Monday, October 31, 2011

Chamber Challenge Trivia Nite

13 teams competed in the 2011 Chamber Challenge Trivia Nite. This was the 7th year the Chamber's Ambassadors have hosted the event - a fun evening of networking and trivia. Congratulations to the Herget Bank team, who recaptured their title as champions.  You can see pictures from the event at:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Amanda's Closet Grand Re-Opening

Amanda's Closet, 517 Court Street is celebrating their grand reopening.  Beginning November 1st, new hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm.  Stop by and check out what's happening in the Closet!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Membership Renewals

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

Allen & Associates ~ B'Ribboned Etc. ~ Baumgarten Distributors

Beck's Convenience Store ~ Court Place Apartments ~ Henderson Funeral Home

ITV-3 (OmniLEC) ~ JM Industrial Supply ~ Liberty Village of Pekin/Pekin Estates

McGladrey & Pullen, LLP ~ Professional Therapy Services

Sunset Lanes ~ Women's Center for Health

Community Leadership Academy 2012

Valuing Diversity

How Does Unemployment Insurance Work In Illinois?

Illinois Department of Employment Security Workshop  

You are invited to an Unemployment Insurance, ‘Meeting Business Needs’ workshop.  An in-depth review of the processes related to the adjudication and appeal of unemployment insurance (U.I.) claims.  This workshop is designed to enlighten and educate employers/businesses on how to better handle U.I. related issues and help them establish enhanced workplace management methodologies.

Sponsored by the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce with State Sen. Dave Koehler and facilitated by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

When:  November 8, 2011
Registration: 8 – 8:30 AM
Workshop: 8:30 – 11:30 AM 
Where: East Peoria Chamber, Festival Bldg., 2200 E. Washington St., East Peoria, IL 60611

To RSVP, Contact: Kyle Dooley, 309-346-4646
or email: 
Please confirm your attendance
Additional information will be provided on: IDES Employer Services, WOTC, TaxNet, Fidelity Bonding, Veterans Services, Recruitment Facilities, Employee Search Assistance services.  All services and programs are at no additional cost to you, the employer.

Biz Barometer

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Non-farm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The increase in employment partially reflected the return to payrolls of about 45,000 telecommunications workers who had been on strike in August.  In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to trend down nationwide.

The September seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Illinois rose to 10 percent despite the addition of 1,600 new jobs, according to preliminary data released last week by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).  That’s the 5th straight month the unemployment rate has increased.  In September, unemployed individuals increased 10,500 (1.6%) to 663,300 compared to August. Total unemployed has declined 76,800 (-10.4%) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.2%.

Government layoffs weren’t much of a factor in the September numbers. According to IDES, the number of people employed by state and local governments was the same in September as in August. However, government employment in Illinois is down 13,200 when compared to September of 2010.

The Pekin housing market had a strong 3rd quarter compared to the 3rd quarter of 2010 according to the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS.  A total of 135 homes were sold this quarter, compared to 107 in the 3rd quarter of 2010.  The average sales price of $113,226 for the 3rd quarter of 2011 was 9.4% greater than the 3rd quarter of 2010.

However, the 2011 year-to-date sales are running 5.8% behind the first 9 months of 2010.  East Peoria (-11.1%) and Washington (-16%) have also seen their September year-to-date sales fall short of the 2010 numbers, while Morton (+0.6%) is slightly ahead of last year.

Likewise, the average sales price is 1.9% less than the September 2010 year-to-date numbers.  The other large Tazewell County communities have seen their average sales price drop by bigger percentages in the September year-to-date comparison:  Washington (7.2%), East Peoria (-7.1%), and Morton (3.1%). 

Business After Hours

Camp of Champions USA
3009 Broadway Road
November 3, 2011

Reservations Appreciated
346-2106 or email us at

Join us for networking, refreshments, door prizes, and more. 

