Thursday, October 20, 2016

Chamber Honors Thirty-Six

See more pictures of this event at:

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their 19th annual Business and Community Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, October 20 at the Pekin Country Club.  The chamber’s Member Promotions Committee coordinated the luncheon, which was sponsored by Enviro-Safe Refrigerants, Pekin Insurance, Pekin Trophy House & Engraved Gifts, The Greenhouse Flower Shoppe, Homefield Energy, and Pekin Hospital.  Additional sponsors included Busey Bank, CEFCU, NRG Powerton, Pekin Community Bank, and Peoria Limousine.

Recognition was given to thirty-six area businesses and organizations in several different categories:  new ownership or management; new business or building; additional employees; major retraining effort; new technology or major equipment investment; other business improvements; and, community involvement.

The speaker at the luncheon was Dave Kinzinger, founder, owner, and president of Fun on the Run.  He shared his personal story of how he started Fun on the Run in 1996 and how it continues to grow. 

Special recognition was given to Neighborhood House who has provided services to the community for 120 years.  In 2011, they expanded their Meals on Wheel program to Tazewell County.  This year they opened a Financial Opportunity Center.

Chamber Board President John Franks closed the program by thanking the audience for their support and their recognition of the accomplishments of others.  He noted the importance of small businesses, the backbone and job creators of local economies.

      The thirty-six businesses and organizations recognized for their achievements in the past year were:

·         Advanced Medical Transport

·         BodyWealth Massage

·         Bond Eye Associates

·         Brady’s Carpet Cleaners of Central Illinois, Inc.

·         Cape Cod Village Apartments

·         Career Link

·         CT Gabbert Remodeling & Construction

·         Dan Pfeifer State Farm

·         Debbie Fornoff Interior Design and Draperies

·         Double D’s Ice Cream

·         DreamScapes Landscaping LLC

·         Enviro-Safe Refrigerants, Inc.

·         Facet Technologies

·         First Pekin Savings Bank

·         First State Bank of Illinois

·         Illinois American Water Company

·         Innovative Medical Therapies

·         Johnson Mechanical Service, Inc.

·         Mackinaw Valley Winery

·         Morningside Of Pekin

·         PAL Health Technologies, Inc.

·         Pekin Animal Hospital

·         Pekin Hospital/Progressive Health Systems

·         Pekin Insurance Company

·         Pekin Lions Club

·         Peoria Limousine Company

·         Porter Electric

·         Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory LLC

·         Sears Hometown Store

·         South Side Bank

·         The Hope Chest Stores of Central Illinois

·         The Salvation Army of Pekin

·         United Way of Pekin

·         YWCA Pekin

·         JL Hubbard Insurance & Bonds

·         Neighborhood House

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pekin Hospital Foundation to Host Jewels & Jeans Gala

The Pekin Hospital Foundation will host the 2016 Jewels & Jeans Gala on November 19th at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria starting at 6 p.m. The annual event is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser each year.
The Jewels & Jeans Gala will include live music from West MacQueen Street Band, silent auction items, a photo booth and more. Individual tickets for the Jewels & Jeans Gala are $150, and tables of 10 are $1,500. To make a reservation contact Director of Fund Development Sherry Semonis at 309-353-0983 or
Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the ProHealth Medical Office Building project, which is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017. The 62,000-square-foot facility will house multiple providers in Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
Part of Progressive Health Systems, the Pekin Hospital Foundation provides a direct channel for donors and volunteers to support Pekin Hospital’s mission of improving the health and well-being of the community with love, compassion and extraordinary care.
For more information visit

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pekin Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections Opens

The Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections is an Assisted Living Community that offers residents carefree, retirement living at its finest. They do it ALL! They'll cook, clean and do the laundry. They also take care of the lawn and remove snow and ice from the walkways. Reflections Memory Care provides security and support of your loved one needs to live successfully in a non-nursing home environment.  The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the community were on hand on October 15th to welcome them to Pekin with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections is located at 2720 S. 14th.  More information is available online at or by calling (309) 264-0341.  More pictures from this event are available at:


Illinois Central College will host its annual Cover Crop Field Day on Thursday, November 3, from 1-3:30 pm, on the East Peoria Campus. The field day will include short presentations and plot tours for area farmers and agricultural businessmen.
Presenters include Gordon Roskamp and Pete Fandel, who are all currently working with cover crop research at various locations in Central Illinois. A representative from Waterborne Environmental also will talk about the tile water testing at ICC in relation to cover crops. Participants will learn about different cover crop species, planting dates, herbicide carryover, and many other topics related to cover crops. Everyone will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding crop cover management in their own operations.

