Monday, August 18, 2014

Congratulations to Ace Liquor

Ace Liquor is under new ownership.  Jason and Michelle Kreiling were joined by family, friends and representatives from the City of Pekin and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting.  Ace Liquor has two Pekin locations, 1025 Derby Street (347-7825) and 14 N. 5th Street (346-2185).  Ace Liquor offers a wide variety of beers, wines  and spirits, as well as an ever-growing craft beer selection.

Margaret Koch, RN, BS, Achieves Renewal of Certified Diabetes Educator Status

The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE)recently announced that Margaret Koch, RN, BS, CDE, Diabetes Educator at Pekin Hospital, has renewed the Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE®) status by successfully completing the continuing education renewal option process.

Candidates must meet rigorous eligibility requirements to be eligible for certification.  Achieving the CDE® credential demonstrates to people with diabetes and employers that the health care professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality of care for people with diabetes. Currently, there are over 17,800 diabetes educators who hold NCBDE certification.

In 1993, Koch established the outpatient diabetes program at Pekin Hospital with a multidisciplinary team of professionals.  She has maintained CDE® status since 1995. 

Pekin Hospital offers group classes and individual counseling in diabetes self-management and medical nutrition therapy related to diabetes.  For more information, please call (309) 353-0719.

NCBDE was established in 1986 to develop and administer a certification program for health
professionals who teach individuals with diabetes how to manage their disease.  NCBDE’s mission is to define, develop, maintain and protect the certification and credentialing process to promote quality diabetes education.  With the CDE® program, NCBDE recognizes and advances the specialty practice of diabetes education. NCBDE supports the concept of voluntary, periodic certification for all diabetes educators who meet credential and experience eligibility requirements.  For more information, visit the website at or call the national office at 877-239-3233.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Aventine Celebrates Project Completion

Aventine Renewable Energy marked the completion of the installation of two new natural gas boilers with a
ribbon cutting on August 15.  The boilers are scheduled to come on line in the next week.

Aventine invested $13.2 million in the natural gas boiler project over the past year.  The new boilers will reduce the plant emissions and replace 70-year-old coal-fired boilers.

The natural gas boilers are part of a $30 million investment in their wet mill.  Aventine CEO Mark Beemer noted this investment will extend the life of the plant for another 20 years.

John Valenti, Vice President of Operations at Aventine, noted the project included $1.1 million in local purchases and  the use of over $2 million in local labor.

Locally Aventine's employs 205 workes with an annual payroll of over $13.5 million.  Aventine also plans to purchase $250 million of corn this year.

You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alzheimer’s Support Group Offered at Pekin Hospital HHC

On August 12, a conveniently located Alzheimer’s Support Group for Tazewell county residents will begin at Pekin Hospital Home Health Care, 2934 Court Street in Pekin. For family members of people living with Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases, the support group meets from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Jeff Leeman Life Coach/Counselor will lead the support group. Jeff is from the Pekin area and has experience impacting lives with real solutions and kindness.

There is no cost to attend and no limit to the number of attendees. Please call in advance so plans can be made for the proper number attending.

More than 5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s disease and 210,000 of those are right here in Illinois. This support group is for you the caregiver to learn, share and gather strength and hope.

The Alzheimer's Association - Central Illinois Chapter offers programs and support services to help improve the quality of life of area residents dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Come to the River Renewal

Just imagine, the river flowing, a bridge arching, fresh cut grass, and people of all ages gathering to seek God’s renewal.

You will not want to miss this experience, so mark your calendars and count down the days to this time of worship led by praise music each evening and the “Good News” shared Thursday and Friday by Matthew Henson, Lead Evangelist for Living The Adventure Ministries.

Bring your lawn chairs or just throw a blanket on the ground. Come, be transformed and renewed by God who is waiting to meet you through Jesus!
WHEN:         Thursday, August 21
                     Friday, August 22
                     Saturday, August 23
TIME:           6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
LOCATION:  Pekin’s Riverfront Park Event Meadow

…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scriptures has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” ~John 7:37-38 NIV.

Sponsored by Grace United Methodist Church
601 N. Fourth St, Pekin, IL 61554
Web site:

Illinois American Celebrates New Water Tower

Representatives from Illinois American Water were joined by representatives of the City of Pekin and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, as they celebrated the completion of the community’s new 1.25-million-gallon elevated water storage tank located at 1700 Riverway Drive.

According to Roger Goodson, operations superintendent for the Pekin District, this investment of over $3 million ensures reliable water service to customers. “The water tower is a critical component of our water infrastructure.  The new tank will help ensure adequate supply for residents, businesses and fire protection,” said Goodson.