Calendar of Events

November 1 – Ambassador Meeting
November 2 – Member Promotions Mtg
November 2 – Executive Board Meeting
November 3 – Pekin 1st Committee November 3 – Business After Hours
November 8 – Member Services Committee
November 9 – Transportation Committee
November 9 – Board of Directors Meeting
November 11 – Veteran’s Day  
November 16 – Marigold Festival Committee
November 17 – Valuing Diversity Seminar
November 24/25 – Chamber Office Closed
November 29 – Business Advocacy Committee

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Welcome New Member: Comfort Plus Hospice, Inc.

Comfort Plus Hospice, Inc., 2400 N. 8th Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-620-9821; fax: 309-620-9822; Teri Rhoades, Administrator; Deron Boyer, Chaplain; Candice Wright, Social Services; Areceli Lear, Owner. Business hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm. Comfort Plus Hospice, Inc. is a new private hospice agency that provides palliative and holistic care of patients and families who have terminal illnesses.  

Bradley University Needs Consulting Clients


     The Senior Consulting Project (SCP) is the capstone project for all Bradley University business majors.  The program is designed to provide business students with an opportunity to apply all of the skills they have developed during their time at Bradley to a real world business situation.  The SCP program at Bradley has successfully done this for more than 20 years.

Small teams of four to five students from a mixture of departments (Management, Accounting, Business Computer Systems, Marketing, and/or Finance) are brought together to consult for a local firm.  The group works directly with a contact from the firm, and is advised by one of the University's business professors.  The project lasts the full semester, and culminates in a presentation of recommendations from the students to the client and professor.

The semester begins with the students compiling an environmental analysis of the industry relevant to their client company.  This process familiarizes the student team with the industry, and current trends and practices occurring within it.  After the environmental analysis is completed the students meet with their client to decide on the scope of the project.  Applicants may propose any type of business related project as long as it contains specific deliverables from the team, some common projects include developing marketing plans, feasibility studies, and conducting customer surveys. 
Once the scope of the project has been defined, the students embark on the bulk of the project.  Students work mostly from campus, but keep in regular contact with the company.  Usually about once a week, the students update and ask questions of their contact person by phone or email.  Except for the initial meeting and final presentation (described below in the list of client responsibilities) students are usually able to travel to the client for any necessary meetings and to view the facility (if applicable).  Towards the end of the semester, the students will schedule a time for the final presentation of their recommendations to the client and advising professor.

SCP Client Responsibilities
·         Complete the SCP Application and Client Profile Form .doc or .pdf format) and return it to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
·         Attend the informational meeting at the beginning of the semester.  (Date, time and location will be provided upon acceptance of SCP Application.)  At this meeting the advising professors will go over the project in greater detail and discuss the confidentiality statement signed by all of the participating students.
·         Be available to the students to answer questions throughout the semester and provide the team with additional information relevant to the project as necessary.  (This usually amounts to less than one hour of work per week for the client.)
·         If applicable, cover the costs of telephone or postage fees associated with conducting surveys.
·         Attend the final presentation of recommendations at the end of the semester.

SCP Selection Process
Senior Consulting Projects are selected by the advising professors from the applications received before the beginning of the semester.  Professors select projects that best suit the current group of students enrolled in the program.  Unfortunately, each year some good applications cannot be selected because the proposed project does not fit with the current group of students, or because there are more good projects than student groups.  If an applicant requests, the Small Business Development Center will hold an application until the next semester to be entered into that semester's candidate pool.

105.7 The X and Bud Light Present Nutcracker 11


Featuring Grammy nominated “Platinum Rockers’ Puddle of Mud and special guests Pop Evil and Egypt Central!

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 28th online only at  with ETIX, tickets are just $20 in advance and $25 day of the show.

Only 1500 tickets will be sold!

100 VIP Tickets will be on sale Thursday, October 27th at noon until Friday, October 28th at noon.

Tickets will also be available at Co-Op Record Locations and Radio Peoria-Townsquaremedia at the Radio Plex building.

Nutcracker Eleven!! Let’s Rock with Puddle of Mud, Egypt Central and Pop Evil!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cash for Candy

One area dentist is redefining the phrase "put your moeny where your mouth is." This Halloween, trick-or-treaters can bring their excess candy to Dr. David Kuban's dental office in Pekin and receive $1 per pound, 10 pound MAXIMUM. Dr. Kuban is leading this anti-decay movement by giving away dollars and electric glowing toothbrushes in exchange for cavity-provoking candy.

