Monday, January 31, 2011

Chamber Voter's Guide

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce believes it is important for Chamber members to exercise their right to vote.  The Chamber also believes it is important for members to be informed voters, particularly when it comes to issues that can affect the local business climate.  

With that in mind, the Business Environment Division sent a questionnaire to candidates for the Pekin City Council and Pekin Mayoral races.  (Park District and School Board questionnaires will be published in mid-February.)

You can see a list of the candidates and their unedited responses to the questions at:

Act On Energy - Offering Discounts in the Online Store!

We happy to announce that Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce is participating in the Chamber Challenge that is explained below.  Please use the code "Pekin" when you place your order to help us in our efforts with this years challenge.

Act On Energy is once again reducing the cost of most of its products in the online store by 50%, and is offering chambers the opportunity to participate in a Chamber Challenge -  Similar to last year, Act On Energy is now selling these popular products at reduced prices:
·         CFLS starting at $0.50
o   Customers save an average of $17 annually in energy costs for each CFL that replaces an incandescent bulb
o   Regular price $27.75
o   Will save up to $60 in energy costs per year, per sign
o   Regular price $179
o   Will save up to $140 in energy costs per year, per control
o   Choose from a pack of three 25W (100W equivalents) or
o   Variety pack with a 15W, 20W, 25W
·         FREE shipping on all of these products
·         Many more great products!!!  Check out the full listing on the web site.
This special pricing and the Chamber Challenge will run through March 31, 2011.  These offers only apply to Ameren Illinois small-business customers that are delivery-service rate DS-2. 

Watch for more information on this great opportunity!

Mashie's Supper Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday 
2:00 until KICKOff!

Mashies at Sunset Hills
1620 Summit

Jaycees Raise Money for American Heart Association With Trivia Night

The Tazewell County Jaycees will be hosting a Trivia Night on Thursday, February 10th starting at 6:30pm at EP’s Timeout ( 1011 E. Washington St. ) in East Peoria to raise funds for the American Heart Association.

A two to ten person team will be able to play 8 rounds of 10 questions for $10.00 per person or $5.00 per person for Jaycees.  Registration begins at 6pm with play starting at 6:30pm .  Throughout the evening a 50/50 raffle will be conducted along with door prizes being awarded.  The winning team will be awarded a traveling trophy, free admission and 2 free pizzas from EP’s Timeout at the next trivia night.

If you would like to reserve a table for your team please contact the Tazewell County Jaycees at  Please note that reservations are preferred, but not required.

The Jaycees provide individuals between the age of 18 and 41 the opportunity to develop personal and leadership skills while serving their community.  The Tazewell County Chapter of the Jaycees conducts approximately 25 projects per year including the Rotten Easter Egg Hunt as well as projects that they help support such as the Relay for Life, Children’s Hospital of Illinois and various other community projects.  At the end of the fiscal year, all of the profit generated from Chapter projects less Chapter expenses is funneled back into the community.

The Tazewell County Chapter holds their monthly general meeting on the fourth Monday of the month at 6:30 PM at Eli’s (205 W. Jefferson) in Morton.  For further information on the Tazewell County Jaycees, membership or any of their sponsored events write to or visit

An event sponsored by The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Location: Re- In the Metro Center
4700 N. University St
                 Peoria, IL  61614
A monthly networking opportunity for Peoria-area women. This month we will visit at RE in the Metro Center.  Everything at RE is made of recycled, repurposed, or reclaimed materials.  Join other women who share your interest in funding projects that assist women and children.

  • Appetizers and beverages.
  • Drawing for door prizes.
  • Donations will be accepted to further the work of the Women’s Fund

Call or email Kristan at 309/674.8730 or and ask to be added to the First Tuesdays “evite” mailing list.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

February Chamber Connection Newsletter Posted

Another month has passed and we've condensed all the news from our blog into a monthly digest. 

