Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pekin Park District Swim Lessons

Cool Off!!!  New session of evening swim lessons will be starting Monday, July 12th at Dragonland for all ages 3 months and up.  Have the Pekin Park Districts trained staff teach your little one the skills to swim like a fish.  We offer daytime classes and evening classes to fit every one's busy schedule.  New sessions of daytime classes begin Monday, July 5th.

We also have a new night class for adults to burn off some of those winter calories.  For more information call 347-7275.

Register now, in the Recreation Office in the Memorial Arena.  Office hours are Monday-Friday 8am till 6pm.

Chamber Welcomes New Member; Hamm's Furniture Inc.

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes another new member, Hamm's Furniture Inc., 347 Court St, Pekin; 309-346-0875; Hamm'sFurniture@grics.net; Russ Hamm, Owner; Charlene Harbers, Secretary/Sales; Jesse Workman, Sales; Aaron Workman Delivery/Sales.  Store hours are: Monday - Thursday & Saturday 9am - 5pm, Friday 9am - 6pm, Sunday 12 - 3pm.  They offer new furniture, a full line of name brand furnishings and mattresses.  Free local delivery, set up, and removal of old furniture or bedding.

Pekin Hospital to Offer Skin Cancer Screening

In an effort to improve the health of central Illinois, Pekin Hospital will offer a free skin cancer screening on Thursday, July 15 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Family Health Center of Pekin located at 19 Olt Avenue. The free screening is open to men and women.

Early detection is the best treatment for skin cancer. Full-body skin checks will be provided to participants, in addition to education on the early warning signs of skin cancer.

As a reminder to participants, screenings are not intended to take the place of regular physical examinations, but are offered as an opportunity for individuals to learn more about their own health.

No appointment is necessary. First come, first served.

5 Star Car Wash Grand Opening

Members of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently congratulated 5 Star Car Wash on their grand opening. Located at 1401 N. 8th Street, 5 Star Car Wash is open 24 hours a day with 3 self-serve bays and 1 touchless automatic bay. Owner Brad Harn installed all new equipment and completely renovated the facility after last year's fire. As part of the grand opening, all car washes will be half-price during the month of July, and free during an 8-hour period on July 16th and 17th.  You can see pictures from this and other chamber events at:  http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

Monday, June 28, 2010

Join us for Business After Hours!
July 1st, 4:30 - 6:30 pm
University of Illinois Extension Tazewell County.
1505 Valle Vista
Pleae RSVP to the Chamber: 346-2106 or Chamber@Pekin.net

State of Illinois- Office Space Needed

The State of Illinois is seeking individuals interested in submitting a proposal to the State for office space within Tazewell and Peoria Counties. If you are interested in receiving a proposal package you’ll need to log on to the State of Illinois Purchasing Website and register. The website can be reached by clicking on the following link: http://www.purchase.state.il.us./ If you have questions you can contact Rick Green, Transaction & Property Administration, at 217-782-5585.

Membership Renewals Through June 25th, 2010

Thank you to the following businesses and organizations that recently renewed their membership with the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

Ace Liquors ~ Adams Outdoor Advertising ~ C.R. AlexanderAnytime Fitness ~ Bremer Jewelry ~ Good Shepherd Lutheran SchoolFarnsworth Group ~ Illinois Central College ~ Moods by MichaelDr. Michele Moul ~ NTS Telephone CompanyPapa Murphy’s Take N Bake Pizza ~ Pekin First Church of the NazarenePhillips Tax Service ~ Schnucks ~ Seico Security SystemsSt. Joseph Catholic Church ~ State Senator Dave Koehler Tazewell County Farm Bureau ~ USCO Gas Stations

LAUNCH – A Business Creation Competition

Are you thinking about starting a business, or do you know someone who is? The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce has joined with other Peoria-area organizations to award $5,000 to the best business concept. More information is available at www.launchnewbiz.com.

Executive Director’s Report, By Bill Fleming

Why Our Community Needs To Grow

While we don't yet know the results of the 2010 census, we do know that Pekin's population has not changed significantly in the past 40 years. Some people are happy with that. They don't want our community to grow and they prefer we remain a small town. However, Pekin is not a small town. We are the second largest city in the largest downstate metropolitan market.

By definition, if you're not growing you are either stagnant or declining and those can't be viewed as positive attributes for our community. If we look around our community with a critical eye, we can see how our lack of residential growth has been a contributing factor to the negative changes.