Candy will be collected at Dr. David Kuban's office Tuesday, November 1, 2011 from 3:30 to 5:30. His office is located at 1424 Valle Vista Blvd in Pekin. The candy must be unopened. Please no bites. It will then be shipped to troops overseas. Call his office at 347-4711 for more information.

Women's Fund November 2011 First Tuesdays To Be Held at Azura Boutique

The next First Tuesdays will be held on Tuesday, November 1, from 5 to 7 pm at Azura Boutique located 4818 N. Prospect Road, Peoria Heights, IL.  The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois invites area women to a monthly networking opportunity for Peoria-area women. Embrace the season of giving thanks and celebrate the spirit of giving by meeting other dynamic women who are passionate about empowering women and children in our communities.  Become part of a national movement towards Women’s Philanthropy.  To automatically receive First Tuesdays’ invitations, call The Women's Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois at 309 674-8730 or email and ask to receive the ‘E-vite’, an online invitation, for First Tuesdays. Appetizers and beverages will be served and door prizes awarded. Donations will be accepted to further the work of the Women’s Fund.

Brigette Lobacz Joins Moehle, Swearingen & Umholtz, LTD

The law firm of Moehle, Swearingen & Umholtz, LTD., with offices in Pekin and Washington, is pleased to announce that Brigette Lobacz has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Ms. Lobacz, a native of Olney, Illinois, is a 2009 graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Law and graduated cum laude from Eastern Illinois University in 2005. Ms. Lobacz will practice in the Pekin office.

Community Foundation of Central Illinois Awards More Than $82,000 in Community Grants Program

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has approved the Distribution Committee’s recommendation to fund 23 grant proposals during the September 2011 funding cycle, granting in excess of $82,000.  
“In an economy where every single charitable dollar is critically important, we are pleased to provide more than $82,000.00 in funding to 23 worthy organizations in Central Illinois”- Mark Roberts, CEO, Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

The following non-profit organizations received funding during the September 2011 Community Grants cycle:

The American Cancer Society, IL Division, Inc. was awarded $5000 for: Patient Navigation program from the Caterpillar Community Leadership Fund and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund.

The American Red Cross was awarded $7150 for: Youth Education program from the Fontaine Earle Fund.

Bureau County Health and Wellness Clinic NFP, Inc. was awarded $5000 for: Primary Medical Services for Uninsured & Low Income clients from the Community Impact Fund.

The Center For Prevention of Abuse was awarded $2500 for: Making Our Shelter a Home: Protecting Victims of Violence from Bed Bugs from the Merle and Barbara Glick Fund.

Central Illinois Youth Symphony was awarded $1050 for: Trumpet Masters Class & Clinics from the George A. Fulton Charitable Fund and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund.

Common Place, Inc. was awarded $5388 for: Soul Expression from the Robert W. Leu Family Charitable Fund and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund.

Crittenton Center was awarded $3700 for: High Reach Curriculum from the Pete and Mildred Donis Charitable Fund, the Cilcorp Education Fund, and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund. 

Easter Seals was awarded $4125 for: Care Coordination and Counseling Services-CIOAT from the Scott Heimdal Fund. 

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois was awarded $3000 for: Automated External Defibrilators for Camp Tapawingo from the Thomas and Ellen Foster Fund and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund. 

Heart of Illinois Harvest was awarded $1186 for: Transportation of Donated Food from the Merle and Barbara Glick Fund. 

Mental Health Association of Illinois Valley was awarded $2840 for: Mental Health Matters-Community Education program from the Whitney Grotts Endowment Fund. 

Methodist Medical Center of Illinois was awarded $3700 for: Healthy Living from the Sandra and Richard Ullman Unrestricted Charitable Fund. 

PARC was awarded $2554 for: Young Adults Educational program from the Mental Health Remembrance Leadership Fund, the Thomas and Ellen Foster Fund, and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund. 

Peoria Ballet was awarded $4000 for: Sugar Plum Dreams from the Russell F. & Eleanor Sikes Peters Performing Arts Fund, and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund. 

