Monday, December 23, 2013

IPMR Calendar of Events

January 9th we will host business after hours at our north Sheridan location from 4-6.

Even more importantly is our new Yoga and Pilates classes offered through our new Diet and Wellness Program and in addition we will be offering FREE Balance Screenings 

I hope you will be able to help us spread the word and thank you for your continued cooperation and support. Please email or call me with any questions. 

Yoga-Classes begin January 13th and will run for 8 weeks, every Monday from 4-6 pm at Ridgeview Grade School located at 3903 West Ridgeview Drive, Peoria, IL 61615 cost is $100.00
register in person at any IPMR location or download registration form online at
Pilates —Pilates is one of the safest and most effective methods of exercise available.  It's used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities, and everyone in between.  Pilates caters to different body types, ages, and is applicable for any stage of life.  Classes will take place at 9:30 am and 10:30 am every Tuesday starting on January 14, 2014.  register in person at any IPMR location or download registration form online at


Tuesday, January 14, 2014
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Metamora Location
709 W. Mt. Vernon
Metamora, IL 61548-7005

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Pekin Broadway Location
2359  Broadway
Pekin, IL 61554-3902

Monday, January 27, 2014
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Sheridan North Peoria Location
6501 N. Sheridan Road
Peoria, IL 61614-2932 

Balance is an important part of maintaining strength, avoiding injury and preventing falls. Please join us during any one of the three available times to receive an assessment by our trained medical professionals. No appointment needed.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014
4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
IPMR Sheridan Division 6501 N. Sheridan Road
Peoria, IL



Pekin Community High School Students Recognized

Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107 are proud to recognize Pekin Community High School students Brooke Mingus and Brody Oberle as recipients of the Pekin Community High School (PCHS) Student Award for December.

Brooke, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Amanda Fitts, a School Counselor at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Fitts cited Brooke’s contributions to the overall atmosphere at Pekin Community High School.

Brody, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Amanda Fitts, a School Counselor at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Fitts cited Brody’s contributions to PCHS’ football team, National Honor Society, and the Peer Assistance Committee.

Each month, two PCHS students who excel in moral character, positive attitude, volunteerism, demonstrate ideal role-model behavior, and who contribute to the classroom are nominated by teachers, counselors, and high school personnel. The students must be seniors and show remarkable qualities which help them prepare for a promising future.
Seth Mingus, Assistant Principal for Curriculum at PCHS said, “PCHS is grateful to have the opportunity to recognize the positive contributions our students make every day. The teachers and staff enjoy nominating students, and we appreciate the support from Pekin Hospital, Lite Rock 107/WSWT, and our community.”
Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107/WSWT are proud to sponsor the student award program for the students of PCHS.

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following businesses, organizations and individuals who have renewed their investment in the chamber…

4-Star Members
**** CEFCU  ****
**** Pekin Hospital****

3-Star Members
*** KMI / Kriegsman ***

1-Star Members
* Avanti's Ristorante *
* Heartland Bank & Trust Company *
* OX Paperboard Illinois *
* Pekin Park District *
* R. A. Cullinan & Sons *
* Ray Dennison Chevrolet  *

Classic Members
Art's Ads
Bagley & Miller , Attorneys
Bard Optical
George Beres
Brookmeadow Apartments
Casey's General Store
Champion Fitness Physical Therapy
Dan Pfeifer State Farm
Dr. Robert Ehrich, DDS  Glesne Family Dentistry
Hometown Title, Inc.
Johnson Mechanical Services
Dr. Robert Johnson, DMD
Kuhfuss & Proehl, PC
 Dr. Jerry Marshall
Monge Crouch & Mahoney
Pekin Riding Club, Inc.
Les Pulfer
Pekin Animal Hospital
Pekin Public Library
Redbrand Credit Union
ReMax Home Realtors
Glen Rittenhouse
Ruskusky Foot & Ankle
Steger's Furniture
Dr. Dennis Stoller, DDS
Sun Valley  Subdivision
TCRC  Taco Bell
Willock Warning & Co, PC
Wolf, Tesar & Co, PC
United Way of Pekin

Biz Barometer

Pekin’s sales tax disbursements received from the state in December were 12.5% less than December of 2012.  December disbursements typically represent sales taxes collected by merchants in September and paid to the state in October.

For the 12 months ending in December, Pekin (+5.0%), East Peoria (+9.4%), and Washington (+2.5%) all received more sales tax disbursements than the 12 months ending in December of 2012.  Morton’s sales tax disbursements received from the state were down (-0.2%) for the same period.  

The number of residential units sold in Pekin in the first eleven months of the year was 3.3% greater than the sales in the first eleven months of 2012.

The average sales price of a Pekin residential unit in the first eleven months of the year was $108,956, which is down 0.2% from the average price for the same period in 2012.

The unemployment rate in Pekin rose to 10.1% in October, up from 9.8% in September and 8.2% in October of 2012.  The number of people employed in Pekin in October was 15,484—down 1,025 from a year ago.

Nationally, the unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000.  Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in November on a seasonally adjusted basis.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.2 percent before seasonal adjustment.

(Source:  Peoria Area Association of Realtors, Illinois Department of Revenue, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois Department of Employment Security)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Savant Capital Management Acquires Paragon Advisors

Savant Capital Management,, one of the nation’s largest independent registered investment advisory firms and headquartered in Rockford, IL, today announced its acquisition of Paragon Advisors, a Naperville, IL based, registered investment advisory firm. This acquisition will bring Savant’s current AUM to $3.7B.