How does residential growth help a community? There are several economic benefits, including:

Commercial Development - An increase in residents means increased demand for retail, service, entertainment and recreation. As a result, a larger quantity and variety of businesses are attracted to the community to meet that demand. Additional commercial development means more jobs (both construction and staffing). And, a larger quantity and variety of commercial establishments will draw more shoppers to the community, bringing in outside sales tax dollars.

Housing Growth - An increase in residents means an increase in housing demand, which leads to improved stability of home values. It also translates into more jobs as new home construction and remodeling activity increases.

Increased Tax Revenue - Residential growth allows the cost of our community's infrastructure to be spread over more people. Increased tax revenues (sales tax, motor fuel tax, property tax, federal taxes allocated per capita, etc.) can be used by our school boards, park districts and municipalities to maintain our educational and recreational facilities, our streets and sewers, and provide services like police and fire protection.

New residents also bring new ideas, new cultures, new perspectives and more volunteers to serve and build our community organizations.

As a community, I do not believe we should be satisfied with "holding our own" or "maintaining the status quo." We have many attributes that make our community a great place to live. We need to develop and nurture those attributes, improve our deficiencies, and - for the long-term heath of our community - attract new residents.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Goodwill of Central Illinois One of Only 10 to Receive Grant

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Department of Labor to continue its Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). The central Illinois agency is one of only 10 Goodwill agencies to receive grant money for this program. This is the second consecutive year Goodwill of Central Illinois has been awarded the grant, which allows veterans to access occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance.

Goodwill Industries International VP of Mission Advancement Wendi Copeland says, “These 10 Goodwills will advance our knowledge and enhance our brand as a national go-to in this growing field.” “We are proud to be a part of this select group of agencies, and we truly understand how important it is to provide assistance to these men and women,” says Patty Fuchs, President and CEO of Goodwill of Central Illinois.

“These are experienced and skilled individuals and we want employers in central Illinois to know that by hiring a veteran they are not only giving back, but they are also getting a valuable employee” says Bill Bontemps, Goodwill’s Director of Vocational Services.

Goodwill of Central Illinois also operates the General Wayne A. Downing Home for Veterans and on November 9th, will again host To Honor and To Serve: The Goodwill Veterans Recognition Event. This year’s keynote speaker will be Lt. Col. (ret) Oliver North.

Holiday Inn Express Announces November 2010 Opening

The Holiday Inn Express in Pekin Illinois is proud to announce that we are now taking reservations for November 2010!

We have taken this opportunity to add more features to better serve your needs and to make your stay more comfortable, including extended stay suites, additional meeting spaces and board room, and in all of our suites we will be offering new Smart Room Technology, the ability to stream netflix movies, look up and print directions or send them to your smart phone, full access to the internet, and much, much more!

If you have any questions, or need to book reservations please feel free to email or call!  
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Pekin, Illinois
Ph: 309-353-3305

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pekin Dome Ownership

After a series of meetings over the past month, the City of Pekin is pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached for the purchase of the Dome Complex. The prospective buyer, Avanti’s Dome LLC intends to close on the acquisition June 29. The purchase includes a total of  33.12 acres of property located on the city’s east side.

“This agreement for a new owner to take over the Dome operations and outdoor sports facilities is the result of a number of very positive discussions with Avanti’s owner, Albert Zellar and his team,” said Pekin Mayor Rusty Dunn. “We couldn’t be more pleased that Albert is committed to taking the Dome to a level of success that we think it can reach.”

“We believe in the Dome and its potential, and we know it is an asset to the Pekin community as well as the region,” said Albert Zellar, CEO of Avanti’s LLC. “With the right people in the right place to manage and market it along with working closely with the City, I’m confident the Dome is going to thrive. We are excited about the opportunity to reach out to the community. The success of the Dome is vitally important to all the businesses in Pekin and it's residents”

This will be Zellar’s second significant investment in the Pekin community within the past year. The Avanti’s restaurant at 3610 Kelly Avenue opened last fall.

At its upcoming meeting on Monday, June 28, the Pekin City Council will vote on an agreement to loan $500,000 to Avanti’s LLC to purchase the property. The money would come from the City’s Hotel-Motel tax fund reserves, to be paid at closing.

