Thursday, February 27, 2014

Medical Marijuana in Illinois

 From OSF Occupational Health & Wellness:

On January 21, 2104 the Illinois Department of Public Health released their draft of rules and regulations regarding the use of Medical Marijuana in Illinois.

This draft provides general guidelines regarding the use, availability, and laws regarding medical marijuana use under the law. Our Occupational Health Physicians have reviewed the proposed draft and are in the process of evaluating what this means for our local employers.

You can view the Draft in a PDF here.

Have questions on how this could affect your workplace? Give us a call or email.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mashie's Specials


Feb. 27th      Tuesday                  $10.00 Bottles of House Wine All Day

Feb. 28th      Wednesday            Trivia - 10% of sales go to the Nimmo's
                                                     Starts at 7PM                                        

Feb. 29th      Thursday                $2.00 Domestic Draft Beer & 
                                                     $3.00 “You Call It” Well Drinks




Goodwill of Central Illinois has announced a new free program to assist young adults with career and/or college preparation. The program is called Career Pathways: Bridge to Success. It is a joint effort between Goodwill of Central Illinois, Illinois Central College and Workforce Network.

The goal of the program is to guide young people, ages 18 to 21, through career development, educational achievement and job placement. Participants must have a high school diploma or GED, be unemployed or underemployed, not currently enrolled in school and reside in Peoria, Marshall, Stark or Woodford County.

The program offers: skill determination testing, math and reading tutoring, study techniques and soft skills training, leadership development activities and work experience at a Goodwill retail store. Participants also receive adult mentoring, as well as comprehensive guidance and counseling.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this free service to the young people of Central Illinois,” said Bill Bontemps Goodwill Director of Vocational Services. “This and all of Goodwill’s free programs are possible because of the donations made by the people of Central Illinois. When you donate to Goodwill you are helping your friends, neighbors and family who live in this community.”

For more information or to register for the program, contact Betsy Bladel at
(309) 369-4762 or email her at

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.

Pekin Hospital Foundation Announces Availability of Scholarship Applications

The Pekin Hospital Foundation is now accepting applications for the Frances Tollensdorf Nursing Scholarship and the Bud Velde Health Care Scholarship.  The Frances Tollensdorf and Bud Velde Scholarships are each $1,000 awards presented annually to one student for each respective scholarship based upon financial need, scholarship achievements, experience/extra-curricular involvement, letters of recommendation and general qualifications and goals.
All completed applications, transcripts of grades, letters of recommendation, and other pertinent information must be submitted to the Pekin Hospital Marketing Department by April 11, 2014.
The Frances Tollensdorf Nursing Scholarship fund was established through the Pekin
Hospital Foundation in Memory of Frances "Tolly" Tollensdorf, a dedicated nurse who worked at
Pekin Hospital for more than 30 years.
Through a generous endowment provided by Bud Velde, a former Pekinite, the Pekin Hospital Foundation established the Bud Velde Health Care Scholarship in 1996 to recognize individuals who are advancing their education in the health care field.  Mr. Velde served on Pekin Hospital’s Board of Trustees from 1955 to 1968, including serving as Chairman from 1956 to 1968.  He was very active with many significant projects at the hospital, including the 1954-1955 Park Avenue addition to the hospital.

For more information or to obtain a scholarship application, please call (309) 353-0204 or visit

Membership Renewals

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

4-Star MVPs:  Midwest Generation Powerton Station

3-Star MVPs:  CenturyLink ~ Pekin Community Bank

2-Star MVPs:  The Unland Companies

1-Star MVPs:  FCI Pekin ~ Food Depot / Niemann Foods

Classic:  Accelerated Rehabilitation Center ~ Boy Scouts of America/W.D. Boyce Council ~ Carney's Insurance Store ~ Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell ~ DeMonte D.D.S.,  Dr. Anthony ~ Four Seasons Gutter Protection Co. ~
Jim Maloof Realtor ~ KCB Information Services ~ Kelley Construction Contractors, Inc. ~ Dr. David Kuban, DDS ~ Mist ~ Pekin Moose Family Center, Lodge # 916 ~ Pekin Township ~ Peoria Journal Star ~ Pepsi Cola ~
Pyramid Printing ~ S & D Cleaning ~ Security Finance ~ T-Shirt House ~ TAPS Animal Shelter ~ Tazewell County School Employees Credit Union ~ The Unique Twist ~ Traders Realty Corp. ~ Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria

Individual/Retired:  Rich Gafford ~ Sylvan Franklin

Biz Barometer

L 2014 January home sales in three of the four large Tazewell County communities lagged behind January of 2013:  Pekin (20 vs. 25), East Peoria (17 vs. 19), and Morton (11 vs. 13).  Washington (14 vs. 13) was the only large Tazewell community with a better January sales total.
L The unemployment rate in Pekin was 10.6% in December, up from 10.5% in November and 9.4% last December.
L 15,422 people were employed in Pekin in December .  That’s up 82 less than November., and 559 less than last December.
L 178,165 people were employed in the Peoria region in December .  That’s up 945 less than November, and 6,463 less than last December.
J Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.6 percent.  Employment grew in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining.
L Pekin’s January sales tax disbursement from the state was down 12.3% compared to a year ago.
K Pekin’s sales tax disbursement for the past 12 months is 0.1% greater than the previous 12 months.
J East Peoria’s sales tax disbursement from the state for the past 12 months is 9.7% greater than the previous 12 months, while Washington (1.9%) and Morton (0.9%) are also up compared to the 12 month period.
K The Consumer Price The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.
(Source:  Peoria Area Association of Realtors, Illinois Department of Revenue, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois Department of Employment Security)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Google Maps

Many people love Google Maps and all they can do with it.  Google Maps used to allow you to map out directions between only two locations. Now you can plan a whole route with multiple stops.  When you input your destination, click the plus sign directly under the directions to add another stop. Add as many as you want!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Scott Martin Elected Pekin Insurance CEO

At the Annual Meeting of The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association held on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Scott Martin, FLMI, was elected Chief Executive Officer of Pekin Insurance. He will remain as President of Pekin Insurance.

A graduate of Bradley University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and Administration, he began his honorable career with Pekin Life Insurance Company in 1976 as an underwriter trainee. He advanced to assistant underwriter in 1978, underwriter in 1979, and senior underwriter in 1981. Five years later, he advanced to chief underwriter and attained Staff Management status. In 1990, he was named underwriting manager, and he was promoted to vice president – administration and assistant secretary in 1994. In 2003, he was named senior vice president of all Pekin Insurance companies and chief operating officer of Pekin Life Insurance Company. In 2006, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Pekin Life Insurance Company, and in 2008, he was given the additional responsibility of chief operating officer of the Property/Casualty companies. In 2010, he became President of all Pekin Insurance companies. He has served on the Pekin Insurance Board of Directors since 2004.

Always striving to remain professional and to excel in his career, he earned the Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) Designation in 1987 and obtained a certificate from the Academy of Life Underwriting (ALU) education program in 1990.

Giving every effort his personal best, he has devoted much time to industry and community involvements. He is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Life Insurance Council and the Illinois Insurance Association (IIA). He also is on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Central Illinois Chapter. He most recently was named as a Director for Herget Bank, N.A. For many years, he has demonstrated passion, pride, and allegiance to the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate. Pledging many hours to the fund-raising efforts of this worthwhile organization, he is serving on their Board of Directors and is Co-Chairman of the St. Jude Tazewell County Golf Classic.

He and his wife, Joan, reside in Peoria. They are the parents of two children and the grandparents of one grandson.

