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USA Games Social Media Ambassadors


Family Ambassadors

Special Olympics Illinois is excited to build a powerful team of family members to serve as official Team Illinois USA Games Social Media Ambassadors. Social media has proven to be a very effective way to raise awareness, share stories, photos and videos for Special Olympics Illinois & causes that matter! Social media allows people (and other family members) to engage in conversations that help innovate, unify & empower. Here are some of the more robust social media channels that you can join discussions, share photos & videos or follow conversations online:


A private Facebook group has been created for Team Illinois – Athletes, Family Members & Friends. Please request to join the group & tell us who you will be cheering on at USA Games!

  • Join Private FB Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/194592888012918/
  • Answer 3 request questions so we know who you are.
  • Share your photos, videos & stories.
  • Ask questions and meet other Team Illinois athletes and friends/family members!

Please also follow our main FB page – www.facebook.com/specialolympicsillinois

You can use your own Facebook status update area in your profile to help raise awareness for Team Illinois:

  • Tag @SpecialOlympicsIllinois in posts and use #RiseWithUs
  • Post your own message, photos and videos encouraging your friends to cheer on your athlete & #RiseWithUs.

Add the USA GAMES Facebook Profile Frame – Will be available May 1, 2018.


The official Twitter handles you should follow for 2018 Special Olympics USA Games:

Send us your tweets:

  • Tag @2018USAGames & @SO_Illinois in tweets whenever possible.
  • The main hashtags to use when tweeting about the USA Games are #risewithus#2018USAGames
  • When you see positive tweets in support of Special Olympics USA Games, retweet them and thank the originating handle and follow them!
  • Tweet at your favorite celebrities and ask them to support Special Olympics USA Games. If they ask to get involved, please contact Karen or Teresa for additional assistance.


The official Instagram profiles you should follow for the Special Olympics USA Games

Tag us on Instagram:

  • Tag @SpecialOlympicsUSAGames & @SpecialOlympicsIllinois in posts whenever possible.
  • Use #risewithus & #2018USAGames


The official YouTube channel you should follow for the USA Games


The official Snapchat you should follow for the Special Olympics USA Games: @SOIllinois


Alexandra McMillin, Media & PR Director
(312) 502-7954

Teresa Crudele-Seidel, Digital Marketing Director
(312) 405-7335

50th Anniversary Exhibitor Application


Exhibitors who would like to participate in the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Global Day of Inclusion Resource Fair need to complete the form below and submit payment to Special Olympics Illinois, you will be redirected to our payment site once you click submit. Payment can be provided either online or through a check made payable to Special Olympics Illinois 605 E. Willow St., Normal, IL 61761.

50th Anniversary Exhibitor Reservation Form

  • Add a new row
  • Add a new row
  • Please describe in detail your exhibit and what products will be displayed. All displays, promotions, products, services and selling must be approved by Event Management. NOTE: Event Management has the right to shut down anything that has not been preapproved.
    Electricity will be available on a limited basis
  • When you hit submit you will be redirected to Eventbrite to complete your payment. If you would prefer to pay by check, make your check payable to Special Olympics Illinois and mail to 605 E. Willow St., Normal, IL 61761.

This July Chicago will host Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration


To be involved in the weeklong event visit specialolympics50.org

Since 1968, Special Olympics has been changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities. Starting this July, we are celebrating 50 years of creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all.

Join us in Chicago, the birthplace of Special Olympics, for this milestone event! Events will take place July 17-July 22.
Visit specialolympics50.org for more!

#PLUNGEWITH Ruth Guenzler


Ruth Guenzler, Mother of Special Olympics Illinois Athlete Erika Guenzler plunges into freezing cold water to support the program. Ruth has been participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge for 10 years. She has specifically plunged at the Olson Lake Plunge in Loves Park. Ruth has plunged in 20-degree weather with snow on the ground and in 60-degree weather, where the sun is shining. For Ruth, the hardest part of the whole plunge is waiting to jump in.

Year to year Ruth spices it up with different costumes. From Cruella de Vil to a tie-dye morph suite, her ideas are never short of imaginative. Her key to a perfect costume is, “think warm, wigs help!” Every year Ruth’s friends, family, and daughter Erika support Ruth by cheering her on while she plunges. They are ready and waiting with warm towels for her when she coming running out of the water. “Even though you are so freezing you cannot feel your limbs, there is something so invigorating about plunging. The atmosphere and the people make the experience that much better,” said Ruth.

Year to year, Ruth’s has consistently met and exceeded her $1,000 fundraising goal!  As a mom of an Athlete, Ruth feels empowered by the generosity of those who support her in her plunge. “I am overwhelmed with joy by the generosity of others.”

Taking the Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois is just one of the many ways Ruth supports her daughter Erika. Ruth’s advice to future plungers: “Go with a group, make a day out of it, and have fun!”

About the LETR Polar Plunge: This is the 19th year of the LETR Polar Plunge. In 19 years, more than 66,000 plungers have raised more than $18.4 million. GEICO, RIU Hotels & Resorts, and Apple Vacations are proud to be the Statewide Presenting Polar Plunge Sponsors.
Join the conversation and share who you will #PlungeWith on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
For more information or to register for a plunge visit: www.plungeillinois.com