Related to today’s announcement, Pekin’s Economic Development Coordinator Steve Brown will be leaving his role with the City and joining the Avanti’s team in a key management role at the Dome effective July 1.  ekin City Manager Denny Kief will formally announce next week that Leigh Ann Matthews will assume the City’s lead role in Economic Development. Matthews is currently the director of Pekin’s successful Main
Street program.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tazewell County Jaycees Trivia Nights in July

July 8th Trivia Night- Girl Scouts Association
Girl Scouts Association
Time: 6:30
Place: Knights of Columbus in Washington
Menu: Cheeseburgers and Pork Chops plus other menu items


July 22nd Trivia Night- Children's Memorial Hospital/ KISSES FOR KENZER/ CMH Marathon Team
Kisses-for-Kenzer-Benefit-to-help-save-baby-s-life
Time: 6:30
Place: Knights of Columbus in Washington
Menu: TBA

Please RSVP to firstgradelover@yahoo.com

Dirksen Center Elects New Board Members and Officers

PEKIN IL, June 24—The Dirksen Congressional Center’s Endowment Fund membership elected new members and officers to the Board of Directors at its recent annual meeting. Joining the Board are Dr. Michael D. Danner, dentist; Barbara Drake, writer and editor; Lincoln C. Hobson, owner of Home Instead Senior Care; and Gregg Ratliff, newspaper publisher. Jim McConoughey, President and CEO of the Heartland Partnership, and James S. Wolf, Certified Public Accountant and Personal Financial Specialist, were elected to a second term.

The following Directors were elected as officers: President, Brian Lee, Vice President/Administration, Pekin Life Insurance Company; Vice President, Drew Leman, Vice President, Leman Property Management Company; Secretary, William T. Fleming, Executive Director, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce; Treasurer, Jim Wolf.

Three individuals retired from the Board: John F. Gilligan, President Emeritus, Fayette Companies; D. Neale “Buster” Hanley, Funeral Director, Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes, L.L.C.; and Peggy Meisinger, retired.

The Dirksen Congressional Center is a private, nonpartisan, non-profit research and educational institution whose mission is to help people better understand the U.S. Congress and its leaders.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pekin Hospital CEO Named CEO of the Year by QHR

Brentwood, Tenn. (June 17, 2009) – Quorum Health Resources (QHR), the nation’s largest hospital management company and the seventh largest healthcare consulting firm in the United States, recently announced Kevin Andrews, CEO of Pekin Hospital, as the recipient of its top honor: CEO of the Year. The award was given as part of QHR’s 2010 Excellence in Leadership awards.

“Kevin Andrews and the management team at Pekin Hospital are being celebrated for having guided their hospital through a very difficult time: In 2009, Central Illinois’ major employer downsized, driving unemployment in Pekin from 6.5 percent to 16 percent,” said QHR President and CEO James L. Horrar. “Despite these challenges, the hospital’s income statement and balance sheet remained strong – in large part because Kevin and his team instituted an expense reduction plan to accommodate the changing market dynamics.”

“Kevin is a very strategic thinker,” added QHR Regional Vice President over Pekin Hospital, Gerald Parton. “He makes tough decisions because it’s the right thing to do. In doing so, he has won the respect of the hospital’s management team, hospital board and medical staff.”

One example of Kevin’s commitment to sustainable success: physician relations. According to a 2008 Physician Opinion Survey, Pekin Hospital had an overall physician satisfaction rate of 63 percent. Kevin approached this challenge head-on and, as a result, in 2009, the hospital’s physician satisfaction rate was 92 percent – even as the hospital recruited six new physicians and converted employed physician contracts from fixed salary to another payment model.

And when deep cuts were made to employee benefits, including frozen salaries, reduced 401K matches, decreased shift differentials and elimination of recruitment bonuses, the CEO took the bad news to the employees in person, holding town hall meetings for every shift to explain why these cuts were necessary to avoid layoffs. They didn’t like the news, but valued the transparent communication of the situation facing the hospital.

“Kevin’s leadership style and the results achieved under such difficult circumstances serve as an example to us all,” Horrar concluded. “We’re proud to call him QHR’s CEO of the Year.”

A native of El Paso, Texas, Kevin has served as CEO of Pekin Hospital since 2007. Prior to joining Pekin Hospital, he served as Senior Vice President, QHR Intensive Resources business unit, which provides interim short-term operational support, and addresses and advises owners on operational improvements of financially distressed hospitals. Kevin has more than 30 years of healthcare experience, which encompasses over a decade of multi-facility management and division operations for a large hospital company, and 15 years as a hospital CEO, five of which were spent at hospitals in the Midwest.

