smarter about how we get around town. And electric scooters are the next logical step stage in our “micro-mobility” needs. More than that, though, they’re a fun way to get around town without adding to traffic congestion and pollution.

And maybe we can even talk SWAGTRON into donating a couple Swagger 5 Elites to our next auction as well!


Use Coupon Code OLYMPIAN5 for 10% OFF Swagger 5 Elite Electric Scooter at Amazon.



The SWAGCYCLE PRO is the ultimate all-electric, pedal-free riding experience. Featuring a strong, foldable frame and air-filled tires, this eBike packs enough power for quick errands, daily commutes and weekend adventures. With an iOS/Android compatible companion app and USB charging port, you be able to stay connected while riding. These custom designed SWAGCYCLE PRO electric bikes are like no other ebikes out there. They’re the only ones signed by Chicago Cubs manager and legend Joe Maddon.



Chosen as the official electric scooter of the Chicago Cubs, the Swagger 5 Elite is their flagship eScooter. It’s great for casual adventurers, but absolutely essential for campus cruisers and urban commuters. Robust motor. Efficient battery. Ultra-responsive brakes. Getting from A to B couldn’t get more fun than with a Swagger 5. Renting is for rookies. It’s time to step up to the major league!



SWAGTRON has evolved as the forefront brand in electric rideables, from hoverboards to electric bikes, and leaders in the micro-mobility space. SWAGTRON was celebrated for being one of the first brands of electric rideables on the scene to offer UL certification for electrical and charging safety. SWAGTRON continues to expand and improve its line of innovative rideable products to help you live that #ElectricLife. For more information, visit


Get social with SWAGTRON by visiting @SwagtronUSA on Facebook and Twitter, @SwagtronOfficial on Instagram, or visit their website: And don’t forget to live your best #ElectricLife!


Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster


Photo by @WillByington

On July 20th, before a packed crowd at the Park West Theater in Chicago, former Chicago Cubs All Star Pitcher Ryan Dempster hosted an inaugural unified performance of Off The Mound – a live, late evening talk show that featured Chicago Cubs Superstar Anthony Rizzo, former Chicago Cubs outfielder Moises Alou, Chicago Blackhawks legends Jeremy Roenick & Chris Chelios, Chicago comedian Jeff Garlin and our very own Special Olympics International Global Messenger, Daniel Smrokowski.


The evening was as entertaining as it was inspiring, celebrating the different abilities we all have and the power of inclusion. The night was highlighted by Daniel Smrokowski guest hosting and interviewing Ryan, along with a show stunning karaoke performance to close out the show by Ryan, Jeremey Roenick and Anthony Rizzo! To see more please visit the SOILL Flickr page.


Thank you to everyone who joined the show and our wonderful sponsors and supporters: The Chicago Cubs, Sloan Valve Company, Tito’s Vodka, The  Chicago Federation of Labor, Rizzo’s Bar & Inn, Sugar Factory, Prestige Exotic Cars, Jenny & P. Jay Fortner, Jim Corrigan & Stack Family Foundation, The Knights of Columbus, Tom Murray, and Karen Atwood.


Last, but not least, a huge thank you to Ryan Dempster, one of the most kind and authentic people around. His steadfast commitment to a more inclusive world is amazing and we warmly welcome him to the Special Olympics Illinois family!

Sears Centre Truck Convoy


August 17, 2019 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sears Centre
5333 Prairie Stone Parkway
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192
 Katie Risley

Register Today!

Register Today for the Sears Convoy!

What is the Truck Convoy?

The Truck Convoy is a fundraising and awareness event that creates a unique partnership between law enforcement and the trucking industry to raise funds for Special Olympics so athletes  can continue to train in year-round sports activities. Officers involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics have made the Truck Convoy one of their many annual signature events in Illinois. Test

Please contact Katie Risley for more information.

Sears Centre Truck Convoy Information

The Sears Centre Truck Convoy is a fundraising and awareness event that creates a unique partnership between Law Enforcement and truckers to raise funds for Special Olympics Illinois.