This investment includes a spheroid tank design that required minimal land use, reducing environmental impact. The new water tower welcomes visitors to the area with the City’s unique marigold logo.

You can see more pictures from this event at

Pekin's Having A Party

Monday, August 11, 2014

World Wide Travel of Pekin to Merge with Suzi Davis Travel

After forty years in the travel business, Arlene Heine Meyer is going to do more traveling herself. World Wide Travel of Pekin will merge with Suzi Davis Travel, effective August 15, 2014. 

Arlene is retiring after four decades of building and serving a loyal clientele. Assistant Manager, Debbie Fandel has been with World Wide for over 35 years and will move to the Suzi Davis office in Morton. Tracy Heine, will continue to serve her clientele as a remote agent for Suzi Davis. 

“We welcome the addition of Debbie Fandel to our great team of agents as well as the clients of World Wide Travel, who can expect to receive the same great service,” said Tim Davis, President of Suzi Davis Travel.  

Arlene has seen the travel industry evolve from train travel and hand written plane tickets to a fast-paced industry dominated by the internet and mega-travel agencies. Through all of the change, she and her staff have always sought to provide personal attention, outstanding customer service, and first-hand travel experiences to share with their clientele.

The retiring business owner looks forward to more regular travel, more time with family and friends, and a lot more golf.

World Wide Travel of Pekin was established in 1972 in the Herget Service Center on 4th Street in Pekin. It was purchased by Arlene Heine in 1974 and relocated to its present location at 506 Broadway in 1978. 

Suzi Davis Travel has been serving Central Illinois for over 35 years, with offices in Pekin, Morton, Peoria, Bloomington and 7 other locations.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts Grand Opening

Dunkin' Donuts held their grand opening celebration today.  There were giveaways,  a ribbon cutting, and a $1,000 donation to "The Mission Continues."  Owners Ron, Yonas, and Mike were assisted with the ribbon cutting by representatives of the City of Pekin and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.   Dunkin' Donuts is located at 2001 Court Street and is open daily from 5:00am to 10:00pm.  You can see more pictures of this event at

August Puttin On Pekin Recap

Fifty-six chamber members and guests attended the August 8th Puttin' On Pekin breakfast held at the Knights of Columbus Hall.  Rob Hancock received the early prize, and Dean Cooper received the late prize.  Amber Bernshausen accepted the Spotlight on Business Award on behalf of Dr. Volken Sumer and ICPR Family Practice.  Dean Cooper received a Blue Ribbon Award for his property improvements at his State Farm office on Court Street.  Shannon Sandoval received the Sunshine Award in recogntion of her involvmenet in many community events and organizations.  The program was given by Melinda Figge, executive director of the YWCA of Pekin.  She spoke about Pekin's Women Leadership Network.   You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

August Business After Hours

The August Business After Hours was co-hosted by Cullinan Properties and Gold's Gym Express.  About 40 chamber members enjoyed delicious refreshments, networked with other business and community leaders, and took tours of the gym.  You can see more pictures from this event at

Illinois American Water to Host Ribbon Cutting for 1.25 Million Gallon Elevated Water Tank

Illinois American Water’s Pekin District and the City of Pekin will celebrate the community’s new 1.25-million-gallon elevated water storage tank located at 1700 Riverway Drive.  A ribbon cutting will be held on Aug. 12, 2014 at 1 PM.  

According to Roger Goodson, operations superintendent for the Pekin District, this investment of over $3 million ensures reliable water service to customers. “The water tower is a critical component of our water infrastructure.  The new tank will help ensure adequate supply for residents, businesses and fire protection,” said Goodson.

This investment includes a spheroid tank design that required minimal land use, reducing environmental impact. The new water tower welcomes visitors to the area with the City’s unique marigold logo.

Pekin Mayor Laurie Barra said, “"The City of Pekin is proud to have our beautiful marigold logo on the water tower.  This investment not only enhances our community visually, but ensures water service for economic development."

The construction of this tank is part of an overall improvement plan which also includes a new booster station and distribution pipe improvements.  The U.S. EPA reports that the nation’s water utilities will need to make more than $384 billion in infrastructure investments by 2030 to ensure public health.  These investments include replacing thousands of miles of pipe and upgrades to treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets. Illinois American Water’s investment in the Pekin District is just another example of continuous investments and improvements being made, helping to meet the demands of today’s customers and planning for the future.  

Illinois American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.  