To register, call ICC Associate Professor Pete Fandel at (309) 694-5410, or email


Two new exhibits open on October 19 at the Illinois Central College art galleries, located on the East Peoria Campus.
An opening reception from noon to 2 pm for all will fragment, an exhibit featuring drawings and paintings by Peoria-based artist Bethany Carlson, takes place in Gallery 336B, located in the Academic Building.
In addition, a veterans’ art exhibit featuring works by military veterans from the area opens at noon in the ICC Performing Arts Center Gallery, located in the lobby of the facility. The event is the first show in what is hoped to be an annual exhibit featuring works of art by faculty, student and community military veterans. A reception for this exhibit will take place November 9 from 5 to 9 pm in the gallery.
Carlson, who serves as an adjunct art faculty member at ICC, resides in Peoria. She earned her bachelor of fine arts from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and her master of fine arts from New Mexico State University. She has exhibited her works across the US. She focuses on creating works that are pensive and funereal in nature. Her work features drawings, paintings, and sculptures that are often delicate and detailed.
Hours of operation for Gallery 336B are Monday through Thursday, from 9 am to 5 pm and Friday from 9 am to noon. The Performing Arts Center Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, and Friday from 9:30 am to noon. Operation of the galleries varies with ICC’s holidays and breaks. To confirm a gallery will be open at a particular time, call the ICC Arts and Communication Department at (309) 694-5113. The Performing Arts Center Gallery also is accessible when the Performing Arts Center is open for public events.
The exhibits are presented by the ICC Art Program and the Arts at ICC. The Arts at ICC 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.

For more information, visit, or contact the ICC Arts & Communication Department at (309) 694-5113.


The Illinois Central College Guest Artists Series will feature classic songs from one of the most popular duos in music history with Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience, performed by brothers Jeb and Jock Guthrie, on October 21. The show begins at 7:30 pm in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus.
“We’ve always been attracted to harmony vocals,” Jeb said. “The first town we grew up in was a town called Brillion, Wisc., a town of about 1,500. There was this place there that had an ancient jukebox that they hadn’t really changed the music on in a long time. So the first things that we were really influenced by were the Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, and all the stuff that was from the early ’50s halfway through the early ‘60s.”
Although they have been performing for more than 30 years, the idea for a show featuring the music of Simon and Garfunkel didn’t emerge until more recently.
“The show kind of evolved,” Jock said. “Somewhere along the way, the first Simon and Garfunkel tune we learned was ‘The Boxer.’ It worked out so well that we started learning more, and one day we just sort of woke up and said, ‘Hey, tribute performances are a respectable thing these days; we should do a Simon and Garfunkel show.’ And it took off from there.”
While the Guthries have been performing this show for several years, they said they’ve never actually met either Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel.
“The closest we’ve come is sending [Paul’s] office licensing fees for the CDs we sell,” Jock said. “I do think that if he heard what we do, he’d realize the care and how we treat the material like we’re museum archivists.”
The brothers said the audience shouldn’t expect the type of show where the performers are closely imitated, but rather, they treat the show as an homage to Simon and Garfunkel’s music while staying true to their own style. They also enjoy a kind of dialogue with the audience.  
“We have been told that our audiences feel like they know us by the end of the show,” Jock explained.
In turn, the approach of being themselves on stage has helped the pair evolve and develop as performers.
“That’s one of the main things that we are so thrilled about,” Jeb said. “When you’re younger, you sort of have a one-dimensional view of what a performance is; you think you go up on stage and you play songs to someone and they like it and clap and everything is great. But really, it’s a much more interactive situation than that, and we’ve sort of embraced that aspect more and more the more we have performed.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria will be the highlighted community partner for the event. The community partner program, a part of the ICC Guest Artists Series, highlights a non-profit or community organization which has ties to the Guest Artists Series performance.
Patrons at the event who donate to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria will be entered in a drawing for two free tickets to a future ICC Guest Artists Series event.
In addition, patrons who attend the event will have the opportunity to provide input about future shows.
As it does for all ICC Guest Artists Series events, CityLink provides Park and Ride service from Peoria for the performance. Buses leave Evergreen Square near the former Lenscrafters building at 6:45 pm and transport passengers directly to the ICC Performing Arts Center. Buses return to Evergreen Square immediately after the show. Fares are $1 one-way. Senior citizens 65 years of age and older with verification can ride for 50 cents one way.
The performance is presented by the Arts at ICC. The Arts at ICC 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 to the show cost $20 for the general public and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (309) 694-5136.

