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.         

Monday, November 18, 2013

Living Alternatives Ribbon Cutting

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin welcomed a new business to Pekin with a ribbon cutting on November 15th.  Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center is located at 1618 Valle Vista Blvd.  Living Alternatives is committed to saving the lives of unborn children by promoting life-affirming options and providing practical assistance, while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed, and to minister restoration to those who have been wounded by the trauma of abortion.  They can be reached at 309.620.9227 or  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Pekin Hospital Auxiliary Bake/Craft Sale

The Pekin Hospital Auxiliary will hold their annual Bake/Craft Sale and Raffle on Wednesday, December 4 from 6 – 8 p.m. and Thursday, December 5 from 6 a.m. – noon in the Pekin Hospital Lobby.

The event will feature a variety of homemade items including:  breads, cakes, candy, and cookies.  There will also be assorted crafts and plants available for purchase.  Raffle tickets for $1 each are also available for purchase inside the Hospital Lobby on November 25, 26, and 27, and December 2, 3, 4, and 5.  Raffle prizes include:  $100, $75, and $50.  The raffle drawing will be held at noon on December 5 inside the Hospital’s Lobby.  Need not be present to win.

Proceeds from the event will support the Pekin Hospital Auxiliary Financial Assistance Fund, which awards financial assistance each year to area youths interested in pursuing careers in health-related fields.

Pekin Hospital to Offer Healthcare Provider CPR Course

Pekin Hospital is pleased to offer a Healthcare Provider CPR course for nursing students and others who are entering a health occupation field in the January 2014 semester.  A full professional rescue CPR class is scheduled for December 12 from 4 – 8:30 p.m. in the 4 South Education Classroom at Pekin Hospital.

The cost of the class is $35 and will include the course manual.  Registration is required and class size is limited.  To register, please call (309) 353-0351 or email

The CPR class is offered through the American Heart Association, and participants will receive a two-year card upon completion.  If you or someone you know is entering nursing school or any other health occupation course this winter (such as radiology or respiratory therapy), this is a CPR class that is accepted by all colleges of nursing in the Central Illinois area.

Shop Small on November 30th

From the corner café with the tasty cappuccinos to the jeweler who can design and make the perfect customized gift, our streets are brimming with special stores that are the heartbeat of our neighborhood. 

Small Business Saturday® is a day to support the local businesses we love. This year, the big day is Nov 30, and we want you to get out and Shop Small. Let’s make this the most successful Small Business Saturday yet! Discover more ways to join in at

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Are your e-mails mobile-friendly?

Why care if your e-mails are mobile-friendly?  Because nearly half of your e-mails are viewed on a mobile device!

According to, 42% of emails are opened on a mobile device.  And, according to, 70% of e-mails “that don’t look good” on a mobile device are immediately deleted.

Try these tips to make your e-mails mobile-friendly:
  1. Write a succinct subject line.  Many mobile e-mail apps will only display the first 35 characters of the subject line in the inbox.  Use as few words as possible to accurately reflect the reason for the email.
  2. Get right to the point in the first line of the body of your email.  Some mobile e-mail apps preview the e-mail in the inbox by displaying the first 85 characters of your email.
  3. Increase your font size.  Use at least 14-point font for the body and 22-point font for headlines.
  4. Keep your e-mails brief.  Remember that 1 line of text on your desktop equals 3 lines of text on a smart phone.  Compose your email like it’s a 140-character text message.
  5. Simplify your email formats by using just one column of text.  Minimize the use of pictures and graphics.
  6. Eliminate all the unnecessary information many people include under their signature line.
  7. Use easy-to-tap buttons instead of text links.  Or, make the text links a much larger font size.  Remember, nearly half of your recipients will be clicking those links with their fingers, not a mouse cursor.
  8. Use high contrast black text on a white background.  Avoid using color backgrounds and stationary templates.