Please view or print this month's Chamber Connection newsletter by visiting:

Executive Directors Report

Going Mobile
The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce uses several different websites and blogs to promote our community and our members.  We regularly review and analyze the traffic that visits those sites and identify trends and opportunities for the chamber and our members.
 I could tell you exactly how many visitors we had to our websites and blogs last year, or that they came from every state in the union, plus 118 different countries.  Or I could tell you that over 25% of our website visitors, and nearly half of our blog visitors found us from Google searchers.
But to me the most interesting trend is the use of mobile devices.  In 2010 a total of 1,707 mobile devices accessed, compared to only 64 in 2009.  And 10% of our visitors to the Pepsi Medallion Hunt blog were mobile devices in 2010, while there were only 2 people who accessed that site with a mobile device in 2009. 
With smart phones now outselling laptops, those numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise.  And that trend will continue even more dramatically, as smart phones are projected to outsell desktop PCs and laptops combined in 2012.   
The conclusion I drew from these number – we all need to get our websites mobile-ready.  This includes proper formatting and layout, developing smart-phone apps, etc. 
 Super Savers
The chamber offers free Super Saver Chamber Coupons to our members.  All you have to do is fill out a form with your offer.  In the first two weeks of January, our 18 Super Saver Chamber Coupons cumulatively received over 300 hits.
 Membership Directory
The chamber’s online membership directory was searched over 10,000 times in 2010.  About 60% of the searches were alphabetical, 27% of the searches were by category, and 6% were keyword searches.
Through those searches, our members’ basic information was displayed nearly 70,000 times.  Visitors then clicked on the link to go to the members’ web pages 8,500 times, and clicked on the link to a Google map nearly 2,000. 
We can provide you with your own personal summary of your company/organizations traffic.  We can also add your Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin contact info to your directory results page.
1. What are we (and you) doing to make your website mobile-friendly?
2. What are you doing to make sure Google finds you
3. Are you taking advantage of all of the free tools on the internet, including those offered by the chamber?

Bill Fleming, Executive Director

Membership Renewals through January 24th

Thank you to the following chamber members who have recently renewed their investment in the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

Allegra Print & Imaging ~ Amanda's Closet ~ Ameren Illinois Utilities ~ American Fire Service ~ Art's Ads ~ Aventine Renewable Energy ~ Bagley & Miller, Attorneys ~ Bard Optical ~ Baumgarten Distributors ~ George Beres ~ Boy Scouts of America/W.D. Boyce Council ~ Brewers Distributing Company ~ Brookmeadow Apartments ~ Carney's Insurance Store ~ CD 107.9  (Prairie Communications) ~ CenturyLink ~ Champion Fitness Physical Therapy ~ Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell ~ Comcast Business Services ~ Commerce Bank ~ DHS/Division of Rehabilitation Services ~ East Court Village ~ Edward Jones / Chris Petersen ~ Dr. Robert Ehrich, DDS ~ Elks Lodge ~ Enviro-Dry ~ Excel Foundry & Machine ~ Four Seasons Gutter Protection Company ~ Sylvan Franklin ~ Rich Gafford ~ Glesne Family Dentistry ~ Goodwill Industries ~ Graphic Packaging International ~ Greenhouse Flower Shoppe ~ Heartland Bank & Trust Company ~ Heartland Chiropractic Center ~ Herget Bank ~ Hometown Title ~ Illinois Collections Unlimited ~ JMP Radio Group ~ Johnson Mechanical Service ~ Knights of Columbus ~ Kriegsman Warehouses ~ Dr. David Kuban, DDS ~ Kuhfuss & Proehl, P.C. ~ Laborer's Local #231 ~ McDaniels Marketing Communications ~ McDonald's ~ Miller, Hall, & Triggs ~ Monge, Crouch & Mahoney ~ Otto Baum Company ~ Pekin Animal Hospital ~ Pekin Area Board of Realtors ~ Pekin Community Bank ~ Pekin Community High School ~ Pekin Country Club ~ Pekin Hospital ~ Pekin Insurance ~ Pekin Manor ~ Pekin Moose Family Center, Lodge # 916 ~ Pekin Park District ~ Pekin Public Library ~ Pekin Riding Club ~ Pekin Township Supervisor ~ Pekin Veterinary Clinic ~ Peoria Journal Star ~ Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory ~ Leslie Pulfer ~ R.A. Cullinan & Sons ~ Ray Dennison Chevrolet ~ Redbrand Credit Union ~ Ruskusky Foot & Ankle Clinic ~ S & D Cleaning ~ Schwartz & Miller Family Dentistry ~ Steger's Furniture ~ Dr. Dennis Stoller, DDS, ~ Taco Bell ~ TAPS Animal Shelter ~Tazewell County Jaycees ~ Tazewell Machine Works ~ TCRC ~ The Stove Shop ~ Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care ~ Tips and Toes To Go ~ Total Dental Care ~ Udry Jewelers ~ United Way Of Pekin ~ Unland Companies ~ Vonderheide Floor Coverings ~ James Wallinger ~ Willock & Warning C.P.A. ~ Wireless Express ~ Wolf, Tesar & Company, P.C. ~ World Wide Travel ~ YWCA of Pekin