Peoria Promise Foundation was awarded $5000 for: Year 4 Funding from the Yeomans Fund.

Peoria Symphony Orchestra was awarded $5000 for: Educational Outreach for 2011-2012 Season from the Louis and Selma Neumiller Fund, the Mildred L. Arends Musical & Cultural Activities Fund, and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund. 

Special Olympics Illinois was awarded $1663 for: Young Athletes from the William L & Mary E. Kella Fund, the Marion & Warren Bohner Fund, and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund. 

TEEN Challenge was awarded $656.28 for: Stay Sharp from the Merle and Barbara Glick Fund.

University of Illinois Springfield was awarded $8855 for: UIS Conservation Academy from the CFCI Community Works Endowment Fund, the Stephen A. & Bonnie Gosselin Community Works Fund, and the Rinkenberger Community Works Fund. 

Westminster Infant Care Center was awarded $2800 for: Transportation program from the Ross E. and Susan M. Canterbury Fund and the For the Family Fund. 

Why Not Now? Inc was awarded $1700 for: A New Dock from the Louise Flora Howard Memorial Fund and the Marion and Warren Bohner Fund. 

Women's Pregnancy Center was awarded $4200 for: Classes for Cribs program from the Caterpillar Community Leadership Fund. 

YWCA of Pekin was awarded $1667 for: Living with Literature-Writing Our Stories program from the Merle and Barbara Glick Fund.

New Cemetery Opens In Pekin - Prairie Haven Cemetery, LLC

A new cemetery is opening at 200 South Veterans Drive in Pekin – Prairie Haven Cemetery, LLC  and is now available for traditional burials. Situated on several acres, Prairie Haven will accommodate both traditional and cremation burials. A dedicated cremation area will be available beginning in the summer of 2012.
Prairie Haven features a “Garden of Promise” for flat granite or bronze markers, along with a “Garden of Peace” that will accommodate upright granite markers. Located on Pekin’s east side, the cemetery also has ample acreage to expand as the need arises.

Full Spectrum of Funeral, Cremation & Cemetery Services

“This cemetery is the result of a longstanding vision,” D. Neale Hanley, Sr., owner and founder of Prairie Haven Cemetery, LLC, said. “It’s always been my dream to offer the full spectrum of funeral, cremation and cemetery services to the families in this community.” Hanley added that the new cemetery is a division of Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory.

Prairie Haven is available for use by any family, whether or not they select Preston-Hanley for funeral services; however, Preston-Hanley clients will consider this new cemetery an added benefit. “For them, it’s important to know that their loved ones will never have to leave our professional care – from the initial service to the final graveside and burial,” Hanley said.

Lot owners will also be assured that Prairie Haven Cemetery will receive the same attention to detail as Preston-Hanley’s Pekin and Creve Coeur Chapels. “Our clients can trust that their loved ones’ final resting place will be cared for with the same commitment to excellence and integrity that they have come to expect with funeral or cremation arrangements at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory,” Hanley added.

Appointments for lot information are available by calling Prairie Haven at 346-2566.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The World of Vitamins Ribbon Cutting

The World of Vitamins was officially welcomed to Pekin with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 21st. The new business is owned by Jerimey and Adriana Grider. They were joined in the picture by Mayor Laurie Barra, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Events Manager Jamie Di Donato, and Chamber President Skip Schermerhorn. Located at 1100 Derby Street, the World of Vitamins is a vitamin, herb, and sport nutrition store for healthy lifestyles.  You can see more pictures from this, and other chamber events, at

Chamber Recognizes Thirty-Eight

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their 14th annual Business and Community Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, October 20th at the Pekin Country Club.  The Chamber’s Member Services Committee coordinated the luncheon, which was sponsored by Savant Capital Management, Pekin Trophy House & Engraved Gifts, The Greenhouse Flower Shoppe, and Pekin Hospital.

Recognition was given to thirty-eight area businesses and organizations in the following categories:  remodeling or expansion; “green” projects or programs; new ownership or management; new business or building; additional employees; major training effort; new technology investment; major equipment investment; other improvements; and, community involvement. 

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce also recognized Graphic Packaging International for over a century of success in Pekin.  The company was founded in 1905 by Louis Wood as the Illinois Boxboard Company.  Quaker Oats purchased the company in 1916. In 1991 Larry Field of the Field Container Corporation purchased the business and he sold the operations to Graphic Packaging International in 2008.

The business has remained essentially the same for 106 years.  They produce 100% recycled paperboard that is sold to customers like Quaker Oats and made into products you see on the store shelves every day. 

Before presenting the awards, Chamber executive director Bill Fleming told the audience of 187 people representing fifty-two local businesses and organizations that the large turnout and the large number of awards was a positive sign.

“We’re here to recognize thirty-eight businesses and organizations that have demonstrated the courage and foresight to continue to invest in our community, in spite of these uncertain economic times,” said Fleming.

The featured speaker at the luncheon was Dr. Sara Rusch, the Regional Dean at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.  Dr. Rusch told the audience the history of the College of Medicine and the impact it has on the regional economy.

The thirty-eight businesses and organizations recognized were: 
·         353 Court, LLC (remodeling, green project, new ownership)
·         Avanti’s Dome Events & Sports Center of Pekin (remodeling, additional employees)
·         Big R of Pekin (remodeling, new management, new business, community involvement)
·         Busey Bank (new technology, green programs, community involvement)
·         Center for Prevention of Abuse (new ownership)
·         Chemtura Agrosolutions (other improvements)
·         Enviro-Safe Refrigerants (remodeling and expansion, new building, additional employees, major equipment investment)
·         Facet Computers (expansion, green programs, additional employees, new technology investment)
·         Federal Correctional Institution (green programs)
·         Goodwill of Central Illinois (expansion, new technology investment, community involvement, other improvements)
·         The Grand Victorian of Pekin (additional employees, community involvement)
·         Graphic Packaging International (community involvement)
·         Herget Bank (additional employees, new technology investment, community involvement)
·         Home Health Care Plus (community involvement)
·         iTV-3 (additional employees, new technology investment)
·         Kelley Construction (green programs, employee training, additional employees)
·         Leman Property Management (other improvements)
·         The Mattress Doctor (expansion, green programs, additional employees, major equipment investment)
·         McDaniels Marketing Communications (remodeling, major investment, other improvements)
·         Papa Murphy’s Pizza (community involvement)
·         Pekin Community Bank (remodeling and expansion, new building)
·         Pekin Hospital (remodeling, additional employees, new technology investment, other improvements)
·         Pekin Insurance (additional employees, expansion, green programs, other improvements)
·         Pekin Main Street (community involvement)
·         Pekin Riding Club (remodeling, green project)
·         Pekin Veterinary Clinic (new technology and equipment investments, other improvements)
·         Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes (new business, community involvement)
·         Professional Therapy Services (remodeling, new building)
·         Savant Capital Management (community involvement)
·         Sound Choice Hearing Clinic (remodeling and expansion, additional employees, major retraining effort, community involvement)
·         South Side Trust and Savings Bank (new business)
·         Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Center (expansion)
·         Timbercreek Rehab and Health Care (remodeling, community involvement)
·         The Unland Companies (expansion, additional employees, community involvement)
·         Vonderheide Floor Coverings and Carpet Outlet (remodeling, new building, major retraining effort, new technology investment)
·         W.D. Boyce Council / Boy Scouts of America (expansion)
·         Women’s Center for Health (new business, green programs)
·         WTVP (technology investment, community involvement)

You can see more pictures from this event at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Savant Recognized for Fiduciary Excellence

Savant Capital Management, Inc., a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm that serves each client in a fiduciary capacity, is again recognized with two Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) certifications. This is the fourth consecutive year Savant has had its certification renewed.

Savant was the first retirement plan in the world recognized by CEFEX in 2007 for adhering to a global standard of excellence for Investment Stewards. As defined on the CEFEX Web site (, an Investment Steward is a person or organization which has the legal responsibility for managing investment decisions. The Investment Steward decides on the asset allocation, defines the details of the strategy, implements the strategy with appropriate Investment Managers, and monitors the strategy on an ongoing basis.

In addition, Savant received a CEFEX certification as an Investment Advisor for its services in ERISA plans, 403 (b)/church exempt, eleemosynary, personal trusts, and high net worth individuals. According to CEFEX, Investment Advisors are responsible for managing comprehensive and continuous investment decisions, including investment advisors and wealth managers, among others.

"This is a major achievement for Savant as we continually strive for fiduciary excellence," said Brent Brodeski, CEO, principal and financial advisor with Savant Capital Management. "As an Investment Steward and Advisor, we are responsible for our clients’ overall investment strategy, and that important responsibility should be treated with great care. We are thankful for CEFEX and its leadership in enhancing the standards and significance of fiduciary advisors."

The CEFEX standard of excellence for Investment Stewards and Advisors are based on a series of fiduciary practices that seek to increase long-term investment performance by diversifying the portfolio across multiple asset classes and peer groups, evaluating investment management fees and expenses, and selecting or terminating Investment Managers. The practices also help uncover investment and/or procedural risk, which may assist in prioritizing investment management projects.

A CEFEX assessment includes both on and off-site confidential reviews of an organization’s practices by an independent Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA). The process uses the ISO 19011 audit standard, an internationally recognized standard for testing process management systems. The assessment is documented by the AIFA, and subject to review by the CEFEX Registration Committee comprised of independent fiduciary experts.

Carol House of Hope Benefit Annual Fish Fry

The Carol House of Hope at The Center for Prevention of Abuse extends an invitation to join them at their annual Fish Fry.


Friday, October 28, 2011


Knights of Columbus Hall
715 N. 11th Street
Pekin, Illinois How Much:
$7 Dinner includes walleye, crispy fries and creamy coleslaw.
$3 Children’s dinner includes a hot dog & fries.

Coffee and tea will be provided, compliments of Starbucks. There will be a cash bar available and a 50/50 raffle.

The Carol House of Hope provides safe shelter and supportive services to women and their children who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or elder abuse. The Carol House of Hope building was donated by Dr. and Mrs. Pete Wright, in memory of their daughter Carol Wright.

For more information contact Carla @ 691-0551.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Fall Hours

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard's fall hours are Thursday-Monday, 12-5pm.
Many thanks to everyone for a great concert and festival season this past year. As we head into fall season and the holidays we wish everyone the best.  Please stop in and see us for help with holiday gifts and if you are planning a get together our tasting room makes a nice space for up to 54 guests for an evening party. Please give us a call or email. By phone-309-359-9463 or

December Holiday Dinner Show

"Remember When Christmas Variety Show."
Saturdays: December 10 & 17

5:45 to 9pm, $45pp includes show, dinner & dessert

Stars of Radio and TV, George Burns and Gracie Allen portrayed by Timeless Presentations actors invite you to be a part of our re-creation of the old-fashioned Christmas specials
from the golden years of television! You will laugh - sing - and maybe play a part as one of your favorite television stars from TV land's Holidays past.

Cost is $45 per person for the interactive Christmas Variety Show with a buffet dinner and dessert served by The Catering Company.  Wine tasting is available during the first part of the event at tasting bar there is a cash bar for wine, beer, sodas, bottled tea and bottled water open throughout the evening.  RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  Guests are welcome to dress up in festive old time attire to add to the fun!  Call Diane at 309-645-5054 to reserve a spot or if you have questions you can also email -, seating is limited to 52 people.  Note-Payment due when making reservations, we accept credit cards reservations by phone

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Villas Ribbon Cutting

Villas Michoacan Restaurante at 2001 Court Street was officially welcomed to Pekin with a ribbon cutting on October 17th. Vicente Villasenov, Magdaleno Villa, Isidro Villa and Francisco Sarco were joined at the ceremony by their employees and representatives from the City of Pekin and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. Afterwards, the group sampled several of their tasty authentic Mexican dishes and delicious desserts. Villas is open from 10:00am to 9:00pm.