Marketing Seminar Offered

Friday, October 14, 2016

October Puttin' On Pekin Breakfast

Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, the new President of Illinois Central College was the speaker at the October 14th Puttin' On Pekin breakfast.  Dr. Bailey noted the community colleges can play in addressing economic challenges facing today's generation.  She also spoke of ICC's relationship with the local high school districts and the opportunities available at the ICC Pekin campus.  Several awards were also presented at the breakfast, including the Early Prize to Kay Sutton and the Late Prize to Mitch O'Shaughnessey.  Tom Hornstein accepted the Spotlight on Business Award on behalf of Excalibur Seasoning. The Blue Ribbon Award was presented to Mark and Lelonie Luft, owners of Maurie's Candy.  A second Blue Ribbon Award was presented to Mitch O'Shaughnessey (Dreamscapes Landscaping) and Sarah Newcomb (City of Pekin) for their beautiful downtown flower pot project.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

After Hours At Lick Creek

The Pekin Park District hosted the Business After Hours at Lick Creek Golf Course on October 13th.  There were plenty of refreshments, plus door prizes and a putting contest!  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Safe Roads Amendment

This November Illinoisans have a chance to change the direction of our state. On Election Day you’ll be able to VOTE YES on the Safe Roads Amendment, a proposed addition to the Illinois Constitution. This amendment creates no new taxes. The Safe Roads Amendment only requires our Illinois government to invest existing transportation taxes and fees on transportation projects and programs. 

Illinois is at the center of the North American transportation network. We travel over 103 billion miles a year on America's third longest inventory of roads. Within our borders we possess the third largest transit system, the second largest rail network, the eighth most navigable waterway, and we are a leader in passenger and cargo air travel.

To keep these systems running Illinois needs to invest billions into our existing transportation infrastructure over the next 25 years. However, since 2003 over $6.8 billion collected by the state of Illinois through gas taxes and vehicle registrations has been swept by our elected officials and used for other purposes. This has eroded the public trust while threatening Illinois’ ability to move people and materials safely and efficiently.

If this referendum does not pass in November, policy makers will continue to have the ability to divert billions of dollars away from where they need to be spent. A diverse group of organizations from across Illinois have come out in support of this amendment, including the Board of Directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please visit

Pekin Hospital Director Earns Patient Safety Certification

Pekin Hospital Director of Obstetrics (OB) and Manager of House Supervisors Darlene Hammond, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CPPS, has been recognized by the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS) as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety. 

Hammond earned this credential in part by passing a rigorous, evidence-based examination that tests candidates on their competency in patient safety science and application.

“This certification reflects Darlene’s commitment to patient safety, which is critical to the work we do at Pekin Hospital every day,” said Beth Thomas, Director of Quality and Patient Safety. “We congratulate Darlene on this achievement, and we thank her for her continued dedication to the communities we serve.”

Hammond joined Pekin Hospital in 2006 and has managed the OB department since 2007. In addition to her patient safety recognition, she holds certifications in neonatal resuscitation, electronic fetal monitoring and inpatient obstetrics.

Part of Progressive Health Systems, Pekin Hospital is a 107-bed medical center serving Central Illinois since 1913. For more information visit

Cullinan Properties Continues Its Course of Expansion with New Projects and Announces Promotions

Diane Cullinan Oberhelman, Chairman of Cullinan Properties, announced today that Cullinan’s portfolio continues to expand as the company aggressively moves forward with new projects in the retail, office, medical, and multi-family sectors throughout the Midwest and Texas. With the expansion, Cullinan also announces promotions and the addition of key executives to its leadership team. 

Included in the expansion is a recently acquired 265-acre site located in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of I-55 and I-80 in Joliet, IL. A mixed-use development encompassing retail, office, entertainment, hotel and multi-family components is planned for this super regional site named Rock Run Crossings. Cullinan also recently opened a 3 story, 100 person, student housing complex in Peoria, Illinois, as well as a 6 story mixed-use development, known as Lofts at Euclid, that features 87 luxury residential loft apartments and 8,500 sf of street level retail and restaurant space in the Central West End of St. Louis, Missouri. Cullinan Properties also continues to enhance its real estate portfolio with medical and general service administration projects. Its current projects include the development of the Streets of St. Charles in Metro St. Louis, Missouri, and Burleson Commons in Burleson, Texas, along with the recently completed VA Clinic in Austin, Texas and the 86 acre mixed-use Levee District located in East Peoria, Illinois. 

As part of the growth, Cullinan Properties, who employs over 145, is adding additional team members and has promoted and added key executives to its leadership team. Christopher M. West has been promoted from Partner/Chief Operating Officer to Partner/Chief Executive Officer and Sean R. Garrett from Vice President of Investments to President of Acquisitions and Director of Community Relations. Sean will serve in this new capacity until January 2019, at which time he will be named Chief Operating Officer. Sean Garrett will work alongside Chris West on aligning resources for the future and defining critical success factors for Cullinan Properties management going forward.  

Chris West began his association with Cullinan Properties in early 2002 as the leader of Urban Retail Properties’ development of the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. After Urban’s acquisition in 2002, Chris formed CW Development Services to complete the Shoppes of Grand Prairie project for Cullinan. West later joined Cullinan Properties as Partner and Group President. In 2010, West was appointed Chief Operating Officer for the company. As Partner/CEO, West will lead the organization’s day-to-day management decisions and implement the Company's long and short term plans. He also maintains his leadership of the construction division of Cullinan Properties and oversight of Cullinan Properties’ Chicago office.