Review your e-mails before you send them.  With a little practice you can make all your e-mails mobile-friendly.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Library Offers Health Insurance Marketplace Assistance

The Pekin Public Library will host certified staff from the Heartland Community Health Clinic to assist in the enrollment for the new Health Insurance Marketplace on Wednesday, November 20th, from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the library's Community Room.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

MSI Welcomed to Pekin

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin welcomed a new business to Pekin with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  MSI (Mortgage Services III) is located at 3210 Court Street, where Vikki Price is the Senior Loan Officer.   Mortgage Services III, LLC is one of the fastest growing lenders in the country realizing a total production of over 18,000 loans totaling 3.2 billion in 2009. MSI exceeded expectations again in 2010 funding nearly 20,000 home loans. Mortgage Services III, LLC specializes in Wholesale and Correspondent Lending.  Their expertise in government lending (FHA, VA, USDA Rural Development) and conventional mortgage products provides a one stop shop for all mortgage lending needs.  They can be reached at (309) 353-5626 or

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mashie's Invites You to Their Upcoming Events

November 15th - Italian Night  - There will be several stations set up for "tastings" of various Italian dishes! Enjoy wine tasting while checking out the Italian cuisine. Look forward to a fun, casual night.

December 2nd - Mashie's 3rd Annual "Women for a Cause!" TOYS FOR TOTS 
Deliver the Magic of Christmas while enjoying a "Ladies Night Out" by attending our annual Toys for Tots event. Cash bar & dinner menu available. YOU can spread the message of hope to needy children in our community and catch up on some "girl time" -- all in one night. Bring a friend! This community can make a BIG difference. Bring an UNWRAPPED toy with a value of no more than $15.00.

December 31st - New Year's Eve 2013 - Mashie's will host their Annual New Year's Eve Party! 
More information to come on this event. 

All these events will take place at Mashie's Pub & Eatery, 1620 Summit Drive, Pekin, IL 61554

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing Honored with Six Pinnacle Awards

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing, a communications firm headquartered in Pekin, Ill., recently received six Pinnacle Awards in a ceremony sponsored by its peers. The ceremony was recently held in Fontana, Wis., as part of a joint conference for the Illinois Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations (ISHMPR) and Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society (WHPRMS). Each year, the Pinnacle Awards are presented for excellence in healthcare marketing and public relations.

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing was recognized with the following honors:

Award of Excellence
Pekin Hospital – Special Event – Centennial Ball
Rochelle Community Hospital – Advertising Campaign – RCH “Proof”

Honorable Mention
CGH Medical Center – Advertising Campaign – “Encircling Care”
Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital – Community Newsletter – Culbertson Connection
IIlinois Valley Community Hospital – E-marketing & Social Networking – Women’s Health Center Blog
Jersey Community Hospital – Community Newsletter – JCH Full Circle

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing draws on more than 45 years of experience to help strategically plan and execute marketing tactics for hospitals and physician practices throughout the Midwest. McDaniels also has client service offices in Bloomington and Rockford, Ill., as well as the Quad Cities. McDaniels Interactive specializes in developing websites, animation, videos, e-surveys, kiosks, ecommerce, content management systems, search engine marketing, optimization and social media to fit a variety of budgets.

Bard Optical to Give Bifocals to Seniors at the Holidays

It’s easy to see that “Vision for Life” means just that at Peoria’s premier vision center. This holiday Bard Optical will partner with the South Side Mission to donate a pair of bifocal eyeglasses for each pair sold starting December 1, 2013.
Bard has always been an active participant in the community giving back to several charitable foundations in the past. Diana Hall, Owner and President of Bard Optical says, “It is at this time of year in particular that we want to keep all who are less fortunate in mind.” This contribution comes during the season of giving and will be well received by the seniors of the South Side Mission as Hall states, “One of the least recognized groups in our community is the elderly, and Bard hopes to bring attention to this generation.”
The South Side Mission’s Executive Director, Phil Newton shares his gratitude by saying, “South Side Mission is thrilled that Bard Optical will be helping needy seniors on the South Side of Peoria through our Elderly Services Ministry.  It's no surprise, though, as Bard has been helping us make lives brighter for years."
The Buy One Give One contribution will go through the month of December until December 25, 2013. Anyone can participate in giving the gift of sight this holiday at any Peoria Bard Optical location.

