Thursday, March 28, 2013

International Music, Wine and Beer Festival

Join Mackinaw Valley Vineyard as they host the International Music, Wine and Beer Festival! The festival will be Saturday, May 25, 2013:  11:00 am-11:00 pm and Sunday, May 26,2013: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm.

This year's festival will be bigger and better as Mackinaw Valley Vineyard celebrates their 10th Anniversary year at the vineyard. They will be featuring over 55 wines and 55 beers for tasting and purchase from around the world. Morton Community Bank is again the corporate glassware sponsor and the Lions Club will be providing food concessions with the proceeds going for charity. Artisan cheese sampling and sales will be by Ropp Jersey Cheese in the pavilion. Saturday and Sunday there will be music performed throughout the day.

Saturday music schedule:

  • 11-3pm tba
  • 3-6:30pm Greg Williams
  • 7-11pm Sister Groove and the Cross Town Jam

Sunday music schedule: 

  • 12-3pm Colt 45 & Johnny Walker
  • 3-6pm Spring Creek Station

$10 pp includes souvenir glass and 5 tasting tickets ages 21 and over. $5pp band cover ages 13-20, age 12 and under free.

Rivermen Free Food Night

There is no better time than this Friday to get your tickets to the fourth annual FREE Food Night presented by Coca-Cola and Centerplate.

This Friday from 10 a.m.until 2 p.m., tickets in the upper bowl (end) are available for only $10 and in the lower bowl (end) for only $15! You can pick them up by stopping by the Peoria Civic Center Box office or by calling the Rivermen office at 309-676-1040!

Every fan who enters Carver Arena will receive a voucher good for a hot dog, soda and a bag of chips that can be redeemed at any concession stand in the arena.

Tickets go fast for this event and more than 27,000 people have been a part of Free Food Night over the past three seasons.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Rivermen office at 309-676-1040!

To unsubscribe from the latest Rivermen offers and promotions, please click here.

Pekin Hospital Honors Employees at 54th Annual Service Awards Dinner

Ninety four Pekin Hospital and ProHealth Inc. employees were recently honored at the 54th Annual Service Awards Dinner held at the Pekin Moose Lodge on March 20. Employees honored have more than 1,100 years total service to Pekin Hospital and ProHealth Inc.

Employees and their years of service are as follows:

45 Years:
Lois Bale

35 Years:
Brenda Holt, Jo Ellen Patterson, Carol Urban, Pat Vandeschraaf

30 Years:
Lynn Candler, Carla Henderson, Becky Keen

25 Years:
Priscilla Culp, Janet Fields, Cathy Mitchell, Holly Pogioli

20 Years:
Lyb Collier, Beth Dralle, Toni Faught, Brenda Fosdick, Tobi Sondag

15 Years:
Joni Barth, Cheryl Cockerham, Tami Cook, Karen Cusac, Lori Draeger, Stacy Eichorn, Rachel Haynes, Mary Ingram, Dawn Klaasen, Treena Kleinman, Brandon Klokkenga, Aaron Radcliff, Beth Seidel, Linda Turney, Tonya Uselton, Kimberly Woods

10 Years:
Elaine Barnes, Randy Barth, Suzanne Behle, Susan Belsley, Mike Bingham, Cathy Blake, Tammy Buchanan, Linda Carter, Ann Davis, Melissa Gregory, Tina Gregory, Sheri Guede, Audrey Hasse, Jenny Johannes, Brooke Lanan, Marcella Lovell, Alyssa Pilgrim, Felecia Serna, Clarice Spangler, Stephanie Stephens, Boo Taylor, Kim Thompson

- MORE –

2 – Pekin Hospital Honors Employees

Five Years: 

Sherry Arbuckle, Amanda Babin, Rob Baughman, Marcy Becker, Sarah Boyd, Kent Bradsher, Becky Cosentine, Rusty Counterman, Lisa Davis, Laurie Deal, Diane Decker, Kim Eccles, Paula Eleam, Russell Farden, Jennifer Friend, Ashley Hamm, Nicole Hartzler, Christa Ingolia, Becky Joiner, Nate Kellenberger, Monica Kinsey, Jume Maksuwon, Karen McCloud, Kim McKinney, Ann McNamara, John Olejnik, Stacy Redmon, Susan Rushing, Larry Rynearson, Mallory Schielein, Debbie Schlobohm-McKenny, Mary Sendelbach, Stephanie Snook, Mike Southwood, Trish Stewart, Katie Thorne, Tamara Weeks, Carolyn Wetter, Diana Wilson