“Since taking the reins in 2010, Chris West has been an outstanding leader to this company. While our company is larger, stronger and more resourceful, now is the time to reorganize our strategy for continued business improvement and elevate him to Partner/CEO”, states Diane Cullinan Oberhelman.

Since 2013, Sean Garrett has served as Vice President of Investments for Cullinan Properties. He joined the company in 2011 from Western Development Corporation in Washington, DC and served as a Financial Analyst for Cullinan Properties where he developed strong relationships with business partners, investors, lenders and community leaders. Sean presently serves as Secretary on the board of the Central Illinois BizPAC and is a Peoria CEO Council committee member. As President of Acquisitions and Director of Community Relations, Sean will oversee all aspects of the acquisition and disposition processes, including financial analysis, due diligence and underwriting while also developing and maintaining important relationships with community partners. He will also work alongside West to create a compelling and sustainable path forward for Cullinan Properties while at the same time seamlessly implementing Cullinan Properties growth initiatives.

“I have been honored to lead Cullinan Properties through its tremendous growth and bring a national prominence to Cullinan Properties as a leading real estate development company. Sean has been an integral part of the team and communities in which we have developed over the last five years and he has distinguished himself as an extraordinary leader. We look forward to Sean having an increased role in the company and the communities we serve. He and the entire Cullinan Properties team is well equipped to continue the transformation of our company for the next generation of our business partners to exceed expectations and build winning relationships in every market we develop”, states West.

Oberhelman also announces that Ginger Benz has been promoted from Operations Manager to Vice President of Operations and Marketing. Ginger joined Cullinan Properties in 2006 and brings over 20 years of operational management and marketing experience to the Cullinan Properties team. She works closely with ownership on the implementation of new developments, marketing and administration and has been integral in the pre-development for the Levee District at East Peoria Downtown, East Peoria, IL, the Streets of St. Charles, Metro St. Louis, MO and now Rock Run Crossings in Joliet, IL. Prior to joining Cullinan Properties, Ginger was the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at CPM Marketing Group, Inc., a Customer Relationship Management and database marketing provider for the healthcare, financial services and telecommunications industries. As Vice President of Operations and Marketing, Ginger will provide the day-to-day oversight of the operations and marketing departments of organization.  

Oberhelman continues as Chairman of the company focusing on investor relations, strategic partnerships and key tenant relationships. Cullinan Properties is also led by a core group of leaders including, Michael C. Owens, Chief Investment Officer and President of the Office and Medical Division, Michael F. Norbutas, Chief Financial Officer; Kathleen Cullinan Brill, Vice President, Director of Leasing and Scott Bishop, Vice President of Asset Management.

Cullinan Properties, Ltd., with offices in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL and St. Louis, MO, is a multi-disciplined real estate form that develops, manages and owns mixed-use, retail, multi-family, office and medical properties throughout the United States. For additional information on Cullinan Properties, Ltd., visit

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Salvation Army Ribbon Cutting

The Salvation Army of Pekin held a grand re-opening of their Rust Transitional Center and the Pekin Area  Chamber of Commerce was there to make it official with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  You can see more pictures of this event at:

Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection!

First Baptist Church hosts Kids Hope USA to Jefferson School

Kids Hope USA is a national program that started in Holland, Michigan in 1995. Today there are over 1,000 church/school partnerships in 34 states. Kids Hope USA matches a church with a public school. The church hires a director, who is trained by Kids Hope USA, and then members & regular attendees of the church volunteer to mentor a child. All mentors are trained and have background checks done. Each mentor spends one hour a week with their mentee during the school day. Children who are considered “at risk” either academically or socially are recommended by the school for Kids Hope mentors. This relationship can start in Kindergarten and last through 3rd grade.
In 2007 First Baptist Church started a Kids Hope program with Jefferson School as their partner school. Peggy Eagan was the first Kids Hope director. Peggy moved in 2013, and Shelly Hochstetler was hired as the new director. There are 23 mentors from the church who spend one hour a week with their students.  During the mentoring hour mentors help students with school work, listen to students read, play games, or make a craft. The main job of a mentor is to be someone that a child can count on to show up, and to encourage and help their child with school.
Through the years the relationship between Jefferson School and First Baptist Church has gone beyond just mentoring students. For many years the church held a free carnival, which was planned and organized by Children’s Ministries Director, Becky McIntyre. Jefferson School students were given $5 vouchers that went towards the $20 school supply fee that families pay at the school. This past year the church set a goal to pay the whole school supply fee for those who were unable to pay it. Because of the generosity of the FBC family a check for $5,000 was given to Jefferson. This money covered all of the unpaid fees.
At Christmas time, attendees of FBC “adopt” families from Jefferson.  Families in need at Jefferson School are recommended by the school, people from the church sign-up to buy presents for the children in those families. Each child gets 2 outfits and one toy. The presents are delivered to the school, where families can pick them up.
The church also provides supplies for the school nurse to give to children, which includes: underwear, socks, pants, shoes, and lice treatment kits.  This year, because of a generous donation, all of the K-3rd grade and 4th-6th grade schools in Pekin received some of these items.
Jefferson School has also given back to First Baptist Church. The school has a food drive, and they have donated the food to the First Baptist Church food pantry.