Biz Barometer

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 9.4 percent in December, and non-farm payroll employment increased by 103,000. Employment rose in leisure and hospitality and in health care but was little changed in other major industries.

In Pekin, sales tax receipts collected on sales in October (and received from the State in December) were up 4.6% compared to the same period in 2009.

Pekin’s unemployment rate was 10.9% in November, up 0.1 points from the previous month. Illinois’ unemployment rate held at 9.2% and the tri-county rate held at 9.3% for the second straight month.

Chamber Calendar of Events

Feb 1
Ribbon Cutting – Going Green Computers
Feb 2
Executive Board Meeting
Feb 3
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Feb 3
Pekin 1st Committee
Feb 3
Business After Hours – Riviera Tan
Feb 8
Member Services Committee
Feb 8
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Feb 9
Transportation Committee
Feb 9
Board of Directors Meeting
Feb 10
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Feb 11
Puttin on Pekin Breakfast – Knights of Columbus
Feb 15
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Feb 16
Marigold Festival Committee Meeting
Feb 17
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Feb 21
President's Day
Feb 22
Business Advocacy Committee
Feb 22
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Feb 24
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy

You’ll find additional member events by visiting our calendar online.
Do you have an event coming up, that you would like to add to our calendar? Contact us to find out how.  This is just another benefit of your membership.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dazzling D Welcomed to Chamber

One of the newest chamber members, Dazzling D Mobile Light and Sound, was welcomed to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce with a brief ceremony at the recent Pekin Area Business Expo. Derek Watson is the owner of this full-service mobile DJ company. Specializing in weddings, parties, school functions, business functions, and charity events, he can be reached at 309-453-7238.

Pekin Area Business Expo 2011

Nearly 70 businesses and organization set up displays and gave demonstrations at the 2011 Pekin Area Business Expo sponsored by the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, Allegra Print & Imaging, Pekin Insurance, and Midwest Generation Powerton Station. The event was held on January 22nd at the Avanti's Dome. About 3,000 people toured the displays, enjoyed the entertainment, registered for door prizes and received free gifts. Other sponsors included the Pekin Daily Times, Comcast Spotlight, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Illinois Collections Unlimited, CEFCU and Fun on the Run.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Professional Towing & Recovery Opertors of Illinois

Professional Towing & Recovery Operators of Illinois, 851 Brenkman Dr., Pekin IL 61554; phone:309-347-2286; fax: 309-347-2375; email:; website;; Ron Matthews, BOD Member; Melanie Matthews, Administrator; Business Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. The PTROI is an association dedicated to promoting the interests and welfare of all towing-storage operations in the State of Illinois and to cooperate with like enterprises throughout the country. We support and encourage fair competition in all business dealings and promote at all times good fellowship among members.