2012 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 improving the health and well-being of our community and to do so with love, compassion, and extraordinary medical care. 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: Surgery
Physician: Jamaluddin Amanullah, M.D.
Employee: Autumn LandiVittori

Service Pillar Award
Department: Facilities Management
Physician: Rhodora Lee Ho, M.D.
Employee: Matt Klopp

Quality Pillar Award
Department: Food Service
Physician: Yves Makhoul, M.D.
Employee: Julie Barth

Growth Pillar Award
Department: Information Technology
Physician: Reginald Bowman, D.O.
Employee: Ryan Morris

Finance Pillar Award
Department: Inpatient Pharmacy
Physician: Eric Reinertson, M.D.
Employee: Tammy Hintz

Simple Steps For Growing Your Business

The Peoria chapter of SCORE is presenting a series of four FREE sessions to help you grow your business.  You do not have to attend all four, but can register for those that interest you and fit your schedule.

This series of workshops will  be held Thursdays at the Morton Firehouse training room, 300 W. Courtland Street from 8:00 - 9:30 AM on the following dates:

April 18 - Session 1  Goal Setting & Time Priorities  "Register"
May 2 - Session 2  Marketing Plan  
May 16 - Session 3  Financials 
May 30 - Session 4  Sales & Business Operations

These workshops are free, but you need to register at: 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Liberty Village Easter Egg Hunt 2013

Pekin Hospital Board Approves $2 Million Renovation Project

Pekin Hospital’s Board of Trustees has approved a $2 million plan to renovate the now vacant sixth-floor of the hospital’s patient tower. The project will ultimately add 16 new private patient rooms bringing the hospital’s complement of private rooms to 81.

“When this renovation is complete, it should be a rare occasion that patients are ever admitted to a semi-private room,” said Gary L. Jepson, Pekin Hospital Chief Executive Officer. “This is a major step forward in our efforts to improve patient privacy, comfort, and to always deliver the kind of care our community expects and deserves.”

Construction is scheduled to begin April 1, 2013 and conclude in approximately eight to nine months. Other planned improvements for the sixth floor include adding energy efficient windows, increasing computer access, and expanding physician work areas.

Pekin Hospital is currently completing a $750,000 construction project to replace air handling units within the hospital, as well as a $277,000 modernization of patient elevators to improve energy efficiency and to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Pekin Hospital, which is celebrating its 100th year of service to the community, is accredited by The Joint Commission and is a past recipient of the Lincoln Foundation for Excellence Silver Award.

YWCA of Pekin Seeks Nominations for Women's Recognition Day

The YWCA is accepting nominations for outstanding leadership and achievement awards to be presented at its 32nd Annual Women’s Recognition Day luncheon on Thursday, May 9th at the Pekin Country Club. The event will begin with a social from 11:30 a.m. to noon, followed immediately by the luncheon program.

Nominations to honor outstanding accomplishments and contributions of women in their careers and community service are being accepted at the YWCA office through April 19th. To qualify, nominated women must have residence or employment in Tazewell County and meet specific criteria for the nominating category. Women may be nominated as outstanding employee or for contributions to the arts, business, professions, sports, or community service.

The arts award is given to a woman displaying skill in drama, dance, music, painting, literature, sculpting, the graphic arts, or other artistic endeavors. An accomplished banker, realtor, agent or other businesswoman, business owner or partner will receive the business award. The professions award is bestowed on an outstanding educator, lawyer, doctor, aviator, social worker, or other professional with special licensing or training.

Sports award nominations may include women who either pursue sports as a hobby or a career, or promote sports in the community. A volunteer or community leader for a nonprofit agency or other community organization will receive the community service award, and the outstanding employee award will be presented to a woman who has exhibited on-the-job excellence and loyalty to her employer.

The YWCA Board of Directors will also select the Mission Award recipient for dedication to achieving the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. In addition, Tazewell County schools will have the opportunity to honor a female student for outstanding academic, extracurricular, and volunteer leadership. Winners will be recognized at the luncheon.