Savant Capital Management’s acquisition of Paragon Advisors will further strengthen Savant’s Chicago-area footprint with the addition of 130 Illinois families. The transition will be made seamless as Gregory De Jong, founding principal of Paragon and two Paragon client service team members will join Savant Capital.

“We said from day one of deploying an M&A strategy that we would only consider the best RIAs,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital Management. “And Paragon lives up to their name, aligning with us regionally, structurally, philosophically, and culturally. We are proud to welcome Paragon’s team and their clients to the Savant family.”

Savant Capital Management is an opportunistic acquirer, meaning it will only do deals that fit its model near-perfectly and firms that desire to fully integrate and leverage Savant’s best-in-class platform, rather than targeting assets simply for the sake of getting bigger. Savant prefers instead to get better with each new addition to its 100+ employees and looks for advisory firms who either seek an increased growth trajectory or an excellent succession planning solution.

Keys to a successful union include a shared investment philosophy, a true passion for the business and an adherence to the highest standards of service in line with Savant’s own Mayo Clinic philosophy. The Paragon team will leverage the operational efficiencies Savant brings to the table, in key areas like compliance, marketing and technology. Paragon’s clients will also now enjoy the ability to consolidate financial planning, trust services and tax preparation, under one roof.

“Joining forces with Savant allows us to focus on what we do best, which is guiding our clients throughout their financial lives,” said De Jong. “And if we can simultaneously expand our service offering and secure the long-term future of our practice by partnering with a firm of this caliber, we are compelled to do so.”

The deal officially closes December 31, 2013. Savant Capital will continue to be selective in evaluating potential M&A partners, both in the Chicago area, and beyond.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


CEFCU’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that a record Extraordinary Dividend of $12 million has been distributed to CEFCU member/owners.  This dividend was based on members’ savings and loan activity during the year 2013, with $6 million going to borrowers and $6 million going to savers.  The amount each member received was determined by dividends earned and interest paid during the first 11 months of the year, as of November 30, 2013.  On December 16, dividends were deposited to members’ Savings accounts.
            Over the last 14 years, CEFCU has returned $75 million in Extraordinary Dividends to members.  CEFCU Board Chairman, Thea Robinson, stated, “The Credit Union continues to see strong financial results, and this success is due in no small part to the continued loyalty of CEFCU member/owners.  I am proud the Credit Union is able to extend this dividend, the largest in the history of the Credit Union, to members.  Credit unions exist for members, not for profit.  So, when business is good, those benefits are returned to the member/owners.”
              Mark Spenny, CEFCU President/CEO, added, “The credit union not-for-profit business model of borrowers and savers helping each other is still alive today.  As a result, those members who borrowed and saved with CEFCU during 2013 are sharing in a RECORD $12 million Extraordinary Dividend.  When business for a credit union is better than projected, members share in those benefits.  It’s their money, and that is what makes CEFCU not a bank. Better!”

               With assets totaling $4.9 billion, CEFCU serves over 297,000 members through 20 central Illinois Member Centers and 3 Member Centers in Santa Clara County, California; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s website,; CEFCU’s Mobile website,; the surcharge-free CO-OP ATM Network; and the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network.

Pekin Hospital Receives Press Ganey 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award

Pekin Hospital is proud to announce it has been named a 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc. The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance in Physician Engagement.

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a health care industry symbol of achievement.  Fewer than 5% of all Press Ganey clients reach this threshold and consistently maintain it for the one year reporting period. Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities, including more than half of all U.S. hospitals, to measure and improve the patient experience.

"We are proud to partner with Pekin Hospital,” said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. “Achieving this level of excellence reflects the organization’s commitment to delivering outstanding service and quality. Pekin Hospital’s efforts benefit patients in Central Illinois and will lead to improved patient experiences."

According to Gary L. Jepson, Pekin Hospital Chief Executive Officer, the award represents an important recognition from the industry’s leader in measuring, understanding and improving the healthcare experience, Press Ganey.  “We’re very honored to be recognized by Press Ganey.  This award truly is a testament to the commitment of our very dedicated Medical Staff members,” said Jepson.

Pekin Hospital is part of Progressive Health Systems, which also includes ProHealth Medical Group – physician practices providing primary and specialty care.  Pekin Hospital is celebrating its 100th year of service to the community. 

Recognized as a leader in performance improvement for nearly 30 years, Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care organizations worldwide to create and sustain high-performing organizations, and, ultimately, improve the overall health care experience. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to help clients operate efficiently, improve quality, increase market share and optimize reimbursement. Press Ganey works with clients from across the continuum of care – hospitals, medical practices, home care agencies and other providers – including 50 percent of all U.S. hospitals. For more information, visit

Monday, December 16, 2013


South Side Trust & Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Mid Illinois Bancorp, Inc., at its December 2013 Board Meeting, announced the promotion of Dwayne A. Banks to Assistant Vice President.
Banks has worked in the banking industry for 33 years, serving as the manager of the Northpoint Facility at South Side Bank for the past 16 years.  He attended Peoria High School, and is a member of 1977 State Championship Basketball Team.  Banks went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Western Illinois University.    He was inducted into the Western Illinois University Hall of Fame in 2002.  Banks is Secretary of South Side Office of Concern Board of Directors and Treasurer of The Pier NFP Board of Directors.  He is married to wife, Demetra, and has one son, Dwayne Jr., and two daughters, Danielle and Dreyanna.
South Side Trust & Savings Bank, a locally owned financial institution since 1922, has $669 million in assets and serves the tri-county area with 12 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. 

