Challenger League

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) -- The Tom Jones Challenger League is many things: a place for kids of all ability levels to have their moment in the spotlight, a way for Illinois athletes to give back to the community that supports them, an endless sea of smiles and cheering.

But it's also proof of one of life's great paradoxes: those who give often receive more than the recipient.

[VIDEO: ILLINI DONATE TIME TO CHALLENGER LEAGUE]

WAND's Mark Pearson makes his Hero of the Week debut by taking us behind the scenes of the annual tradition in Urbana, which is organized by the Champaign-Urbana Kiwanis organization.

2019

Week 1: Irina Yeakley, Decatur Christian
Week 2: Ethan Osborne, Mt. Zion Junior High
Week 3: Illinois School for the Visually Impaired Wrestling
Week 4: George Johns, Jr., Holy Family
Week 5: Calvin Carson, Big Kings Basketball
Week 6: Terry Mason, Decatur
Week 7: Jarius Ingram, Warrensburg-Latham
Week 8: Anaya Peoples, Schlarman
Week 9: Myshaun Dozier, MacArthur
Week 10: Challenger League

2018

Week 1: Shannon Roberts, MacArthur
Week 2: Fowler Connell, Danville
Week 3: Ken Leonard, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Week 4: Micah and Dennis Sheppard, Meridian
Week 5: Emily Short, Decatur
Week 6: Veterans and Friends golf 
Week 7: Dre Brown, Mike Dudek, Scotty Gilkey, Illinois/Eastern Illinois
Week 8: Demirjian Family of Decatur
Week 9: Donna Dulle, Mt. Pulaski
Week 10: Moe Dampeer
Week 11: Sister Jean, Loyola
Week 12: Reilly Fitzpatrick, Maroa-Forsyth
Week 13: Volunteers of Decatur Turkey Tournament
Week 14: Nick Allegretti, Illinois
Week 15: Taylorville Tornadoes
Week 16: Scotty Gilkey, Eastern Illinois