Pekin Insurance Chairman of the Board and CEO Gordon Walker Retires

Gordon Walker, after 43 years of dedication and commitment, is retiring from his career at Pekin Insurance. His leadership has allowed the company to tackle some of the industry’s toughest issues on his watch, but through his vision and quest for achievement, Pekin Insurance has grown and prospered. Thoughtful, energetic, and professional, he has been committed to upholding the company’s unparalleled standards of excellence. Never believing in the words, “we can’t do it,” he has worked even harder to make sure that the impossible became the possible. He motivated all at the company to reach their personal potentials and then to exceed them as he has done for the past 43 years.

At the Annual Subscribers Meeting of The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association on February 11, 2014, he officially retired as Chief Executive Officer. He will remain as Chairman of the Board.

Due to his professionalism and dedication, agents, policyholders, and employees have all benefited. He has a strong belief in the independent agency system, and by continually staying in touch with the ever-changing insurance industry, he has helped to build Pekin Insurance to the success and notable stature that it holds amongst other insurance carriers today. He was instrumental in the company branding initiative in 2010. Beyond the expected,® the company’s new branding slogan, is not a hollow slogan to him. It is his standard of performance over the last 43 years in every aspect of every position he held within the company.

A few of the many noteworthy events that have taken place under his capable guidance and demonstrating his ability to be a catalyst of change were developing Strategic Planning teams for all companies that focus on producing better products and services that the company’s agents and policyholders expect and deserve and continuing to be the easiest company for agents to do business with. Entering a new marketing area in the state of Arizona in late 2011 was another mark of success in his career. A new focus on Commercial business and an emphasis on the rebuilding and improving of the Information Technology Department were both major and ongoing projects that were possible through his expertise. A shortage of space and the need for improvements in the company’s Home Office led to the purchase of a vacant building in Pekin, which now houses the entire Property/Casualty Claim operation and was molded by his vision. Throughout his years as chief executive officer, he has always been successful in meeting new challenges and reaching lofty goals.

Born and raised in Rushville, Illinois, he is a graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He began his career with Pekin Insurance in 1970 as an assistant bond manager in the Surety and Fidelity Bond Department. In 1972, he transferred to Indiana as a field trainee and later worked as a field manager in Effingham, Illinois, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In July 1984, he was transferred to the Home Office as property/casualty marketing coordinator. In 1985, he was promoted to Staff Management status and was named sales manager. He was promoted to vice president – sales in January 1998. In 2003, he was elected senior vice president of all Pekin Insurance companies and chief operating officer of the property/casualty companies, and in 2006, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the property/casualty companies. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2005. In March 2008, he was elected chief executive officer of Pekin Insurance and Chairman of the Board.

A strong supporter of the insurance industry, he has been actively involved with numerous organizations like the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (PIIAI) and the Illinois Insurance Association. He pursued his professionalism in the industry with his attainment of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Designation in 1995. True to the character of a leader of a service-associated company, he has always held great interest in community life. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Herget Bank, N.A., and the Pekin Police Foundation. His private generosities and consistent and positive devotion to St. Jude were instrumental in the development of the company’s current Birdies for St. Jude program. After his retirement, he will lend his energies, expertise, and talents as a member of the Board of Directors for St. Jude.

His mark will always be seen in the dramatic growth of the company and the broad footprint the company has achieved within the insurance industry.

ICPR Hosting Educational Seminar

ICPR Family Practice will be hosting the first educational seminar of 2014 for the Knee Arthritis Program on Wednesday, March 5th at Lariat Steakhouse in Peoria beginning at 6pm.
Admission is free and light snacks and beverages will be provided. Seating is limited so please Call Misty at 309-347-4277.  View all of the upcoming seminar dates and locations at
You do not have to be a patient of ICPR Family Practice to participate in the Knee Arthritis Program and there are no referrals needed!

Hanson’s latest issue of Insight available

Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s latest issue of Insight is available. Content for the newsletter includes:
•    Sandy Grove Middle School, the United States’ first net-positive energy, LEED® Platinum designed, leased public school,
•    The mitigation of sinkholes at Monroe County Airport in Bloomington, Ind.,
•    Testing systems for Florida’s most powerful supercomputer, and
•    Design plans for a Springfield, Ill., segment of Illinois’ high-speed rail corridor.
The newsletter is available in print and online. You may email to subscribe to the newsletter.
Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. The firm’s corporate headquarters is located at 1525 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62703. The office may be reached by phone: (217) 788-2450 or fax: (217) 788-2503.