United Way Bags Tournament

Friday, December 13, 2013

Federal Disaster Assistance Questions Answered at Pekin Community Meeting

Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration specialists will answer questions and talk to survivors of the Nov. 17 tornadoes in Pekin on Tuesday, Dec. 17 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Avanti’s Dome
3401 Griffin St
Pekin, IL 61554

FEMA and SBA specialists will be available to:
  • Explain the federal disaster assistance registration process and available recovery programs
  • Register survivors for assistance
  • Provide information on low-interest disaster loans
You do not need to attend this event to register for assistance.  Register with FEMA online at or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585, or register with a smartphone or tablet at

December Puttin' On Pekin Recap

Over 100 chamber members and guests attended the December Puttin' On Pekin breakfast at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Holiday entertainment was provided by the PCHS Choral Chamber Choir. Jo Ellen Patterson won the early prize and Diane Houlihan won the late prize. Rob Hancock was presented with an award for his 20+ years of service to the Pekin 1st Committee; Rich Kriegsman accepted the Spotlight on Business Award for Kreigsman Warehouse; Trinity Lutheran Church Giving Tree accepted the Sunshine Award; and, Buster Hanley accepted the Blue Ribbon Award for Preston Hanley Funeral Homes and Crematory. Eight lucky winners went home with over $300 in prizes from chamber members as part of the big year end door prize drawing.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mashie's Holiday Offer

Attracting Web Traffic to Grow Your Business

Wednesday December 18, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM CST
Add to Calendar

Peoria Chamber of Commerce Board Room
100 SW Water St.
Peoria, IL 61602
Driving Directions
This internet marketing workshop is focused on helping business owners who are getting started with online marketing or those who are seeking ways to improve their online marketing strategy.
 ATTRACTING WEB TRAFFIC will be presented by Fred Dirkse, President and founder of Online Innovative Creations (OIC) Group, Inc. and an expert in his field.
The workshop is  
but please register by clicking below. 

Please call, email, or check our website.

We hope you can join us!

SCORE Peoria

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Gift Show

A Holiday Gift Show at the Avanti’s Dome on Saturday, December 14, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
On display will be Candles, Sweatshirts, Wood Crafts, Personalized Ornaments, Jewelry, Candy, Purses, Florals, Hair Bows, Metal Yard Ornaments and much more. Come join the Holiday Festivities at the Avanti’s Dome, 3401 Griffin Ave., Pekin, Illinois.
For more information, contact Sheri (309) 346-3663 or email

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Year's Eve at Mashie's

SBA Opens Business Recovery Center in Tazewell County

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the opening of a Business Recovery Center in Washington, Illinois. The Center will open today to provide one-on-one help to business owners seeking disaster assistance for losses caused by the severe storms and tornadoes on Nov. 17. SBA’s customer service representatives are on hand at the Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program and assist business owners in applying.

“Businesses with physical damages or disaster-related working capital needs should seriously consider visiting the Center and applying for a low-interest SBA disaster business loan,” said Robert Steiner, SBA’s Illinois acting district director.

The Center is located and opening as indicated below, until further notice:

Tazewell County
Washington Library
380 N. Wilmor Road
Washington, IL 61571

Hours: Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed: Sunday

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road,
Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is January 27, 2014. The deadline to return economic injury applications is August 26, 2014.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Liberty Village Hosted December After Hours

Liberty Village of Pekin hosted a great Business After Hours at Pekin Estates. Chamber members were treated to tasty food and drinks, a door prize drawing, and tours of the facility.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pekin Hospital to Offer Diabetes Education Workshop

Pekin Hospital is pleased to offer an adult diabetes education workshop on January 20, 21, and 22.  The series of three classes will be held from 2 – 5 p.m. in the 4 South Education Classroom at Pekin Hospital.

The classes are designed to provide information on managing adult diabetes and to help diabetics learn and develop the skills of self-management of diabetes therapy.  Topics covered in the sessions will include:

the importance of diabetes control and the factors that influence this control
how to plan meals according to food selections and serving size
the possible complications associated with diabetes
why exercise will benefit your health and make you feel good

Workshop speakers will include a Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, Registered Pharmacist, and Registered Medical Technician.

Class fees are $70 per person (one guest may accompany the registrant at no extra cost).  The $70 includes all three classes.  Class size is limited.  Registration deadline is January 13.  To register, please call (309) 353-0719.

Speakeasy Art Center's December Events

Friday, December 6th, 5PM - 8PM  - Christmas on Court Luminary Walk Downtown Pekin. Music on stage by Nathan See and a special visit by Mrs. Santa.

Saturday, December 7th, 7PM - 8:30PM - Music on Stage by London is Falling. $5 cover charge

Saturday, December 14th, 6PM - Pekin Main Street and Artistic Community Theatre Present Murder at The Christmas Party at the Speakeasy Art Center.

Friday, December 20th, 7PM - 8:30PM - Jump N Jive by London is Falling. $5 cover charge

Speakeasy will be closed, December 24th, 25th & 31st.

Mashie's Pub & Eatery Holiday Appreciation Celebration

ICPR Family Practice Now Accepting New Patients

Dr. Volkan Sumer and his staff at ICPR Family Practice is happy to announce that they are accepting new patients!

At ICPR Family Practice we want you to take an active part in your healthcare by asking questions, discussing options and learning what changes you can make to live a healthier life. We view each patient’s relationship with their healthcare provider as a partnership, working together to help you reach your optimal health. ICPR offers convenient evening hours and specific appointment times set aside for illness and emergencies; these are just two ways we make sure we are here when you need us. We also offer in-house diagnostic services such as x-ray, lab tests, diabetic counseling, balance testing, pulmonary function testing, at home sleep-apnea testing, weight loss programs, a cosmetic skin care center, immunizations and vaccinations for the entire family, and more. By offering these services in house we eliminate the hassle of you running from office to office to get the care you need.