Fleming Earns Accredited Chamber Executive Designation

                Bill Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce was recently honored at the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (IACCE) Fall Conference in East Peoria.  Fleming was recognized for meeting the criteria established for an Accredited Chamber Executive (ACE).
                Qualified applicants for the ACE designation must have at least five years of continuous service as a chamber professional, be a member of IACCE, verify attendance at conferences, exhibit leadership roles in the organizations, and demonstrate involvement and proven accomplishments at the local chamber level.
                Applicants were also required to submit a letter of recommendation from the chief volunteer
officer of their organization.
                Fleming has led the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce since June of 2001.  He has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, and previously worked in the cable television industry.  He serves on numerous local boards and committees.
                The IACCE initiated the Accredited Chamber Executive program in 1997 to recognize the professional competency of chamber of commerce executives in Illinois.  To date 17 active chamber executives have earned the Illinois Accredited Chamber Executive designation. The letters “ACE” after a chamber executive’s name denote the accreditation.
                For more information about the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, visit their website at

AAIM Customer Service Training in Pekin December 3rd

Building a relationship is the most important objective of customer service. The relationship you have with your customer is something that your competition can't take away from you. This results-oriented workshop focuses on exceeding customer expectations for both your internal and external clients.

At the end of this class you will be able to:
•define customer service
•identify customer expectations
•maintain a positive attitude
•be a team player
•identify a culture of service
•communicate effectively
•use email effectively
•use proper phone etiquette
•exceed customer expectations

Topics that will be covered:
•customer service challenges and how to overcome them
•building and maintaining a positive attitude
•the importance of being a team player
•what creates a service culture
•the importance of making a good first impression
•understanding the communication process
•identifying barriers to communication
•listening effectively and asking appropriate questions
•email etiquette
•phone etiquette


Debbie Johnson has been in the Training and Development industry for 29 years. Debbie has a B.S. in Secondary Education, and a Master's Degree in Adult Education, both from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Prior to coming to AAIM, Debbie was with ExecuTrain for 18 years. She held a variety of postiions including professional development trainer, Director of Training, and General Manager. Prior to ExecuTrain she taught at Patricia Stevens College and Nickey College. Debbie is a member of ASTD and enjoys volunterring at the St. Louis Crisis Nursery.

Member Cost: $195 NonMember Cost: $273
Register 3 individuals and get 1 free.
Fee includes all handout materials and a copy of the book "180 Ways to Walk the Leadership Talk."
*All Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Members will be able to register at the "Member" price.

Pekin Public Library, 301 S. 4th Street, Pekin IL 61554
December, 3rd 1:30pm - 5:00pm

For more information or to register visit

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chamber Challenge Trivia Nite Fun

The Chamber Ambassadors hosted their 8th annual Chamber Challenge Trivia Nite on November 8th.  Eleven teams competed in this fun networking event.  And for the 6th time in 8 years, the winner was the team from Herget Bank.  Thanks to all of our sponsors, including Pekin Insurance, Herget Bank, Heartland Bank, and Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria.  To see more pictures from this event visit:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pekin Hospital After Hours

Chamber members and their guests attended the November Business After Hours at Pekin Hospital.  CEO Gary Jepson welcomed the guests and thanked them for their support.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

Applebee's Celebrates Remodel

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin helped Applebee's celebrate their grand reopening with a ribbon cutting this morning. Their recent remodeling included an auction of their old memorabilia, with the proceeds donated to The HOPE Chest. The remodeling effort took about a week and included updating inside and to the exterior of the building.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

New Regional EDC Board of Directors Selected

Economic Development Council of Central Illinois announced today that a new board of directors has been selected and officially seated for the organization. The new board members are as follows:

