Friday, December 13, 2019

December Puttin' On Pekin Breakfast

The December Puttin' On Pekin breakfast was held at the Avanti's Dome and attended by 80 chamber members and guests.  Adult and Teen Challenge Illinois provided Christmas music. Joe Rogers, director of operations, explained the organization endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive. They also desire to enrich the lives of their students by providing actual work experience so they can improve their work ethic and become productive members of society.

The early prize was earned by Nicona Daniels of Trouble Free Heating and Cooling.  The December breakfast featured the big door prize drawing, with 13 prize packages each containing over $300 in merchandise donated by chamber members.  Names were drawn from all who had attended the six breakfasts held in 2019, but winners had to be present.  The 13 winners were: Alex Sinacori, Justin Reeise, Amy Wilson, Gary Davis, Todd Dugan, Mickey Shemansky, Melanie Riley, Debbie Fornoff, Paul Scherer, Greg Ranney, Megan Olt, Ron Harlan, and Jenny Bruns.

You can see more pictures from this event at:

Celebrate Recovery Ribbon Cutting

Pekin's newest Celebrate Recovery opened their doors to serve our community on August 15th at North Parkway Assembly of God, located at 1209 North Parkway Drive. Celebrate Recovery is a faith-based 12-step addiction recovery program that focuses on helping people find freedom from various hurts, hang-ups, and habits. This includes, but is not limited to, drug and alcohol addiction, codependency, mental health issues, anxiety, depression, grief, sex addictions, and much more. There are over 40 Celebrate Recovery programs in Central Illinois, over 35,000 around the world, and more than 5 million people have completed a Celebrate Recovery Step Study. Step studies are gender specific small groups that meet at a different time than the general meeting night to work through the 12-step program and support each other through the process of finding freedom. 

You can see more photos from this event at:

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Welcome to Our Newest Member

Anne Schutt, Northwestern Mutual410 Fayette St.
Peoria, IL 61602
Anne Schutt, Financial Advisor
Anne is a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual and believes that a comprehensive financial plan allows you to spend your life living.  Planning isn’t just about wealth accumulation, but it is also about asset protection using the right insurance products as well as using smart tax strategies to ensure you have options for accessing your funds in retirement that will most benefit you.  Whether just starting your career and family or celebrating your retirement nearing, Anne and her team can help make sure you have a comprehensive plan in place based on your individual goals.  Call today for a complimentary planning session!


Cullinan Properties, Ltd. is pleased to announce the expansion of Mattress Liquidators in East Court Village Shopping Center. Mattress Liquidators, currently located at 3518 Court Street, will move a few doors down to the former Bergner’s space at 3536 Court Street.  This provisional relocation will expand Mattress Liquidators’ display area to fill the entire 82,100 square foot former department store. The new store opens December 12.

Mattress Liquidators offers name-brand mattresses at significant discounts by purchasing overstocks and year-end models, among other items. In addition to selling name brand mattresses such as Sealy, Serta, Stearns & Foster and Beautyrest, the East Court Village store will also be expanding their lineup to include furniture and major appliances. Their opening will be the one and only “one-stop shopping” experience in Pekin for the entire home.

“Mattress Liquidators has been successful at East Court Village, and we are pleased to have found a unique opportunity for them to increase their offerings to the public,” stated Kathleen Brill, VP and Director of Leasing for Cullinan Properties, Ltd. “We are working with several other retailers right now to bring their stores to East Court Village and we look forward to making those announcements early next year.”

Mattress Liquidators’ store hours will remain the same and be open to the public four days a week - Thursday through Saturday from 10am – 7pm and Sunday from 12 – 5pm.

About Mattress Liquidators
Mattress Liquidators offers brand new mattresses at liquidator prices. With locations in Peoria, Pekin, Springfield and Bloomington, IL, they are the area’s largest liquidator for top brand mattresses like Sealy Posturepedic, Serta Perfect Sleeper, Simmons Beautyrest, Stearns & Foster and more.  Mattress Liquidators sells new, factory close-outs, overstocks, discontinued models and more at deeply discounted prices, saving customers up to 80% off MSRP. For more information, visit

About East Court Village
East Court Village, located in Pekin, Illinois, is anchored by regional and national chains including Hobby Lobby, Tractor Supply Co., ALDI, Dunham’s Sports, Gold’s Gym Express, Petco and Deals.  Shadow anchored by Walmart Supercenter, Big R, Staples and Menard’s, this regional power center is located along busy Illinois Route 9, which connects Pekin to Peoria and Bloomington.  Other retailers include Starbucks, Bob Evans, Culver’s Restaurant, Applebee’s, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Hometown Bank, Firestone and Fresenius Dialysis. East Court Village is owned and managed by Cullinan Properties, Ltd. Visit for more details.