When you walk in our doors you are greeted with a friendly face that is always willing to assist you. From our physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and physical therapist right down to our nurses, office staff and administration, we work together as a team to ensure your experience with ICPR is one you will love to tell your friends about.

Healthcare is ever-changing, but it is our goal to remain a leader in our community. That is why we were chosen as the Daily Times Reader’s Choice for Favorite Family Practice and Favorite Physical Therapist. We are experts in diabetic care and treatment, and a leader in pain management. Our KNAP™ Program is revolutionizing the treatment of knee pain, without the need for knee replacement surgery. 

If you are looking for more than a family practice, but a place you can come and feel like part of a family and know that your family will receive the best care possible, contact our office to schedule an appointment at 309-347-4277. To find out more about our services and programs and see updates on our new building construction, visit us online at

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mobile Tech Presents Challenge, Opportunity for Business

by Bill Fleming
Retailers, service providers, and businesses and organizations of every type have to deal with a new reality:  mobile devices (phones & tablets) will soon be the preferred tool for virtually all consumer communications and commerce.  
Consider the following:
1. 42% of emails are opened on a mobile device. (
2.  70% of e-mails “that don’t look good” on a mobile device are immediately deleted. (
3.  17% of Cyber Monday sales were made on a mobile device.  That's a 55.4% increase over last year. (IBM)
4.  Mobile internet traffic represented 31.7% of all online traffic on Cyber Monday, a 45% over last year. (IBM)

Sam's Club Open House

Sam's Club will be hosting a Holiday Open House, December 6th - 8th.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Small Business Saturday® Gives Small Businesses Big Boost to Kick-Off Holiday Season

According to NFIB and American Express Research, Consumers Aware of Small Business Saturday Reported Spending $5.7 billion at Small Businesses on Nov 30 as the Holiday Shopping Season Officially Begins

In spite of a shorter shopping season and challenging economic environment, Small Business Saturday helped jump start the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the country.

According to the second installment of the 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday across the U.S. jumped to 71 percent from 67 percent during the same period a year ago. Of those aware, 46% said they shopped on Small Business Saturday.

With awareness up, the end result was increased spending at small businesses. This year, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, an increase of 3.6% from a strong $5.5 billion in 2012.

“In an uncertain economy, America’s small businesses have remained a beacon — creating good jobs and supporting the families they employ and the communities around them,” said NFIB CEO Dan Danner. “We are very pleased that so many Americans sought to give back by shopping small this Small Business Saturday. We hope that support of small firms, retailers, restaurants and other independent businesses continues throughout the holiday season and all year round. Continued support of this vital sector is one important way to ensure our economy fully recovers and a healthy private sector is restored.”

“In just four years, the nation has adopted Small Business Saturday and made it part of the holiday shopping tradition,” said Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. “On November 30, we saw a continuation of this growing trend as communities around the country came together to celebrate local businesses and helped drive consumers to Shop Small on the day.”

From Washington D.C. to Washington State, Support Comes From Across the U.S.
  • Elected officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. – including President Obama and many senior government officials – championed Small Business Saturday. 
  • 294 city proclamations in support of Small Business Saturday were issued by mayors and other elected officials in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
  • 41 governors issued state proclamations in support of Small Business Saturday.
  • 43 U.S. Senators endorsed a resolution recognizing November 30, 2013 as Small Business Saturday and supporting efforts to encourage consumers to shop locally and increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses and the impact of locally owned small businesses on the economy of the United States.
Communities and Supporters Make Small Business Saturday Even Bigger
  • More than 1,400 Neighborhood Champions rallied local businesses and created events and activities to drive shopping around the country.
  • Premier partners, FedEx, Foursquare, Twitter and the United States Postal Service, banded together with American Express to promote shopping at small businesses for Small Business Saturday.
  • In addition, 166 companies signed up to support the day.
  • Nearly 370 advocacy organizations signed up to support the nationwide initiative.
  • More than 346,000 free online tools and materials were accessed by small business owners to help get the word out about Small Business Saturday.
  • In November alone, more than 352,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday, many using the hashtags #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall, a 65% increase from the previous year; those Tweets ranged from consumers spreading the word about the national initiative to business owners promoting offers that they created specifically for the day.
  • To date, more than 3.3 million Facebook users have “liked” the official Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1000 males and females 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study was conducted anonymously by Redshift Research between November 30th and December 1st, 2013. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5.47%, at the 95% level of confidence.
November 30 marked the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers. Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has been become a global phenomenon, spreading to the UK, Australia, Israel, Canada, South Africa and Asia.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pekin Community High School Students Recognized

Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107 are proud to recognize Pekin Community High School students Alyssa Carroll and Brooke Svendsen as recipients of the Pekin Community High School (PCHS) Student Award for November.

Alyssa, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Ann Gallinger, a School Counselor at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Gallinger cited Alyssa’s contributions to National Honor Society, TAPS, Student Council, and PCHS Show Choir.

Brooke, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Theresa Slover, a School Counselor at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Slover cited Brooke’s ability to overcome a variety of obstacles as well as her leadership in class.