He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management from Texas A & M University and a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Washington University. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

In addition to the CEO of the Year award, QHR also presented 2010 Excellence in Leadership honors to CEOs at the following client hospitals:

o Benewah Community Hospital (Saint Maries, Idaho)
o Bucyrus Community Hospital (Bucyrus, Ohio)
o Georgetown Hospital System (Georgetown, S.C.)
o Girard Medical Center (Girard, Kansas)
o Gritman Medical Center (Moscow, Idaho)
o Hancock Medical Center (Bay St. Louis, Miss.)
o Hoopeston Regional Health Center (Hoopeston, Ill.)
o Jersey Shore Hospital (Jersey Shore, Penn.)
o Matagorda Regional Medical Center (Bay City, Texas)
o Neshoba County General Hospital (Philadelphia, Miss.)
o Phelps Memorial Health Center (Holdrege, Neb.)
o St. James Parish Hospital (Lutcher, La.)
o Tippah County Hospital (Ripley, Miss.)
o West Park Hospital (Cody, Wyom.)

“QHR is proud and pleased of the accomplishments of all of these skilled hospital leaders. Their commitment to serving their communities – while positioning their hospitals for long-term sustainability – is commendable,” Horrar said.

QHR (Quorum Health Resources) has provided consulting, management and education resources to hospitals and health systems for three decades and has had a management relationship with Pekin Hospital since 2001. QHR is the market leader in hospital management, with nearly 150 current multi-year clients across the U.S. As a consulting resource, QHR is the seventh largest healthcare management consulting firms in the U.S., and the QHR Learning Institute reaches more than 10,000 healthcare professionals each year. For more information, go to http://www.qhr.com/.

Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society

Bobbi Reddix will present a portrayal of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who became a successful seamstress and dressmaker to Mrs. Jefferson Davis, Mrs. Lee and Mary Todd Lincoln. Elizabeth earned her freedom with her sewing talents and business savvy and went on to write Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House.
Bobbi Reddix is a librarian at the Lincoln Public Library and resides in Lincoln, IL

The meeting, which is open to the general public, will be held on Tuesday July 13, 2010 at the Society’s Erlicher Library, located at 719 N Eleventh St, Pekin, IL. The program will begin promptly at 7:00 PM, with a business meeting immediately following. The building is handicapped accessible with ample parking available.

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Savant Capital Management, Inc.

Savant Capital Management, Inc.; 7535 N Knoxville Ave, Suite C, Peoria IL 61614; Office phone 309-693-0300; Office fax 309-693-3470; www.SavantCapital.com ; Jim Foley, Director of Advisory and Business Development, 815-227-0300.  Business hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm.  Savant Capital Management, Inc. offers investment management, financial planning, and family office services to financially established individuals, Trust Funds, Retirement Plans and Non-Profit Organizations.  Savant is regularly recognized among the top wealth managers in the United States.

Big Daddy Weave Headlines Faith & Family Night on June 26

The third O’Brien Field concert in June will feature Contemporary Christian Artist Big Daddy Weave on Saturday, June 26 for the annual Faith & Family night presented by Hoerr’s Berean Bookstore and Family Friendly radio 91.5 WCIC. Again the game will feature a post-game fireworks show with a 6:30 p.m. start as the Chiefs host the Cedar Rapids Kernels with ticket prices of $16 for Club Box Seats and $12 for Lawn Seating. The members of Big Daddy Weave met at the University of Mobile and headlined the What Life Would Be Like Tour in 2009 with guest musician Josh Wilson. Some of Big Daddy Weave’s most popular songs are: “Every Time I Breathe”, “Audience of One”, “In Christ”, “Fields of Grace”, “Without You”, and “What Life Would Be Like”.

Big Daddy Weave has three awards to the band’s name, they were honored two years in a row at ASCAPS’s 2003 and 2004 Christian Music Awards, and in 2002 they received the Dove Award Nomination, “New Artist of the Year”. Aside from awards the band has also had many achievements in its ten year career: "Audience of One" is one of the top 25 most performed ASCAP songs of 2003 and featured on Dove Hits 2003, "In Christ" appeared on R&R's AC chart for 24 weeks, peaking at No. 2, becoming the highest charting AC single for a new artist in 2002, "In Christ" is one of the top 25 most performed ASCAP songs of 2002, debut project, "One And Only", debuted in SoundScan's Christian Top5, the highest debut for a new artist in 2002, and "One And Only" remained in the SoundScan's Christian Top20 for six consecutive weeks. .