  • Jim Baumgartner, Caterpillar
  • Bill Blessman, Mason County
  • Meridith Bunch, Midstate College
  • Bill Comstock, Sheet Metal Workers Local 1
  • Songo Dede, DSM-H
  • Nick Esser, Heartland Bank
  • Jake Hamman, One Fire Media
  • Mike Hinrichsen, Woodford County
  • Bill Martin, Logan County
  • Libby Mathers, Harvest Café
  • Tom O’Neill, Peoria County
  • Charles Purcell, G&D Integrated
  • Dan Sleaford, Weaver Popcorn
  • Bill Spears, J.C. Dillon Plumbing
  • Keith Steffen, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
  • David Zimmerman, Tazewell County
An interim board has been leading a re-organizing of the EDC in partnership with Focus Forward CI, a regional economic development strategy initiative that started in 2012. Through the re-organization process, a new board has been selected to represent both the public and private sectors across a five county region that includes Logan, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties.
The new board will have an orientation session on Wednesday, November 13th and will then plan a first board meeting to begin the process of implementing their new structure and economic development strategy. A CEO search for the organization is currently underway.
The EDC of Central Illinois is a non-profit organization that fosters economic growth in the five county region.
The Economic Development Council (EDC) of Central Illinois strengthens the economy of the region through the strategic pursuit and retention of high quality jobs and quality of life enhancements, and the relentless support of local business, workforce, community and economic development efforts.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Join Pekin Main Street for Craft Beer Night

Come celebrate the art of beer at Pekin Main Street’s first Craft Beer Night, Thursday, November 21 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Speakeasy Art Center, 353 Court Street in downtown Pekin.
Sample beers from Pekin’s newest brewer, Crescent Sun Brewing Co. as well as Destihl Brewery out of Normal, Illinois. Groucho & CHUD from The Beer Report podcast will also be joining the festivities.
Admission is a $10 donation at the door with all proceeds benefiting Pekin Main Street’s efforts to restore and revitalize downtown Pekin. Contact Pekin Main Street at 309-353-3100 for more information or email

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tazwood Center For Wellness

Tazwood Center for Wellness held a Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony today at its Pekin office at 3248 Vandever Avenue.

Tazwood Board Chair, Tom Quinn, along with Tazwood CEO, Dave Mingus, and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce were joined by several community representatives to dedicate Tazwood's new Supervised Visitation Rooms in Pekin and East Peoria.

The Supervised Visitation Rooms provide safe and healthy visiting environments for children and non-custodial parents. They offer a comfortable family visiting area, which is staffed by a Visitation Supervisor to facilitate drop off and pick up of the children and to encourage appropriate communication and interaction between children and the visiting parent.

Anita Keller, Tazwood's Supervised Visitation Program Coordinator said, "This is a much needed service for Tazewell County and is made possible through the efforts of the Tazewell County Court System, and several local attorneys, as well as the significant generosity of the Forgotten Initiative, combined with support from the Pekin Rotary Club and Pekin Sunset Kiwanis Club."

40 Leaders Under Forty

The 20th annual class of "40 Leaders Under Forty" was unveiled at a ceremony at the Par-A-Dice Hotel last night.  You can find more information about the program and the winners at:

Congratulations to all the winners...
  • Josh Adams, June Restaurant
  • Dr. Bhagat S. Aulakh, Illinois Lung Institute
  • Anne M. Bowman, Hult Center for Healthy Living
  • Vincent M. Boyle, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen
  • Jennifer A. Brooks, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Tamara Camille Butler, Peoria Public Schools
  • Cory M. Byrd, Maurer-Stutz Inc.
  • Angelia Camacho, OSF Saint Francis Inc.
  • Jill K. Crowder, Petersen Hotels
  • Joseph D. Dalfonso, Bradley University
  • Brandon Dean, Dean Custom Builders Inc.
  • Amy S. Dennison, Children's Home Association of Illinois
  • Lucas Ebbing, WestPoint Financial Group
  • Amanda L. Gavin, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
  • Chris Gray, Illinois Central College
  • A.J. Guyton, Illinois Central College
  • Dean Heffta, Water Street Solutions
  • Bradley S. Henz, RC Race Management
  • Jennifer Hopwood, OSF HealthCare
  • William (Trip) James, Illinois National Bank
  • Sarah Kilja Johnson, Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center
  • Britta Jost, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Shalonda R. Knox, Peoria City/County Health Department
  • James J. Lynch, Greater Peoria Business Alliance
  • Dr. Heather Meredith McLauchlan, UICOMP
  • Jennifer L. Morris, Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo
  • Kelly Perkins, Centre State International Trucks Inc.
  • Emily Points, Illinois Central College
  • Greg Rastatter, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen PC
  • Gabriel M. Rodriguez, P.J. Hoerr Inc.
  • Erin N. Rogers, Easter Seals
  • Dr. Jeffrey R. Ruskusky, Ruskusky Foot and Ankle Clinic
  • Leanne L. Skuse, River City Construction LLC
  • Rebecca L. Somogyi, CEFCU
  • \Ryan M. Taylor, UnityPoint Health – Methodist
  • Julie K. Walker, Julie K Music
  • David B. Wiest, Hasselberg Grebe Snodgrass Urban & Wentworth
  • Leslie Williams Seiler, Simantel Group Ltd.
  • Michael Wolf, Farnsworth Group Inc.
  • Matthew A. Zick, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pekin Insurance Ribbon Cutting

