NORMAL — John Craig Dillaplain, 41, of O'Fallon, was one of 23 Special Olympics Illinois athletes certified as a Special Olympics Global Messenger at a training session March 22-23 at Misericordia Home in Chicago.
Global Messengers are Special Olympics athletes who help spread the message and vision of the movement as well as the benefits they have gained by participating. Each Global Messenger completes a two-day training session in public speaking and presentations along with their local speech coach.
Global Messengers are called upon to give presentations about their involvement with Special Olympics to various groups throughout the state with the goal of increasing awareness about the program. Special Olympics Illinois launched its Global Messenger program in 1997. This year's class of Global Messengers brings Illinois' total number of messengers trained to 166.
Craig competes in aquatics, bowling and basketball through PTOEC (Parent Teacher Organization for Exceptional Children). He graduated from Belleville East High School and is a member of First United Methodist Church.
Outside of Special Olympics John enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to church, watching movies. His favorite baseball team is the Cardinals.
Craig has worked for McDonald's in O'Fallon for the past 23 years as a prep manager.
He is the son of John and Jeanne Dillaplain. Craig's mother attended the training and will serve as her speech mentor.
"Global Messengers have proven to be a popular and successful way to demonstrate the benefits of Special Olympics participation," says Karen Milligan, Director of Families and Athlete Leadership Programs for Special Olympics Illinois. "The people who have benefited directly from Special Olympics indeed make the most credible and effective spokespeople for the organization."
If you are interested in having Craig speak to your organization, club or gathering, please contact Peggy Knebel, Area Director for Special Olympics Illinois Southwestern/Area 12, at 618-654-6680.