Mattoon/Charleston, Ill. – Walgreens locations in Central Illinois raised $35,419 for Special Olympics Illinois during a fundraising campaign. There will be a check presentation at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Walgreens at 1200 W. Fayette Ave., Effingham.
During the first two weeks in September, patrons of 70 Walgreens stores from Bloomington to Edwardsville were encouraged to purchase a scannable icon in donation amounts of $1, $3 or $5. Special Olympics supporters in 6 Areas promoted the campaign at their local Walgreen’s to raise awareness for Special Olympics Illinois athletes.
Among those spreading the word about the Sept. 1-14 campaign was Walgreens employee Garrett Downs (see attachment), who is also a Special Olympics athlete competing with PTOEC of Belleville. Downs is a Walgreen’s warehouse employee at the Troy location and helped pass out flyers to spread the word of the campaign at that location.
“We are extremely pleased to have partnered with Walgreens on this fundraiser,” said Dave Breen, President & CEO of Special Olympics Illinois. “Both Walgreens and Special Olympics have their roots in Illinois and have the health and wellness of the community as their organizational goals. We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Walgreens to serve the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.”
Walgreens stores in Central Illinois partnered with Special Olympics Illinois thanks to the passion, community concern and volunteerism of John Davis, Manager of Walgreens Area 94.
Davis encouraged his co-workers and Walgreens employees to get involved and volunteer for the SOILL East Central/Area 9 Spring Games held annually at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston in late April/early May. Davis and his crew of volunteers from Walgreens coordinated the lunches for more than 1,000 athletes, coaches and volunteers at the Spring Games every year since 2014. In 2015, Davis again stepped up to the challenge of recruiting Walgreens employees to volunteer as a group for coordination of parking at the Lake Sara Polar Plunge in Effingham. Since then, Davis and his team have continued to organize and coordinate parking and shuttles for the Polar Plungers.
The money raised during the Walgreens campaign directly supports Special Olympics Illinois programs including traditional sports, Unified Sports programs and the Healthy Athletes initiative.
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 20,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support. If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website.