About Cullinan Properties
Cullinan Properties, LTD. is a leading provider of real estate services specializing in commercial and mixed-use developments and acquisitions.  With offices in Peoria, IL, Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO, Cullinan Properties is a multi-disciplined real estate firm that develops, manages and owns mixed-use, retail, multi-family, office, governmental and medical properties throughout the United States, including Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Georgia, and Texas. For additional information about Cullinan Properties, Ltd., visit

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

December 10, 2019
Dear Chamber Member:
Please join me in extending best wishes to Bill Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, who has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2020.
Bill joined the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce in 2001 and has been an extraordinary executive director and has left a legacy of major accomplishments in the 18-plus years he served in this capacity. Bill has been a driving force in local and regional projects and placed a greater emphasis on the Chamber’s role as an advocate for our area businesses in our ever-changing business climate.
The Chamber Board appreciates the countless hours Bill has devoted to our community and wish him, his wife Melanie, and their family well as he enters this new chapter of life. We, the Board of Directors, will miss Bill’s leadership, enthusiasm and advocacy for our area’s business community. We hope that he enjoys his well-deserved retirement as his focus changes to his hobbies, travel and volunteering at his church. The search for a new executive director will begin immediately.
Dan Pfeifer, President
Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Friday, December 6, 2019

Rural Matters - The Big Table

Pekin Pride Soccer Season

Greetings Prospective Sponsor! Pekin Pride Soccer Club is already preparing for our 2nd Annual Kickoff to Summer Classic presented by PCB Insulators being held on May 22nd-24th, 2020. With 46 teams participating in our 1st ever tournament in 2019, we are expecting over 70 teams in 2020. We will once again target clubs from all over Central, Eastern, and Northern Illinois – including teams in Morton, Peoria, Bloomington/Normal, Champaign, Danville, Quad Cities, LaSalle-Peru, Joliet and the list goes on.

Since this is our second annual tournament, we once again want to put our best foot forward. I believe this will be easily accomplished by providing our out of town guests with excellent overnight hotel accommodations, convenient grocery stores, and recognizable and unique restaurants. I hope to see steady growth over the next several years and I know that we cannot accomplish this without the help of generous local businesses. 

Many companies and businesses are now planning their 2020 marketing budget. Would you consider a partnership with Pekin Pride SC? There are multiple ways in which your business can get involved. We offer sponsorship levels of $300 (Gold), $450 (Silver) and $1000 (Platinum). There is a level for every business to partner with us to make this tournament the best ever. 

Would you make a commitment to join me today? 


Troy Tarter
2020 Pekin Pride Tournament Director
(309) 370-7983 

P.S. If you are an area business please ask us about opportunities to distribute marketing material to each of the soccer families in attendance (menus, coupons, gift certificates, etc.)

Illinois 98 to reopen for the winter on December 6

Work to finish project resumes in spring

The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that Illinois 98 between Cole Hollow Road and California Road west of Groveland will temporarily reopen at 8 a.m. Dec. 6.

Work on Illinois 98 will resume in spring 2020 and involves widening, resurfacing and striping.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.

For IDOT District 4 updates, follow us on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict4 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois will hold a grand opening for its newest attended donation center on Thursday, December 12 at 10:00 A.M. It is located at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie, between Old Chicago and Cold Stone Creamery. The address is 7720 N. Grand Prairie Drive, Peoria. The center will offer both walk in and drive up donation drop off. The site officially opened on December 1, 2019.
“We want to make donating as quick and easy as possible,” said Don Johnson, Goodwill president and CEO. “We understand that people have busy lives, but they still want to support their community. We make it easy to drive up, drop off, and know that you did something special for the people of Central Illinois.”
The new location will also hold weekly prize drawings for anyone who donates through January 31, 2020.
Goodwill’s free programs are possible through the sale of your donated items. Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois serves 21 counties within Central Illinois. Goodwill offers employment services, veterans’ support services, operates a veterans’ home and supplies youth mentoring. It also employs more than 300 people throughout Central Illinois. For more information visit Goodwill’s website at

Monday, December 2, 2019

Sunset Hills Golf Course Customer Appreciation Week

Pekin Community High School Alumni aka Ransomware Superhero

Take a moment to read this great article on a Pekin Community High School graduate and his contribution to cyber crimes. Thank you Michael Gillespie!

Thanks to Michael Gillespie, an obscure programmer at a Nerds on Call repair store, hundreds of thousands of ransomware victims have recovered their files for more.

Pekin Miller Center Noon Years Eve Dance!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Big Table Report is Coming!

Data and ideas collected at The Big Table event are being analyzed and translated into a report. This report will help guide the working groups and initiatives in the region. 

"Preliminary results from the data collected at The Big Table Greater Peoria are encouraging. These data points will provide insights and identify key issues to be addressed for the future success of our region".

Dr. Larry Weinzimmer, Caterpillar Inc. Professor of Strategic Management, Bradley University.

The report is on track to be ready in January.

Watch the new video recap of the event:

Illinois Central College Seeks Public Comments for Upcoming Regional Accrediting Agency Visit

Illinois Central College is seeking comments from the public about the College in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. 

