Fundraising Events

Polar Plunges

Each year, the over 23 Polar Plunges brings together thousands of warm-hearted individuals from across the state.  It’s a great way for everyone – individuals, organizations and businesses – to support Special Olympics Illinois.  All funds raised go to provide programing and events for more than 23,100 traditional athletes and 13,000 Young Athletes participating in Illinois.

First Look for Charity

The First Look for Charity is the nation’s largest auto show and a formal gala benefiting Special Olympics Illinois and 17 other vital charities in the Chicagoland area. Now in its 31st year, the First Look offers complimentary hors-d’oeuvres, champagne, wine, soft drinks and desserts all on the show floor. Guests will also enjoy live music and have the chance to win a new vehicle. The Special Olympics Illinois hospitality suite typically opens all evening beginning at 6:00 pm. Enjoy the open bar, hors-d’oeuvres and complimentary coat check. Remember – this is a tax-deductible contribution.

Inspire Greatness Gala

The Inspire Greatness Gala is truly that, inspirational for all of those who partake, by what the athletes show them in ability, not disability. The athletes are also inspired to see the many people who support them at this black tie gala that raises over $1 million dollars for Special Olympics Illinois programming.

As Special Olympics Illinois’ most high end event, the program that gala-goers view is also second to none, culminating in a very moving and encouraging cinematic piece that promotes unification, ability and through sport, the confidence that is instilled in an athlete to succeed and be motivated to achieve off the field of play as well.

Illinois Special Olympics Foundation Golf Outing

Please join us for a day of golf and inspiration in support of Special Olympics Illinois hosted by our Foundation Board members at one of the most unique courses in Illinois!

The day will include 18 holes of golf, lunch, practice range, green fees, carts, forecaddies, on-course refreshments and a brief program with cocktails and dinner directly following golf.

Your participation will help create opportunities for 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 13,000 Young Athletes in Illinois through sport, health, education and community-building.

Chicago Duck Derby

It’s a signature annual fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics Illinois! Thousands of spectators watch over 60,000 yellow rubber ducks splash into the Chicago River in downtown Chicago and race down the river towards the finish line. Usually taking place in early August, Race Day kicks off at 10 am, at 401 North Michigan Avenue with entertainment for the entire family. Splashdown for the Ducky Derby is at 1 pm. All proceeds benefit more than 23,000 athletes and over 17,000 Young Athletes across Illinois.

Softball & Baseball Fundraisers

In January, Special Olympics Illinois, Region K and Indoor Softball Inc. will hosts an Annual Girls Indoor Winter Fast Pitch Softball Tournament at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin. All money raised from this tournament will benefit the over 1,600 Special Olympics Athletes competing in Region K.

Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash

The Southern Illinois Ducky Derby Dash at the Du Quoin State Fair is a signature fundraising event for Special Olympics Illinois. In early September, thousands of spectators will watch 11,000+ Ducks splash into the lake behind the Exhibition Hall on the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds and race towards the finish line.

Race Day kicks off at 1:00 pm with a parade! The ducks race at 3:00 pm, followed by entertainment for the entire family – live music, face painting, games, and an appearance by Splash, the Duck.

Coaster Challenge

Six Flags Great America and Special Olympics Illinois have teamed up for the Coaster Challenge. This event that happens in September, takes the run out of racing & ride your way to the finish line to support the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.

Simply register for $25, fundraise, and ride the distance of a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Marathon on Six Flags Great America world-class roller coasters. The earlier you register, the more time to work on fundraising.

Chicago Baseball Bash

This event that takes place during Spring Training in Mesa, Arizona is a Chicago-style party experience after a Cubs game filled with your favorite sports celebrities pouring beverages, signing items and comically entertaining the crowd. Past events have enjoyed, Joe Maddon, Joe Mantegna, Kyle Schwarber, Brian Urlacher and dozens more.

Appropriately, this event will be held in Mesa, the first-ever Autism Certified City in the U.S. designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), the result of nearly a year-long quest to tailor travel experiences for individuals with autism and their families.

Row 4 Dough

Support the athletes of SOILL by sweating for a cause –Row 4 Dough challenges teams to work together to reach a 5K, half marathon, or full marathon as a team on a row machine or in the water in the shortest amount of time.

This year, rowers can compete as a 5-person team (rowing 13.1 miles), a 10-person team (rowing 26.2 miles), or they can compete individually (rowing a 5K). In an effort to unite teams wherever they may be, teams will have the option to row in person or virtually.

Calendar of Fundraising Events

This calendar only displays fundraising events. For a full calendar of events, including state championships and regional qualifiers, please visit our Calendar of Events.

June 2021

LaBriola Tip a Cop – Oak Brook PD
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Region K Buddy Bass Tournament at Crab Orchard Lake
8:00 am - 6:00 pm


Click here for the registration form.

Southern Illinois Bass Busters is proud to host the 2nd annual Buddy Bass Tournament benefiting Special Olympics Illinois.

Proceeds will support the Region K Area of Special Olympics Illinois which serves more than 1,600 athletes with developmental

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First Annual Young Professionals Board Bags Tournament
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This year has been a real toss-up…


…but we’re ready to make it a w(hole) lot better with the 1st Annual YPB Bags Tournament benefiting Special Olympics Illinois.


You won’t want to miss out on this event located in the heart of Wrigleyville at Rizzo’s Bar and Inn on Saturday, June 5, fro

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Special Olympics Illinois Charity Pro-Am Tournament
9:00 am - 9:00 pm

Region B is excited to premier the 1st annual Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

This event is sold out.

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Vienna CC Golf Scramble
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Egyptian Country Club and VCC LETR have teamed up to sponsor a Golf Scramble benefitting Special Olympics Illinois. Egyptian Country Club is an eight hole course and like most of Southern Illinois, is home to beautiful scenery. There will be a silent auction and other activities for those who are not interested in golf

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Drive With Your Top Down for Special Olympics Illinois
10:30 am - 10:00 pm

Join us on Saturday, June 12th as we drive with our tops down to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois!

Beginning at the Country Haven Event Center in Effingham, with registration starting at 10:30am, drivers and passengers of topless vehicles will leave Country Haven and begin a run of fun to various bar

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Wheel of Meat and More Raffle
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Pub Maple Park. All in Raffle numbers available for $125 prior to event. Raffle tickets per raffle $5 with ten prizes deep. Great meat packages, sport items, toy baskets, wine and liquor baskets, and wheel of cash raffles. Family event.

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Princeton PD Classic Car Show
10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Princeton Police Department is hosting a classic car show to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois!


What to Expect:

  • Food will be provided
  • AMC Sound DJ Service
  • Door Prizes and a 50/50 Drawing
  • Prizes awarded throughout the event
  • Dash Plaques Provided

Princeton Police Department Classic Car Show Flier

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