Each month, two PCHS students who excel in moral character, positive attitude, volunteerism, demonstrate ideal role-model behavior, and who contribute to the classroom are nominated by teachers, counselors, and high school personnel. The students must be seniors and show remarkable qualities which help them prepare for a promising future.
Seth Mingus, Assistant Principal for Curriculum at PCHS said, “PCHS is grateful to have the opportunity to recognize the positive contributions our students make every day. The teachers and staff enjoy nominating students, and we appreciate the support from Pekin Hospital, Lite Rock 107/WSWT, and our community.”
Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107/WSWT are proud to sponsor the student award program for the students of PCHS.

2014 Family and Business Showcase

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 from 4:00 pm to 8:00pm at the Avanti’s Dome. Free Admission & Free Parking! For more information on this event click here. For booth information click here. For booth registration click here.

2014 R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 16th annual R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy for future leaders in the Pekin area. For more information and application click here.


Pekin Main Street will be kicking off the holiday season on Friday, December 6, 2013 from 5:00-8:00 at the annual Christmas on Court event in downtown Pekin.
Candle-lit luminaries will line the streets of downtown Pekin and will surround the Tazewell County Courthouse. Carriage rides will be available starting at Pekin Community Bank ($1.00 per person) and at the corner of Court & Capitol Streets. Several downtown businesses will be open with refreshments, specials and other fun things. Visitors are invited to participate in the sock monkey scavenger hunt – sock monkeys will be visiting businesses and hanging out in store windows – find the monkeys and enter to win prizes from downtown merchants. Santa Claus will be stationed at Pekin Community Bank to visit with children.
The Community Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 on the median at Five Points (by Pekin Community Bank, First Pekin Savings Bank and St. Joseph Church). All community members are invited to attend. Our 2013 Spirits of Christmas will light the tree. Each year, Pekin Main Street will nominate a person or persons who have made a positive impact on our downtown community to serve as the Spirit of Christmas.
Children of all ages will be able to meet various Holiday Characters and pick up an autograph book to get signatures from Frosty the Snowman (First Pekin Savings Bank), Mrs. Claus & Elf (Speakeasy Art Center), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Pekin Daily Times) and the Grinch (Arcade Building/Pekin Main Street Office). Pekin Park District Cheer and Dance programs will also be performing that the Tazewell County Courthouse at 6:30 and 7:30. The Unique Twist Balloon Artist will be at Dale Thomas’s office at 337 Court Street.
This event is presented by Pekin Main Street, an organization established to preserve, restore and revitalize Pekin’s historic downtown area. Major event sponsors include Pekin Community Bank, Pekin Tourism and CEFCU. Additional sponsors include: The Pekin Daily Times, First Pekin Savings Bank, Attorney Dale Thomas, Hawaiian Sun, Salon Renaissance, Rhythm & Brews, AJ’s Gift Shop, Jim Maloof Realtors, and the Speakeasy Art Center.  For more information, please contact Pekin Main Street at 309-353-3100 or visit

Alzheimer’s Association Selling Holiday Cookie Trays and Other Sweet Treats

Order a cookie tray for the office, for the mailman or for your own Christmas party during the Alzheimer’s Association-Central Illinois Chapter’s holiday bake sale on Friday, Dec. 13. The bake sale starts at 10 a.m. at the office, 606 W. Glen Ave., and goes until every last pie, cookie, coffee cake, piece of fudge and mint chocolate Oreo ball is gone.

Each large cookie tray is just $10. Other items are priced individually. Many of the goodies are made by Chapter staff; the rest of the items are donated by area bakeries and grocery stores.

To place an order, call the office at 681.1100 or toll free at 800.272.3900. All proceeds benefit the Chapter’s programs and services for families.

Attorney to Present Legal & Financial Program for Alzheimer’s

Families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can better prepare for their loved one’s long term care future by attending an upcoming legal and financial series hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association®- Central Illinois Chapter.

A Legal and Financial Series is scheduled for Wed., Dec. 11, and Wed., Dec. 18, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., at the Alzheimer's Association, 606 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria.

Timothy Kirk, an elder attorney with Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, will present the programs. A session will be devoted to legal matters and a session will be devoted to financial matters. Topics to be discussed may include patient rights, Power of Attorney, guardianship, advance directives, estate planning, Medicaid, asset protection, and spousal impoverishment. There will be time immediately following the sessions for questions and answers.

Kirk regularly shares his expertise on elder law issues with Unity Point Encore and other social service agencies in the greater Peoria area.

Materials fee is $5 per person. Refreshments will be provided.

To register for this program or receive information about agency services, call 309.681.1100 or 800.272.3900.

The Alzheimer’s Association - Central Illinois Chapter is a donor supported, not-for-profit health organization serving 20 counties in central and west central Illinois. Its three office locations, Peoria, Quincy, and Dixon, provide educational and supportive services to help people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers understand and deal with the disease and its impact on their lives.

Chamber Website Goes Mobile

Have you seen the chamber's mobile-friendly website? It includes easy access to the membership directory, calendar of events, and more. Bookmark it in your phone!

Small Business Saturday is This Week!

From the corner café with the tasty snacks to the shop who always has exactly what you need, our community is full of special stores that are the heartbeat of our local economy.
Small Business Saturday® is a day to support the local businesses we love. This year, the big day is November 30, and we want you to get out and Shop Small.  Make this the most successful Small Business Saturday yet!  Discover more ways to join in at and search Small Business Saturday Central Illinois on Facebook

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas for the Hopeful

Christmas for the Hopeful

Lighting up the hearts of our friends and neighbors who were affected by the recent storms.
Velde Ford of Pekin today announced that they will be hosting a Christmas Party at their dealership for all the families in Pekin, East Peoria, Washington and the surrounding area’s directly affected by the area’s recent storms. This Special Holiday Event will take place at their main showroom in Pekin, Il on Saturday, December 7th from 4:30-8:00pm.