February is National Heart Month

Speakeasy Art Center - Events

Night Owl Spoken Word Poetry Night- January 26 (9-11p)
This even is BRAND NEW to Speakeasy Art Center. It will be hosted by Chris Keller. So bring your bodies, minds, hearts, and words to the Speakeasy Art Center. The event will happen every last Wednesday of the month. So let loose with all you have to say!! BTW...BYOB!!! No charge!

Opening Reception for Jacob Grant- Friday February 4th (6-830pm)
Jacob Grant is a central Illinois ceramicist. He graduated with a Masters degree of Fine Art from Bradley University. He has taught at The Peoria Art Guild, Illinois Central College, Bradley University and Robert Morris College. His work has been widely shown in Chicago, IL., Rend Lake, IL., Peoria Heights, IL., and St. Louis, MO.

Grant states, "I am curious about exploration of formal qualities of the vessel and volumetric sculptural objects. Inter-relational ties between functional and sculptural art through researching basic aspects of form are the primary concerns in my work. The vessels and volumetric sculptures I create examine the line between pragmatism and pure sculpture. "

Please join us in supporting our local artist, Jacob Grant, on this evening. It's free and light refreshments will be provided.

Savant Capital Management Celebrates 25 Years of Financial Innovation

Company Looks to Expand In Future

Rockford, IL (January 24, 2011) – Savant Capital Management, a locally owned and nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm headquartered in Rockford, has been at the forefront of financial innovation for 25 years. In 2011, Savant celebrates its 25th anniversary of helping clients work toward achieving their financial goals.

It all started in 1986 when Thomas A. Muldowney had a vision to approach wealth management services in a whole new way. "I wanted to separate myself from organizations that sold commissioned based products," said Thomas Muldowney, Savant Managing Director and Financial Advisor. "I wanted to offer my clients true, independent financial and estate planning advice that was unbiased by conflicts of interest." He launched Savant Planning Group, Ltd., a fee-only planning practice.

In 1992, Muldowney realized he needed to offer his clients a systematic way to implement the investment strategies necessary to execute their financial plans. He partnered with Brent Brodeski and the two set out on a journey to create a platform that traditional product oriented providers were unwilling to offer.

In 25 years the company has evolved into Savant Capital Management, an independent, fee-only integrative wealth management firm helping clients work toward maximizing their assets, enhancing the quality of their lives, and realizing personal and financial goals. The company has grown from one employee to a team of 70 with nearly $2 billion in assets under management. The firm has also expanded its services regionally and operates offices in Freeport, Peoria and Geneva, IL as well as Madison, WI.

"I’m proud of what we have accomplished as a company and for our clients," said Brent Brodeski, Savant Managing Partner and Financial Advisor. "As we approach this significant milestone in our history, we need to consider our opportunities for growth."

As a reflection of the team’s hard work and persistence to provide the best service and value to clients, Savant is continually recognized both locally and nationally. The firm has been consistently recognized by such national publications as Barron’s, Worth/Robb Report, Medical Economics, Bloomberg/Wealth Manager, Chicago Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Reuters, Financial Advisor, and The Family Wealth Alliance. Furthermore, The Centre for Fiduciary Excellence has recognized Savant as a Certified Investment Steward and a Certified Investment Advisor. These designations are confirmation that Savant's fiduciary processes have been audited by an independent global assessment and certification organization to be in compliance with global best practices.

Throughout its history Savant has demonstrated a deep commitment to the greater Rockford area non-profit community, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising and sponsorships, donations and long-term financial pledges to a variety of organizations. From theater and museums to music and dance, Savant’s support has been integral in building and sustaining Rockford’s diverse cultural offerings. In appreciation of its efforts, The Rockford Area Arts Council (RAAC) honored Savant for "Community Impact by a Business" at the 2010 State of the Arts Award.

