Thursday, October 29, 2015

Illinois River Canoe & Kayak Trail Opens

A ribbon cutting was held today near the foot of Court Street in Pekin for the grand opening of the
Illinois River Canoe & Kayak Trail. This project was completed with the help of several partners, including the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and Illinois American Water.

The project is the result of a joint effort between the USA’s Work Boots on the Ground volunteer conservation program and the American Water Charitable Foundation’s (AWCF) Building Better Communities initiative, which awarded the USA a $25,000 grant to support three 2015 conservation projects that improve public access to water-based recreation activities in Tennessee, Illinois and West Virginia.

The project came to USA and Illinois American Water via local storyteller and water enthusiast Brian ‘Fox’ Ellis. The Illinois River Canoe Trail project will provide several scenic stations along the Illinois River for paddlers to use as launch points or rest stops. The water trail winds down from Henry to Pekin. The stations have flood resistant benches and acknowledgment signs with attached eyelets for tethering small watercraft.

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

Pekin Hospital Opens New Surgical Waiting Area

In the spring of 2015, Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems began construction on a new surgical waiting area. The approximately 3,500-square-foot space is conveniently located on the second floor of the hospital to accommodate family members and visitors of surgery patients.

The project is part of Pekin Hospital’s ongoing commitment to upgrading its facilities and infrastructure.

The new surgical waiting area is five times larger than the original space, creating a more convenient place for visiting family members and loved ones. The new space includes a view of the Mineral Springs Park Lagoon and is located closer to the hospital’s cafeteria for easy access to nutritious meals and snacks.

Part of Progressive Health Systems, Pekin Hospital is a 107-bed medical center serving Tazewell, Peoria and Mason Counties since 1913.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out your Weekly Chamber Connection!!!!

Veteran's Benefits Workshops

Are you interested in learning more about VA health, compensation, and pension benefits eligibility? Schedule an appointment to meet with an accredited VA Claims Agent. To schedule an appointment, contact (309) 682-1113 ext. 2149 or ext. 2121.

Goodwill Commons, 2319 E. War Memorial Dr., Peoria, IL 61614
Weekdays 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. by appointment. Closed on Thanksgiving

YWCA Spread the Word Scrabble for YWCA Adult Literacy

Monday, October 26, 2015

October Biz Barometer

Goodwill Social Media Classes

Goodwill Offers Essential Computer Skills

First Pekin Savings Bank Open House After Hours Event

Pekin Hospital League to Host Holiday Gift Show

The Pekin Hospital League will host its annual Holiday Splendor Gift Show on November 7th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of Pekin Hospital, 600 South 13th Street. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Pekin Hospital Foundation.
The Holiday Gift Show features handmade items, floral arrangements, jewelry, toys, baby items, cinda b purses, and more. A variety of baked goods, candies, and specialty food items will be available during the event.
The Pekin Hospital League will also sell raffle tickets to help raise funds for the Pekin Hospital Foundation. Tickets will be available during the Holiday Gift Show, or they can be purchased from the Hospital Gift Shop and the Nearly Nu Shop, 1017 Derby Street. Raffle items include a 14k gold necklace, an overnight stay at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria, a handmade quilt, gift baskets, gift certificates, and a decorated vintage bicycle.

Established in 1958, the Pekin Hospital League is comprised of more than 200 area volunteers. Since its inception, the League has raised approximately $5 million for the Pekin Hospital Foundation. For more information call 309-353-0983 or visit

Diabetes Prevention and Management

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Adult Trick or Treating Mashie's Pub Crawloween


Veteran status now available on Illinois driver's license

Pekin Park District Ice Skating Lessons


Have you ever wanted to lace up a pair of skates and try to get on the ice? Now is your chance! Learning to skate is easy and fun. It requires a little determination and a lot of practice. But before   you know it, you'll be gliding around forward and even backward! Whether your goal is to learn to skate backward, spin really fast or even land an Axel, we've got the place for you to start!

Session 2 begins November 2, 2015.  You can join this session if it is your first time skating or if you completed session one and want to learn more skills.  Call us for more information about registration –  (309)347-7275.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Parade & Downtown Trick or Treat

2015-2016 Rivermen Season is Here!

The Peoria Rivermen open their 2015-16 season this Friday and Saturday night at the Peoria Civic Center against the Pensacola Ice Flyers! It's Bruce Sauers Hockey Weekend in Peoria, with $2 Budweiser, Bud Light, and Coca Cola products all weekend. Friday is also Chicago Blackhawks night at the Civic Center and will feature an appearance by Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk as well as Blackhawks memorabilia giveaways throughout the game! Finally, Friday night we will have Disney Channel star Trinitee Stokes ("Judy"on KC Undercover) in attendance to drop a ceremonial first puck before she appears in the Tween Stars Live event at the Civic Center Saturday afternoon. Come on out for all the fun and festivities at Carver Arena, get your tickets by calling the Rivermen office at (309)-676-1040!