Medical Explorers Meeting Planned

Local high school students interested in health careers are invited to attend a Medical Explorers Meeting on March 20 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Pekin Hospital in the Park Court Conference Centers.  Mike Dant, EMS Program Director, will discuss EMT/paramedic careers. 

Pekin Hospital is partnering with the W.D. Boyce Council, Boy Scouts of America to offer a Medical Explorers Post in Tazewell County.  The program’s goal is to provide young men and women the opportunity to receive hands-on, work-related experience and to explore health careers they may never have otherwise considered.  The program is open to young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years old who are interested in learning more about health careers.  The cost to join is only $10 per person. 

For more information on the Medical Explorers Program, please call (309) 353-0763 or visit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Midwest Engineering Associates, Inc. Joins the Chamber!

Midwest Engineering Associates, Inc. 

100 N. Main St., Suite 301, East Peoria, IL 61611
Robert Culp, Principal 
David Horton, Principal
Midwest Engineering Associates, Inc. is a Professional Engineering Firm located in East Peoria, IL specializing in a civil/site, transportation, hydraulic, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and construction engineering, materials testing, professional land surveying and landscape architecture service. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

February Puttin' On Pekin Recap

The Puttin' On Pekin breakfast was held on Valentine's Day and about 90 chamber members and guests attended the event. Dean Covey (Trouble Free Heating & Cooling) won the early prize, while Doug Leathers & Don Chisom (Illinois Corn Processing) shared the late prize. Jack & Bryan Steger accepted the Spotlight on Business Award for Steger's Furniture. Phil Evans accepted the Blue Ribbon award for Pekin Insurance for their work on their new building on Parkway Drive. Captain Martin Theis accepted the Sunshine Award for the Salvation Army. Nona Buyster, Teresa Mack, Suzanne Wheeler and Lisa Beyer creatively presented infromation about Artistic Community Theater, including their history and upcoming events.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Project Pack In

Sign up to help Central IL tornado victims move into their new homes as they are ready! 

the CENTER for PREVENTION of ABUSE Dance for Justice

The Center for Prevention of Abuse invites everyone in the Peoria area to take a moment on Valentine’s Day, February 14, to rise up and dance along with one billion people around the world for the following reasons:
See the many stories and events from around the world at


The Center for Prevention of Abuse staff will be dancing for justice at noon,
February 14, at their Joan Court campus – 720 Joan Court.

SCORE Peoria: Selling and Sales Techniques

SCORE Peoria: Selling and Sales Techniques

Wednesday February 19, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM CST
Add to Calendar

Peoria Chamber of Commerce Board Room
100 SW Water Street
Peoria, IL 61602
Driving Directions
Is your business doing as well as it could?  Remember, to be successful and grow your business, somebody needs to make the sale.  Attend this new workshop on SALES to review and improve your skills.

Mr. Jean Demosthene, National Sales Manager with MedTele, Inc., will review information on sales techniques and the process of selling.
All SCORE Peoria workshops are FREE, but please register by clicking below to reserve your place.

We hope you can join us!

SCORE Peoria

Pekin Community High School Students Recognized

Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107 are proud to recognize Pekin Community High School students Adam Himmel and Robbie Lange as recipients of the Pekin Community High School (PCHS) Student Award for January.

Robbie, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Dee Merriman, a School Counselor at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Merriman cited Robbie’s contributions to PCHS’ marching band program, Latin Club, and Speech Team.

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.


NASH FM 97.3 will celebrate Valentine’s Day by visiting the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and delivering hundreds of teddy bears to patients. The bears have been donated by NASH FM 97.3 listeners over the past several weeks in the hopes of allowing the hospital to hand out bears to children all year long. Joining the radio station will be Mossville 8th Grader Taylor Larson, who received a bear from the drive six years ago and has made it her personal goal to collect as many bears as she can from her community.