To view more information about Savant and its plans to celebrate 25 years, visit

The Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society Bus Trip

Anyone who attended the ISGS conference in Peoria this year got some great tips on how to research.  We want to give you the chance to do the research.  Allen County Public Library has a marvelous and vast genealogy section with information that covers the entire United States.  It’s a great chance to put those researching tools to work and find some of the information you have been seeking.
            The Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society is sponsoring a bus trip to this library in Fort Wayne Indiana.  The trip will encompass three days.  We will leave on Monday June 13 at 7 am from the TCGHS Ehrlicher Library in Pekin IL with an additional pick up stop in Bloomington IL.  We will return Wednesday night  with a drop off in Bloomington and arrive in Pekin about 9 pm. You will have research time Monday afternoon and evening, all day on Tuesday and four hours on Wednesday before we have to leave the stacks and head home. There is parking available at the library in Pekin for those who are coming from out of town to participate.
            Price of the trip includes bus, hotel, and 4 meals.  We will stay at Don Hall’s Guest House, the bus will take us to and deliver us back from the library each day.  Breakfast and dinner at the hotel are included, and we will stop at the Beef House Restaurant in Covington IN on the way home for a meal.  A full dinner can be purchased at the Beef House, if desired, or, if you prefer, just the salad bar.  Cost of the dinner  is NOT included in the price of the trip.  We are making this stop as a convenience to our riders.  This way you have your choice of what kind of meal and how much you want to pay.
            Cost is $210 per person based on double occupancy.  A single room is $290.  We do not provide roommates, but check with us for possibilities and assistance.  You must provide a roommate for the lower price.  If you do not have a roommate, you will need to purchase a single room.
            Reservation forms can be found at  A $50 deposit is required with your form.  Reservations must be received by March 15.  Final payment is due on or before April 15 with no refunds after that date.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society General Meeting

“History - Is It the Pits? Or Tales of the Left Behind!”  Local society member Andrew Waholek will present the program this month at the general meeting of the Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society on February 8,2011.  Mr. Waholek is a bottle collector, member of the local collectors club, an outhouse/cistern excavator, and a metal detector enthusiast who will talk about the history found under the top soil and other unusual places.

The meeting, which is open to the general public, will be held on Tuesday February 8, 2011 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 Meets With Unes

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce's Transportation Committee recently met with newly elected State Representative Mike Unes at his district office at 19 S. Capitol in Pekin.  Unes represents Illinois' 91st District, which includes parts of Fulton, Peoria, and Tazewell County.  Pictured with Representative Unes are Transportation Committee Chairman Rich Kriegsman and Vice-Chairman Dennis Kief.  The purpose of the meeting was to bring Representative Unes up to date on Pekin's Veteran's Drive project.  For the past 17 years the Chamber's Transportation Committee has been the leading advocate for improvements to the area's transportation infrastructure.  In particular, the committee has worked closely with the City of Pekin, Tazewell County, Illinois and U.S. elected officials and staff on the construction of Veteran's Drive.

Join us January 27th!

East Peoria Chamber of Commerce,
Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce,
Morton Chamber of Commerce, and
Washington Chamber of Commerce members are invited to attend the Tazewell County Business After Hours.  We hope to see you there!

Leadership & Municipal Government

Students in the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy learned about municipal government at today's class session. Pekin Mayor Rusty Dunn and retired City Manager Dennis Kief spoke about the challenges faced by municipalities and the need for strong leaders both on the City Council and in the city staff. The students also began their introductions of each other today. The session was held in the community room at the Pekin Public Library. Assistant Director Alissa Williams and Director Jeff Brooks gave a brief presentation on the library and a tour of the facilities, pointing out the many recent changes and updates.  You can see more pictures from chamber events at

Join us! This Saturday 9am - 3pm

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Moehle, Swearingen & Umholtz, Ltd.