What started out as a few Kids Hope mentors spending one on one time with students at Jefferson School has grown into a relationship between a public school and a church.  

Heartland Bank to Host Fall into Free Event

On Friday, October 14th, Heartland Bank and Trust Company will host its Fall into Free Event. Local offices are extending an open invitation to customers, residents and businesses to join in celebration with refreshments, gifts, one-day-only offers and a chance to win a $500
VISA(r) Gift Card. Local Heartland Bank offices are located at 3400 Court St. and 2807 Broadway Rd. with additional offices in Morton, Mackinaw and Delavan.

For more information on Heartland Bank's Fall into Free Event, visit:

Heartland Bank and Trust Company is an independently owned community bank with assets of $3 billion. Headquartered in Bloomington, IL, the bank has offices in communities throughout Illinois. The bank offers a complete line of financial services to commercial and retail customers. More information is available on the bank's website at<>.

*Retail value of prize: $500. Sweepstakes is open to legal U.S. residents, domiciled in the State of Illinois, 18 years of age and older at the time of entry, who are not employees of Heartland Bank and Trust Company, its parent or subsidiaries, or members of their immediate family or household.
Valid only on October 14, 2016. Entry form must be brought to a Heartland Bank office to be entered. Incomplete or photocopied entries will not be accepted. Need not be present to win. One (1) prize winner will be drawn from all qualifying entries received from individual Heartland Bank branches. No purchase necessary. Purchase does not improve chances of winning. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. See any Heartland Bank branch for official rules. VISA(r) is not a sponsor of, or participant in this promotion. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor:

Heartland Bank and Trust Company, 401 North Hershey Rd., Bloomington, Illinois. Only one entry per person. To stop receiving sweepstakes materials please contact: Marketing, P.O. Box 67, Bloomington, IL 61702.


Illinois Central College will open registration for its spring minimester and spring 2017 semester on Tues., November 1. The schedule is available online at
The College also will offer “Express Enrollment” Monday through Wednesday, November 14, 15, and 16 from 8 am to 4 pm, on the East Peoria Campus. Those interested in enrolling at ICC can complete the process of applying and enrolling in just one day. No appointment is necessary, and free parking is available in Lots A and B and in the Visitors Lot. Classes for the spring minimester begin on Tues., December 13, and the spring 2017 semester begins on Tues., January 17.
“Express Enrollment” can be completed in just a few hours’ time. Participants are encouraged to arrive by 1 pm in order to complete all of the steps leading to enrollment in one day. For advising or testing completion only, participants must arrive by 2 pm.
                The process includes: Completing and processing an ICC application, completing placement testing, meeting with an advisor to develop a class schedule, filling out financial aid paperwork and setting up a payment plan, and getting an official ICC identification card.
                Students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) five days prior to coming on campus at ICC Financial Assistance staff is available to answer questions about completing the FAFSA or you can find helpful information located at
In order to complete all of the steps of admission and enrollment, participants should be prepared to bring the following items with them:
·         A valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, or other government issued ID).
  • Check book or credit card to set up a payment plan.
  • In addition, potential students wishing to fill out a FAFSA also should bring with them: 2015 tax return, 2015 W-2 forms and current bank statements. (If the participant is aged 24 or younger, the parents’ social security cards, 2015 tax return, 2015 W-2 forms and current bank statements also are necessary.)
“Express Enrollment” is provided on a first come, first-served basis. The total time needed to complete all of the steps depends on the participant’s individual needs. Advisors will be available to help students wishing to enroll on a full-time basis (12 hours or more) in most majors and those students wishing to enroll on a part-time basis. However, follow up appointments with an advisor may be necessary in some cases. Some programs require restricted enrollment; therefore, only general education or prerequisite courses will be available to students interested in those programs.
For those interested in financial assistance, ICC has scholarships available for the 2016-2017 academic year. To be eligible for the scholarships, students must first apply to ICC online at Remaining scholarships are available at
For more information or for any questions, please call Illinois Central College at (309) 694-5-ICC or visit

Debbie Fornoff Interior Designs & Draperies $100 Rebate!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kiwanis Murder Mystery Dinner Show


