Helping to Keep Special Olympics Athletes Healthy

For 46 years the goal of Special Olympics Illinois has been to transform the lives of current and aspiring athletes with intellectual disabilities through the gift of sport. In 2014 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois proudly helped support this goal with more than $75,000 in funding.  $27,000 from a Community Partners Grant will be directed to help fund the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Program®, a program that will help transform the lives of 3,590 athletes with intellectual disabilities, their families and their coaches receive free, vision, hearing, dental, fitness and physical health screenings.  

Aside from all the wonderful things the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Program® does for these inspiring athletes, Special Olympics Illinois offers year-round training and competition in 19 sports for tens of thousands of athletes in Illinois.  To compete at their best, the athletes need to be healthy and we’re thrilled to help the adults and children in Special Olympics realize their full potential in sports and in life.   

We also provided $50,000 to be a Gold Medal sponsor for the Special Olympic Illinois Inspire Greatness Gala. The 2014 gala held in October at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, raised $820,000  to support the current programs of Special Olympics and efforts to serve even more athletes in the future.  

Our Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois plan President Karen Atwood who serves on the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors believes that much of our investment is on improving health and wellness and we also focus on diversity and inclusion - and those 2 things together are the epitome of what the Special Olympics is all about.

"We are incredibly grateful for the support we've received from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.  These funds allow Special Olympics Illinois to continue transforming the lives of both current and future Special Olympics Athletes," says Dave Breen, Special Olympics Illinois President and CEO.  "In addition, the funds will lead to further innovation and program growth, and expand opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families."

Even though Special Olympics of Illinois has, more than once, expressed their gratitude to BCBSIL for the support, we can’t say thank you enough for all of the great things they have done to inspire the athletes of the Special Olympics achieve their dreams.  Thank you!