Goodwill to Hold Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

Goodwill of Central Illinois will hold the third annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans at O’Brien Field on Saturday, October 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Stand Down for Homeless Veterans is a community based intervention program designed to provide area homeless veterans with much needed resources to start them on a path to a better life. Goodwill, along with 68 other social service agencies, local businesses, and veterans’ services organizations, will provide homeless veterans with food, winter clothing, personal hygiene products, and an opportunity for a hot shower and a haircut. The veterans will also have opportunities to attend classes relating to maintaining sobriety, managing depression and stress, veterans’ benefits, money management, legal matters and child support. In addition to the classes, veterans will also have the opportunity to meet with representatives one on one to discuss these topics.

Homeless veterans will also have the chance to learn about the free programs Goodwill offers veterans looking to improve their lives through the power of work. “We are hoping that this will be more than just a one day event for these veterans. Our goal is to show our veterans that we appreciate them and that we have the programs in place for them to help get their lives back on track,” said Vicki Hightower, Veterans’ Services Manager for Goodwill.

This year, Goodwill expects to serve over 130 homeless veterans. Jim Lynch, Director of Development, said, “This event wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of many wonderful organizations throughout central Illinois. The outpouring of donations and the number of people who want to volunteer is truly inspiring. The Stand Down is a great example of how donating to Goodwill supports our veterans and helps them work to make their lives better.”

Annual Holiday Magic Gift Show to be Held

The Pekin Hospital League will hold its annual Holiday Magic Gift Show on Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Pekin Hospital Lobby.  This year’s show will feature many beautiful handmade items, floral arrangements, jewelry, toiletries, stationery, Fannie May candy, baby items, toys, and Vera Bradley items.  A large variety of baked goods, candies, and many other specialty food items will be available in our Pantry.  The Pantry will be located just inside the Lobby.
A raffle will be held with tickets selling for $1 each or 6 for $5.  Tickets may be purchased from League members before the Gift Show, at Nearly Nu located at 1017 Derby Street in Pekin, and at the Pekin Hospital Gift Shop. Raffle tickets will also be available the day of the show, with the drawing being held at 2 p.m. that day. 

Raffle items include: a $1,200 pair of 14 K white gold diamond earrings from Udry Jewelers; an $800 handmade quilt from Peddler’s Way Quilt Co. & Lost Creek Quilters; a $250 carved eagle on an emu egg created by Jim Grob; a $100 Walmart gift card; a $100 Steger’s Furniture gift certificate; a $100 Boyd’s Steakhouse gift certificate; a $150 “coffee for two” gift basket from the Pekin Hospital League; $100 of pottery pieces from Celebrating Home by Georgia; a $100 Vera Bradley tote and wallet from Pekin Hospital League; and a $150 floral arrangement from Pekin Hospital League.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Welcome New Member: Villas Michoacan Restaurante

Villas Michoacan Restaurante, 2001 Court Street, Pekin, IL  61554; (309) 349-1087; Vicente Villasenov, owner.  Open from 10 to 9pm, Villas Michoacan serves delicious and authentic Mexican dishes and desserts.

Welcome New Member: Tomorrow's Hope Christian Academy

Tomorrow's Hope Christian Academy, 246 Derby Street, Pekin, IL  61554;  (309) 642-0070 or 348-3813.  Donna Hall, Administrator. 
THCA is a 501c3 Not for Profit organization.  Their mission is to equip their students academically and to prepare them to lead Christ-like lives with a Biblical world-view, excelling in old-fashion principles and Christian values.  They are registered with the Illinois State Board of Education.

Veterans Job Fair

State of Illinois Veterans Job Fair
Sponsored by Illinois Department of Employment Security
November 7, 2011 from 9:00am to 2:00pm
American Legion Post 979
4501 Airport Road, Bartonville
Interested Employers with current hiring needs please contact RSVP with Michael T. Ragan, 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lunch 'n Learn

About 20 Chamber members attend the October 11th Lunch 'n Learn at Mashie's. Customer Service Excellence was presented by Lisa Plantamura from AAIM Employers' Association. After lunch the presentation covered several customer service topics including ways to let people know you care and behaviors needed for success. The program was part of a series presented by the Chamber's Member Services Committee. The final 2011 program in the series, Professionalism in the Workplace, will be on December 13th.