All trucks must check in between 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. at the Sears Centre (5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy) in Hoffman Estates.  An on- site live bid for the Lead Truck placement will start at 9:45 a.m.  The Convoy leaves at 10:00 a.m. and law enforcement Officers will escort the Convoy approximately 30 miles along Route 59/90 West to I- 90 and Route 47.

Special Olympics athletes and families, the community, companies and Law Enforcement agencies will welcome the truckers as they return to the Sears Centre for lunch and a celebration, complete with awards, raffles and music.

Registration is $100 per truck and includes an official Convoy goody bag (while supplies last) and a delicious lunch after the event.  Guests may purchase lunch for a suggested donation of $10 per person.  Children under 10 and all Special Olympics athletes in attendance will receive free admission and meal.

The Sears Centre Convoy is proud to present Squad Haul, sponsored Oxcart Permit Systems.  Lowboys, flatbeads, and rollback tow trucks are invited to haul a marked Police Squad Car in the Convoy.  Both squads and trucks must register online in advance through this site. Participating police and truckers will be eligible for a $1,000 prize, courtesy of Oxcart Permit Systems.

For questions about this event, please contact Katie Risley with Special Olympics Illinois at or call 309-533-3725 (cell).


Who can participate?

Trucks welcome in the Convoy include semi-trucks, truck/trailer combination, fire trucks, dump trucks, flat beds, buses, large tow trucks, landscaping, large box trucks, etc.   All trucks must be 10-GVW or larger.  Hazardous materials or trucks with alcohol/tobacco names or logos on them are not permitted.


Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors receive great benefits for partnering with Special Olympics Illinois & the Law Enforcement Torch Run! Consider sponsoring the Sears Centre Truck Convoy. Click here to view a full listing of sponsorship opportunities.

Presenting Sponsors: $15,000

  • Unlimited entries in the Convoy; one placed as VIP truck following lead truck
  • Right to use Special Olympics Illinois, Law Enforcement Torch Run & Truck Convoy logos in advertizing
  • Presenting sponsor statuts – “Truck Convoy for Special Olympics Illinois presented by (your company)
  • Recognized on all marketing materials, including collateral, T-shirts, event programs, signage and press release
  • Company name and logo recognition on Special Olympics Illinois Truck Convoy site
  • Minimum of eight social media spots (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) highlighting company partnership
  • Lunch for corporate representatives and drivers, who are invited to speak at post-Convoy celebration

Long-Haul Sponsor: $10,000

  • Right to use Special Olympics Illinois, Law Enforcement Torch Run & Truck Convoy logos in advertizing
  • Unlimited truck entries in the Convoy; two placed within first 10 trucks
  • Minimum of four social media spots (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) highlighting company partnership
  • Recognized on all marketing materials, including collateral, T-shirts, event programs, signage and press release
  • Lunch for corporate representatives and drivers, who are invited to speak at post-Convoy celebration

Guardian Sponsor: $5,000

  • Up to 50 entries in the Convoy
  • Company name/logo placed in event program, all banners/signage and T-shirt
  • Recognition at ending celebration
  • Lunch for corporate representatives and drivers at post-Convoy celebration

Gold Sponsor: $2,500

  • Up to 25 entries in the Convoy
  • Company name/logo placed in event program
  • Recognition at ending celebration
  • Company name/logo placed in event program and on Welcome Banner
  • Lunch for corproate representatives and drivers at post-Convoy celebration

Silver Sponsor: $1,200

  • Up to 12 entries in the Convoy
  • Company Name placed in event program
  • Lunch for corporate representatives and drivers
  • Recognition at Post-Convoy celebration

Bronze Sponsor: $500

  • Up to 5 entries in the Convoy
  • Lunch for Corporate representatives and drivers; recognition at post-Convoy celebration

Participating Truck: $100

  • One entry in the Convoy and lunch provided for driver at ending celebration
  • Goody bag (included Truck Convoy shirt, hat, lapel pin, window cling, etc.)



100% of the funds go directly to support and benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. The Illinois LETR is the largest grassroots fundraising campaign benefiting the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. In 2018, the LETR raised more than $4.7 million for the 23,000 traditional athletes and 20,000 Young Athletes participating in Illinois.