Moehle, Swearingern & Umholtz, Ltd., 410 Broadway Rd, PO Box 875, Pekin, IL 61555-0875; phone: 309-347-4141; fax: 309-347-5875; email:; hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 - 5:00 pm; Valerie Moehle Umholtz, Partner, Bradley W. Swearingen, Partner; Moehle, Swearingen & Umholtz, Ltd. has provided dependable and quality legal services in the Pekin area for over 45 years. The firm is able to meet the needs of businesses, individuals and government entities.

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Dazzling D Mobile Light & Sound

Dazzling D Mobile Light & Sound, 9205 W Mapleridge Rd., Mapleton, IL 61547; phone: 309-453-7238; email:; Derek Watson, Owner; Full service mobile DJ company. Specializing in weddings, parties, school functions, business functions, charity events, etc.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Federal Correctional Institution Solicits Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help perform practice employment interviews to federal inmates.  While experience in interviewing is helpful, it is not required.  Upon arrival at the institution, we will help prepare you for the day.  In the past, most employers have found this to be a very rewarding experience.  We appreciate any support you can give in helping us prepare the inmates for future release into the community. 

These are the dates of the Mock Job Fairs.  You can volunteer for any or all that would work for you.   
February 11, 2011            8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m 
May 20, 2011                   8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
September 16, 2011          8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m

To register, please view the full flyer here.

Fish Fry to Benefit St. Jude January 29th

Goodwill Industires of Central Illinois - Part time positon available in Pekin


Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is seeking a part-time computer instructor to teach at its new Pekin Learning Center. Applicants must be proficient in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Experience with Internet and email applications is also required.

Beginning March 21, Goodwill will offer free computer basics classes at its Pekin Learning Center. The center is located inside Goodwill’s Pekin store at 3245 Court Street. Pekin will become the third central Illinois community to house a Goodwill Learning Center. Currently, Goodwill operates learning centers in Peoria and Galesburg, which also offer free computer training.

“Our mission is expanding thanks to the people of central Illinois, “says Bill Bontemps, Director of Vocational Services.  “By opening another learning center, we are able to reach more people and help them to attain their goals through the power of work.”

Day and evening classes will be available and each session will last for three weeks. Students will learn computer basics and be introduced to Microsoft Word. Classes are free but space is limited. Anyone interested should call Brenda at 309-573-7186

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is a non-profit organization that 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 or call the Administrative Offices at (309) 682-1113.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast for Equality

The 18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast for Equality will be held Saturday, January 15th at 9:00 a.m. at Edison Junior High School. 

Breakfast will be available at 8:15 a.m. and will be catered by CJ’s CafĂ©.  Students (18 and younger) attend for free, with an $8.00 charge for adults attending.  This year’s speaker is Oba William King, a poet and storyteller.  He will present his program, “I Love My People”, featuring poetry and stories that share the commonality of people as captured in the writings of African-American authors. 

Click here to view the flyer.  For reservations or more information, please call the YWCA at (309) 347-9922, ext. 25. 

The Breakfast is sponsored by the YWCA’s Coalition for Equality, United Way of Pekin, and the Illinois Humanities Council.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hallmark House Nursing Center, Sandra Tobinson Award Winner


Pekin, IL . . . Hallmark House Nursing Center is excited to announce that on May 9, 2010 during National Nursing Home Week, the Health Care Council of Illinois awarded Sandra Robinson a Certificate “Honoring our Hero.” Additionally, on September 29, 2010 the Central Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc. held its Annual Meeting at the Peoria Civic Center and presented several awards for different categories. Sandra Robinson was nominated and awarded a plaque for “Senior Volunteer.”

Sandra has been a volunteer at Hallmark since October 2009, in addition to her husband being a resident of Hallmark. Sandra has become a vital part of our resident’s daily lives, as well as a member of the “Hallmark Family.”

Sandra works selflessly seven days a week either in group sessions or one-on-one enriching our resident’s lives by assisting with scheduled outings, reading the bible, newspaper and other reading material. Additionally, its not uncommon to find Sandra sitting with our residents singing a song, holding their hands, or providing comfort in the form of a hug, a shoulder to lean on, or just someone to speak with and be heard by.