Taylor explained how receiving her teddy bear provided comfort while she was a patient: “When I got my bear, it meant so much because my parents couldn’t go to testing with me, but I could bring the bear. It was really exciting.”

NASH FM 97.3 will meet with Child Life staff in the Children’s Hospital of Illinois lobby on Friday, February 14th at 10am to unload and deliver teddy bears. Thank you for your support of NASH FM 97.3 and Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

For more information, please contact:

Jenn Smith
NASH FM 97.3 Morning Host
Cumulus Media-Radio Peoria
120 Eaton St. Peoria, Illinois 61603
Studio: 673-0973 Office: 669-1217

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: Images & Copyright Laws

Images and Copyright Law 
What You Need to Know For Your Website
We've all done it, admit it.  We've used stock photos, photos copied from another website, or photos we're not familiar with and put them on our website.  Maybe you had a web designer who used photos in your site design that you didn't provide.  If it's on the internet, it's all free, right?  Maybe you should read the rest of this article.

Images and Web Designers: Any images or artwork used in your website design that were not created by your hired designer, require them to disclose who the original artist or photographer is so you can pay the proper licensing fees for use of that art/image or attribute the image legally. It is your responsibility to make sure all image usage is legal by copyright laws. Some web designers may not be clear on the rules about copyright and licensing, so you can't always rely on them to make sure you are protected legally. Additionally, your website designer’s rights are not always transferrable to you. Which means if they purchase an image’s licensing for themselves, you may need to purchase your own usage fees for photos on your website. Ideally, communicate with your designer to make sure they secure the proper licenses for you (or provide your own original images). In summary: Regardless of who puts an image on your website, ultimately, it is the legal responsibility of you, the party who owns the domain, to pay for the images.

Take care not to use photos you didn’t pay for. If you have downloaded images off of the internet without paying for them, or without permission, you are in violation of the photographer's or the stock photo company’s copyrights. If you have done this or are still doing this, please start the process of removing them as soon as possible.

If you fail to secure the proper license for your stock photos, you put yourself and your organization at risk for getting in a sticky legal situation with a stock house company, which could cost you a lot of money you haven’t budgeted for.  Some of these companies can be aggressive in finding illegal usage of images on websites and employ “trollers” to find your site. They have been known to send out letters about the misuse of the images they find, along with a hefty invoice.  If that’s the case, you’ll end up having to pay for the use of the images anyway. (HINT: It will be a LOT more expensive than if you paid for the proper license to begin with.)  Think it won't happen to you?  It's happened to one well-known Pekin organization a couple years ago.

How do you avoid problems with online photos?
Simple. Don't use images you didn't take yourself or pay for, and make sure you’ve attained the correct usage license when you originally bought the image. This means, read the fine print when purchasing a stock photo and make sure you buy one that will cover your intended use of that photo. If your web designer uses images in your site design, find out if they secured your usage license. If not, find out who took the photo (or where the designer got the photo from), and buy the license.

A note about copyright law in the US: Copyrights are automatic and are created and owned by the person who created the image as soon as the photo is taken. In this case, it means the original copyright owner would be the photographer. However, if the stock photo service purchased the image from a photographer, they most likely acquired their copyrights as a part of that deal. If you are violating someone’s registered copyright of an image, they have the right to (a) stop you from using the image via Cease and Desist and/or Injunction; (b) not only make you pay for the use of the image, but make you disgorge any profits that you got from your use of the image (this could land in you big time litigation to determine what the money damages are); AND (c) they can make you pay their legal fees and costs of having to come after you for your infringement.

