About Us: Thanks to our many partners, we are able to offer year round programs!

About Special Children's Charities


Special Children's Charities has been supporting Special Olympics Chicago programs since 1969. Created by Jack McHugh, Special Children’s Charities’ primary mission is to promote, foster and encourage physical and mental health and improvement for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and closely related developmental disabilities.

In cooperation with the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Special Olympics Illinois, Special Children’s Charities is committed to providing year-round sports training, recreational and social programs for the children and adults of Special Olympics Chicago.

Special Children’s Charities contact:
Special Children's Charities Executive Director, Susan Nicholl

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Mission Statement

The Special Olympics mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

About Special Olympics Chicago

Special Olympics Chicago is one of 17 areas of Special Olympics Illinois offering training and competition in 22 sports. Athletes learn fundamentals, rules and strategies from their coaches during a training period prior to competition. Competitions are held at the area, regional and state levels.

Special Olympics Chicago also provides motor activities training programs for persons with severe and profound disabilities.

Special Olympics Chicago is a partnership between Special Children's Charities, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Special Olympics Illinois.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is the world's largest program for sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, inspiring greatness in more than 4,000,000 athletes in 170 nations worldwide. Because of Special Olympics, the world has witnessed the courage, character, dedication, dignity and worth of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Born in Chicago

Born in Chicago

The first International Special Olympics Games were held on July 20, 1968 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Since then, Special Olympics Chicago has grown to serve more than 6,800 athletes, offering year-round sports training and competition in 22 sports.

First Year



Board Member Support

We are grateful to our board members for their ongoing support as we work to build a community of inclusion and acceptance for all. Additionally, we extend a sincere thanks to our Associate Board for their enthusiasm and friendship shown to our talented athletes.

For more information on learning more about board member opportunities, contact scc@sochicago.org


  • Kevin Magnuson, President
  • Michael F. Sheahan, Jr., Vice President
  • Steve Janiszewski, Secretary
  • Joe Nagle, Treasurer

Board of Directors

  • Drew Burlak
  • Sarah Burke
  • Matthew Canna
  • Barbara Lee Cohen
  • Jason Erkes
  • Niall Hardiman
  • Marcie Harrison
  • Harold Gauthier
  • Maureen Joyce
  • Jennifer Kramer
  • Brenda McHugh
  • James Montana
  • Sheila O'Callaghan
  • Alderman Matt O'Shea
  • James Sheahan
  • Joe Svachula
  • Carolyn Daley Scott
  • Zelda Whittler-Martin

About Our Partners

The Chicago Park District — Office of Special Olympics

Special Olympics Chicago partnered with the Chicago Park District since the first International Special Olympics Games in 1968. CPD Special Olympics programming is in 19 park locations throughout the city of Chicago.

Please visit the COMPETE page to find the Park District location nearest you!

Chicago Public Schools

We offer programs in Chicago Public Schools throughout the city.
You can also view a listing of CPS locations here: View Locations.

Chicago Park
District contact:

Mike Benavente

Chicago Public

Pam Munizzi
(773) 534-0770

Special Thanks To:


Special Olympics Chicago would not exist today without the time, energy, dedication and commitment of hundreds of volunteers throughout the city. Special Olympics relies on its dedicated volunteers.

Please contact us for more information:

Special Children's Charities
Susan Nicholl, Executive Director
c/o Special Olympics Chicago

541 North Fairbanks
Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: (312) 527-3743
Fax: (312) 347-0235

Email: scc@sochicago.org