Women’s Recognition Day was established in 1982 to honor the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of women in their careers and community service. Luncheon reservations are open to the public and must be made by Thursday, May 2nd. Nominations and luncheon reservation forms are available at the YWCA during regular business hours or on the YWCA website. For more information, call the YWCA at 347-2104 or visit


CIRCLE LogoThe Central Illinois Regional Chamber Legislative Effort (CIRCLE) has two upcoming events for chamber members. 

On Monday, April 29th, you and your guests are invited to join the Canton, East Peoria, Chillicothe, Morton, Pekin, Peoria, Peoria Heights, and Washington Chambers for our annual CIRCLE Legislative Reception.

This event gives the Central Illinois business community an opportunity to talk directly with area legislators about issues that impact their companies.  Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while visiting with legislators and identifying other business people with common interests.  You can download a registration for more information.  
On May 9th CIRCLE is going to Springfield.  You can join representatives from 16 chambers of commerce to learn about and advocate for a common agenda with the Illinois General Assembly. There is power in numbers! 
We will arrange meetings with legislators and key committee staff members that relate to each of our issues (Public Pension Reform, Minimum Wage, Timely Payment of Bills, and Workers Compensation Reform). You will play an active role in the discussions with the policy makers so sign up today!  Download more information and a registration form here.

Stand Against Racism

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the YWCA to Stand Against Racism!  Join with us on April 26th, as together we raise awareness that racism still exists in our communities.  The Pekin Area Chamber
of Commerce believes individuals should be treated with the dignity and repect they deserve.  To learn more about this event, or to sign up and host your own local event, visit

Family & Business Showcase

Employer Oblications Under The ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is probably one of the most complicated and far-reaching laws in our country's history. It will impact virtually every part of our economy and introduce a significant number of changes to the operations of businesses and organizations. How are you preparing your organization for this tidal wave of change?

We've joined with the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce to present two opportunities to learn more about the Affordable Care Act's impact on employers and how to best prepare for the changes.  These two lunch sessions will be held on April 2nd and May 13th. 

Download the flyer for more information and reservation instructions.  (If you had previously registered for the 3/25 event that was canceled due to the snow storm, please re-register.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chamber Annual Meeting & Reception

Chamber members are invited to join the Board of Directors for our Annual Meeting & Reception on Monday, April 22nd. Tickets are just $25. Download the flyer with all of the information.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The 2013 Class of the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy wrapped up their 10-week program with a graduation dinner at Pekin Country Club.  Skip Schermerhorn, President of Herget Bank, introduced the speaker for the evening, Dr. Michael Cross, Director of Athletics at Bradley University.  Dr. Cross spoke about his philosophy of leadership, and the challenges of leadership in his position.     Two academy participants, Fred Blanchard and Lora Jacobs, provided their impressions of the 10-week program. Chamber Events Manager Renna Hadsall, assisted by the leadership academy committee, distributed graduation certificates and gifts to each of the participants.  Chamber President Drew Leman, closed the program with a challenge to the participants to stay active and get involved.

Twenty-four participated in the 2013 academy:

Rev. Steve Anderson, First United Methodist Church
Robert Baughman, City of Pekin
Don Baxter, City of Pekin
Fred Blanchard, Commerce Bank
Manda Brown, The HOPE Chest
Jamie S Cates, Tazewell County
Holly  Crotty, TAPS Animal Shelter
Mike Denton, Illinois Corn Processing
Zak Ehrmantraut, Springleaf Financial Services
Ryan Fairchild, Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pekin
Michael  J. Freilinger, Tazewell County
Phil Gelato, PNC Bank
Malinda Grafelman, Pet Supplies Plus
Jennifer Gray, Pekin Hospital
Debby Hoehn, Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory, LLC
Joe Howe, Tazewell County
Lora Jacobs, Pekin Hospital
Rochelle Marsden, Pekin Public Library
Shena Meskimen, Leman Property Management Co.
Justin Nelson, Heartland Bank & Trust Company
Andrew Peltzer, Illinois Corn Processing
Earl Riley, First Pekin Savings Bank
Dawn Shipman, Jim Maloof Realtor
Jason Ward, Herget Bank

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome: Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria

Welcome to our newest member of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria
2200 W. Pioneer Parkway
Peoria, IL  61615
(309) 692-9880; fax 692-3738
Steve Brown, Sales Consultant, 613-0581

Offering new Lincoln's and Volvo's, with a large variety of all makes and models of per-owned vehicles.  Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria has a full service department for all makes and models and they are open 6 days a week, with pick up and drop off services for their Pekin customers!