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 6,600 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 14 million people in more than 40 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting

Kroger Ribbon Cutting

Congratulations to Kroger who celebrated their recent $4.9 million remodeling investment in their Pekin store.  You can see more pictures from this event at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Win a Side of Beef from Alzheimer's Association

Raffle tickets for The Alzheimer’s Association® - Central Illinois Chapter Beef Raffle are on sale now! One lucky area resident’s freezer will be filled when their ticket number is drawn for a side of beef from Pottstown Meat and Deli.

Raffle tickets sell for $20 each or 3 for $50. The tickets can be purchased through November at the Chapter office, 606 W. Glen Ave., or from Pottstown Meat and Deli located at the Metro Center, 4700 N. University St. The winner will have the option of the beef or a gift card for the amount of the beef value.

The drawing will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, at Pottstown Meat and Deli. You need not be present to win.

Proceeds from the raffle will support programs and services for people living with Alzheimer’s and their families and caregivers.  

The Alzheimer's Association – Central Illinois Chapter is a donor-supported, not-for-profit health organization serving 20 counties in Illinois. Please visit or call 800.272.3900 for caregiver and disease information and/or Walk to End Alzheimer’s registration or raffle information.


The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Discover more about symptoms, causes, and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease & dementia; the benefits of early detection, treatment options; stages of the disease and ways the Association can help;
Thursday, August 14, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Graham Hospital
210 W Walnut
Canton, IL
Funded in part by Central IL Agency on Aging
Cost: $5 material charge per person

Please reserve a seat by calling the Central Illinois Chapter office at 800.272.3900.

Weekly Chamber Connection

Be sure to view your weekly Chamber Connection to keep up to date with all of the Chamber Events!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tazewell Teen Initiative Awareness Breakfast

Illinois American Water Ribbon Cutting

Pekin Hospital Foundation 1st Annual Clay Shoot

Pekin Hospital Foundation Shoe Sale

Robert's Run for Dyslexia

8th Annual Timbercreek Cruise-In

The Center for Prevention of Abuse 2nd Annual 5K Duck Dash / 1 Mile Waddle Walk Sponsored by Associated Bank

In celebration of the 26th Anniversary of the Duck Race, Associated Bank is sponsoring the 2nd Annual 5K Duck Dash / 1 Mile Waddle Walk to benefit The Center for Prevention of Abuse.

Who: All runners and walkers

What: 5K run / 1 mile walk

When: Saturday August 9, 2014
6:30 – 7:30am – Late registration & packet pickup
7:30 – 7:45am – Free on-site yoga session warm-up!
8:00am – 5K Dash
8:05am – 1 Mile Waddle Walk
After Finish – Refreshments and Awards

Where: Peoria Park District Riverfront Trail
From Marshal Plaza to Detweiller Marina

Why: In celebration of our 26th Annual Duck Race

How Much: $35.00 – Children under 5 are free to participate with registered adult.
To register and for additional information go to

Mashie's Pub Hosts Ladies Night Out School Supply Drive

Upcoming August Events at the Speakeasy Art Center

The Speakeasy Art Center is packed with events in the month of August. View their full calendar here
Childrens Drawing Class with Amy
Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin, Illinois
Teens/Adult Drawing Class with Amy
Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin, Illinois

Paper Jewelry Workshop
Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin, Illinois

Open Mic Night
Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin, Illinois    7:00pm

Canvas & Cocktails with Terri Gambetti
Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin, Illinois

Young Artist Reception
Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin, Illinois
Salsa Lessons & Open Dance
Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin, Illinois

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Hosts World’s Largest Duck at the 26th Annual Duck Race

 Martha Herm, Executive Director for The Center for Prevention of Abuse would like to invite you to the
Duck Race Kick Off Press Conference. The Press Conference will be held, Wednesday, August 6, 2014
10:00 am at the Riverfront Park (behind Walmart) East Peoria, IL 61611
They will announce the 26th Annual Duck Race and Giant Quacky, the World’s Largest Duck who will be nesting at Riverfront Park in East Peoria.

Central Illinois Chapter Garage Sale Benefits Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer's Association – Central Illinois Chapter will hold its annual Garage Sale Saturday, August 9, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Chapter office, 606 W. Glen Ave., Peoria. A vast assortment of items will be available, including furniture, framed art, kitchenware, clothing, collectibles, toys, books and pet supplies.

Proceeds will fund the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the signature disease awareness and fundraising event for the Alzheimer's Association’s. The Tazewell County Walk to End Alzheimer's is scheduled for Thursday, September 25, 6 p.m. at Mineral Springs Lagoon in Pekin. The Peoria Walk to End Alzheimer's takes place on Sunday, October 5, at 2 p.m. at Liberty Park in Peoria. 

