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SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Special Olympics Family Festival to hold virtual event Saturday

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MATTOON — The 38th annual Special Olympics Family Festival will be available on Saturday, Sept. 18, as a virtual event video, featuring a trip to Aikman Wildlife Adventure in Arcola, for athletes, past volunteers and the general public to view.

Event organizers reported that the "SOFF on Safari" video will bring together past festival friends and new ones for a wildlife sanctuary trip with a special appearance by Illinois State Police statewide social media coordinator Trooper Tracy Lillard.

The festival is an event created by Mattoon-based Consolidated Communications that brings together more than 600 athletes and 1,200 volunteers for a day of games and activities. The event will be held virtually again this year as COVID-19 caution for athletes and other participants.

The virtual event link will be available at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Special Olympics Family Festival Facebook page, Twitter at @mySOFFtweets, Instagram at @mySOFFsnaps; and www.consolidated.com/SOFF.

“While we are unable to gather in person, we feel strongly about providing a special virtual event that our athletes, our committed volunteers and our supporters could experience online," SOFF Cahir Tracy Davis-Green. "We are steadfast in our commitment to providing a fun day of activities for Special Olympics athletes and hope to be in-person next year.”

More than 600 athletes registered for the event and will each receive a gift bag. In addition, there are some surprises in store during the virtual experience.

The festival is organized by a committee of representatives from Consolidated, Special Olympics Illinois, Lake Land College, First Mid Bank & Trust and Sarah Bush Lincoln. Consolidated hosted the first festival in 1984 and is committed to continuing the annual event at Lake Land when it is safe for all involved. For more information, visit consolidated.com/SOFF.


Contact Rob Stroud at 217-238-6861.

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Reporter

Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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