The Velde Ford Staff decided in lieu of their own 2013 Christmas Party at Basta Mangiare, that they would prefer to host a dinner and evening of entertainment for all the affected families. In conjunction with Basta Mangiare, a Christmas Dinner will be provided for all attending. Details on event registration will be forthcoming on their website; , on their Facebook page, as well as various other media channels.

To give every child in attendance a new toy from Santa, Velde Ford is mounting a MASSIVE TOY DRIVE for the children with a goal of over 1,000 toys. Toys for all ages are needed by Dec. 5th to ensure that each child receives a gift. Toys must be new and unwrapped. Companies, organizations, agencies, and individuals that want to contribute can drop their toys at the main showroom in Pekin or packages can be sent to their facility c/o Velde Ford – 2200 N. 8th Street, Pekin, IL. 61554.

This very special evening will include entertainment, a special visit from Santa Claus, as mentioned .. gifts for the kids … and the all important cookies and cocoa for everyone.

The Salvation Army of Pekin and Peoria will be assisting Velde Ford in the logistics and addresses of homes that have been directly damaged by the storms. Preparations are being made to accommodate as many persons as possible in their facility on Auto Row in Pekin. Due to the expected size of the crowd, the Main Showroom, Parts Department and Service Department will be utilized to fulfill the event.

Contributions and assistance is being pledged by businesses and individuals throughout Central Illinois and throughout the nation. Further information will unfold as event planning in finalized in the forthcoming days.

Finally, please pass the word in anyway you can to help make this event extra special for those who have suffered so greatly in these recent days. And the children, … please consider promoting and blessing them this Christmas Season in a very special way.

Should you need further immediate information, please contact Lynzie or Stacie at 309-347-3111.

About Velde Ford of Pekin. Velde Ford is celebrating its 56th Year of being an Authorized Ford Dealership Franchise. Located on Auto Row in Pekin, Illinois, they are the multiple winner of the prestigious Ford Motor Company President’s Award for Superior Customer Satisfaction in Sales and Service in Central Illinois. Velde Ford of Pekin is locally family owned and operated since 1957, and offers Ford’s comprehensive lineup of Cars, Trucks, SUVs, CUVs, plus a complete Service Department, Parts Department and Body Shop. Call 1.888.221.2804 for further info.

Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Alzheimer’s Association® Selling 2013 Hand Blown Ornament

The Alzheimer’s Association® - Central Illinois Chapter, is selling the 2013 seventh-in-the-series hand blown holiday ornament by regional artist Hiram Toraason during the holiday season.  The limited-edition 5-inch ornament is especially designed for the Central Illinois Chapter with shades of bright purple, snowy white, with just a touch of blue.

The ornament is available at the following Peoria area shops:

Alzheimer’s Association 606 W. Glen Avenue
Belle Mie
Bremer Jewelry
Bronze Frog
Enchanted Florist & Boutique
Exhibit A Gallery
Harp & Thistle Imports
Jones Bros. Jewelers
Pettet Jewelry
Picture This Gallery
Pink Sugar
Pottstown Meat, Deli & Catering
Preckshot Pharmacy
Toraason Glass
Udry Jewelers, Pekin

It can also be purchased on-line by visiting the agency website at

The ornament sells for $30 with proceeds benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association. The Chapter can ship the ornament for an additional $8 fee.  For more information or to order, please call the Central Illinois Chapter at 681.1100 or 800.272.3900.

The Alzheimer's Association - Central Illinois Chapter is a donor supported, not-for-profit health organization serving 20 counties in central and west central Illinois. Its three office locations, Peoria, Quincy and Dixon, provide educational and supportive services to help people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers understand and deal with the disease and it impact on their lives.

Relief Aid Site

Pekin Masonic Lodge at 338 Elizabeth St., Pekin has donations available for storm victims. They currently have cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, and clothing along with many other items. They are available Monday - Wednesday from 11AM - 3PM to assist you. If you need supplies and are unable to go to the Lodge at these posted times, there are phone numbers posted on the doors of the Lodge for you to call and someone will meet.

Membership Renewals

Amerex dba Getz Manufacturing
Automotive Machine
Baumgarten Distributing
Camp of Champions
Comfort Plus Hospice
Deverman Advertising
Elks Lodge
Flowers by Florence
Home Helath Care Plus
J & J Consulting Firm
Jost Becker Jost
McGladrey LLP
Morton Villa / Morton Terrace
National Rental
Lloyd Orrick
Pekin Lions Club
Rogy's Childcare
San Juan Pools & Spa
Schwartz Electric
St. Jude Pekin to Peoria Run
Women's Center for Health
* Lewis Industries *
** Wal-Mart **

Biz Barometer

Pekin’s sales tax disbursements received from the state in November were 10.7% less than November of 2012.  November disbursements typically represent sales taxes collected by merchants in August.

Pekin’s sales tax disbursements received from the state for the last 3 months were 4.1% less than the same three months a year ago.

The other three large communities on the east side of the Illinois River received more sales tax disbursements in November, compared to November of 2012:  Morton (1.8%), Washington (2.0%) and East Peoria (18.6%%).  .

For the 12 months ending in November, Pekin (+7.7%), East Peoria (+5.5%), and Washington (+2.2%) all received more sales tax disbursements than the 12 months ending in November of 2012.  Morton’s sales tax disbursements received from the state were about equal with the same period from the previous year.    