The Alzheimer's Association – Central Illinois Chapter is a donor-supported, not-for-profit health organization serving 20 counties in Illinois. For additional information or for help, please visit the website at or call 800.272.3900.

Pekin Hospital Opens Pain Management Center

Pekin Hospital is pleased to announce the opening of the Pekin Pain Management Center, a balanced pain management center, on the hospital campus at 600 S. 13th Street, Suite K.  The clinic will be staffed by Arek Grochowski, M.D., a fellowship trained pain management specialist.  To make an appointment with Dr. Grochowski, please call (309) 353-0721.

The pain center will diagnose and create individualized treatment plans for patients based on a number of considerations, including the cause and level of pain. Acute and chronic pain conditions treated at Pekin Pain Management Center include neck and back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic pelvic pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), nerve damage, as well as pain associated with arthritis, muscle spasms and shingles.  

Dr. Grochowski is fellowship trained in pain medicine at Christ Hospital & University of Cincinnati and is a graduate of Medical Academy of Gdansk in Gdansk, Poland. He completed his residency at Christ Hospital & University of Cincinnati.

“Millions of people suffer from pain that affects their daily life, and they don’t know how to begin treating it,” says Dr. Grochowski. “We provide some of the most advanced treatments available today for acute and chronic pain—treatments that are more tolerable and less invasive than in the past. Pain management is proven to get people back to their everyday lives.”

“We are excited to offer this new service to the Pekin area,” says Pekin Hospital CEO Bob J. Haley. “A balanced pain management program not only keeps our patients healthy, but also makes our entire community safer.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Pekin Pain Management Center at (309) 353-0721.

Upcoming SCORE Workshops

SCORE - For the life of your business
SCORE Peoria
To register for these upcoming events go to  

Web Tech: Email Marketing with Constant Contact (Hands-on) (free)
August 12 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Web Tech Services,
619 Taylor St.
East Peoria, IL. 61611
Web Tech: Social Media 101 (free)
August 19 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Web Tech Services,
619 Taylor St.
East Peoria, IL. 61611
Web Tech: Email Marketing for Success (free)
August 21 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Web Tech Services,
619 Taylor St.
East Peoria, IL. 61611
East Peoria: Using Your Personal Facebook Account Like a Pro (free)
August 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Fondulac Library,
140 E Washington St , East Peoria , IL 61611 United States
Call the library to register 309-699-3917  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chamber's Mobile Website

Have you seen the chamber's mobile-friendly website? It includes easy access to the membership directory, calendar of events, Marigold Festival and more. Bookmark it in your phone!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Muse Salon Grand Opening

Muse Salon, 429 Court Street, held their grand opening on July 31.  Representatives from the Pekin Area  Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin were there to wish owner Karen Walker the best of luck.  Muse Salon is an upscale salon offering the best in hair and nails care.  The stylists and nail techs offer all of the newest trends.  Muse Salon can be reached at 642-9275.  You can see more pictures at

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Center for Prevention of Abuse announces its 2014-2015 Board of Directors.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse announces its 2014-2015 Board of Directors.

Board of Director Officers;
• Althea Geiser, B’Ribboned, Etc.
• Greg Miller, Pioneer Railcorp
Vice President
• Karla Losey, Associated Bank
• Sandy Andrews, CEFCU Retiree
• Deauna Collins, Herget Bank
Vice Treasurer

Newly Elected Board Members;
• Michele Anderson, South Side Bank
• Paroma Banerjee, Caterpillar Inc.
• Neil Kaderabek, Pekin Insurance
• Kimberly Leman, Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino

Returning Board Members;
• Sue Bosich, Eliff, Dancey & Bosich, P.C.
• Dave Finch, Verizon Wireless
• Joanna Gardner M.D., OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
• The Reverend Elaine Gordon, Ward Chapel AME Church
• Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Inc.
• Chris McCall, McCall Law Offices, P.C.
• Christina Alwan Miller, Northwestern Mutual
• The Reverend Anna Saxon, UnityPoint Health Methodist/Proctor
• Bonnie Schofield, Community Volunteer
• Stacey Shangraw, Ameren Illinois
• Kip Strasma Ph.D., Methodist College of UnityPoint Health
• Giann Walker, CEFCU
• Jennifer Zammuto, Caterpillar Foundation

“These individuals bring extraordinary experiences and strengths to The Center,” explains Martha Herm, Executive Director. “They are committed to helping victims of violence find safety and support and to helping young people learn new skills in building healthy relationships and non-violent lifestyles.”