Dale & Tammy Hicks, owners; DJ Hicks, service manager; Steve Brown, sales consultant; Dave Bell, Sales Manager; Lisa Ziebenhorn, comptroller.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ladies' Night Out Trunk Party

Pekin Hospital to Offer Diabetes Education Workshop

Pekin Hospital is pleased to offer an adult diabetes education workshop on April 15, 16, and 17. 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 April 8. To register, please call (309) 353-0719.

Primary Care Providers Offer Added Convenience

Seeing a healthcare provider at ProHealth Family Medicine and the Family Health Center of Pekin just became easier. Both offices are now offering same day appointments and extended hours.

“This is an effort to make seeing a healthcare provider more convenient and quicker,” said Dawn Moushon, Director of Practice Management. “Illness doesn’t run by a schedule and we wanted to offer patients more flexibility, including same day appointments and availability after 5 p.m.”

ProHealth Family Medicine, 600 South 13th Street, Suite I, in Pekin, is now open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The office will also be open on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon. Same day appointments are available, and new patients are welcome. Phone: (309) 346-1102.

The Family Health Center, 19 Olt Avenue in Pekin, is now open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours have been extended on Wednesdays when the center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Same day appointments are available, and new patients are welcome. Phone (309) 353-6301.

ProHealth operates primary care and specialty practices in Pekin, Illinois. ProHealth is part of Progressive Health Systems, which also includes Pekin Hospital, and Pekin Hospital Home Health. This year marks Pekin Hospital’s 100th year of service to the community.

Leadership Visits Springfield

The students in the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy visited Springfield today.  They heard from area legislators including Senator Dave Koehler, Senator Darin LaHood, Representative Mike Unes and Representative Keith Sommer.  They also toured the Capitol, watched a committee hearing, and visited the Abraham Lincoln Museum.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pekin Main Street Celebrates New Office

Pekin Main Street held an open house on March 14th to celebrate the grand opening of their new office location. The event was also part of their annual volunteer appreciation party. The new office is located at 15 S. Capitol, Suite 219. Their phone number is still 353-3100. More information about the organization and their events can be found at:  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Mist Celebrates 15 Years

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce congratulated Mist on their 15th anniversary with a ribbon cutting on March 14. The salon, formerly known as the Hair Depot, is co-owned by Stacie Rose and Michele Lawson. Representatives of the chamber joined Stacie, Michele and the other stylists for the ribbon cutting. The celebration continued into the evening with a reception at Kouri's Pub. Located at 300 Broadway, Mist offers complete hair care and facial waxing services. Walk-ins are welcomed, but appointments (353-3768) are highly recommended. While maintaining personal and individual care, Mist is a busy, upbeat, and progressive salon.  More pictures from this and other chamber events can be found at:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Focus Forward CI Survey

Focus Forward CI is a regional economic development planning initiative that aims to improve the quality and quantity of jobs in Central Illinois. This survey is geared toward Generation Y or 20 - 40 year old individuals within the region, to gain their valuable insights on quality of life and the economic opportunities in the Central Illinois Region. Thank you for taking 5 - 10 minutes to answer these questions found at the link below.  

Businesses React to Proposed Minimum Wage Hike

In his State of the State address last month, Governor Pat Quinn proposed increasing the Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 to at least $10.50.  The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce asked its members their opinion on this proposal, and what the impact might be to the regional business community.

Of the 135 responses received by the chamber, 77% were opposed to the increase while 18% were  in favor of it, and 5% had no opinion. 

Based on the overwhelming opposition to the proposal, the Board of Directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution of opposition.  The resolution will be sent to Governor Quinn and the Pekin area legislators.

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Fleming said beyond support or opposition, he also wanted to know what unintended consequences might result if the proposal is passed. 

“Businesses said they would be forced to increase their prices, which would be passed on to consumers," said Fleming.  Many respondents said they would also hire less employees or reduce the number of hours their employees worked.  

"Some said they would have to shift their hiring focus to more skilled employees leaving the lesser skilled workers out of the labor market.  These are unintended consequences that will have an significant impact on the marketplace,” said Fleming.  

Other Chambers of Commerce throughout the region, including Peoria, East Peoria, Lincoln/Logan County, McLean County, Springfield, Canton and Champaign County also conducted surveys with their membership.

Combined, more than 1,150 people responded and the results were overwhelmingly against the proposal - 86% of the respondents were in opposition.  Additionally, 25% said a minimum wage hike will force them to increase prices, 21% said they will have to reduce staff in order to compensate for the wage increase and 21% said wage creep will affect their business negatively.

The current minimum wage increase proposal is SB0068.  It is the same bill introduced last session by Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).  This bill would increase minimum wage 50 cents per year until it reaches $10.50 which is estimated to be comparable to the minimum wage when it was first passed in the 1960’s.  It would then continue to increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

2013 Annual Board of Directors Meeting and Reception

Sumer Wellness: Botox with your Besties Event

A “Botox with your Besties” party can be scheduled with two or more people. It is preferred for parties to be scheduled on late afternoon or evenings. (However the schedule can be flexible). Available days for scheduling a party are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Fridays. Tuesdays are not available.

Botox at Sumer Wellness is sold at $12/unit. The average number of units required for treatment will vary by individual. Each party guest must purchase a minimum of 20 units. Botox Cosmetic can last up to six months.

Sumer Wellness will provide light snacks for the party (cheese, crackers, etc.).

Discounts for “Botox Party” are as follows:

2 patients- $30 off of total discount ($20 deducted from treatment cost and a $10 SW gift certificate with 3 month expiration).

3 patients- $40 off total discount ($30 deducted from treatment cost and a $10 SW gift certificate with 3 month expiration).

4 patients- $50 off total discount ($40 deducted from treatment cost and a $10 SW gift certificate with 3 month expiration).

5 patients- $60 off total discount ($50 deducted from treatment cost and a $10 SW gift certificate with 3 month expiration).

For more information please contact Sumer Wellness at 309-620-9600 and ask for Merry or Amber.

*Maximum of 5 patients per party

*A deposit of $100 per person is required to reserve the party date and time

*All guests receive the discounts and the party “host” will receive a special gift from SW for hosting the party.

Pekin Hospital to Offer Diabetic Foot Screening

Pekin Hospital will offer a free diabetic foot screening on March 26 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Pekin Orthopedic Center located at 2351 Broadway in Pekin. Podiatrist Dr. Kurt Glesne will perform the screenings to identify patients at risk for diabetic foot complications.

The foot screening will include assessment of nerve damage, reduced blood flow, and structural foot deformities, ultimately reducing the risk of future complications including lower extremity amputations. In addition to the foot exam, body mass index (BMI), blood sugar, and blood pressures will also be performed.

Foot health is very important for people with type 2 diabetes because the condition is often linked to poor circulation and peripheral neuropathy (disease of the nerves). When people with diabetes don’t take proper care of their feet, they can get skin ulcers (sores). Foot sores take a long time to heal and can lead to complications, like amputation or death. According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as one in four people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime.

If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association offers the following tips for taking care of your feet:

· Check your feet every day. Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.

· Wash your feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes.

· If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them when needed. Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.

· Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.

· Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Don't put your feet into hot water. Test water before putting your feet in it just as you would before bathing a baby. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets. You can burn your feet without realizing it.

· Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two (2) or three (3) times a day. Don't cross your legs for long periods of time.

Appointments are required. Please call (309) 353-0662 to make your appointment or visit As a reminder to participants, screenings are not intended to take the place of regular physical examinations, but are offered as an opportunity for individuals to learn more about their own health.

Pekin Hospital, which is celebrating its 100th year of service to the community, is accredited by The Joint Commission and is a past recipient of the Lincoln Foundation for Excellence Silver Award.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

19th Annual Partners in Peace Awards Luncheon

The 19th Annual Partners In Peace Awards Luncheon will be held Tuesday,March 19 at noon at the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom. Individuals and groups in the community who further the vision of The Center for Prevention of Abuse, to build a safe and peaceful community, will be honored. The luncheon also recognizes volunteers from The Center for their dedication of time, talent and energy.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Sara Rusch, is the Regional Dean for the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP). She is recognized as an educator and mentor of young physicians, an academic leader and a skilled clinician. 

UICOMP and the CENTER for PREVENTION of ABUSE are involved in a special initiative through a grant from the Illinois Dept of Public Health and the Illinois Violence Prevention. This initiative involves the development of new training modules to educate residents, nurses and other healthcare providers to better respond to issues of abuse. 

This year, the focus is elder abuse. Next year it will be sexual assault and the third year will be domestic violence. The goal of cross training is to improve healthcare’s response to abuse by establishing a system-wide understanding of abuse as a major health concern.
There will also be a brief press conference before the luncheon to announce the award recipients to the press. The conference will be at 11:15 am in the Peoria Civic Center Grand Ballroom. 

Tickets are 40.00 each and tables of 10 are available. Make a reservation by calling Lisa Prather@       691-0551 or go to
Sponsors of the event include Ameren, WEEK-TV, HOI-19, Lite Rock 107, Verizon Wireless, CEFCU,
Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, Bonnie Schofield in memory of Chuck Schofield, Farnsworth Group,
Par-a-Dice Hotel Casino, Peoria Magazines, and Times Newspapers.

Pekin Hospital Offers Presentation on Peripheral Vascular Disease

To raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, Pekin Hospital will offer a free presentation, “PVD: Know the Facts. Know Your Risks,” on Thursday, March 28 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Pekin Hospital in Park Court Conference Center.

Jennifer Ash, M.D., vascular surgeon with HeartCare Midwest, will discuss Peripheral Vascular Disease, its symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, as well as treatment options. Peripheral Vascular Disease develops silently and affects the arteries of more than 10 million Americans. It refers to the diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain that cause poor circulation to the toes, feet, legs, and hands. PVD can cause an increase in your risk for heart attack or stroke.

Free blood pressures will be provided beginning at 5:30 p.m. A light dinner will also be served. This program is open to men and women. Join Pekin Hospital to learn about PVD and what you can do to prevent it.

Registration is required and can be made by calling (309) 353-0662.

Pekin Hospital, which is celebrating its 100th year of service to the community, is accredited by The Joint Commission and is a past recipient of the Lincoln Foundation for Excellence Silver Award.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sunset Hills St. Patrick's Day Specials

St. Patty's Party
Saturday, March 16

Corn Beef & Cabbage $8.95
Reuben & our famous Home-Made Chips  $7.95
~ Green Beer & Whiskey Specials ~

Karaoke with guest D.J. Angi Flanagan
(with a name like Flanagan...need we say more?)

Can't make it Saturday night?  Don't worry!  Join them Sunday, St. Patrick's Day for the same menu!

Public Policy Event

Focus Forward CI Update: Tazewell County

Many people have asked what’s happening with the Focus Forward CI effort in Tazewell County.  Bill Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, and chair of the Tazewell County team provided this update.  (You can learn more about the entire Focus Forward CI initiative at:

I would characterize Tazewell County as early adopters of Focus Forward CI.  Last September Tazewell County Administrator Michael Freilinger appointed a diverse group of economic development professionals and business leaders from throughout the county to our committee.  We’ve lost a couple members but added some new members, too.  Below is a list of the people that have been involved on our committee.

  • John Anderson, County Engineer, Tazewell County
  • Kathie Brown, Leadership in Local Government Extension Educator, University of Illinois Extension 
  • Leslie Cameron, Branch Manager, Heartland Bank - Delavan
  • Kristal Deininger, Community Development Administrator, Tazewell County
  • August Eilts, Village President, Village of Hopedale
  • Wendy Ferrill, Treasurer/Comptroller, Village of Morton
  • Kristi Fitzanko, Senior Sales Executive, Ameren
  • Bill Fleming, Executive Director, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Freilinger, County Administrator, Tazewell County
  • Shelly Hranka, Owner, Pyramid Printing
  • Steve Jaeger, Executive Director, Heart of Illinois Regional Port District
  • Ty Livingston, Director of Planning & Community Development, City of East Peoria
  • Steven W. Martin,  Assistant Director     Workforce Development / Career Link
  • Leigh Ann Matthews, Economic Development Coordinator, City of Pekin
  • Jon Oliphant, Planning & Development Director, City of Washington
  • Chevie Ruder, Executive Director, Washington Chamber of Commerce
  • Kay Sutton, Dean of Public Services, Community Outreach, ICC North, ICC South, Illinois Central College
  • Rick Swan, Executive Director, East Peoria Chamber of Commerce
  • Kim Uhlig, Business Development Director, Morton Chamber of Commerce/EDC

Our committee first met on October 4th.  We met four times in October and early November, discussing our purpose and also planning the Tazewell County asset mapping event we held on November 13th at the Ashland House in Morton.

After a wrap up of that event, we met a few more times to plan the vertical asset mapping event on Education & Workforce Development held on January 8th at ICC South in Pekin.

Since then we’ve met about three times each month.  To date we’ve completed the following tasks:

  • We prepared a SWOT analysis of economic development in Tazewell County. 
  • We took the regional list of unique assets and pared it down to Tazewell-specific assets.  We also added a few more assets to the list.  
  • We filtered the assets and, combined with industry concentrations identified our high value / high demand industry clusters.
  • We took the regional SMART goals and developed our country specific measurements.  We even broke a few of those goals down to the municipal level for Pekin, Morton, East Peoria, and Washington.

As we work towards the July celebration milestone event, our Tazewell team has several important tasks yet to complete:

  • Finalize the draft of our county’s primary issues of challenges and opportunities
  • Plan a vertical asset mapping of the county’s TDL (Transportation, Distribution and Logistics) assets.  The committee sees this as our county’s highest value / highest demand industry cluster.
  • Conduct additional rural outreach to ensure we’re getting input and buy-in from some of the smaller communities in the county who have not been actively involved.
  • Finalize the draft of our SMART goals, objectives, and action plans.  We’ve already got a good start on this task.  But we need to make sure it addresses our issues of challenge and opportunity, and that it is a balanced approach.
  • Invest time validating our work with our elected officials – especially those in the four large municipalities and the country board.  

It’s been a great journey so far.  The people involved on our committee have been working as a team as we've moved through this process.  We look forward to July, when we’ll present the final plan.

Alzheimer’s Association to hold Open House

The Alzheimer’s Association-Central Illinois Chapter will host an open house on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at its headquarters, 606 W. Glen Ave., Peoria. The event will run from 4 to 7 p.m.

Guests will have a chance to meet staff members and learn about our education programs, information services, advocacy efforts, research support and special events. Refreshments will be served, and there will be door prizes.

For more information, call the Central Illinois Chapter toll free at 800.272.3900 or 681.1100.

The Alzheimer's Association – Central Illinois Chapter is a donor-supported, not-for-profit health organization serving 20 counties in Illinois. For additional information or for help, please visit the website at or call 800.272.3900.

Bergner's Goodwill Sale Offers 25% Off Coupons

Goodwill of Central Illinois and Bergner’s will hold their semi-annual donation drive from Wednesday, March 13 through Saturday, March 30. During the promotion, every item donated to Goodwill will earn the donor a 25% off coupon from Bergner’s.

Donations can be made at any Goodwill or Bergner’s location.

On the opening day of the sale, March 13, donors will receive double coupons. For every one item donated, they will receive two coupons. On that day, Goodwill will have a truck at the Bergner’s at The Shoppes at Grand Prairie. The goal is to “Stuff the Truck” with donations.

Discount coupons can be used on items not normally on sale, such as fragrances, cosmetics and electronics. The sale of these donated items provides the funding Goodwill needs to provide free programs and services to the people of Central Illinois.

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 youth ages 12 to 17. For more information on retail stores, donation centers and vocational services, visit the website at or call the Administrative Offices at (309) 682-1113.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Potential New Employer Seeks Input

Local economic development leaders are working with a potential new employer to evaluate the labor availability in the Peoria area. If the employer chooses to locate in Peoria, they would open a Contact Center facility and plan to employ up to 200 individuals at full capacity.

Approximately 50 Contact Center positions would be immediately available. These employees would serve clients in a variety of industries by providing customer service and sales support to their customers. Positions would pay $9.00-$10.00 per hour, plus bonus and benefits.

Qualified candidates must have excellent communication skills and be comfortable using a computer while assisting customers. Must be 18 years old and pass a criminal background check.