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.0 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Nationally, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent

(Source:  Peoria Area Association of Labor, Illinois Department of Revenue, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois) Department of Employment Security)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pekin Hospital’s New Low-Dose Radiation CT Scanning Program Helps Detect Early-Stage Lung Cancer

A new, potentially life-saving program at Pekin Hospital uses low-dose radiation CT scanning to identify early-stage lung cancer in high-risk groups. The protocol, endorsed by prominent medical organizations like the American Lung Association, marks the first time people at high risk for developing lung cancer have the opportunity to undergo routine screenings.

The painless scan, which takes about 10 minutes and is performed in a traditional CT scanner, is only recommended for a specific group of people. Candidates must be between 55 to 74 years old, have smoked at least two packs of cigarettes a day for 15 years or more, or have been exposed to certain work environments.

The new program employs a low dose of radiation—much lower than traditional x-rays—while still providing excellent diagnostic images. This lower dosage reduces the risks associated with frequent radiation exposure, making it safer for high-risk candidates advised to have an annual scan.

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, killing more Americans each year than any other type of the disease. The low-dose CT scan screening is the first program designed to identify lung cancer at an early stage, specifically before symptoms are present. “It’s very similar to mammography in that we’re primarily screening an asymptomatic population with the goal of finding early-stage, more treatable cancer,” according to Mike Johnson, Administrative Director of Ancillary Services at Pekin Hospital.

Because it’s a screening tool, most insurance plans don’t cover the scan. Pekin Hospital offers the service, including the radiology interpretation, for $175.

A referral from a physician is required. Candidates who fit the required criteria but do not have a physician are encouraged to contact Pekin Hospital at (309) 353-0886 for a physician referral.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Storm Relief Update

Volunteers Needed
Please do not just "show-up."  Below are three ways you can volunteer:
Call the local Red Cross volunteer line at 309-677-7272.  Let them know of your availability or you willingness to donate equipment or materials.  Or go to and click "volunteer" on the left.
If you would like to volunteer with clean up please call Tazewell County Health Department, 309-925-5511.
The Washington Chamber of Commerce is in need of volunteers.  People are needed to help with the collection and organization of donations. The Chamber is asking people to the work in three hour shifts starting between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It needs at least 16 people per shift.  If you would like to help, please call 309-229-6524. Leave a voicemail with your contact information and what shifts you could help. 

Local Telethon Tonight
Help on the Homefront, a live telethon for tornado victims, will air tonight from 7 to 10:30pm on WTVP - Public Television. All moneys raised will go to the American Red Cross - Central Illinois Chapter.

Taz Is Well Benefit in Pekin Friday Night                        
Local bands, bars, and restaurants are planning a huge  coordinated event for this Friday night with proceeds benefiting  local storm victims.  At least 20 bands and 9 venues are signed on.  Watch for final details later today.  Visit the Taz-Is-Well facebook page:

PAAR Offers Help Finding Rentals
The Peoria Area Association of Realtors has introduced a central source where landlords can post rentals and displaced families can find rentals. Visit for more information or contact a local Realtor to assist with housing needs.

Red Cross Donations
Central Illinois is a very caring community and many, many people want to help their neighbors in this emergency.  Financial donations are still the most effective and efficient way to help those who have been affected. And the best way to do that is to give directly to the Red Cross.  Call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit to make a donation. Tell them you want your donation to go to the central Illinois tornado response.

2-1-1 Can Help
If you know someone who needs assistance, but doesn't know where to turn, call 2-1-1 for referrals to local agencies that can help with food, housing and more.

PAAR Introduces - a Centralized Source for Rental Information in the Greater Peoria Area

Realtors® are the voice for real estate in central Illinois, so it is not surprising that in the midst of this crisis, many displaced residents are looking to their real estate agents or to the Peoria Area Association of Realtors® (PAAR) for assistance in finding emergency housing. The PAAR believes it is vital that the Central Illinois community has a place to come together to provide rental housing information. It is for this reason that PAAR has asked the developers of to assist the association by providing their centralized website designed to organize available rental properties in the Greater Peoria area.

Many landlords have already agreed to accept short-term, as well as longer-term leases, for those affected by the tornados.

o   Landlords are encouraged to enter properties for rent on the NedstRent website.

o   NestRent has waived the requirement for a listing contract with a Realtor® and the landlord can enter the property themselves —pictures are not required.

o   Many property managers and agents have supplied PAAR with information regarding properties. They are requested to please go to and enter the details. PAAR understands that properties are renting almost as fast as they are entered.

o   Displaced homeowners are encouraged to contact a Realtor® to assist them with housing needs, or go directly to to search for rental properties.

o   Properties with a future vacancy — even 30 to 60 days from now — can also be added to the system.

PAAR President Tonya Burris said, “We know that Washington, IL definitely will not be able to accommodate all the rental needs. We expect that some displaced residents will need to rent in other areas in the region. That may also be the case in Pekin and East Peoria. For all those attempting to reassemble their lives, we want them to know that Realtors® want to help them find suitable housing. If we all work together, the website can be an important central clearing house to match up landlords and their rental properties with residents who need housing.”

Regional Organizations Collaborate on Small Business Saturday

It’s time to spread the word about Small Business Saturday, the day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Small Business Saturday is November 30th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is a national initiative aimed at getting consumers to spend locally and support the small businesses in their community for at least one day during the holiday shopping season.

Local project coordinator Rachel O’Connell, with The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, says there are many regional partners on board helping promote the initiative including area Chambers of Commerce, economic development organizations, cities, and counties. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of every community. In fact more than 95% of businesses in our region are considered small business and they employ over half of all private sector workers. That is why we are all working together to promote Small Business Saturday throughout Greater Peoria.”

Rick Swan, Executive Director of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, says his organization is proud to be a part of this program and it’s important for everyone to get involved. “Not only are these small business owners our friends and our neighbors, but they are the driving force behind our regional economy. Small businesses accounted for 64% of the net new jobs created in the U.S. between 1993 and 2011. For every $100 spent at locally owned independent stores more than half of it returns to the regional economy through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.”

This is the fourth year for the national Small Business Saturday movement. It includes an exhaustive social media promotion. Last year’s effort resulted in more than 3.2 million "Likes" on Facebook and more than 213,000 supportive tweets. National reports show that millions of shoppers turned out to support Small Business Saturday 2012. Consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 67 percent.

Bill Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, says the national coordinators highlighted Central Illinois’ effort last year as an example of how communities should collaborate. “We want to showcase an even stronger effort this year. We are reaching out to small businesses encouraging them to create specials to entice shoppers to visit their stores on this day and we are also reaching out to shoppers encouraging them to make a concerted effort to shop at the small locally owned stores on November 30th.”

Visit Small Business Saturday Central Illinois on Facebook at to see what’s happening with the regional effort or learn more about how you can show your support at

Small Business Saturday is a national initiative.  It sits between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is dedicated to driving sales to small businesses on one of the busiest holiday shopping weekends of the year.  It is the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement and support the small businesses that help fuel the economy and invigorate communities. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pekin Storm Relief Update

Don't Move Barricades!
This morning the Pekin Police urge motorists to be careful  driving in the damaged area around 8th and Sheridan.  Watch for officers directing traffic!
If you are coming to the area to help family or friends and you come to a street with a barricade, please do not move it or go around.  You may need to park and walk the rest of the way to your destination.  It may not always be convenient, but the emergency workers are trying to keep the cleanup effort moving.  However, everything comes to a stop when there are too many cars in these areas. 
If you have no business in the area, other than to look at the damage, please stay away.  The extra vehicles just slow the clean-up process.
Everyone thanks you for your cooperation.


Donations Needed In Pekin
The HOPE Chest is the location in Pekin for donations.  It is also a distribution center for families affect by the storm. 
They are collecting donations of the following items: 
1)   Bottled Water
2)  Blankets and pillows
3)  Winter Coats, Hats, Scarves, and Gloves
4)  Flashlights
5)  Tarps of ANY Size
6)  Clothes for All ages, sizes and gender
7)  Non-perishable food items such as PB&J, Macaroni and cheese, snack cups, etc.  The food needs to be ready to eat, as many are without electricity or cooking appliances.

A 53-foot semi trailer has been parked on the east side of The HOPE Chest (1106 Derby).  As soon as the trailer is full it will be delivered to Washington.


Items Available to Storm Victims
Pekin and East Peoria residents affected by the are eligible to receive the supplies listed above.  Go to The HOPE Chest, 1106 Derby in Pekin.  Please bring proof of your address, as they will need to check it against their list of areas affected by the storm.


Volunteers Needed
The HOPE Chest needs volunteers today from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to help receive and organize all of our donations that are coming in to help families affected by the tornado.  Ask for Dave or Lynne and they will sign you in and get you started.


Pekin Township Assistance
The Pekin Township is offering free food and a safe, clean shelter for Pekin residents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as needed. It is also expanding its normal Wednesday food pantry service for low-income families to include families and individuals directly affected by the storms.  The township office is located at 420 Elizabeth Street.  Note that these services are only available to Pekin residents.  For more information, call the township at 309-346-3194.


2-1-1 Can Help
If you know someone who needs assistance, but doesn't know where to turn, call 2-1-1 for referrals to local agencies that can help with food, housing and more.


Want to Volunteer or Donate Materials?
Please do not just "show-up."  First call the local Red Cross volunteer line at 309-677-7272.  Let them know of your availability or you willingness to donate equipment or materials.


Red Cross Donations
Central Illinois is a very caring community and many, many people want to help their neighbors in this emergency.  Financial donations are still the most effective and efficient way to help those who have been affected. And the best way to do that is to give directly to the Red Cross.  Call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit to make a donation. Tell them you want your donation to go to the central Illinois tornado response.


Better Business Bureau Warning
The recent damage done by the tornados in Central Illinois brings out the best in people, as strangers reach out to help others in need. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a crisis also brings out contractors who take advantage of those who have already been victimized.
Your Better Business Bureau has previously seen out-of-state contractors setting up shop in the area trying to capture construction work caused by storms like these.  BBB is warning the area contractors to beware of storm chasers who are willing to pay local construction companies substantial amounts of money to use a local company's established name, reputation and phone so they can masquerade as a local business.
We have seen this happen in other areas of the country.  After doing repairs paid by insurance companies the out-of-state contractors left the area.  Many contractors who agreed to let these storm chasers use their name regret their decision once they were left holding the bag of unsatisfied customers due to bad workmanship and/or unfulfilled warranties.
Even more amazing, BBB has received calls from "locally known contractors" wanting to apply for BBB Accreditation.  Our research showed that they just became registered to do business in the state within the past few days and further review showed them coming from areas like Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
HELP US HELP YOU!  If you are contacted by any of these storm chasers offering to use your company's name and reputation beware! Please notify your Better Business Bureau so we can investigate - email me at or call 309-670-1182.