Special Olympics, workout facilities join for Row Raiser fundraiser

Special Olympics Illinois
Updated 6/28/2017 9:10 PM
  • CrossFit athlete Sam Dancer led the first Special Olympics Illinois "Row Raiser" fundraiser in Quincy in 2015. This year's event will be held at 20 workout facilities around the state.

    CrossFit athlete Sam Dancer led the first Special Olympics Illinois "Row Raiser" fundraiser in Quincy in 2015. This year's event will be held at 20 workout facilities around the state. Courtesy of Special Olympics Illinois

NORMAL, Ill. -- Special Olympics Illinois has teamed with 20 workout facilities around the state for a statewide fundraiser called Row Raiser that challenges teams of 10 to pull a distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) on a row machine in the shortest amount of time. Proceeds benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.

The Row Raiser will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 8, at various locations around the state:

• CrossFit 333, 333 N. Randall Road, St. Charles;

• CrossFit Pally, 540 W. Colfax, Palatine;

• CrossFit Turbine, 330 S. Main Place, Carol Stream;

• Goose Island CrossFit, 1750 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago;

• CrossFit Thunderbolt, 110 F Kirkland Circle, Oswego;

• CrossFit Bloomington, 401 Bronco Drive, Unit D, Bloomington;

• Unyoked CrossFit, 2413 Village Green Place, Champaign;

• CrossFit Four D, 888 Third Ave., Unit A, Morris;

• CrossFit Galena, 239 N. Main St., Galena;

• CrossFit 350, 711 W. Joliet St., Ottawa;

• QTown CrossFit, 3800 Broadway, Quincy;

• CrossFit Influence, 708 Walnut Circle, Wapella;

• CrossFit Invalesco, 22005 Howell Dr., New Lenox;

• CrossFit Matoon, 2601 Marshall Ave., Matoon;

• CrossFit Swampfox, 711 West Joliet St., Ottawa;

• CrossFit Voyage, 102R State., O'Fallon;

• Final Round CrossFit, 4401 W. Roosevelt Rd., Hillside;

• Jones Chiropractic Gym, 1225 N. Main St., Chatham.

The CrossFit Defined, 3834 N. Broadway St. in Chicago will host its Row Raiser on July 15; and CrossFit Henosis, 500 N. Oakland Ave. in Carbondale on Oct. 21.

Awards will be given in a variety of categories such as fastest marathon, etc.

The first Row Raiser was held in Quincy in 2015. Organized by CrossFit athlete Sam Dancer, the first event raised $10,000 for Special Olympics Illinois. This year, the Row Raiser is being held in 12 Illinois cities with the goal of raising $100,000.

Since partnering with Special Olympics Illinois Southwestern/Area 11, Sam Dancer and his staff opened their hearts to training a few "special" athletes. This has made QTown CrossFit a model of inclusion for the CrossFit community.

This is where you come in.

Participants, teams of 10 ($50 per athlete), compete together by completing a 26.2 mile row. But the Row Raiser is so much more than that: it's the kind of fun that defines the CrossFit Community, a team atmosphere that is raising awareness and funds while expressing team fitness through competition.

Sign up for the annual event at www.soill.org/event/row-raiser/.

Special Olympics Illinois is a nonprofit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 22,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 20,000 young athletes, age 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 the website at www.soill.org.

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