Bottom line: Protect yourself and pay for any photos you use by securing the proper license. Even better, take the photos yourself or hire a photographer and put 

Source:  Micronet January News Monthly Connection 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pekin Makes "Most Affordable" List

Movoto Real Estate has published their list of The 10 Most Affordable Places in Illinois, and Pekin made the top 10.  After analyzing more than 200 places in the state across a number of criteria, Chatham was crowned the most affordable.  You can see the whole story and some of the data used in their calculation at:

Friday, February 7, 2014

14th Annual Eagle Day Festival

Saturday, February 8th

Events to get you "up close and personal" with American Bald Eagles and other birds of prey are scheduled all day 

The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve
9am - 3pm
Spotting scopes for eagle viewing; warming station with hot cocoa; bird ID materials and TNC exhibits; winter hiking and cross-country skiing

Dickson Mounds Museum
9am - 3pm
Free-flight live raptor shows by the World Bird Sanctuary at 11am and 1pm (tickets are free, but must be secured prior to show due to limited seating); kids and science activities will be offered throughout the day. 

Lewistown Visitors Center 10am - 4pm
Wildlife Prairie Park's Birds of Prey Exhibit from 1pm to 4pm

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge
9am - 3pm
Enjoy an 8-mile auto tour around the refuge; Open House at Refuge Headquarters 

Havana Nature Center
9am - 2pm
Eagle viewing and kids activities; Eagle Plunge at 1:00 
Food will be available for purchase at the museum.
In the event of inclement weather, or for more information, visit 

Visit Illinois River for other events and happenings along the Scenic Byway

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pekin Hospital League Presents Check

The Pekin Hospital League held their annual meeting February 3 and presented a check to Pekin Hospital CEO Gary L. Jepson for $130,250.  The contribution will be used to support the Critical Care Unit monitoring system at Pekin Hospital. 

The following new officers for 2014 were also announced.
President:  Georgia Gschwend
Vice President:  Carol Guenther
Recording Secretary:  Claudia Bill
Treasurer:  Kathie Sayles
Corresponding Secretary:  Connie Kilhoffer

Anne Baccheschi was recognized as the League member with the most volunteer hours for 2013.

The following members were recognized for their 25 years of service to the League:  Herrmine Williams, Deanna Hill, and Darlene Brandt.

Founded in 1958, the Hospital League was comprised of 38 women.  Over the years, the League has contributed over $4.5 million towards patient care.  Today, the League has 77 active members, 10 provisional, 50 sustaining, 34 sustaining life members, and 20 non-resident members.  In the past year, the League has contributed 17,654 hours, and manages the Pekin Hospital Gift Shop located in the Hospital Lobby and the Nearly-Nu Shop located on Derby Street.  

Other fundraising events include the annual Golf Classic, scheduled for May 5, 2014, and the Holiday Magic Gift Show scheduled for November 1, 2014.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Goodwill of Central Illinois has announced Gretchen Piper as Director of Communications and Betsy Bladel as Assistant Director of
Vocational Services.

Gretchen Piper joins Goodwill after six years as Advertising Manager for the Peoria Journal Star. Prior to that she held sales manager positions with TCI Cable, the Tribune Star in Terra Haute, IN and acted as Online Sales Manager for the Quad City Times. Gretchen has extensive experience in online marketing and will oversee Goodwill’s marketing and development department. “What lead me to Goodwill was a sense of fulfillment,” said Piper. “I want to use my experience in communications to convey all of Goodwill’s wonderful services to the people of Central Illinois.”

Betsy Bladel comes to Goodwill from her position as Director of Adult Learning at Eureka College. Betsy possesses years of educational experience after spending 20 years with District 150. She will spearhead Goodwill’s College and Career Pathways program. The objective of the program is to assist youth ages 16 to 21 with college preparation, job training or technical and performance skills.

“We are delighted to have both Gretchen and Betsy join the Goodwill team,” said Patty Fuchs, Goodwill President & CEO. “They each bring a fresh perspective that will benefit us as we expand our services and support 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.

Alzheimer’s Association Presents Trivia Night February 8

The Central Illinois community is invited to participate in the Alzheimer’s Associations Annual Trivia Night on Saturday, February 8, at the Central Illinois Chapter Office, 606 W. Glen Ave., Peoria. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the games begin at 7 p.m. “We invite everyone to bring their friends, family and neighbors to test their level of trivia knowledge and at the same time contribute to raising awareness and support for the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Nikki Vulgaris-Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Central Illinois Chapter.