Dr. Michael Honan Joins ProHealth Medical Group

ProHealth Medical Group, Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems are pleased to announce Dr. Michael Honan has joined the ProHealth Primary Care practice. He will see patients at 600 South 13th Street, Suite E, in Pekin.
Dr. Honan has been a member of Pekin Hospital’s Medical Staff since 2003, and he is a founding partner of Internal Medicine Associates of Pekin. He received his medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed the Internal Medicine residency program at Lutheran General Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Chicago.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Michael Honan as part of the ProHealth team,” said Dawn Moushon, Vice President of Practice Management for ProHealth Medical Group. “Dr. Honan is well known and greatly respected throughout Central Illinois. His passion for service and his commitment to our communities perfectly align with ProHealth’s promise to provide superior care with kindness and compassion.”

Part of Progressive Health Systems, ProHealth Medical Group was established in 1986 as a sister organization of Pekin Hospital. ProHealth offers seven practices throughout the Pekin area. For more information visit To contact Dr. Honan and his staff call 309-353-9709.

Villas of Holly Brook & Reflections Memory Care Grand Opening Scheduled

Pekin Academy of Fine Arts has moved!

We have had an eventful summer and we are so excited to announce that we are relocating The Pekin Academy of Fine Arts to 420 Walnut St in Pekin, The Mansion on Walnut. The Mansion on Walnut is transitioning to an arts, culture and events center to serve Pekin and its surrounding communities. We have created a new bright art space/classroom at the back entrance for the kids to have their classes and can't wait to show it to you! It's going to be fun,creative and full of messy
 possibility. The parking is great and the facility is in a more accessible area for kids & families who live close to ride their bikes or walk to. It's an exciting move! Our classes and workshops will be held at the new location after October 16, 2016. Adult classes and workshops will be held in the dining room of the house surrounded by beautiful art from some of the best Central Illinois Artists! We can't wait for you to see it and we have many new and exciting plans for the arts in Pekin! Any questions can be directed to or calling us at 309-267-2058. See you soon!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following employers who recently renewed their investment in the mission of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Grow Plus MVP
Velde Cadillac Buick GMC

Engage MVP Members
First State Bank of Illinois 

Grow MVP Members 
Court Place Apartments
Deuce Development Corp.
Henderson Funeral Home
Schwartz Electric Co.
Sign Shop

Classic MVP Members
American Milling Company 
U.S. Cellular

Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection here!!!

Life Line Screening

Life Line Screening will be performing a day of preventive health screenings at First United Methodist Church of Pekin on Monday, November 7, 2016.  This collaboration helps bring important health tests to our community at an affordable price.   The tests look for signs of disease that can lead to stroke, heart attack or bone fracture.

Life Line Screening scans for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries, which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms, which can lead to a ruptured aorta, the 13th leading cause of death in America; hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis.

The cost for a Wellness Package is $149.00. You must pre-register. Appointments are limited, so please sign up now by calling 

1-800-690-0323 and receive a $10 discount off the package or visit Life Line Screening’s website at

Child Yoga & Story Time

Rust Transitional Center To Hold Grand Re-Opening

Shelter Rehabilitation Project Completed- To Re-Open October 12
The Salvation Army in Pekin is putting the finishing touches on its summer-long rehab project at its Rust Transitional Shelter and will hold a grand re-opening on Wednesday, October 12 at 2:30 p.m. “We are very excited to have reached the conclusion of this project, and are ready to show off the hard work that will enable us to better serve,” said Major Jesse Collins, Tri-County Coordinator for The Salvation Army.
            The Salvation Army’s Social Ministries Coordinator, Creighton Burrell, and several shelter aides have finished training on the Pathway of Hope social service program and is eager to begin helping with residents who will come to the Rust Transitional Center.
            “We hope that the Mayor and other city officials, Advisory Board members and others who supported this project as volunteers, funders or supporters will join us for a brief ceremony, ribbon cutting and then tour the facility,” said Major Rick Ray. “We are so happy with all the support and volunteer efforts that have helped make this project a success, and we are excited to invite everyone in on the 12th to see what they helped us accomplish.”

            There will be brief comments and a short ceremony at 2:30, followed by tours and refreshments afterwards. For more information, please contact Rich Draeger at 253-9909 or Major Jesse Collins at 655-7220.