She has a heart of gold and gives of herself so freely, and engages with our residents in such a devoted way that has brightened our residents’ lives. Did you know the name Sandra means “defender of mankind,” which epitomizes the true spirit and character of our volunteer “Sandra Robinson!”

Community Foundation of Central Illinois Announces March 2011 Grant Cycle is Now Open

Peoria, IL- The Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) is currently accepting grant proposals from non-profit organizations within a 50-mile radius of Peoria, excluding McLean County.

Newly revised grant guidelines may be downloaded from the CFCI website at and are available at the office,
331 Fulton Street, Suite 310, Peoria, Illinois 61602

Proposals must be received at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois office by:
4:30 PM, March 1, 2011.  Proposals received after this date will not be accepted.

The Community Foundation’s purpose is to assist projects in the fields of education, arts, health, human services, community service or community development and advance
ONE OR MORE of the following objectives:

1.       Address and help resolve important existing or emerging community issues.
2.       Support new and creative projects and organizations offering the greatest opportunity for positive and significant change.
3.       Promote cooperation and collaboration among organizations.
4.       Identify, enhance, and develop leadership in the community through creative and innovative activities which empower individuals.
5.       Improve the quality or scope of charitable work in the community.

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois does not provide grant funding for annual campaigns, individuals, endowments, or make grants for sectarian religious purposes.

For questions regarding the Community Foundation of Central Illinois’ Grant Cycle please call (309) 674-8730.

Central Illinois Youth Symphony, Senior Solo Recital

The Central Illinois Youth Symphony ~ Senior Solo Recital 
Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 2 p.m.
Dingeldine Music Center on Bradley University's Campus 

The following pieces will be performed by our senior soloists:
Concerto No. 2 in D Major……..………....W.A. Mozart
1st Movement

Hunter’s Moon for Horn & Orchestra……Gilbert Vinter

Carnival of Venice…………………………..J. B. Arban

Concertino Op. 107………………….Cecile Chaminade

The recital is free and open to the public.  A small reception will follow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Business Expo, January 22

Mark your calendar!  Plan to join us!

15th Annual John M Evans Scholarship Golf Tournament

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Mark your calendar for this special event!  The outing has been moved up 1 week earlier this year, due only to the National Convention.  Look for more information to be availalbe around Arpil 15th. 

Brought to you by the Laborers' Local #231, Pekin.

Pekin Hospital to Offer Free Blood Pressure Screening in Delavan

In an effort to improve the health of central Illinois, Pekin Hospital will offer free blood pressure screenings on Friday, January 28 from 10 a.m. - noon at Heartland Bank and Trust located at 418 Locust Street in Delavan. The event is open to women and men.

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.  For upcoming screenings and information, please visit or call (309) 353-0662.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Illinois Taxes Going Up?

According to the Illinois Chamber, the Democratic leaders in Springfield have reached a deal that includes the largest corporate tax increase in the country, a 75% increase in personal income taxes and billions in state borrowing.  With reform talks falling short of what the state really needs, the legislature will be voting on the increases in the next few days.  It's not too late to stop these tax increases.  More information is available at: 

Leadership Academy Begins

Twenty-four leaders attended the opening session of the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy. This 10-week program will prepare them for the leadership challenges and opportunities in our community. This is the 13th year the chamber has coordinated a leadership academy. Pamela Anderson from the City of Pekin is facilitating the Thursday morning sessions, most of which will be held at Pekin Hospital. In addition to the classroom sessions, there are also weekly field trips to various businesses and organizations.

Grand Victorian Business After Hours

The Grand Victorian of Pekin was the host of the January Business After Hours and a large crowd of chamber members came out to enjoy their hospitality. In addition to delicious food and drinks, there were tours of the facility and door prizes. Candace Scarcliff, Executive Director of The Grand Victorian, welcomed everyone and gave an update on their facility. The Grand Victorian of Pekin is located at 2700 S. 14th.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at: