Our Associate Board is a dedicated group of young professionals who are passionate about supporting Special Olympics Chicago…and having fun while doing it! Members attend monthly meetings where they plan fundraising and volunteering events to benefit our athletes.

Each member serves on a committee (either engagement or fundraising) and has a minimum goal of raising $500 dollars and volunteering 10 hours annually.

To join the Associate Board or learn about other volunteer opportunities, email To donate to Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities, click here.

Upcoming Events

3/3/22:  The Mild West feat. Marina City Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities Polar Plunge benefit concert
3/6/22: The 2022 Chicago Polar Plunge
Check out our Instagram and Facebook for the most up-to-date details.
Follow us on social media for further event and community engagement updates! 

Help the Associate Board Support Special Olympics Chicago

Apply to become an Associate Board Member

Promote awareness and engagement in communities through volunteering, fundraising, networking, and advocacy. Committed to attending monthly board meetings, a minimum of 10 hours of engagement, and raising $500 for Special Olympics Chicago.

Join the Friends of the Board

If you’re interested in supporting SOC, but aren’t looking for a regular commitment, Friends of the Board is for you! Friends of the Board are kept up to date about Associate Board volunteering, fundraising and social events and opportunities. They help out whey they are able and have no fundraising or engagement requirements. Friends of the Board generally attend at least one Special Olympics Chicago Associate Board event per year.

Donate to the Associate Board’s Chicago Polar Plunge team

Each year the Associate Board along with their family and friends join together as their team Young, Wild & Freeze to take the Plunge into Lake Michigan to support thousands of athletes of Special Olympics Chicago! Check out how we celebrated the Virtual Polar Plunge in 2021 in this video:

Associate Board Member Stories

Lauren D.’s Story

I got involved with Special Olympics because it means so much to me knowing I am helping transform the lives of others. I started volunteer coaching for Special Olympics in college and loved it. I even made a short documentary about Special Olympics and the athletes for a film class. I wanted to show that…

Maggie Y.’s Story

I joined the Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities Associate Board after doing the friends and family jump at the 24 hour Super Polar Plunge a few years ago! 🐻‍❄️ After hearing each athlete speak about their experience with Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities and the profound ways they have been affected by Special Olympics, I…

Ryan Z.’s Story

I joined the Associate Board because it offered me the opportunity engage with the awesome Special Olympics athletes and to help organize fundraising events for Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities. My favorite Special Olympics memory is the Spike for SOC beach volleyball tournament. 🏐 -Ryan, 2021 Associate Board Community Engagement Committee Member

Lauren N.’s Story

I became an advocate of Special Olympics through a good friend back in college. Since then, I’ve been a partner-athlete, coach and volunteer for numerous sports. The aspect of bringing people together through sports is one of my favorite things about Special Olympics. The Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebration was an incredible event because it…

Emma’s Story

I volunteer with Special Olympics because I love working with a group that positively impacts the lives of children and adults with disabilities. I am a Special Education teacher and have always gotten so much joy out of working with this amazing community. I always look forward to the athlete Halloween party! It’s so fun…

Kate M.’s Story

I joined Special Olympics Chicago’s Associate Board because I love how much joy, community and movement Special Olympics brings to the world. I’ve volunteered with Special Olympics across the county (like a flag football league in North Carolina!) and I have family who have coached and competed. My favorite Special Olympics Chicago Associate Board memories…

Tim’s Story

I’m a life-long sports enthusiast. Most of my best memories come from playing sports and spending time with my teammates. I started refereeing Special Olympics basketball games in high school and I got involved again right after graduating from college. My favorite Special Olympics Chicago memory is when I was able to volunteer and referee…

Katy’s Story

One of the reasons why I chose to go to Villanova University for college (Go Cats!) is because it hosts the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world. I was fortunate enough to meet and spend time with incredible athletes from Special Olympics Pennsylvania (Special shoutout to JC, Lisa, Dan and Lancaster County athletes!),…

Lauren P.’s Story

When I was 12 years old, my little sister Lindsey competed it her first Special Olympics snowshoeing competition. Over a decade and a half later, the organization has been a central part of my life ever since. I am so thankful to Special Olympics, not only for giving athletes like my sister a chance to…

Michelle’s Story

I joined Special Olympics in college and have loved being involved with the organization ever since! As a student athlete in college, I was highly involved in helping at Special Olympic events. Whether I was helping teach golf at the NCAA championships, volunteering at a weekend SO basketball tournament, plunging with our entire athletic organization…