Savant Capital Management Ranks in Top 50 on Financial Advisor RIA List

Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm, announced today it has been recognized by two leading financial trade publications as a top Registered Investment Advisors firm (RIA) in the country.

Savant has been named one of the top 50 RIA firms by Financial Advisor magazine. The firm ranked 49th overall and moved up from 9th to 7th of Illinois firms recognized.

Financial Advisor magazine’s top RIA list includes more than 500 RIAs from across the country. As published in the ranking results, at the end of 2013 Savant managed over $3.6 billion in assets.

Annually, Financial Advisor ranks the top registered investment advisory firms across the United States based on a survey of the firm’s discretionary assets under management.  Click here to view the entire list.

“We are honored to be named to Financial Advisor’s Top RIA Firms list for the sixth consecutive year,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO at Savant Capital Management.  “This is a clear reflection of the hard work and dedication of Savant team members and the relationships we enjoy with our clients.”

Savant was also named to the inaugural Top 300 list presented by Financial Times. Savant was one of 23 Illinois RIA firms to be recognized. Criteria comprised on this list include assets under management, asset growth rate, the firm’s longevity, compliance record industry certifications and online accessibility.

Savant has consistently received other industry recognitions from publications such as Financial Planning, Investment News and Barron’s magazine where they received recognition as one of the 100 best independent financial advisors in the United States. Headquartered in Rockford, IL. Savant also has nine offices in the following cities: Chicago, IL, Freeport, IL; Geneva, IL; Hoffman Estates, IL; Naperville, IL; Peoria, IL; Sterling, IL; McLean, VA; and Madison, WI. 


Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a membership organization comprised of 165 independent Goodwill headquarters. Goodwill Industries International was contacted last Friday afternoon by a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and federal authorities informing us that select U.S. store locations may have been the victims of possible theft of payment card numbers. Investigators are currently reviewing available information. At this point, no breach has been confirmed but an investigation is underway. Goodwills across the country take the data of consumers seriously and their community well-being is our number one concern. Goodwill Industries International is working with industry contacts and the federal authorities on the investigation. We will remain apprised of the situation and will work proactively with any individual local Goodwill involved taking appropriate actions if a data compromise is uncovered.


CEFCU received a 5-Star or “Superior” rating – the highest rating awarded  – by BAUERFINANCIAL, an independent organization that has been analyzing the performance of all financial institutions since 1983.  This rating indicates CEFCU is a safe, financially-sound credit union that is operating well above regulatory capital requirements, having a capital to assets ratio of over 9%.  BAUERFINANCIAL rates credit unions based on asset quality, capital adequacy, profitability, historical trends, reserves, and regulatory compliance.

               As of the end of May, CEFCU’s assets were over $5 billion.  Members’ savings reached over $4.4 billion, and loans outstanding totaled $3.4 billion.  CEFCU savings plans are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency.

               With assets just over $5 billion, CEFCU serves over 302,000 members through              
20 central Illinois Member Centers and 3 Member Centers in Santa Clara County, California; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s website,; CEFCU’s Mobile website,; the surcharge-free CO-OP ATM Network; and the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Honor Rewards Program

The Tazewell County Clerk/Recorder’s Office is excited to offer a service for our Veterans, known as, Honor Rewards. With Honor Rewards, Veterans can sign-up at our office or online to receive an Honor Rewards card, which qualifies them for discounts and incentives at participating businesses in our community.
We would like to offer you the opportunity to become a participating business with Honor Rewards and show your thanks and appreciation to our Veterans. What your business offers is up to you, whether it’s percentage off discount, specific dollar amount or some other incentive.
By participating, your business name with be listed on the Honor Rewards website for Tazewell  County, provided to Veterans who receive an Honor Rewards card, and also be regularly mentioned in email blasts to current Honor Rewards members. In addition, we will provide you with promotional materials like door stickers and flyers to promote that you are an Honor Rewards business member.

To become a business member, please fill out the form below mail it to the address above. Or you can apply online at by clicking the Business Sign-Up link. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Illinois American Water Sponsors Facebook Photo Contest

Some pictures are worth a thousand words. Now, they could be worth a total of $1,500 shared
by three organizations via Illinois American Water’s “Value of Water” photo contest.  The contest begins today, July 22, 2014,
on the Company’s Facebook page at

Illinois American Water invited 12 local organizations to submit photos and thoughts to depict what water service means to their
organization and community.  The photos will be posted to Illinois American Water’s Facebook page here –
The photo contest also aims to raise awareness about the role water service plays in daily lives, economic growth and fire protection.

