Press Releases Stories

Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Special Olympics Illinois Announce 2017 Chicago Fire Unified Soccer All-Star Team


 

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Special Olympics Illinois are proud to announce the members of the 2017 Chicago Fire Unified Soccer All-Star Team.

Athletes

Guillermo Antolin – Thornton High School, Samuel Devereux – Hoffman Estates High School, Mark Jerabek – District 204 Alumni Eagles, Thomas Kuhn – Metea Valley High School, Ryan McDonough – District 204 Alumni Eagles, Billy Pierce – District 204 Alumni Eagles, and Daequan Wilson – Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

Unified Partners

Ethan Harvey – DVSA, Cori Hoekstra – Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Jared Hoekstra – Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Bryant Holdman – Kankakee High School, Colin Iverson – DVSA, Kaileen Phillips – Kankakee High School, and Illuvia Ramirez – Kankakee High School.

Coaches

The All Star team will be coached by David Dore (Homewood Flossmoor High School), Kelly O’Reilly (School District 54), Paul Caldwell (Chicago Fire) and Caleb Steffens (Chicago Fire), with support from Jessica Yavitz (Chicago Fire) and Jennifer Marcello (Special Olympics Illinois).

Mission

Created with the goal of bringing people together, Special Olympics Unified Sports teams have more than half a million participants worldwide who work together to break down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities. Unified Sports joins athletes both with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to promote social inclusion through shared training and competition exercises with the principle that training and playing together is the quickest path to friendship and understanding.

The Chicago Fire Unified Soccer All-Star Team will practice monthly at Fire training facilities. They will also travel with the Chicago Fire to play a road game in addition to hosting a match in Chicago. The game schedule includes:

  • Saturday, June 17 at New England Revolution (Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA)
  • Saturday, Aug. 5 vs. New England Revolution (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, IL)

About Chicago Fire Soccer Club

Founded on the 126th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club enters its 20th Major League Soccer season with six major domestic championship titles including the 1998 MLS Cup and 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups, and 2003 Supporters Shield. Anchoring Chicago’s growing soccer fan base, the Fire play at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., located 15 miles from Chicago’s Loop. www.Chicago-Fire.com.


Special Olympics Illinois Athletes to Compete in State Bowling Tournament


 

WHAT:

2016 Special Olympics Illinois State Bowling Tournament

WHEN:

Saturday, Dec.  3 (See schedule below)

WHERE:            

Landmark Lanes, 3225 N. Dries Lane, Peoria

WHO:                 

277 Special Olympics athletes competing in bowling (singles, ramp, doubles, team)

  • 115 athletes competing in singles bowling competition
  • 44 athletes competing in ramp bowling competition
  • 54 athletes competing in doubles bowling competition
  • 69 athletes competing in team bowling competition

View list of athletes expected to compete.

COMPETITION SCHEDULE:   

Opening Ceremonies: 9 – 9:30 a.m. Saturday
First Shift: 9:45 a.m. – noon Saturday
Second Shift: 12:15 – 3 p.m. Saturday

The State Bowling Tournament is one of nine Special Olympics Illinois state tournaments held each year. Bowling athletes advanced from local Area competition and sectional competitions. To compete in the tournament, athletes must have trained for at least eight weeks.

The State Bowling Tournament Sponsors are: Presenting Sponsor Illinois Knights of Columbus and Gold Medal Sponsors Law Enforcement Torch Run and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 22,000 traditional athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 21,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities 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 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

# # # #

MEDIA:  For more information about the State Bowling Tournament, contact Michele Evans at 309-888-2573.


CEO of Make Corporation Joins SOILL Board Of Directors


 

Karen Wilson has joined the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors, serving on its Development Committee.

KarenWilson 1Wilson is the owner and CEO of MAKE Corporation, a professional services and staffing company with offices in Chicago and Dallas. Wilson joined MAKE as a partner in 2002, then purchased the company in 2012. In her position, Wilson drives growth and professional development in the professional services and staffing industry.

In 2014, Wilson served as the Co-Chair for the Special Olympics Illinois Inspire Greatness Gala and was Chair in 2015.

“Karen Wilson and MAKE Corporation have cultivated a great culture of community support and involvement,” said Dave Breen, President & CEO of Special Olympics Illinois. “As the current Inspire Greatness Gala Committee Chair and former Chair of the Gala, Karen has been a champion for our athletes helping us serve new generations of athletes.”

Wilson has been an active member of TechServe Alliance for more than 20 years. She is completing an eighth year on its board of directors, serving on the Government Affairs Committee. She is president of the board of directors for VMS Professionals, a national nonprofit she co-founded in 2003. VMS Professionals is comprised of organizations that use contingent workers, advance the industry and establish practices in the acquisition and management of contingent labor. MAKE Corporation is the only staffing company that is a member of VMS Professionals.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition 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 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

Contacts:

Michele Evans, 309-888-2573
Alexandra McMillin, 630-942-5621


SOILL Athletes to Take to Court, Arena at Fall Games in Rockford Area


 

NORMAL, Ill. – More than 740 Special Olympics athletes from all over the state will compete at the Special Olympics Illinois Fall Games, which includes volleyball and equestrian competition, on Oct. 22 and 23 in Poplar Grove. View list of athletes expected to compete.

Volleyball competition will take place at Harlem High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. Equestrian competition will take place at the Bergmann Centre in Poplar Grove from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.

There will be Special Olympics flag football trainings and demonstrations at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Harlem High School’s practice field in Machesney Park. The trainings for this emerging sport will provide coaches with knowledge, tools and resources, while allowing athletes and coaches practice the sport.

Nearly 600 volleyball athletes will be competing in traditional team, modified team or Unified team play, with 70 athletes competing in the individual skills competition. The individual skills competition involves different skill tests that the athletes participate in including forearm pass, overhead set and serve. Unified teams include players with and without intellectual disabilities that compete against other Unified teams.

More than 150 athletes will compete in equestrian competition, including dressage, English equitation, showmanship, stock seat equitation and working trails.

Athlete participation per event are:

  • 4 athletes competing in Equestrian Dressage
  • 57 athletes competing in Equestrian English Equitation
  • 15 athletes competing in Equestrian Showmanship
  • 86 athletes competing in Equestrian Stock Seat Equitation
  • 104 athletes competing in Equestrian Working Trails
  • 70 athletes competing in Volleyball Individual Skills Competition
  • 185 athletes on 20 teams competing in Volleyball Modified Team Competition
  • 231 athletes on 27 teams competing in Volleyball Traditional Team Competition
  • 108 athletes on 11 teams competing in Volleyball Unified Team Competition

The Opening Ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Harlem High School. A victory dance follows and will feature a Halloween costume contest.

The Fall Games Presenting Sponsor is the Illinois Knights of Columbus and Gold Medal Sponsors are the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition 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 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

Contact:

Michele Evans, Office: 309-888-2573; Mobile: 309-660-8497


Central Illinois Walgreens Locations Raise More Than $35,000 for SOILL


 

NORMAL, Ill. – Walgreens locations in Central Illinois raised $35,419 for Special Olympics Illinois during a fundraising campaign. View list of participating stores. There will be a check presentation at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Walgreens at 1200 W. Fayette Ave., Effingham.

During the first two weeks in September, patrons of 70 Walgreens stores from Bloomington to Edwardsville were encouraged to purchase a scannable icon in donation amounts of $1, $3 or $5. Special Olympics supporters in 6 Areas promoted the campaign at their local Walgreens to raise awareness for Special Olympics Illinois athletes.

walgreens-thank-you-2016Among those spreading the word about the Sept. 1-14 campaign was Walgreens employee Garrett Downs, who is also a Special Olympics athlete competing with PTOEC of Belleville. Downs is a Walgreens warehouse employee at the Troy location and helped pass out flyers to spread the word of the campaign at that location.

“We are extremely pleased to have partnered with Walgreens on this fundraiser,” said Dave Breen, President & CEO of Special Olympics Illinois. “Both Walgreens and Special Olympics have their roots in Illinois and have the health and wellness of the community as their organizational goals. We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Walgreens to serve the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.”

Walgreens stores in Central Illinois partnered with Special Olympics Illinois thanks to the passion, community concern and volunteerism of John Davis, District Manager of Walgreens Area 94.

Davis encouraged his co-workers and Walgreens employees to get involved and volunteer for the SOILL East Central/Area 9 Spring Games held annually at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston in late April/early May. Davis and his crew of volunteers from Walgreens coordinated the lunches for more than 1,000 athletes, coaches and volunteers at the Spring Games every year since 2014. In 2015, Davis again stepped up to the challenge of recruiting Walgreens employees to volunteer as a group for coordination of parking at the Lake Sara Polar Plunge in Effingham. Since then, Davis and his team have continued to organize and coordinate parking and shuttles for the Polar Plungers.

The money raised during the Walgreens campaign directly supports Special Olympics Illinois programs including traditional sports, Unified Sports programs and the Healthy Athletes initiative.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition 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 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

Contact

Michele Evans, SOILL Director of Communications, (309) 888-2573