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out your weekly Chamber Connection Here!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Business After Hours Launched to Support those Displaced

Today, the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council announced the launch of, a resource for individuals seeking a new career opportunity or retirement strategy that would allow them to stay in Greater Peoria.

"When we heard the announcement from Mitsubishi and then Caterpillar about impending layoffs, we decided a resource like StayGP was something that could be helpful to those impacted," said Jennifer Daly, CEO for the Greater Peoria EDC. "We want our friends and neighbors to stay here in Greater Peoria and we hope StayGP will make it a little easier to find opportunities to do so."

The new website, a collaboration with CareerLink, offers information organized into four pathways: find a job, go to school, start a business, and retirement opportunities. 

The first pathway lists local job postings, pulled from the online job bank Indeed, and resources to prepare for a new position. 

The second pathway provides data on the hottest jobs in the region, tuition reimbursement vehicles, and regional schools and training programs. 

The third pathway introduces regional resources for launching a business including local people you can talk to and programs that are helpful. Bradley University's Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, Startup Peoria, and SCORE are just a few of the programs that are highlighted.

The fourth pathway is for anyone who chose early retirement and isn't quite ready to stay home. Opportunities to work part-time, teach, become a mentor, or make a difference as a volunteer for a local organization are a few of the options showcased in this section.

StayGP also includes a calendar listing events and activities related to the four pathways and a contact list that anyone can join to receive updates and notifications.

The site was developed by Greg Paul Lynn and funded by the investors of the Greater Peoria EDC. Unity Point Methodist Proctor and DSM-H Consulting provided additional funding that helped to make the site possible.

"We want to thank all those who participated in developing and launching StayGP," said Jennifer Daly, CEO for the Greater Peoria EDC. "We know there is still a great deal of work to do to help people identify new opportunities and we will continue to add resources as we find or create them. Most of the people on our team know someone impacted by these layoffs. We want to see how we can turn something devastating into a new opportunity for as many people as possible."

ProHealth Medical Group Recognized by UnitedHealthcare

ProHealth Medical Group is the recipient of the UnitedHealthcare PATH Excellence in Patient Service Award.
The PATH program was developed by UnitedHealthcare to help improve outcomes for its Medicare Advantage members by encouraging greater use of preventive health care services. The Excellence in Patient Service Award is based on clinical results that measure how successfully practices have closed gaps in patient care.
“We’re honored to receive this recognition from UnitedHealthcare,” said Dawn Moushon, Vice President of Practice Management for ProHealth Medical Group. “Our practices are dedicated to providing the best possible patient experience and achieving the best possible patient outcomes. Preventive health care services, such as regular screenings and annual check-ups, are an important step in that process.”
Part of Progressive Health Systems, ProHealth Medical Group was established in 1986 as a sister organization of Pekin Hospital. ProHealth offers eight practices throughout the Pekin area, including its newest practice, ProHealth General Surgery. For more information visit

Pekin Park District to Offer Fused Glass Class October 21st, 2015

Amy Psinas, local artist and art teacher at Pekin Community High School, will teach you to create unique pieces of art with fused glass. Participants make up to 10 small projects which can include jewelry, nail files, and hair pins as well as other unusual pieces. These classes, for ages 10 and up, are about creativity, making new friends, and having fun while making one of a kind creations that you can keep for yourself or give as gifts. You will make the pieces in class and they will then be fired at the studio and will be ready to pick up a few days later.

The class is at Pekin Hospital School Art Room (enter through the Tech Ed Center doors) from 6:00pm - 8:30 pm on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015. Cost is $44 per class (add $3 if non-resident, add $10 if registering less than 7 days prior to start date). Fees include all supplies. 

To register, please either visit the Recreation Office located in teh Memorial Arena at 250 Red Bud Drive; or call us at 309-347-7275; or fax your regsitration to 309-347-3970 (please include a credit card number). For your convenience, there is an after hours drop box located on the Recreation Office door. Cash resgistrations are accepted only in person. 

For more information regarding registration or Pekin Park District Programs, call 309-347-7275 or visit

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Chamber Recognizes Thirty-One

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their 18th annual Business and Community Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, October 15 at the Pekin Country Club.  The chamber’s Member Promotions Committee coordinated the luncheon, which was sponsored by Enviro-Safe Refrigerants, Pekin Insurance, Pekin Trophy House & Engraved Gifts, The Greenhouse Flower Shoppe, and Pekin Hospital.  Additional sponsors included Busey Bank, CEFCU, NRG Powerton, Pekin Community Bank, Peoria Limousine, and UnityPoint Health.