The public can participate by voting for their favorite “Value of Water” photo beginning July 22, 2014 through August 20, 2014.  The
three photos with the most votes will earn their organization $750 (first place), $500 (second place) and $250 (third place).  The winners
will be announced soon after the contest closes. The organizations participating in the contest are listed below along with their
Illinois American Water service area:

•        Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau – Alton District
•        American Red Cross, Little Egypt Branch -- Cairo District
•        City of Waterloo -- Interurban (Metro East) District
•        Daily Bread Soup Kitchen -- Champaign District

•        Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful -- South Beloit District
•        Lincoln Community Gardens -- Lincoln District
•        Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal (P2D2) -- Pontiac District
•        Sterling Fire Department -- Sterling District
•        Streator Child Development Center -- Streator District
•        Sun Foundation -- Peoria District
•        TAPS Animal Shelter -- Pekin District
•        West Suburban Community Pantry -- Chicago Metro District

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Concert at Winery to Benefit Alzheimer’s Association

 The Alzheimer’s Association invites Central Illinois to its Summer Concert at the Winery from noon – 5 p.m. this Sunday, July 27, at Kickapoo Creek Winery, 6605 N. Smith Road in Edwards.  Enjoy wine tasting and relax to entertainment while supporting families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

The $10 admission fee includes an afternoon of wine tasting and entertainment, with proceeds benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association - Central Illinois Chapter, Peoria. Popular local musical acts Jazz Slayer, Greg Williams and Boogie Shooze will perform.

Tickets may be reserved at the Alzheimer’s Association Central Illinois Chapter office by calling 800-272-3900. Tickets are also available for purchased at Kickapoo Creek Winery and will be sold at the door the day of the event.

The Alzheimer's Association-Central Illinois Chapter offers programs and support services to help improve the quality of life of area residents dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

For more information about the concert, call Jamie Messmore at the Alzheimer’s Association at 309.681.1100 ext. 215 or 800.272.3900. For disease and caregiver information, visit the agency website at

Women's Business Resource Expo on Thursday

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), North-Central Regional Economic Development and Illinois Main Street will host the first North Central regional Women's Business Resources Expo at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites East Peoria on July 24.

“Women enterprises in the state of Illinois should be recognized as a driving economic force,” said Carol Bell, director of women’s business development at DCEO. “It’s our hope that this expo will draw particular attention to the resources that exist to help women-owned firms reach the next competitive level.”

Presentations will focus on vendor programs, procurement contracting opportunities, bidding processes and initiatives applicable to women-owned firms.

The list of panelists include Bell; Arthur Williams, Advantage Illinois; Rebecca Harmon and Deb Waldrop, Workforce Development; Chima Enyia, Central Management Services; Tory Davis, Illinois Department of Employment Security; Karen Fraase, Illinois Department of Agriculture; Debbie Myers Martin, Illinois State Treasurer's Office; Jesse Martinez, Capital Development Board; Ellisa Johnson, U.S. Census Bureau; Philip Dalmage, Illinois Department of Human Services; Susan Gibson, Illinois Department of Transportation; Dennis Kief, Economic Development Council of Central Illinois; Charles Randle, Illinois Business Financial Services; Ross Miller, Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University; Stan Lynall, Central Illinois Angels; Blake Long, UnityPoint Health-Methodist/Proctor; Fred Remmert, Meridian Health Plan; Charly Ugorji and Celeste Matheson, Caterpillar; Kendra Austin, Ameren; Colleen Callahan and Mary Warren , USDA Rural Development, and Anne Bandy, OSF HealthCare.

Participating affiliates include the region’s top companies; Caterpillar, OSF HealthCare, UnityPoint Health-Methodist/Proctor, Ameren, Meridian Health Care, and sponsors Illinois Main Street and Illinois SBDC at Bradley University.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 24. Doors open at 7:30AM. Attendees will also receive continental breakfast. To register or find out more information, call 309-647-5896, or email On-site registrations welcomed.

For more information on doing business in Illinois, go to

Midwest Dental - Pekin Joins the Chamber!

Midwest Dental - Pekin
3218 Court Street
Pekin, IL 61554
Stephanie Hartung, Marketing Coordinator
In cities, towns and rural communities, Midwest Dental offers a wide range of general dental services, cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry for patients of all ages.

July Biz Barometer

Pekin's sales tax receipts lagged behind the regional trend in June.  But employment numbers showed improvement in Pekin. 

L Pekin's July sales tax disbursement from the state was down 3.6% compared to the same month a year ago.  The 3-month running average was down 10.4% and the 12-month running average was down 9.6% compared to the same periods one year ago.

J Two of the other four large Tazewell County communities showed growth in their July disbursements from the state, compared to a year ago.  East Peoria was up 19.9% and Washington was up 5.6%.  Morton was down 3.2%.

