Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy® OnlineTraining Events

Over the next two months the Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy® program will be offering FREE online training events that customers can access from the comfort of their desks.

These training events are designed to help businesses become more knowledgeable about energy efficiency. For more information on all ActOnEnergy training events, go to

Please see below for monthly online training options.

June Online Training Events

Topic: Shed Light on Energy Efficiency Savings:  Lighting Options
Speaker: Chad Whitehead, Energy Advisor, GDS Associates, Inc., an ActOnEnergy Partner
Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Earn 1.0 CE Hour

The free, one-hour webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Best practices in lighting equipment and application
  • How to get started on your energy-efficient lighting project
  • Lighting incentives available through ActOnEnergy
  • The ActOnEnergy Online Store

To register for “Shed Light on Energy Efficiency Savings:  Lighting Options,” click here.

Topic: Optimize Your Compressed Air System to Save Money
Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Speaker: David Gibson, PE, LEED, Senior Technical Advisor with SAIC, an ActOnEnergy Partner
Earn 1.0 CE Hour

The free, one-hour webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Typical compressed air systems
  • The cost of leaks in your compressed air system
  • Leak remediation
  • ActOnEnergy incentive programs

To register for “Optimize Your Compressed Air System to Save Money,” click here.

July Online Training Event

Topic: Six Ways to Reduce Energy Costs in Your Building
Speaker: Mark Steinmetz, Energy Advisor, GDS Associates, Inc., an ActOnEnergy Partner
Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Earn 1.0 CE Hour

The free, one-hour webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Main opportunities for energy efficiency in commercial buildings
  • Best practices and incentives for lighting efficiency
  • Best practices and incentives for HVAC efficiency, including motors and drives
  • Other best practices for energy efficiency
  • The Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy Online Store
To register for “Six Ways to Reduce Energy Costs in Your Building,” click here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Membership Renewals

14th Street Hardware ~ Adams Outdoor Advertising ~ Artistic Community Theatre

Best Western Ashland House & Conference Center ~ Brad Campbell Memorial Fund

Carl & Nichols Shell ~ City of Pekin ~ Davison-Fulton-Woolsey Funeral Home

Debbie Fornoff Interior Designs & Draperies ~ Farden Pest Control  ~ JPG Commercial Real Estate LLC  Laserpro of Peoria, Inc. ~ Let It Shine, LLC ~ Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

 Pekin-Peoria Yellow Checker Cab ~ Pekin Paintball Park ~ Pekin Prescription Laboratory, Inc.

Roy L. King Post 1232 VFW ~ Steve Saal ~ Simmons Sanitations Service

Southside Business Association ~ St. Joseph Catholic Church ~ St. Jude Pekin to Peoria Run

St. Jude Midwest Affiliate Development/Run Office ~ Wireless Express

Biz Barometer

Another Strong Month for the Pekin-Area Economy
Pekin’s sales tax disbursement received from the state in May was 11.5% greater than the May 2011 payment.  This generally represents tax collected on sales in February.
Pekin’s sales tax disbursements received from the state in the last 3 months are 7.7% greater than the same period in 2011.
East Peoria’s sales tax disbursement received from the state for the last 12 months is 10.5% greater than the previous 12-month period.
For the 12 months ending in May, Pekin (+2.4%), Morton (4.2%), and Washington (3.4%) also saw increases over the previous year’s tax disbursements received from the state.
The number of residential units sold in the 61554 zip code in the first three months of 2012 is up 17.8% over the same period in 2011. 
The average sales price of a residential unit in Pekin in the first three months of 2012 is up 6.7% over the same period in 2011.
Pekin’s unemployment rate fell from 8.8% in March of 2012 to 8.0% in April of 2012.
The number of people employed in Pekin (16,228) in April of 2012 was 90 more than March of 2012.
The number of people employed in Pekin (16,228) in April of 2012 was 459 or 2.9% more than January of 2012.
The number of people employed in the Peoria region (187,650) in April of 2012 was 5,303 or 2.9% more than January of 2012.
Nationally, non-farm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.1. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in April on a seasonally adjusted basis.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.3% before adjustments. 
Sources:  Illinois Department of Employment Security; Illinois Department of Revenue; Peoria Area Association of Realtors; Bureau of Labor Statistics