               Join Illinois Central College’s “Between the Lines” program as ICC Studio Coordinator Fallon Allison and English, Humanities, and Language Studies Professor Stephanie Guedet trace the intergalactic map of myths, artifacts, and films that inspired the Star Wars universe. The journey begins November 1 at 7 p.m. in the Arbor Hall Auditorium on the ICC North Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria.
It’s a bright time for fans of space fantasy. Star Wars has returned to the silver screen. Decades after first uniting themes, archetypes, and iconography from art across the galaxy, Star Wars returns as young heroines are awakened and new friendships are forged. “Star Wars: Episode BTL” takes a closer look at “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”      
“Between the Lines” is a lecture series presented by the faculty members of the English, Humanities and Language Studies Department at ICC.  The goal of the series is to offer literary presentations which will interest students and people in the community as well as promote reading literacy and scholarly study.
               The programs are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Jen Hopp at or

Pekin Pain Management Center to host “Control Your Pain” seminar

Pekin Pain Management Center and Boston Scientific are hosting a community pain management seminar entitled “Control Your Pain” on October 27th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pekin Hospital (600 South 13th Street; Pekin, Illinois).
The free event will feature a special presentation from Justin Minyard, a first responder at the 9-11 Pentagon attacks who has been dealing with debilitating chronic pain for many years. Dr. Arek Grochowski, medical director of Pekin Pain Management Center, will be in attendance to answer questions about treatment and care options.

While there is no charge to attend the “Control Your Pain” event, registration is required. To register for the seminar, please call 877-472-4650 or visit

Ladies Day Out Holiday Trunk Show





Monday, October 3, 2016

Downtown Parking Spots for Lease

The Pekin Township has 8 spots available for lease in the “triangle” lot across from the post office.  The lot is plowed when there has been 2” of accumulation.  The rent is $20.00 per month per spot.  Contact the Pekin Township office from 9: 00 am – noon and 1:00 p.m. – 3 p.m. at (309) 346-3194.

Veterans Drive Opens

The section of Veterans Drive from Towerline Road to 14th Street opened this morning.  Veterans Drive is now open from Sheridan Road on the north to Route 29 near the Federal Correctional Institution on the south.  Rich Kriesgman, chairman of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, thanked all those involved and spoke about the history of the project and the work yet to be completed in the next phases.  State Senator Dave Koehler, State Representatives Mike Unes and Tim Butler, and Pekin Mayor John McCabe also spoke about the economic impact of the road and recognized the people that have been involved over the years.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Kids Hope

Pastor Rich Hamm of First Baptist Church presented a check for $5000 to Principal Cox of Jefferson Elementary School. The funds were donated towards offsetting the cost of school supplies for students at Jefferson. This is part of the Kids Hope partnership between First Baptist Church and Jefferson School.

Pekin Salvation Army To Hold Annual Dinner

                 New Illinois Central College President To Speak October 17 at Annual Dinner 
Sheila Quirk-Bailey, the new President of Illinois Central College will be the featured speaker at The Salvation Army in Pekin’s annual dinner on October 17.
“We are excited to have Dr. Quirk-Bailey join us at the annual dinner in October,” said Major Rick Ray. “We are always searching for ways to bring new ideas to the community and we are glad that she is available,” said Ray.
            For the second consecutive year the event will be held at Pekin Community High School. Additionally,  the meal will be prepared by the Culinary Arts students at PCHS. Tickets are on sale through October 11, are $25 per ticket and can be obtained by calling the Pekin Salvation Army at 346-3010.

Doors will open at 6 pm and dinner will be served at 6:30. Students involved in the upcoming Pekin High School fall play will present entertainment as well. For more details on the community center, or the annual dinner, please contact Majors Rick or Kim Ray at (309) 346-3010.

Loos, Kamischke selected for American Society of Civil Engineers section awards

The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Central Illinois Section recently named two of Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s Peoria employees engineers of the year.
Cindy Loos, P.E., vice president and senior project manager, received the Civil Engineer of the Year Award, which recognizes distinguished civil engineers for significant engineering contributions. She has provided services for projects including the Warehouse District revitalization, Washington Street improvements and new westbound span of the McClugage Bridge, all in Peoria; and two overpasses and an underpass for BNSF Railway Co. in Galesburg. She is project manager for the Multimodal Corridor Enhancement (MCORE) project study and design in Champaign and Urbana, which is under way.
Loos is a member of ASCE’s Central Illinois Section and the Women’s Transportation Seminar, chairwoman of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Committee and treasurer for the Peoria CEO Council’s board of directors. She is the recipient of the 2007 40 Leaders under Forty by InterBusiness Issues; 25 Women in Leadership Award in 2011 by WEEK TV, Marketeer Magazine and Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce; 2011 American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois’ Community Service Award; 2012 Outstanding Engineer Award from the Society of Women Engineers’ Central Illinois Section; and Princeville Pride Award from Princeville Schools, in recognition of contributions to the school and community. She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Eastern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Bradley University, where she is a member of the College of Engineering and Technology Executive Advisory Council. 
Alicia Kamischke, P.E., S.E., a structural engineer at Hanson’s Peoria office, received the Young Civil Engineer of the Year Award, which recognizes civil engineers who are age 35 or younger and have demonstrated leadership potential and significant engineering contributions. She has assisted with various structural engineering projects, including the Illinois Army National Guard’s Readiness Center and Army Aviation Support Facility in Kankakee, Heddington Oaks Nursing Home in West Peoria, expansion of First United Methodist Church in Peoria, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Integrated Bio-Processing Research Laboratory and the Iowa Army National Guard Muscatine Joint Readiness Center in Muscatine, Iowa. She also has conducted precast-concrete plant inspections nationwide as part of Hanson’s contract with the National Precast Concrete Association.
Kamischke, who also is a member of ASCE’s Central Illinois Section, has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Bradley University.
Award winners were recognized Sept. 27 during the 92nd annual ASCE Central Illinois Section Meeting and Banquet in Peoria. ASCE is a professional organization and the oldest national engineering society in the United States. Founded in 1852, ASCE has more than 140,000 members worldwide. 
Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. The Peoria office is located at 7625 N. University St., Suite 200, Peoria, IL 61614. The office may be reached by phone at (309) 691-0902. 