You can express interest in working for this potential new employer by completing a brief questionnaire at ( Completed questionnaires will be shared with the employer and you may be contacted regarding an available position should they choose to open a Contact Center facility in Peoria.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PAL Health Technologies Has Joined the Chamber

PAL Health Technologies, 1805 Riverway Drive, Pekin, IL 61554; (309) 347-8785;; Kimberly Chaney, accounting manager; Business hours: Monday - Thursday 6:00am - 5:30pm; PAL Health Tech is a national leader of corrective footwear. They manufacture custom, prescription orthoses, ankle braces, and diabetic inserts.

Hallmark House Egg Hunt

A Busy Leadership Academy

The R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy has been busy the past couple weeks. They've learned about the Tazewell County government, efforts of the Coalition for Equality, the issues and challenges of the local school districts, and they've toured Tazewell Machine Works and the Illinois Air National Guard.  You can see more pictures at:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mist Joins the Chamber

Mist, 300 Broadway, Pekin, IL 61554; (309) 353-3768; Stacie Rose and Michele Lawson, co-owners; Mist offers complete haircare and facial waxing services. Walk-ins are welcomed, but appointments are highly recommended. While maintaining personal and individual care, Mist is a busy, upbeat, and progressive salon.

TCRC Wins State Tourism Award

Several weeks ago, the Illinois Office of Tourism nominated Tazewell County Resource Centers, Inc. as a possible award recipient for its work in helping to share the opportunities and benefits of Illinois tourism with the general public.

In an Academy Awards themed event held on February 27, 2013 at the Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism, TCRC won a “Best Supporting Actor” award in the category “Cooperative Partnerships”.  Libby Holbrook, the TCRC Vice-President of Clinical and Business Services, and Lori Durdel, Director of Business Services, were on hand to accept the award. “We were so honored to have been nominated … and now, humbled to have won,” commented Ms. Holbrook.

 She went on to say, “It’s a very special feeling when our developmentally disabled service recipients get recognized for all of their effort and hard work.”

For a number of years now, TCRC has had a contract with the Office of Tourism to provide mailing, and other, services for Illinois. If someone contacts the state asking for brochures, maps, or other tourism information, TCRC fulfills that request. The agency also provides material for the travel information centers throughout the state.

The Governor’s Conference honors innovative tourism marketing initiatives that promote the destinations, attractions, and events throughout Illinois – website, social media marketing, visitor’s publications, and cooperative partnerships.

Tazewell County Resource Centers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit social service agency serving children and adults with developmental disabilities and visual impairment in central Illinois. More information about our programs and services can be found at

Please contact Libby Holbrook, the TCRC Vice-President of Clinical and Business Services, at (309) 347-7148 or

Gateway Offers Long Distance Support for Loved Ones in Recovery

When the best treatment for a person's substance abuse or drug addiction isn't close to home, it makes it difficult for family members to participate in the treatment of a loved one.

Recognizing family involvement is an integral aspect that provides both immediate and long-term benefits to individuals in recovery, Gateway Foundation Lake Villa has added a valuable feature to its Family Program to assist families that live at a distance through online Family Video Counseling.

How Does Family Video Counseling Work?

An experienced Family Therapist or Counselor facilitates individual family sessions via video teleconference to address concerns related to substance abuse in an open and respectful manner. We use a secure video conferencing software application that is fully compliant with federal health regulations to ensure privacy.
Video family counseling is available to families with loved ones in Residential Treatment.

What Families Will Gain

Improved communication skills
Coping skills
An understanding of how to support a chemically dependent individual
Insight into what to expect in recovery
Family Video Counseling is currently available at the Lake Villa Treatment Center and will be available for families at our Carbondale Treatment Center in March 2013.

Pekin Rotary Seeks Grant Applicants

The Rotary Club of Pekin will again award grants to not-for-profit organizations serving the good of our community. The grants are the distribution of profits earned from the annual Marigold Festival pork chop sales. Organizations requesting grant funding must submit their request in writing. The application must contain a cover letter, a one page proposal including budget details, and tax exempt number. Please submit your application (up to $500) to Rotary Club of Pekin, P.O. Box 694, Pekin, IL 61555. Applications must be postmarked by March 20, 2013. Any requests received after this date will not be considered. Awards will be distributed in May.