Pekin Insurance held a ribbon cutting today to officially open their new facility on Parkway Drive. 

Their property and casualty claims department moved from their home office into the building that was most recently the corporate headquarters for  Aventine Renewable Energy.

Pekin Insurance purchased the property and began remodeling efforts nearly two years ago.  The company continues to grow, and needed the additional space. 

Pekin Insurance is one of the largest employers in Pekin, with nearly 600 employees.  About 120 employees will work at the new claims facility.

You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Get in on Small Business Saturday

Are you a small business owner? Make Nov 30 one of the biggest days of the year for your business by taking part in Small Business Saturday®. Check out resources that can help you stand out on the big day at

  • SPREAD THE WORD: Download marketing materials that can help you attract new customers on the day
  • PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS: Apply for free personalized online ads. Eligibility restrictions apply; see Terms of Participation for full details. Registration for free ads closes on 11/4/13 or while supplies last. 
  • GET INSPIRED: Visit to see what others have done in past years to make the day a success 
This is a day no small business would want to miss. Make sure you’re a part of Small Business Saturday 2013.

Business Credit Report Seminar

KCB will conduct a seminar on Business Credit Reports
on Monday Jan. 13, 2014 at 2:00pm

Do you have Delinquent Business Accounts?
Do you make loans or grant credit to corporations LLPs, LLCs or DBAs?
Do you make loans to Farmers who are incorporated?
Do you rent or lease to businesses?
Do you offer checking accounts to businesses?
Would you like a listing of your Portfolio,
with a summary of previous credit reports?
If you answered YES to any of these, you should 
attend this seminar

Call or email to reserve a seat in this presentation. 

Ph. 309-353-5527 Fax: 309-353-5541

Congratulations to the KCB Staff

Deborah Rathmel, Karen Zimmerman, Susan Roberts and Larry Nelson are now Certified FICO Pros.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Business After Hours November 7th, 2013

Don't forget to RSVP for Business After Hours, Thursday, November 7th at Pekin Hospital. 

Pekin Community High School Students Recognized

Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107 are proud to recognize Pekin Community High School students Lexie Yeley and Elizabeth Dill as recipients of the Pekin Community High School (PCHS) Student Award for October.

Elizabeth, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Jyl Mason, a Social Studies teacher at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Mason cited Elizabeth’s contributions to Lacrosse, Crossfit, and her classroom.

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.

APICS - Lincoln Land Chapter Joins the Chamber

APICS - Lincoln Land Chapter
PO Box 2236
East Peoria, IL 61611
Betty Kelly, VP of Marketing
APICS is the leading professional association for supply chain operations management and the premier provider of research, education and certification programs that elevate end-to-end supply chain excellence innovation and resilience. APICS Certified Supply Chain Professionals (CSCP) designations set the industry standard. APICS is transforming the way people do business, drive growth and reach global customers.

Heartland Bank Adds Shelly Blair as Retail Manager

Heartland Bank and Trust Company proudly announces the hiring of Shelly Blair as Retail Manager for the bank’s Pekin branch locations at 3400 Court St. and 2807 Broadway Rd. She is responsible for developing new customer business; ensuring value and top-of-the-line service to bank customers; and staffing and development of retail employees.
Blair brings over 25 years of banking and financial services experience to the bank. A Galesburg native and long-time Morton resident, Blair is looking forward to getting involved with the local Pekin community.
Heartland Bank and Trust Company is an independently owned community bank with assets of $2.6 billion. Headquartered in Bloomington, IL, the bank has offices in communities throughout Illinois. The bank offers a complete line of financial services to commercial and retail customers. More information is available on the bank’s website at