J July sales tax disbursements for the four large Tazewell County communities as a whole, were up 6.0% compared to July of 2013.  That is a positive trend:  the 3 month running average is up 4.3% and the 12-month running average is up 2.3% compared to the same periods one year ago.
J The unemployment rate in Pekin fell to 7.5% in May.  That is the lowest unemployment rate in Pekin since December of 2008.  The unemployment rate in Tazewell County dropped to 6.6%, the lowest rate in two years.   
J Only 1,263 Pekin residents were reported as unemployed in May.  That is the lowest number since October of 2008. 
J Total non farm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.1%.  Job gains were widespread, led by employment growth in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and health care.
J The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Peoria Area Association of Realtors Joins the Chamber!

Peoria Area Association of Realtors
7307 N. Willowlake Court
Peoria, IL 61614
Dallas Hancock, CEO
Peoria Area Association of Realtors is the leading resource for realtor brokers and managing brokers for real estate standards and professionalism. PAAR is the advocate for home owenership and private property rights in Central Illinois.

Pet Supplies Plus Parking Lot Pet Party!

Pekin Hospital to Offer Diabetes Education Workshop

Pekin Hospital is pleased to offer an adult diabetes education workshop on August 18, 19, and 20.  The series of three classes will be held from 2 – 5 p.m. in the 4 South Education Classroom at Pekin Hospital.

The classes are designed to provide information on managing adult diabetes and to help diabetics learn and develop the skills of self-management of diabetes therapy.  Topics covered in the sessions will include: 

v  the importance of diabetes control and the factors that influence this control
v  how to plan meals according to food selections and serving size
v  the possible complications associated with diabetes
v  why exercise will benefit your health and make you feel good

Workshop speakers will include a Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, Registered Pharmacist, and Registered Medical Technician.

Class fees are $70 per person (one guest may accompany the registrant at no extra cost).  The $70 includes all three classes.  Class size is limited.  Registration deadline is August 11.  To register, please call (309) 353-0719.

World Cafe' Discussion

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July Business After Hours at Nazarene Church

The July Business After Hours was hosted by the Pekin First Church of the Nazarene.  Chamber members toured the recently completed addition, which more than doubled the size of the worship facility.  Pastor Lloyd Brock and the church members proudly spoke about the additions and renovations.  And with no disrespect meant to other After Hours hosts, the July Business After Hours featured the widest selection of desserts and treats in recent memory.   You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Register Now for 2014 Brad Campbell Memorial

Goodwill GoodGuides Seeks Mentors

GoodGuides is a national youth mentoring initiative for youth ages 12-17.  GoodGuides pairs adult volunteers from the community with youth in a mentoring relationship for the purpose of providing positive guidance, career exploration, and maximizing their overall potential.  Since 2009, GoodGuides mentors have invested over 13,000 hours of mentoring and career preparation to central Illinois youth.

Goodwill has started a new GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring program year.  They anticipate over 110 youth in area schools to sign up, and they're looking for volunteer mentors to serve as positive role models to these students.  The commitment is around one hour each week and you can expect to feel how rewarding it is to make a difference to a youth and give back to your community                                                                                                                       
“I enjoy spending time with my mentee and look forward to it each week.” – GoodGuides® Volunteer

“GoodGuides has helped me set goals in my life.” – GoodGuides® Youth
They currently have many youth in the Pekin area that are in need of a mentor.  More information is available from Samantha Kinsey, Volunteer Specialist with Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois, 309-573-6592

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SCORE Peoria Presents LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn is social media for professionals and executives. In this workshop, presented by Jannise Bush, a small business owner and SCORE Mentor, you can find out how to connect with your target audience, build brand awareness and educate potential customers on your products and services.

The workshop is FREE but please click below to register and reserve your place
We hope you can join us!
SCORE Peoria

Monday, July 7, 2014

Robert's Run for Dyslexia

Marigold Parade Applications

Applications and rules for the 2014 Marigold Festival Parade Sponsored by Herget Bank are now available.  You can pick one up at the chamber office (402 Court Street) or download it here:

Fireworks Crew

Here is a photo of the volunteers that shoot the fireworks at Pekin's Honor America Celebration.  They get together for a safety breakfast on the morning of July 4th, then go to the stadium to prepare for the fireworks display. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Peoria Historical Society Project

The Peoria Historical Society has launched a campaign to raise money for a new air conditioning unit in the Flanagan House. The unit is important for protecting and preserving the museum’s temperature-sensitive artifacts, as well as allowing for the comfort of guests. The PHS has identified a grant that could cover half of the cost of the $18,000 unit, if it can secure the remaining $9,000. For information on how to donate, visit or call (309) 674-1921.