Puttin' on Pekin

June 8th   
Knights of Columbus Hall
715 N. 11th St., Pekin
6:45 – 8:00 am
RSVP to 346-2106 or e-mail us at
Cost is just $10 for reservations made by June 6.  After that the cost is $15
Additional features of the breakfast include:
·   Program by Pekin’s Ambucs, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Clubs
·   Door prize drawings provided by local businesses
  •  One minute reminders
  • “Meet the new Chamber Member”
  •  Bring your flyers and handouts

Business After Hours

June 7th     
200 Block Historic District
Reservations Appreciated
346-2106 or email us at  

As the 200 block stabilization project nears completion, the owners of project invite you to an open house at the project site in the 200 block of Court Street.  Don't miss this opportunity to network with fellow chamber members and community leaders. You'll also enjoy refreshments, door prizes and receive tours and information from our hosts. 

Calendar of Events

June 6 – Pekin 1st Committee              

June 7 – Business After Hours

June 8 – Puttin’ On Pekin Breakfast

June 13 – Member Promotions Committee

June 13 – Transportation Committee

June 13 – Executive Board Meeting       

June 13 – Board of Directors Meeting

June 20 – Ambassadors Meeting

June 20 – Marigold Festival Committee

June 26 – Business Advocacy Committee

Friday, May 25, 2012

U.S. Cellular® Offers Savings

Are you a current U.S. Cellular® Customer?  How about earning some money off of your bill!

Every time you refer a business who becomes a customer, you'll both get a $50 credit per line!

How it works:
Your referral will receive an e-mail notification that you've recommended them to sign up for U.S. Cellular® service. For each business you refer who opens a new account and registers on My Account with U.S. Cellular, both you and your referral will automatically earn $50 credit per line. Credit is issued to both parties after the referee activates and has paid their first bill. Both will effectively receive the credit around 60 days after activation or about the 2nd or 3rd billing cycle.

Please stop in or call today and join the happiest customers in wireless
U.S. Cellular,  3552 Court Street, Pekin, IL  309-353-7964

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pekin Main Street Presents “Pekin’s Got Talent” Competition

This summer, Pekin Main Street is presenting a county wide talent competition that will determine who has the most talent!

Modeled after the popular TV show, American’s Got Talent, this competition will have three phases. First, there will be an open audition for all interested parties on Thursday, June 7, 2012 from 5:45-7:45 at the Pekin Public Library. From this audition, the field will be narrowed down to the top 20 acts and those acts will perform live at Pekin Main Street’s Annual Cruise In on Saturday, July 28th in downtown Pekin. The field will then be narrowed down to the top 10 acts and those top 10 acts will compete at Friday Night Family Fest to kick off Marigold Festival Weekend on September 7, 2012 for cash prizes and winner of Pekin’s Got Talent.

This year, there will be two categories – Kids (0-15 years) and Adult (16 years and up) – a winner will be selected from each division. Lip Sync acts, instrumentalists and other variety acts are encouraged to apply.

The talent competition is open to all ages and all residents of Tazewell and Mason Counties.  Rules and regulations for the competition can be found on the application packet. Application packets are available at the Pekin Public Library, all Herget Bank locations in Pekin, the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and can be downloaded at

Priority is given to applications received by June 5, 2012. Contact Melida Heien, Executive Director of Pekin Main Street, at 353-3100 or for more information.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

South Side Trust & Savings Bank Announces Emma Vandeveer Recieves Women in Leadership of Central Illinois “Woman of the Year” Award

South Side Trust & Savings Bank is pleased to announce Emma Vandeveer, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, has been awarded the Women in Leadership of Central Illinois “Woman of the Year” Award for 2012. 

The Woman of the Year Award provides recognition to a Women In Leadership member who is outstanding in her business profession, in her community service and in her leadership and participation as a Women In Leadership member.  Ms. Vandeveer was introduced with the following quote, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.  This quote by our 6th President, John Quincy Adams, describes this year’s winner to a T.”  Vandeveer has over 30 years of professional banking experience and is a board member and participant in many civic organizations throughout the Peoria area.

South Side Trust & Savings Bank, a locally owned financial institution since 1922, has $677 million in assets and serves the tri-county area with 13 full service locations in Peoria, East Peoria, West Peoria, Bartonville, Chillicothe, Washington, and Pekin.  South Side Bank owns Mid Illinois Insurance Services, Inc. located at 1524 W. Glen Avenue in Peoria.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Welcome New Member: Walgreens

Walgreens, 1400 Broadway and 2020 Court Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: (309) 346-7880; fax: (309) 346-1349; email:; Jeremy Bieneman, Store Manager. Business hours: Broadway 7am - 10pm, Court 24 hours. Walgreens is a complete health care provider. They offer everything from prescriptions to health testing and a variety of immunizations. Walgreens also sells a variety of products that promote healthy lifestyles and necessities for daily living.

Welcome New Member: Totally You Salon and Spa

Totally You Salon and Spa, 1310 Derby Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: (309) 620-8536; fax: (309) 349-3372; email:; Tonya, Owner. Business hours: M-W-F 10am - 6pm, T-T 10am - 8pm, Sat 10am - 3pm. Totally You Salon and Spa is a full service Salon & Spa offering hair, nails, massage, and skin care.

Heartland Bank Names Scherer Vice President of Mortgage Lending

Heartland Bank and Trust Company is pleased to announce that Paul Scherer has been named Vice President of Mortgage Lending for the local market, and is located at Heartland Bank’s 3501 W. War Memorial Dr. office in Peoria. He is responsible for developing new residential loan relationships and will manage the bank’s local residential lending team.

Scherer most recently served as Assistant Vice President for the bank in Pekin and, in addition to lending responsibilities, oversaw both Heartland Bank branch locations in that community. Having joined Heartland Bank in 2008, Scherer has 15 years of experience in lending. He attended school locally, graduating from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. After college, he worked as a collections specialist then moved into retail banking as a Branch Manager and Mortgage Loan Originator. 

Scherer currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Ambassador for the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.  He is also a member of the local Rotary Club of Pekin, and is Superintendent of the Northfield Christian Fellowship Sunday School Department. Scherer currently resides in Tremont with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Hannah and Jacob. 

Heartland Bank and Trust Company is an independently owned community bank with assets of $1.9 billion. Headquartered in Bloomington, IL, the bank has offices in 30 communities throughout Illinois and Northeast Missouri. The bank offers a complete line of financial services to commercial and retail customers. More information is available on the bank’s website at

Pekin Hospital Honors Employees at 53rd Annual Service Awards Dinner

One hundred thirteen Pekin Hospital and ProHealth Inc. employees were recently honored at the 53rd  Annual Service Awards Dinner held at the Pekin Moose Lodge on April 19.  Employees honored have more than 1,245 years total service to Pekin Hospital and ProHealth Inc.

Employees and their years of service are as follows:

Thirty-five Years:   Patty Berry, Kathy Collins, Jim LaFary, Jill Wagner, Robin West.

Thirty Years:   Rob Hancock.

Twenty-five Years:  Tom Coogan, Sally Shallenberger.

Twenty Years:  Mendy Hart, Mary Haynes, Sharon Hopper, Susan Jaynes, Rhonda Kaminski, Margaret Koch, Beth Neubauer, Kay Schimmelpfenig, Edie Taylor, Vicki Volker, Lisa Watkins, Patty Weber, Mona Williams.

Fifteen Years:  Melinda Ball, Kim Benassi, Valerie Buck, Melissa Dean, Karen Demarini, Kim Dowell, Karen Forbes, Tammi Howell, Debra Martin, Michelle Martin, Gail Miller, Angie Rutledge, Gale Seelye, Sherry Taylor, Beth Thomas.

Ten Years:  Anna Barthel, Kelly Belless, Melissa Broeker, Jill Brown, Naomi Comstock, Linda Darnell, Melissa Davis, Holli Dobson, Lisa Dougherty, Melissa Glass, Jan Graham, Wendy Hess, Angie Homerin, Kim Irvin, Cindy Jackson, Barb Maas, Amy Martin, Donna Morgan, Jennifer Naas, Amanda Nickles, Dan Sackett, JoAnn Underwood, Jackie Wyant, Debbie Zimmerman.

Five Years:  Heather Allred, Sarah Austin, Lindsay Beyer, Luanne Bradford, Linda Burch, Dr. Steven Clark, Debra Cole, April Cowie, Lisa Cross, Stacy Dickerson, Gail Drummond, Karen Duckworth, Rob Eduvas, Crystal Elliott, Jessica Everett, Jessica Gilmore, Liz Graber, Anna Green, Darlene Hammond, Colleen Hanelt-Jackson, Susan Harper, Nancy Hewell, Karen Jensen, Heather Johnson, Afthan Knott, Julie Ludlum, Melody Marin, Jeanette McIntyre, Amanda Meeker, Kim Miller, Sara Miller, Dr. Donald Mitzelfelt, Katie Montgomery, Rob Myers, Melissa Peters, Chrissie Pluemer, Kim Pool, Lisa Pool, Jessica Poston, Connie Reader, Christy Schultz, Karen Shawgo, Yvette Sidell, Sherry Simon, Jeremy Sindle, Jessica Smith, Kelly Stimson, Deborah Taylor, Nicole Telford, Michelle Tomlinson, Becky Weiland, Marcia Whitehouse, Donna Wood.

2 – Annual Service Awards Dinner

2011 Pillar Award winners were also announced that evening.  On an annual basis, Pekin Hospital recognizes employees, physicians, and entire departments for their efforts in promoting the mission of being the healthcare provider of choice in the communities we serve.  To achieve the mission, Pekin Hospital focuses on the Five Pillars of Excellence.  The following individuals have been recognized for making significant contributions toward better serving our patients and for achieving excellence in one of the five pillars:

People Pillar Award

Department:  5 North Medical

Physician:  Dr. C. William Fisher

Employee:  Rick Wilson

Service Pillar Award

Department:  Pharmacy

Physician:  Dr. J. Greg Oakley, Dr. Patricia Deters, Dr. Charles VanDyke, and Dr. Nels Calvert

Employee:  Amy King

Quality Pillar Award

Department:  Quality/Core Measures

Physician:  Dr. Eric Reinertson

Employee:  Joni Barth

Growth Pillar Award

Department:  Home Health Care

Physician:  Hospitalists under the direction of Dr. Ahsan Usman

Employee: Debbie Gaines

Finance Pillar Award

Department:  Surgery

Physician:  Dr. Bryan Kellenberger

Employee:  Bill Bishop

Focus on Veterans Services

Goodwill has expanded its services to veterans in other areas of our territory. Any veteran with any type of military discharge other than dishonorable is eligible for services to include: Case Management, Job Readiness, and Job Placement.
In Pekin:
Where: Goodwill Store
3245 Court St.
When: Tuesday Morning or Afternoon
Contact: Johanna Wagner
(309) 339-7326

Focus on Youth Mentoring

Goodwill’s youth mentoring program, GoodGuides ® is planning a summer full of activities and fun for youth enrolled in the program. 

 Activities include: 

  Employment workshop

  Field trip to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield

  Hiking

  Tours of local businesses 

  Creative arts workshops 

  A special You Tube project 

 Elizabeth McCombs, Program Manager for GoodGuides®, says, "We need more youth and mentors!" 

If you know of a youth who could benefit from the positive guidance of a mentor, and is between the ages of 12-17 or if you are interested in becoming a mentor to help at-risk youth make positive life choices, please contact Elizabeth at (309) 369-9884 to find out more information about the program.

Goodwill Names Vice President

Goodwill of Central Illinois has named Bob Parkhurst as Vice President of Administrative Services.

Parkhurst is a Peoria native and a graduate of Illinois State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is a certified public accountant. He began his career at Price Waterhouse and most recently held the position of Chief Financial Officer at the Wyman Group. Parkhurst currently serves on the Peoria Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and is involved in production and performance with Corn Stock Theater.

“Goodwill is continuously expanding its services and serving more people, Bob’s proven record of leadership and creative thinking will help us expand even further,” said Patty Fuchs, Goodwill President and CEO. “Bob brings with him 25 years of finance and executive management experience. He understands people and knows how to foster a team environment. Bob will be a great asset to Goodwill’s future.”

Goodwill of Central Illinois is a non-profit organization that provides job training, career and vocational services to veterans, individuals and families who are working to better their lives. Goodwill also operates a youth mentoring program for at-risk youth ages 12 to 17. Revenues from the sale of donated or recycled items support the Vocational Services programs of Goodwill.  For more information on retail stores, donation centers and vocational services, visit the website at or call the Administrative Offices at (309) 682-1113.

Jesse White Honors Pekin Hospital

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White was in Pekin today to honor Pekin Hospital for dedication to organ/tissue donation.   An unveiling ceremony in honor of donor families and recipients was held near the hospital's main entrance.
Secretary White showed the Secretary of State’s organ and tissue donation commercial, highlighting Vikki Tulcus, a long-time advocate of the organ/tissue donor program, who now finds herself in need of a kidney.
Nationally, more than 113,000 people are currently waiting for organ and tissue donations. In Illinois, more than five million people have signed up for the registry, but 300 people die each year waiting for a transplant.  Locally, Pekin Hospital has been a leader in ongoing dedication and commitment to organ and tissue donation.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chamber Implements New Strategic Plan

After nearly a year of surveys, research and discussions, the Board of Directors approved a new strategic plan for the organization.  The board and executive committee first considered the following information: 

Environmental Scan – We’re Not Your Father’s Chamber
In a few areas our chamber still operates like it is 1971. But the world, our community, and the economy have changed drastically in the past 40 years. In fact, they’ve changed drastically in the last 10 years. Here are six areas where the change has been significant and why we can’t be your father’s chamber anymore.  
  1. Time
    1. For a variety of reasons, people have less time to serve on boards or committees, or to attend events
  2. Value expectations
    1. Few businesses join the chamber because “it’s the right thing to do”
  3. Marketplace structure
    1. Our economy is significantly different 
    2. There are fewer businesses located in Pekin 
    3. Businesses have fewer resources available to support chamber events, programs and efforts.  
    4. Businesses have fewer employees to serve on committees and boards, or attend Chamber events. 
  4. Demographics
    1. There are less locally owned businesses in Pekin 
    2. National brands have fewer management level personnel available for chamber involvement (if it’s even a priority) 
    3. In 1971 our board was predominantly male, older, Pekin residents, and CEOs, business owners and general managers – the decision makers.  
    4. The 2011 chamber board is male and female, younger, central Illinois residents, and less than half of them would be considered the decision maker at their place of employment. 
  5. Competition
    1. The chamber is no longer the leading economic development organization 
    2. The chamber is no longer the visitor’s bureau 
    3. People seeking/providing information don’t need the chamber – they Google it 
    4. There are many other organizations (local and regional) we compete with for dues and sponsorships 
  6. Technology
    1. Hardware, software, social media, mobile devices, etc. have changed how the chamber communicates with members and the public
SWOT Analysis
  1. Strengths
    1. Financial position (lack of debt; sufficient reserves) 
    2. Staff is knowledgeable, passionate about our purpose 
    3. Current programming meets current objectives 
    4. Marigold Festival/July 4th add to Pekin’s quality of life 
    5. Mission is broad enough to allow flexibility in programming
  2. Weaknesses
    1. Lack the capacity to be all things to all people 
    2. Inconsistent dues/sponsorship revenues 
    3. Underpriced dues structure 
    4. Lack of member participation / member apathy 
    5. Communications vehicles haven’t kept pace with technology 
    6. Don’t market ourselves well 
    7. Mission is so broad it makes it difficult to focus
  3. Opportunities 
    1. Have the potential to be THE leader in Pekin 
    2. Members want us to do more 
    3. Partnership opportunities exist in Pekin and the region 
  4. Threats 
    1. Competitors (other local chambers, associations, networks, etc.) 
    2. Internet/technology could make us irrelevant
What Members Want
  1. Information– besides the information we currently provide our members also want more information about:
    1. community events 
    2. economic indicators and business news 
    3. business advocacy issues 
  2. Communications Tools – usage of smart phone apps and texting is on the rise and a small segment of our membership would welcome our use of those tools 
  3. Priorities – in addition to what we already do, members would like to see the chamber do more in these areas:
    1. Economic Development - take a leadership role in economic development, recruiting new businesses and retaining existing businesses 
    2. Networking - provide networking opportunities for members 
    3. Quality of Life - assume a leadership role in events that add to the quality of life for area residents, i.e., Marigold Festival, July 4th Fireworks, etc. 
    4. Marketing – market the Pekin area as a great place to live 
    5. Business Advocacy - proactively participate in the legislative process by promoting a pro-business agenda, representing the interests of our members
  4. Chamber members can be generally divided into two camps 
    1. Those who want the chamber to provide member-specific benefits that provide a return on their dues investment.  
    2. Those who want the chamber to provide community benefits, i.e., economic development, marketing, businesses advocacy, etc.
Based on the research and discussions, the Board of Directors approved the following plan at their May 9, 2012 meeting:
Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors
Strategic Plan
Adopted May 9, 2012
Vision: The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce will lead the effort to create a vibrant business environment in the Pekin area
Mission: Provide opportunities for Pekin area businesses to succeed
Objectives / Strategies:
  1. Promote a pro-business agenda
    1. Advocacy
      1. Develop a stronger, proactive government affairs program
    2. Collaboration
      1. Continue our leadership in CIRCLE
      2. Continue our advocacy collaboration with the Illinois Chamber
      3. Continue our collaboration with Tri-County Chambers’ Regional Road Project Priorities
    3. Information Sharing
      1. Develop new government affairs communication vehicle that regularly updates our members on city, county and state legislation, business news and issues
    4. 2012 Priorities
      1. Redesign our government affairs program with a re-energized committee
      2. Launch new government affairs communications vehicle
  2. Promote economic development in Pekin and the region
    1. Mentoring
      1. Develop a mentoring program for new businesses that involves existing members in mentoring roles
      2. Analyze the viability of a small business incubator for Pekin
    2. Collaboration
      1. Collaborate with the City of Pekin on a retention visit plan
      2. Continue to be the leading advocate for Veterans Drive
      3. Take a leadership role in the development of a comprehensive economic development plan for Pekin
    3. Quality of Life
      1. Continue to manage a successful Marigold Festival
      2. Continue to manage the July 4th Honor America Fireworks Celebration
    4. Marketing
      1. Redesign the chamber’s websites
      2. Develop a plan to market our community assets, especially PCHS’ strengths
    5. 2012 Priorities
      1. Collaborate with the City of Pekin on a retention visit schedule
      2. Redesign the Chambers’ websites
  3. Provide members with benefits and services that meet their needs
    1. Restructure Membership Dues
      1. Develop new dues structure that enhances member value and optimizes revenues
    2. Networking Events
      1. Develop plans to increase networking opportunities and attendance
      2. Identify ways to get national brands more involved in chamber activities and programs
    3. Training / Education
      1. Develop partnerships with EA/AAIM, Bradley, ICC, other chambers, and members to co-sponsor trainings and educational programs
    4. Leadership Development
      1. Manage the annual R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy
    5. Restructure Committees
      1. Restructure the committees to align with new strategic plan
    6. Shared Promotions
      1. Manage an annual Business Expo
      2. Develop website promotional opportunities for members
    7. Market Benefits of Membership 
      1. Redesign the chamber website
      2. Redesign promotional materials
    8. 2012 Priorities
      1. Implement new dues structure and plan to optimize revenues
      2. Develop training partnerships
      3. Restructure committees to align with new strategic plan
      4. Redesign the chambers’ websites
      5. Solicit membership/support from large area employers

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Welcome New Member: Pekin Marathons

Pekin Marathons, 2102 Broadway Street and 1303 North 8th Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-347-2070, 309-620-9010; fax: 866-305-5436; Nik, Director. Business Hours: Monday - Thursday 5am - 10pm, Friday 5am - 11pm, Saturday 6am - 11pm, Sunday 7am - 10pm. Pekin Marathons are family owned, locally managed gas stations with stores.