ORDER TICKETS

Friday, June 18, 2010

Farden's Pest Control Welcomed

Bill Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, recently presented a chamber membership plaque to Rich Farden, owner of Farden's Pest Control, and officially welcomed him to the chamber. Farden's Pest Control offers commercial and residential pest inspections and treatment. With over 21 years experience, Rich promises low rates and quick service. The Pekin business can be reached at 208-5672.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ribbon Cutting At The Paintball Park


The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce officially opened The Paintball Park At Pekin with a ribbon cutting on June 15th. Chamber President Althea Geiser assisted owners Mike and Amanda McKinley with the ribbon cutting. Family, friends and other representatives from the chamber also joined in the ribbon cutting. The Paintball Park At Pekin is located at 14444 Towerline Road. It is the newest paintball park in central Illinois and offers five scenario fields and one PSP regulation size speedball field complete with 18,000 sq ft of astroturf! The Pro Shop is open Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The field hours are Saturdays & Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information contact The Paintball Park At Pekin at 346-7000 or on the web at http://www.pekinpaintballpark.com/  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Boy Scouts of America, W.D. Boyce Council "Pekin Area Centennial Lawn Social"

This Friday, June 18th is the Boy Scouts of America, W. D. Boyce Council “Pekin Area Centennial Lawn Social.” Rich Kriegsman will be honored with the Good Scout Award for his service and continued commitment to the Pekin Area. The event is being held at the Pekin Insurance Lodge starting at 5:30pm and will include a reception, hors d'oeuvres and program as well as entertainment by The Sally Weisenburg Trio. Registration and payment will be accepted at the door or to register in advance contact Jessica McCloud at 673-6136 ext119.

Paint The Town Red Kick-Off Party

Help kickoff the Paint The Town Red campaign at Yesterday's Bar & Grill, 363 Court Street on Thursday, June 24th from 5:00pm - ???  A.J. Yergler & Courtney Antonini will be the guest bartenders for the evening.  All tips will be donated to the YWCA "Paint the Town Red" fundraiser.  Bring yourself and all your friends and support the YWCA of Pekin.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Leman Property Management to manage additional complex in Pekin

Leman Property Management Co. has added Meadow Lane Apartments to its residential portfolio, leading a local group of investors in the purchase and assuming operations of the property effective today. Located at 1101 El Camino Drive in Pekin, the apartment community consists of 56 residential units and was constructed in 1994.

Leman Property Management Co. currently manages over 1,500 apartment units in the central Illinois area, including 736 units in Pekin, as well as various commercial and office buildings and single family residential subdivisions. Other apartment communities under management in Pekin include Williamsburg Townhouses, Willow Oaks Apartments, Sunset Hills Apartments, North Haven Apartments, Lakeside Apartments, Vista Villa, and South 4th St. Villas.

CEFCU REPORTS RECORD ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2009

At CEFCU’s recent Annual Meeting, the Credit Union reported record achievements for 2009. At the end of the year, Assets were over $4.1 billion, which is an increase of 10% over 2008. Savings deposits increased over 10% from last year, and loans outstanding grew 7%.

At the Annual Meeting, Reed Stuedemann, 2009 Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated, “… the continued support of you, the member/owner, along with the commitment to providing quality member service from your volunteer Board and professional Staff, resulted in a year of incredible growth for your Credit Union.”

Erec D. Montgomery and Joseph R. Needham were named to the Board of Directors, and CEFCU members re-elected Thea M. Robinson, Mark A. Spenny, Reed A. Stuedemann, and Helen J. Young to the Board of Directors.

Credit Union Officers, Directors, Supervisory Committee members, and Associate Board members for 2010 will be: Robert M. Metzinger – Chairman, Bruce G. Dimler – Vice Chairman, Patricia J. Hampton – Vice Chairman, Thea M. Robinson – Vice Chairman, Mark A. Spenny – President/CEO and Treasurer, Reed A. Stuedemann – Secretary, James L. Gleich, Richard G. Hermann, David M. Koehler, Nancy M. Medendorp, Erec D. Montgomery, Joseph R. Needham, and Helen J. Young. Therese Peck serves as the Recording Secretary.
Credit Union officials reflected on highlights from 2009. In recognition of strong member confidence, combined with staff controlling expenses while making solid lending and investment decisions, in December, the Board of Directors authorized a $7 million Extraordinary Dividend. Over the past ten years, CEFCU has returned $40 million in Extraordinary Dividends to member/owners.

During the year, CEFCU introduced the new My Save Certificate and College Planning Tool. The My Save Certificate, which requires a $5 minimum deposit, allows for additional deposits throughout the year, while earning the regular 12-month Certificate rate. The new College Planning Tool, which helps parents and grandparents save for college costs, is a valuable, free benefit for members. After completing a 15-minute questionnaire the member receives a customized report which can help develop an educational savings plan.

Construction on the new Sheridan Village Member Center was completed in late March of 2010. The new Member Center includes five drive-up lanes, a new e-Services Area, and four Fast Track Teller machines available 24 hours a day.

