Welcome to Special Olympics Illinois!

You are about to become part of an exciting training and competition program and will serve an integral role in transforming the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics participation encompasses over 17 official sports, fundraising events, event committees, coaching opportunities, Young Athletes sports play programs and community initiatives – truly a spectrum of choices! So let’s get started!

Read more about our Volunteer Opportunities.

How to Get Involved as a Volunteer

There’s an easy way you can sign up to be a volunteer with Special Olympics Illinois! Sign up as a general event volunteer and select your region and events. If you have any questions please contact Aubrey Deerwester.


Volunteers are the core of the Special Olympics program and we could not exist today without the time, energy, education and commitment of our volunteers. Special Olympics Illinois relies on people of all ages to help in every aspect of the program – both at the local and state level.

It’s pretty great when we can have fun and bring something as great as this to so many people who deserve it.  This was my second year and I’ll be back.
-Jerry Arntzen

Anyone 10 years or older can be a general Special Olympics volunteer and coaches must be at least 14 years of age or older. For more information about coaching, see the Coaches section of the website.

Volunteer Information

Once you sign up as a volunteer you will be a representative of Special Olympics Illinois and as such we ask that you read and follow our Volunteer Code of Conduct.

If you have additional questions on Special Olympics Illinois and volunteering please email Aubrey Deerwester, you can also contact her by phone at 309-888-2551 or 1-800-394-0562.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Transforming Lives

Tommy Shimoda 2

Tommy Shimoda: The First Special Olympics Athlete Inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

Tommy Shimoda, a Special Olympics Illinois Athlete, is changing the game one milestone accomplishment at a time. Shimoda, 24, has been competing with Special Olympics Illinois at Mt. Greenwood Park ...

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Team Palmer House 1

Team Palmer House is Prepared for Takeoff!

Returning again this year, The Palmer House Hotel. They are so excited to return and love this event. Team Palmer House is part of the hotel division for the Plane ...

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We Are Tuggettes 1

Team We are Tuggettes is Prepared for Takeoff!

By Chris Soderland - Crestwood, IL Who are the Tuggettes This is the fourth year participating in Plane Pull for an all women’s team comprised members of firefighters and paramedics of the ...

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Lily Coaster Challenge 2

Meet Lily from Schaumburg

About Lily Thirteen year old Lily Pasquarelli is an eighth grader at Jane Addams  Junior High. After participating in the Polar Plunge earlier in the year, Lily has set her sights ...

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McHenry Swat 3

Team McHenry County SWAT is Prepared for Takeoff!

By Theresa Harper Years Participating in Plane Pull This is the first year the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team will participate in the Plane Pull as a team, however several ...

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Team Woodward 4

Team We are Woodward is Prepared for Takeoff!

By: Terry Ozima - Niles, IL Years Participating in Plane Pull Woodward, Inc. is in our second year of pulling! We Participate Because Woodward Community Outreach Committee was invited by the Niles, IL police ...

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2017 SONA Softball Tournament 1

Team Work Makes the Dream Work for Special Olympics Illinois Softball Athletes

That’s a wrap for the 2017 Special Olympics North America Softball Championship! The tournament was an outstanding display of sportsmanship, camaraderie, and incredible athleticism. Special Olympics athletes from all over ...

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