Kountry Nook Ribbon Cutting

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce joined Mary Haynes, the owner of Kountry Nook Gift & Craft, for a ribbon cutting on May 8th.  Family members also joined in the chamber welcoming ceremony.  The Kountry Nook Gift & Craft store is located at 212 N. Capitol in Pekin.  They are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to 5pm.  Kountry Nook has over 50 talented crafters/ vendors. They also have unique one-of-a-kind gifts and needful items, a boutique room, and girlie stuff.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Uncle Sam and Alzheimer’s Care: So You Think You Know Everything About Federal and State Benefits?

A representative from Congressman Aaron Schock’s office and an elder care attorney will address individual concerns about Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security at a special program hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association on Saturday, May 19th.

Entitled, Uncle Sam and Alzheimer’s Care: So You Think You Know Everything About Federal and State Benefits?, the program will be held from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Alzheimer's Association, 606 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria.

Guest Speakers and Topics:

  • What You Need to Know About Medicare and Social Security

Bryan Rudolph, Constituent Services Specialist, Congressman Aaron Schock’s Office, 18th Congressional District.

  • Update on Medicaid Planning, the Imminent New Rules

Susan Dawson-Tibbits, Elder Care Attorney

Individuals and family members will be able to meet for personal care consultations with Helpline Coordinator Herminia Christy, MSW, a licensed social worker. Christy can assist with decision-making support, crisis assistance and education, and provide referrals to local community programs and services.

The program is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Please call the Alzheimer's Association at 681.1100 or 800.272.3900 for reservations or more information.

The Alzheimer's Association provides programs and services to caregivers and those with memory loss problems. Core programs include information and referral, care consultations, education, support groups, and safety services. Disease, caregiver and support information can be found by visiting the agency website at or calling toll free 800.272.3900.

Champion Fitness Says Fighting Childhood Obesity Means “Walk the Walk!”

On May 7-9, The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Weight of the Nation Conference was held with an agenda that included ways communities, educators, health care providers, workplaces, and states themselves can be involved to improve the eating habits and increase the active living for all Americans, especially our young people.

Let’s hope they do something about these facts:

• Nearly one-third of our elementary schools do NOT schedule recess on a regular basis

• In grades 9 through 12 (high school), only about half of the students have one or more physical education classes during the week

• Almost one out of every four children do NOT participate in any free-time activity

That’s pitiful! Pathetic! Embarrassing! In the past thirty years, childhood obesity has tripled nationally. Here in Illinois, our youth  sits at 20.7%, one of the “fattest” states in the country. Just for good measure--- 25 percent of Illinois adults are obese and 37 percent overweight! We are spending one out of every ten health care dollars on obesity-related issues. It’s no time for talk; it’s time to “walk the walk."

Weight gain/loss is a pretty simple formula. Burn up more calories than you take in, and you will lose. Take in more than you burn up, and you will gain. So, no matter what the diet consists of, we still have to exert energy and exercise to get the proper health climate we desire. 

“Burning it up” is “walking the walk.” Especially for kids. 60 minutes of physical activity per day. A variety of activities should be offered to ensure they find something they enjoy. At least 30 minutes per day at school should be spent in moderate-to vigorous activity. Behind the desk work needs to be complimented with movement and exercise.

Only 16% walk or bike to school---what a great place to start! Most neighborhoods have parks with
all kinds of playground equipment available. Another winner! Got a hoop in your back yard? Make sure you have a ball to go with it. Other choices---wiffle ball, Frisbee, or pick-up baseball/softball games (NO parents allowed!). Even jogging or sand volleyball. Hop-skotch or jumping rope…anything to get out of the house and away from the computer screen. Especially with summer now here!

Time to Get Busy Living and take some action! Are you in?