Land has been purchased in Chillicothe for a new Member Center; and the first “green” or LEED - Certified CEFCU Member Center will be built in Springfield, opening in early 2011. This new Member Center will not only be energy efficient, but will use recycled and re-used materials, and utilize natural lighting.

With assets totaling nearly $4.4 billion, CEFCU serves 270,000 members through 19 Central Illinois Member Centers; Valley Credit Union, a division of CEFCU; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s Web site, http://www.cefcu.com/; and cefcu.mobi.

Former Chamber Leader Dies

We were saddened to learn of the June 12th passing of our friend and former leader, Leland S. "Lee" Williams.  He served as Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce from 1970 to 1984 - the longest tenure of any chamber executive director. 

Full of challenges and successes, the 70s and early 80s were exciting times for the chamber and the community, and Lee was deeply involved.  Most notably, he helped create the Marigold Festival and served on the committee during the early, formative years.

Our sincerest condolences and prayers go out to Lee's  friends and family.

Obituary:  http://www.legacy.com/pjstar/Obituaries.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=143574306

Bard Optical Anniversary

Bard Optical Prevails Despite The Recession

According to U.S. sales in 2009 and the May issue of Vision Monday, a leading industry publication, Bard Optical raised its rank among the Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers in 2009. Operating 18 locations in central and southern Illinois, Bard Optical went from #41 to #37 out of 50.

Congratulations to Bard Optical.  Celebrating 25th anniversary in Pekin in July.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mary Buress Ribbon Cutting

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new individual chamber member, Mary Buress, with a ribbon cutting. Buress has been the Deputy Treasurer for Tazewell County for 21 years and has been in the Treasurer's office for over 25 years. She is the Republican candidate for the 2010 Tazewell County Treasurer position. Pictured from left are: Diane Steiner, Laura Lohnes, Dave Vaupel, Mary Buress, Mary Ann Vaupel, Paul Scherer, Renna Hadsall, Althea Geiser, Christie Perry, and Daryl Dagit.

June Puttin' On Pekin Recap

83 Chamber members and their guests heard about some of the positive local events and efforts at the June Puttin' On Pekin breakfast. Debbie Fornoff (Good Shepherd Lutheran School and Debbie Fornoff Interior Designs & Draperies) won the early prize, while Bruce Hoerr (Winpak Heat Seal) won the late prize. Rose Hasler presented the Spotlight on Business Award to Brent and Mary Ann Vaupel from Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care. Nichole Bozarth (CEFCU) presented the Blue Ribbon Award to Todd Thompson for his work on the Speakeasy Art Center at 353 Court Street. Stephanie Stoneking (Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes) presented the Sunshine Award to Scott Lange with the Pekin Union Mission. Gene Olson, the director of the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport was the program. Most of his presentation was on the new terminal building, which is expect to open shortly after the first of the year.  You can see more pictures from this event at http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

St. Jude Pekin Run Welcomed

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new member, the St. Jude Pekin to Peoria Run. Cassie Creech is the coordinator of the run. She was joined in the picture by her father, Jack, and representatives from the chamber. The St. Jude Pekin to Peoria Run is a charity to benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. This is the 9th year of the Pekin to Peoria run, and is in the memory of Chad Creech.

Citizens For Unes Join Chamber


The Citizens for Unes recently joined the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and were welcomed with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Citizens for Unes supports the efforts of East Peoria Councilman Mike Unes' bid to become State Representative of the 91st district, which includes portions of Tazewell, Fulton, and Peoria Counties. Joining Mike Unes in the picture are from left: Laura Lohnes, Diane Steiner, Dave Vaupel, Unes, Renna Hadsall, Paul Scherer, Mary Ann Vaupel, Althea Geiser, Christie Perry, and Daryl Dagit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Chamber Member: St. Jude Pekin to Peoria Run

Please welcome another new member to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

St. Jude Pekin to Peoria Run, located in Pekin.  Cassie Creech, coordinator; The St. Jude Pekin to Peoria Run is a charity to benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. 2010 is the 9th year of the Pekin to Peoria run, and is in the memory of Chad Creech.

Anytime Fitness Looking For Your Coupons

Anytime Fitness will be sending a mailing to their membership in the 2nd week of July.  Chris Evers, the owner, would be willing to promote his fellow chamber members in the mailing.  If you have an offer you'd like to extend, a coupon, or other promotional piece, please contact Chris.  You can reach him on his cell phone at 563-542-1816 or email at pekinil@anytimefitness.com

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chamber Welcomes New Member; The Clubs at Sunset Hills

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes another new member, The Clubs at Sunset Hills, 1620 Summit Dr., Pekin; 309-347-7553; pekinsunsethills@gmail.com; Dianne Gresham, Owner; Jerry Anderson, Owner; Kep Gresham, General Manager; Kurt Schleinz, Restaurant Manager.  Restaurant hours are from 10:00am - 11:00pm and golf is available from dawn to dusk.  They offer a 18 hole championship golf course, full dining room, sports bar, banquet room and meeting room.