Wheels O'Time Museum

Wheels O’Time Museum will host a special display of Ford tractors during the month of July, featuring two tractors powered by Ford engines. The museum, located at 1710 W. Woodside Drive in Dunlap, is open on July 4th and Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5pm from May to October. For more information ,visit  

Boys & Girls Club Karaoke Contest!



Pekin Hospital Names Foundation Director

Pekin Hospital is pleased to announce that Sherry Semonis has been named Director of the Pekin Hospital Foundation effective June 23, 2014.

In her role, Semonis will focus on fundraising for the Foundation and planning the Hospital Foundation Ball.  Semonis has a long history of fundraising for the Hospital and other charities.  She has a special talent for organizing events to make them fun and interesting while recognizing key contributors.

Semonis is a past recipient of Central Illinois 25 Women in Leadership, primarily due to her involvement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Her commitment to the community does not stop with St. Jude however.  She has also served on boards and committees for Kiwanis Club of Pekin, United Way, Crime Stoppers, Family House, Pekin Main Street, Susan G. Komen, and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bob J. Haley, Pekin Hospital Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are very excited to have Sherry join our team.  The experience she brings Pekin Hospital is invaluable.  She will truly be an asset in our fundraising efforts.”

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Upcoming Events

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and Winery
July News and Happy July 4th
Concerts in the Vineyard

7/05- Biscuits & Gravy Band
 7/12- Sister Groove & The CTJ 
7/19-  Jammsammich
7/25- Friday, Brushville 
7/26 - Triple Dog Dare

 Festivals & Fundraisers
July and August

7/19- Metec & Mackinaw Vineyard Ride Fundraiser
7/20- Art and Wine Festival 
7/27- Lungevity-THE BATTLE Fundraiser
8/03-Vintage, Vines and Wines Festival

Festivals and Fundraisers Information

M & M Vineyard Ride Fundraiser 
Saturday, July 19, 2014:  8:00 am-12:00 pm

METEC's 2014 Bike Ride is a loop ride that starts and ends at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard & Winery. The M & M Bike ride supports METEC's affordable housing program and financial literacy programs. This ride offers lots of rolling hills, and some flats with distances of 100 kilometer, 40 mile, 30 mile, 15 mile and 5 mile rides. Riders will have the option to participate in a brunch and winery tour and tasting after the ride.
Registration,Schedule and Fees
  • Riders-$40 for Ride, Brunch and Winery Tour and Tasting. Non-riders- $30 for the Brunch and Winery Tour and Tasting.
  • Brunch at 10:30am
  • Winery Tour and Tasting at 11:30 For Registration and fee information email -Mikayla Eldridge at or call 309-676-3832 .Check Metec on the web
  • Rain or shine the ride will take place. Check-in begins at 6:30am for 100 Kilometer and 40 mile ride which starts at 7:00am and 5, 15, and 30 mile rides starts at 8:00am with check-in at beginning at 7am.

Art and Wine Festival
July 20, 12:00 pm-6:00 pm 

Local artists showcase their talents and sell their art at this free event. The artists invited specialize in oil and water color painting, wood, jewelry, metal work, ceramics and glass. Local car clubs have been invited to display their cars. Wine tasting is featured all day and talented musician Greg Williams will entertain. The kids will have their concrete canvas area to draw and show off their talents at this family friendly event, as well as face painting. Please come out and enjoy this free event and support our local art community.  Rain or Shine in the Pavilion. 

Lungevity-THE BATTLE 

Sunday, July 27, 2:00 pm-8:00 pm

Join the battle against lung cancer at a unique and exciting event

-Battle the obstacles- 
Canoe races
Paintball target shooting
Giant tricycle races  
Blindfolded bag toss
After the BATTLE...head to the pavilion for social hour with snacks and a wine tasting followed by a four course dinner paired with both Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Wines and Rolling Meadows Brewery beers, our friends in Springfield.
The first three courses will be provided by The Catering Company and then enjoy a dessert course of Sweet Temptations signature cupcakes as well as That's So Sweet's mini cheesecakes for dessert! The entire evening will also include live music from Johnny Quest Band who will be playing blues, rockabilly, classic and modern music!  Tickets for event-$50 single, $375 -table of 8, $450-table of 10. For tickets go to: Follow us on Facebook for event updates and detail or Held- rain or shine.

We wish you all a safe and HAPPY 4th of July and give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy and friendships we share-
All the best, the Hahn family