ICC will host a visit on February 3-5, 2020, from a team of peer reviewers representing the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.  ICC has been accredited by HLC since 1972. 

Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. 

Submit comments to HLC at or mail them to Public Comment on Illinois Central College, Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604.  All comments must be received by January 2, 2020. 

Santa at Steger's

Monday, November 25, 2019


The Philharmonic Chorale, in residence at Illinois Central College, presents its annual holiday concert on Sunday, December 1, at 2:30 p.m. in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the ICC East Peoria Campus.

Music will include works by John Rutter, Morten Lauridsen, Dan Forrest, and Matthew Culloton, as well as traditional carols and seasonal selections.

Walter Stout, ICC adjunct faculty member in music, will also join Philharmonic accompanist Carol Spayer on two arrangements for four-hand piano.

This Philharmonic Chorale is supported as an in-residence ensemble by the Arts at ICC, which has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions, and tournaments annually.

Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased online at and are also available at the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office in person or by phone at (309) 694-5136.

November Biz Barometer

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Welcome to Our Newest Member!

X Waste Disposal
14191 VFW Rd.
Pekin, IL 61554
Debbie Metroff
X Waste offers rolloff services in many Central IL locations, along with all your disposal needs for your business and residential.

Friday, November 15, 2019

UnityPoint Health Business After Hours

UnityPoint Health hosted the November 14 Business After Hours in the second floor cafeteria at their hospital located on 14th and Court Street in Pekin.  About 40 chamber members and guests attended the event.  Before drawing for door prizes, Jeanine Spain, Chief Operating Officer, introduced staff and spoke about recent IT investments in the Pekin facility.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Welcome to Our Newest Member

3507 Court St.
Pekin, IL 61554
Michael Garber, General Manager
Becky Green, Sales Manager
Staples helps the world work better with work solutions that deliver industry-leading products, services and expertise across office supplies, facilities, breakroom, furniture, technology, promotional products, and print and marketing services. The company supports businesses of all sizes from sole-preneurs to the Fortune 100 and everything in between.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Santa Wrapping Party with Neighborhood House

Neighborhood House Holiday News

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Join our Santa for Seniors Wrapping Party! On November 25th and 26th, you can help wrap gifts that get delivered to 1500 isolated seniors. Join our wrapping party or help us deliver gift bags to seniors on December 8th.

Volunteer to help parents shop in our Toy Shop! This program assists families with toys for children during the holiday season.

Other items needed:

Donate wrapping paper, tape, or scissors!
Donate new toys for children ages birth-10 for our Toy Shop!

SCORE: Getting Started with LinkedIn for Business Workshop

SCORE Peoria is offering
this workshop free!!
Getting Started with LinkedIn for Business

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
10:00AM to 12:00PM
Fondulac District Library
East Peoria Civic Complex
Meeting Room 112
400 Richland St.
East Peoria, IL 61611
Tammy Finch, founder and CEO of Web Services, Inc., will cover the basics of how you can use LinkedIn in your business. She will discuss Growing Your Network, Sales Lead Generation, Social Selling, and increasing your profile as a key influencer.


November 11, 2019  
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is celebrating the fifth annual RMHC National Vehicle Donation Day on Friday, November 15, 2019. Local Ronald McDonald Houses across the U.S. will work together to spread the word that you hold the keys to keeping families together at a local Ronald McDonald House.

Since launching the RMHC Vehicle Donation Program, over 4,000 vehicles have been donated, generating nearly $2.5 million for local chapters of the charity.

WHAT: RMHC Vehicle Donation Day

WHEN: Friday, November 15, 2019

WHY: As a benefit for each local Ronald McDonald House. Funds raised from the sale of donated vehicles at auction directly benefit families of seriously ill children being served by the charity.

CONTACT: Ryan Wilkins, RMHC Vehicle Donation Program

Donations of a used car, truck, boat or RV can help provide families a guest room at a local Ronald McDonald House and keep them together during the hospitalization of a seriously ill child. Vehicles are picked up for free, and donations also are tax deductible. To make a donation or learn more, visit or call toll free at 855-CARS-HELP (227-7435). 

Media Contact:

Kelly Thompson, RMHC of Central Illinois
Chief Executive Officer
309-401-2525 (office) 
217-836-3706 (cell)
Brie Getz, McDaniels Marketing
Media and Public Relations Director
RMHCCI giving opportunities, are available and can be viewed online at

About Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois
Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide a supportive place for families to stay while their child is receiving medical care and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. We provide families with private bedroom and bathroom, home-cooked meals and more to help ease the stress they face during a medical crisis. For more information, visit, follow RMHCCI on Twitter (@RMHCCI) or on Facebook.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities®
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Through its global network of over 290 Chapters in more than 63 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides compassionate care and resources to children and families being served by leading hospitals worldwide. RMHC programs provide access to quality health care and enable family-centered care ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their child’s care. For more information, visit
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