Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus are truly dedicated to the athletes, families and mission of Special Olympics Illinois. They have been an Official Partner of the Special Olympics since 2005 and have been one of our biggest supporters ever since. They give their time, their money and their dedication to the movement. The Knights are a wonderful organization who really understands the value and mission of Special Olympics.
They give their money as Gold Medal sponsors contributing $100,000 every year in support of our Spring Games statewide. Their local chapters also hold fundraisers and benefits to raise even more funds for our Area programs.
They give of their time as volunteers. In 2012 the Knights had a presence at every Area Spring Games with 44 councils represented by over 308 volunteers in addition to a significant presence at many other Special Olympics events throughout the state, serving in various capacities. They cook hot dogs, award medals, time events and parade in Opening Ceremonies.
The Knights relationship with Special Olympics can perhaps be put best by former State Deputy Jim Bednar who said,
“Once you get involved in Special Olympics, you never stop going back. We’ve been involved for over 40 years in Illinois. The members talk about the dedication they see among the athletes and how they never give up. We all feel that we’ll do whatever it takes to raise money to support Special Olympics. Special Olympics is in our blood.”
The impact of the Knights on the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois can be seen in the words of Global Messenger Kirsten Boswell who said, when addressing an assembly of the Knights,
“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you the way you are. Thank you to the Illinois Knights of Columbus for being that friend to all of us.”