First Busey among the 2016 Class of Sm-All Stars

Sandler O’Neill identifies and recognizes the top performing small-cap banks and thrifts in the country

First Busey Corporation (NASDAQ: BUSE) (“Busey”) is among the 2016 Class of Bank and Thrift Sm-All Stars by investment banking firm Sandler O’Neill. Busey joins 26 other top performing small-cap banks and thrifts in this year’s class—and is among only 2 companies headquartered in Illinois.

To earn Sm-All Star status by Sandler O’Neill, companies must be publicly traded, must have a market capitalization of less than $2.5 billion and must clear numerous hurdles related to growth, profitability, credit quality and capital strength. Banks need to outperform others in the industry in the following key metrics: earnings-per-share growth, loan growth, deposit growth, return on average equity and ratio of nonperforming assets to total loans.

Sandler O’Neill screened and eliminated 381 institutions—or 93 percent of banks and thrifts that trade on a major exchange. Busey’s performance metrics are considered outstanding, according to Sandler O’Neill, with the entire Class of 2016 delivering bottom line results that were markedly better than the industry as a whole.

Mashie's Fall Special



Illinois American Water’s Peoria District Participates in AmerICANs in Action Month of Service

In September, Illinois American Water employees across the state participated in the Company’s AmerICANs in Action Month of Service campaign. Through the program, teams volunteer and contribute to their communities through river clean ups, blood drives, community fund raisers and more. In the Peoria District, Illinois American Water employees held a toy drive for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Over $700 in toys, art supplies, gift cards and more were delivered to the local hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. Roger Goodson, sr. manager of field operations and production, said of the program, “While this isn’t the only time our team gives back to the community, we do look forward to September and the AmerICANs in Action Month of Service. It
is a special time for our teams to come together.”

He also thanked the hospital for the opportunity to partner for the second year in a row, “We have a special place in our hearts for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and what they do on a daily basis. Our team may have donated gifts, but we were the ones to receive the best gift of all - the opportunity to help the young patients who inspire us all.” Wendy Mitchell, Executive Director, OSF Healthcare Foundation, said “Children’s Hospital is blessed to have a partnership with Illinois American Water. Their employees not only provide critical water service for health, but they giveback to the community. We appreciate their generosity.” This is the fifth year for American Water’s AmerICANs in Action Month of Service program.

Long-time Center for Prevention of Abuse Employee Named New Associate Executive Director

Adult Protective Services Director Joyce DeRenzy Promoted to New Leadership Role

Center for Prevention of Abuse Executive Director Carol Merna is pleased to announce long-time employee Joyce DeRenzy has been named The Center’s new Associate Executive Director. Joyce recently celebrated her 20th anniversary at The Center and has served in many different capacities during that time, including most recently as the Director of the Adult Protective Services Department, Long-term Care Ombudman Program and Family Violence Intervention Project.

"Joyce has been instrumental in the growth of services at The Center for Prevention of Abuse," said Carol Merna, Executive Director.  "Joyce's capacity for client care, her outstanding management capabilities and her strong and effective advocacy have made her the right person to take on this key leadership position."

Joyce has served as interim Associate Executive Director since the departure of Kevin Nowlan in mid-July. In addition to her new role overseeing the day-to-day operations of The Center, she will continue to supervise the Long-Term Care Ombudsmen and Family Violence Intervention Project in East Peoria.

“I am honored and humbled to accept the position as Associate Executive Director at the Center for Prevention of Abuse,” said Joyce DeRenzy.  "I came to the Center 20 years ago and my heart has been here from day one. I look forward to the next chapter of my career serving the Center and our clients.  The family philosophy of this organization reinforces all we do, and it’s a pleasure to work with such caring individuals.” 

Joyce has been a resident of Peoria for over two decades and looks forward to working in her new position to fulfill The Center’s mission to help all people live free from violence and abuse.