Main Street Blues Party

River City Blues Society Presents:
Main Street Blues Party
Saturday June 12th
4:00 - 10:00 pm
Downtown, Courthouse Square

Eric "Guitar" Davis & Doghouse Blues will be performing.  The concert is free.  $3.00 beer garden entrance (Capitol St.)  Pork chop sandwiches, Pepsi products & water available.  Bring your lawn chair!

For more information, visit http://www.rivercityblues.com/ http://www.pekinmainstreet.com/ or call Pekin Main Street at 309-353-3100

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You Can Act On Energy Symposium

Act On Energy is hosting a symposium designed to help chamber members understand what companies in their business category are doing to be energy-efficient. People who attend this symposium will also get a coupon that will increase their incentive amount 15% on their next project, which could be worth thousands of dollars. The symposium closest to the Pekin area will be in Bloomington/Normal on July 27th from 8 AM until 1 PM. There is NO COST to attend the event, which includes breakfast and lunch. This is being provided to you by the Ameren Illinois Act On Energy Business Program.

This symposium will not provide broad based concepts on how to reduce the amount of energy you use. There will be break-out sessions specifically designed to talk about best practices for hospitals, industry, grocery & convenience stores, small businesses and public entities. The whole purpose of the event is to provide business owners and managers with a forum where they can learn about energy-efficiency best practices for their specific industry. This event is designed to help identify the low hanging fruit and give you the tools to start working on projects at your facility.

Here is the agenda for the day:

• 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM – Registration, free continental breakfast, visit Program Ally booths

• 9:00 AM to 9:50 AM – Plenary session with keynote speaker from Best Buy

• 9:50 AM to 10:00 AM – Break

• 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM – Industry-specific break-out sessions

• 10:50 AM to 11:00 AM – Break

• 11:00 AM to Noon – Program Ally exhibits

• Noon to 1:00 PM – Free hot lunch and panel discussion

• 1:00 PM – Conference adjourns

The Plenary session will start off with an introduction from Act On Energy, highlighting the day and introducing the keynote speaker from Best Buy talking about the future of energy and technology.

After the Plenary session participants will move to the industry-specific break-out sessions which are divided into five tracks:  industrial, grocery/convenience, health care, small business and public entities. Participants will hear about best practices and an Ameren customer who has participated in the program will give a testimonial of how the program has enhanced their business.

Following the industry-specific break-out sessions, participants will have an hour to speak with Program Allies to talk about projects they can implement. The Program Allies can provide expert advice on best practices and help you start your energy-efficiency project. Finally, during lunch, there we be a panel discussion with four businesses in the community that will talk about their business’s thoughts on energy-efficiency, and how they evaluate projects.  There will be a diverse group of customer on the panel discussion representing both large and small businesses such as CAT, State Farm, Kraft Capri Sun, Kroger, Pepsi, YWCA, churches and others.

Register for the You Can Act On Energy Symposium by calling (866) 800-0747.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nelson's Catering Welcomed

Nelson's Catering was recently welcomed as a member to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Althea Geiser presented a membership plaque to Ashley Belue, Sales & Event Planning Representative for Nelson's Catering. From catered corporate picnics, employee & customer appreciation meals, golf outings, and elaborate weddings - to their delivery and fund raising programs - whether it's a group of 1,000 or a smaller group of 25, Nelson's Catering enjoys exceeding the expectations of their clients and their guests! Based in Springfield, they can be reached at (217) 787-9443 or on the web at http://www.nelsonscatering.com/.  From left to right in the picture:  Les Rosiere, John Geiser, Ashley Belue, Althea Geiser, Tom Hornstein, Jeff Livengood and Ty Lemaster.

NTS Hosted June's Business After Hours


NTS Telephone Company, 205 Enterprise Drive, was the gracious host of the June 3rd Business After Hours. Dan Johnson and Sue Scott provided chamber members with great refreshments, tours of the facility, demonstrations of new products, and door prizes.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:  http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Treasures and More Ribbon Cutting

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce came together to for a ribbon cutting to congratulate a Pekin business. Treasures & More, owned by John and Dawn Riley, recently moved from Derby Street to their new location across from the Tazewell County Courthouse at 345 Court Street. Open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday, Treasures and More offers antiques and collectibles, crafts, rocks, knives and a little bit of everything.  You can see more pictures from this, and other chamber events, at:  http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

Chamber Welcomes New Member: Wood Floor Solutions, Inc.