The cost is $20 per person with teams up to eight people. Trivia will include a variety of subjects. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top two teams. Soda and light snacks will be provided. Participants are welcome to bring their own adult beverages and snacks and food spreads of any sort.

To reserve tickets or for more information, please contact the Central Illinois Chapter at 309.681.1100. Proceeds will fund educational programs and services for Peoria area residents dealing with Alzheimer’s disease as well as caregivers.

The Alzheimer's Association - Central Illinois Chapter provides services to caregivers and those with memory loss problems including family education, 24-hour telephone Helpline, library, support groups, newsletter, advocacy, patient referral and guidance services, and registration in the national Medic Alert + Safe Return identification program.  Alzheimer’s disease, caregiver and support information can be found by logging onto or by calling the 24 hour Helpline at 800.272.3900.

Tech Tip Tuesday: 3 Tips to Help Others Manage Their Inbox

Is your inbox stuffed every day?  You don't like it and neither do the recipients of your emails.  Help them manage their inbox with the following tips:

  1. Write a succinct subject line.
  2. Keep your emails brief and concise.  Get right to the point.    You can still be polite and use good grammar, but think of your email as a 140-character text.
  3. If you don't want to count characters, count sentences.  Below your brief signature line, add the text, "Why is this email five sentences or less?" and link it to:  That webpage explains your personal policy to keep emails brief.  It excuses your brevity and absolves you of your guilt.  If you want to be really brief, there area also pages for four, three and two sentence versions. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pekin Hospital to Present “Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof” for Women Ages 40 - 60

As part of Heart Month, an American Heart Association national campaign to raise awareness of heart disease, Pekin Hospital will offer a free presentation, “Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof” aimed at women ages 40 - 60 on Thursday, February 27, at 5:30 p.m. in the Pekin Public Library.  A light dinner will be served.

Lindsay Tate, M.D., Family Practice Physician with the Family Health Center of Pekin and part of ProHealth Medical Group, will educate women ages 40 – 60 on the most effective ways to prevent a heart attack.  ProHealth operates primary and specialty practices in Pekin, Illinois, and is part of Progressive Health Systems, which includes Pekin Hospital.

Pekin Hospital is committed to improving heart health by providing community education on healthy eating, exercising, smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and controlling diabetes.

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

Gateway Foundation

Gateway Foundation
24-Hour Helpline
877-505-HOPE (4673)
Today's Resource from Gateway Foundation
Gateway Earns Esteemed Joint Commission Accreditation
Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers were recently surveyed by The Joint Commission, which renewed Gateway's accreditation for the next 3 years.
Considered the gold standard in health care accreditation, The Joint Commission evaluation included 11 Gateway locations and 30 alcohol and drug treatment programs to verify that we provide the highest standards in care for substance abuse and mental health issues.
To learn more about The Joint Commission accreditation survey process, watch this short video that features an evaluation of Gateway's Aurora center.
"As an organization, we continuously improve the quality of our clinical programs and adopt the most effective evidence-based clinical treatment protocols to help people overcome addiction. And, I believe The Joint Commission accreditation is an important process that has helped Gateway become a leading substance abuse treatment provider in Illinois."
Michael Darcy, President & CEO
Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

January 2014
Learn More
Gateway Treatment Centers are located throughout Illinois and the St. Louis Metro East area.

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Lou Douglas
Outreach Coordinator
Mobile: 217-553-2033
The Joint Commission
Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers are accredited by The Joint Commission.

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Illinois' Largest Provider of Substance Abuse Treatment
Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is recognized as an in-network provider for most health insurance plans and accepts fees for service. We also provide treatment to individuals who may be eligible for services funded in whole, or in part, by the Illinois Department of Human Services. We are a non-profit organization with treatment centers located throughout Illinois. We are dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of the people we treat.