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Jacksonville Saints Special Olympics

The Jacksonville Saints program provides Special Olympics participation to nearly 100 athletes in the Jacksonville area and beyond.  Our program provides competition in seven sports: Basketball, Softball, Athletics (aka Track & Field), Bowling, Volleyball, Flag Football, and Golf.  Special Olympics athletes receive a chance to participate in physical activity, a chance to learn sports rules, a chance to learn sportsmanship, a chance to make friends, and a chance to have fun!

The Saints program is one of the stronger downstate Special Olympics programs.  This is evident by the sheer number of athletes that compete in our sports, the excitement that the program brings, and yes, even the awards we have received.  Our coaches are some of the best around, our volunteer base is excellent and the support we receive from the families is amazing.  The smiles on the faces of our athletes show us that we are making a difference.

Awards and Honors that our program have earned over the years:

  • 1987 World Games South Bend Indiana- 2 of our athletes competed
  • 1987 one of our Coaches received Coach of the Year for Illinois
  • 1991 World Games Minneapolis Minnesota- 1 of our athletes competed
  • 1995 World Games New Haven Connecticut- 4 of our athletes competed plus 1 coach attended
  • 1999 World Games North Carolina- 7 of our athletes competed plus 1 coach attended
  • 2006 National Games Iowa- 3 of our athletes competed
  • 2010 National Games Nebraska- 4 of our athletes competed
  • 2014 National Games New Jersey- 1 of our athletes competed
  • 2015 World Games Los Angeles California- 1 of our athletes competed
  • 2015 one of our Coaches received Coach of the Year for Area 17
  • 2017 one of our Coaches received Coach of the Year for Area 17
  • 2018 National Games Seattle Washington- 2 of our athletes competed
  • 2019 one of our coaches received Coach of the Year for Region H

Our teams and individuals have won multiple Illinois State titles in many sports.  One of our softball teams has even won two North American Tourney titles along two Missouri State Tourney titles. 

Athletes from our program have had the chance to compete in the following states throughout the years:

  • Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Connecticut, Kentucky, North Carolina, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, California, Washington, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, and North Dakota.

Athletes from our program have had the chance to compete against teams from many states and even the following countries:

  • Chile, Canada, Germany, Venezuela, Panama, Dominican Republic, England, and Brazil

We have a very strong team sport presence but we have also provided sporting opportunities for individuals.  We now offer Athletics, Bowling, and Golf, which are sports that do not require a team.  We also have a very strong Individual Skills program in the sports of basketball, softball, and volleyball.  Individual Skills provides athletes (who may not be able to participate on a team) a chance to still compete in the sport. 

The Saints sponsor is Pathway Services Unlimited, Inc.  Although we do not receive direct financial support from Pathway, we receive in-kind support with the ability to use Pathway vehicles and meeting rooms.  Funds for the program come through various fundraising efforts such as Trivia Nights and Pizza Kit sales in addition to donations from families and the community.  In addition to sports, our program also hosts various dances throughout the year.

Festival of Trees 2020Designer Instructions

We need your special creations (holiday trees, centerpieces and wreaths) for our online auction. There is no fee to enter and we will provide the artificial trees, wreaths and a place to decorate.

Here are the details you need to know:
The Festival of Trees will provide:
· 6’ 6” tree, pre-lit with 250 white lights or 4’ tree pre-lit with 100 white lights
· 30” wreath, unlit (bulbs may be added)
· Centerpiece (30” wreath not available for centerpiece)
· Centerpiece and wreath designer entry(ies) must arrive at Pathway Services no later than:
      Centerpiece – Monday, November 9 by 4:00 p.m.
      Wreath – Thursday, November 12 by 4:00 p.m.

Trees and wreaths will be available for pick up at Pathway weekdays, 8 a.m. -4 p.m., beginning Oct. 5.

Design opportunities:
· Monday November 9-10, 5-9 p.m., Community Room at Pathway
· Webnesday November 11, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Community Room at Pathway
· Saturday November 14, 1-5 p.m., Community Room at Pathway
· May decorate the tree at your home or business, and a staff person will photograph your entry no later than Monday, November 16, 2020.for the online auction.

Please call us, 217-479-2300, to schedule your time. There is a 10-person limit and masks must be worn. You may also choose to decorate at your business or home. Trees decorated outside Pathway must have a metal screw (provided) at the tree sections for safety and stability. Lights and ornaments for all decorations must be securely attached. You must also provide skirting if you are decorating a tree. Upon completion of your creation, it will be photographed for the online auction.

The online auction begins Nov. 12 at and will follow this schedule:
Centerpieces – Bid Nov. 12-14
Wreaths – Bid Nov. 15-17
Trees – Bid Nov. 18-23

Registration forms must be submitted by Nov. 2. All proceeds from the Festival of Trees benefits Pathway Partners. Pathway Partners provides extras to make life more comfortable for individuals served by Pathway.