Wood Floor Solutions, Inc. Pekin, IL; (309) 642-8940, Todd Vansaghi, Owner; Melissa Vansaghi, Owner.  Specializing in wood floors, Wood Floor Solutions offers installation of wood floors, sanding and refinishing of wood floors, annual cleaning and maintenance of wood floors.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rockin' For TAPS

Tazewell Animal Protective Society; located in Pekin, IL and founded in 1958.  TAPS is a no-kill shelter and a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization funded solely through adoptions, donations, memorials and fundraising events.  The goal of TAPS, is to provide a safe environment for injured, misplaced, and homeless cats and dogs until they can be placed in permanent loving homes.  We also provide education to pet owners and the public about overpopulation and pet care.  All our animals are rabies vaccinated, micro-chipped, and spayed/neutered before they can be adopted.  As you can imagine, these expenses can be very expensive.

Our annual fundraising event, Rockin for TAPS, is coming up on July 17th, 2010 from 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  The event will take place at the Pekin Boat Club and will include the Comedian Royce Elliott and the bank Loose Shoes, 50/50 raffles, a dunk tank and a bag tournament.

We are looking for businesses to help sponsor our event.  If you are interested in being a sponsor and getting your business on our T-shirt, we are asking for a donation of $100 or more.  The deadline for being a T-shirt sponsor is June 15th, 2010.

Thank you for your consideration.  Your donation will be deeply appreciated by all of us and all the pets at our shelter awaiting their new homes!

Communtiy Shred Day

Do not be one of the 10 million people who fall victim to identity theft each year...  State Representative, Mike Smith presents:  Community Shred Day. 

Friday, June 18th 2010  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
North end of Goodfella's parking lot, 1400  8th St, Pekin

Bring your old tax returns, files or sensitive documents to be destroyed by the shredder.
Accepted materials:  paper, computer disks, tapes and hard drives.

Help protect yourself from ID theft and preserve the environment by recycling.

For more information, please call Rep. Smith's Constituent Services Office at (309) 353-6276

Pekin Chamber Welcomes New Member, Cole Munge

We are pleased to announce a new member; Cole Munge, Pekin IL, Individual Member

Pekin Hospital Auxiliary Financial Applications Available

The Pekin Hospital Auxiliary is soliciting applications for the 2010 Pekin Hospital Auxiliary Financial Assistance Program. This award of financial assistance is presented annually to students who are enrolled in qualified, professional health-related programs. Students living in the Tri-county area are eligible to apply, with priority extended to applicants who intend to return to the Pekin area to practice their skills. Applicants must apply annually, and recipients will not be eligible for more than four years of assistance.

The scholarship committee reviews applications and selects the award recipient(s) based upon course of study; financial need; scholarship achievements, including honors and grades; experience/extra-curricular involvement, volunteer and work-related; letters of recommendation; and general qualifications and goals. The scholarship(s) will be presented in August 2010.

All completed applications, grade transcripts for the most current semester, letters of recommendation and other pertinent information must be submitted to Pekin Hospital's Volunteer Services at 600 S. 13th Street, Pekin by June 4, 2010. Please indicate that the envelope contains an application for the Pekin Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship.

For more information or to receive an application, please contact Christie Perry at 353-0204.

Pekin Hospital MRI Receives ACR Accreditation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Pekin Hospital MRI has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The ACR, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of the practice. Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of facility equipment. The surveyors report their findings to the ACR’s Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report.

The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

Goodwill Requesting American Flags For Retirement

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is asking for donations of worn American Flags. According to flag etiquette, when our flag is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. Donated flags will be retired on Monday June 14, 2010 at a Flag Day observance ceremony. 

As incentive to donate these flags, Peoria Flag & Decorating is offering donors a coupon for 10% off a new American Flag. Donors outside of the Peoria area can order flags by calling Peoria Flag & Decorating at 309-685-8989 or 1-800-322-3946. 

Flags can be donated at any Goodwill store or donation center. The Flag Day observance ceremony will be held at Constitution Garden in Peoria. It will begin at 5:00 p.m. and flag retirement will begin at 6:15 p.m. 

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois provides job training, career and vocational services to individuals who face barriers to employment. Revenues from the sale of gently-used items support the Vocational Services programs of Goodwill. For further information on retail stores, donation centers and vocational services, visit the website at http://www.goodwillpeo.org/ or call the Administrative Offices at (309) 682-1113.