Recognition was given to thirty-one area businesses and organizations in several different categories:  new ownership or management; new business or building; additional employees; major retraining effort; new technology or major equipment investment; other business improvements; and, community involvement. 
Pictures of the award winners are available at:

The speaker at the luncheon was Dave Alwan, owner of Echo Valley Meats. He has appeared twice on the ABC TV show, Shark Tank. 

Alwan told the audience his personal, inspirational story of his entrepreneurial journey.  He believes “you get what you work for, not what you wish for.”  

Chamber Board President Gregg Ratliff closed the program by thanking the audience for their support and their recognition of the accomplishments of others.  He noted the importance of small businesses, like Echo Valley Meats.  They are the backbone and job creators of local economies.

The thirty-one businesses and organizations recognized for their achievements in the past year were:

·         Artistic Community Theatre
·         Blissful Images
·         Busey
·         Command Center, Inc.
·         Cosmetic Skin Center of Central Illinois
·         Debbie Fornoff Interior Design & Draperies
·         Farmers Insurance – Tatlock Agency
·         First State Bank of Illinois
·         Hallmark House Nursing Center
·         Hopedale Medical Complex
·         Illinois American Water – Pekin
·         Jim Maloof Realtors – Pekin
·         Leman Property Management Company
·         OSF IPMR
·         Pekin Animal Hospital
·         Pekin Community Bank
·         Pekin Community High School
·         Pekin Hospital
·         Pekin Insurance
·         Pekin Park District Miller Center
·         Pekin Public Library
·         Pekin Trophy House & Engraved Gifts
·         Plastic Addicts Disc Golf Supplies
·         Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory, LLC
·         Rogy’s Child Care
·         Service Master of Central Illinois
·         South Side Bank
·         TCRC, Inc.
·         The Mattress Doctor
·         The Salvation Army of Pekin
·         Wolf, Tesar & Company, P.C.

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following businesses and organizations who recently renewed their investment in the mission of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. 

APICS - Lincoln Land Chapter
Beck's Convenience Store
BodyWealth Massage
Court Place Apartments
Henderson Funeral Home
JM Industrial Supply
Schwartz Electric Company
UAW Senior Citizens Center

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sport Clips Ribbon Cutting

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed Sport Clips to Pekin with a ribbon cutting on October 14th. Located in East Court Village at 3562 Court Street, Sport Clips! Where it is good to be a guy! Their goal is to create a championship haircut experience for men and boys in an exciting sports environment. They are the home of the MVP with their legendary steam towel, pressure point shampoo & neck/shoulder massage. They can be reached at 353-1111 or You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pekin Hospital, Progressive Health Systems Launch Online Survey as Part of Community Health Needs Assessment

Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems, working as part of the Tri-County Community Health Collaborative, have launched a community health needs assessment survey on
The survey will run for the rest of 2015 to help identify current and future health care needs, increase awareness of local and regional health issues, determine demographic trends related to health care and improve local services.
“This is an important project for the communities we serve,” said Marcy Becker, who is leading Pekin Hospital’s portion of the regional project. “By collaborating with our community partners, we can find innovative approaches to health-related problems that impact the people of Central Illinois.”
The Tri-County Community Health Collaborative represents area hospitals, clinics, public health institutions and service organizations. Questions about the community health needs assessment may be directed to 309-655-2826.
Part of Progressive Health Systems, Pekin Hospital is a 107-bed medical center serving Tazewell, Peoria and Mason Counties since 1913. 

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection HERE!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Puttin' On Pekin Recap

The October Puttin' on Pekin was held on the 9th and nearly 90 chamber members and guests were in attendance.  It was held at the Speakeasy Art Center and breakfast was catered by the Taste of TCRC Cafe.  Lenora Fisher won the early prize, while Ed Betzelberger won the late prize.  The Spotlight on Business was presented to UnityPoint Methodist, the Blue Ribbon award was given to the Carrie Joos Agency, and Artistic Community Theatre received the Sunshine Award.  The Speakeasy Art Center and TCRC both made presentations for the program.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

Illinois American After Hours

The Pekin office of Illinois American Water hosted the October Business After Hours.  Chamber members and their guests enjoyed food by Nacho Mama's, plenty of door prizes, and fun games including a back hoe competition.  Roger Goodson announced the promotion of Dennis Barron to the Peoria Field Operations Superintendent position and Cord Crisler to the same position in Pekin.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Jenni Williams of North Pekin Maintains Excellence as a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP).

Jenni Williams o North Pekin reaffirmed her status as an elite photographer, once again earning the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

Williams, who owns and operates Blissful Images in North Pekin, successfully completed the requirements required to keep her CPP designation.

Every three years, CPPs must show that they have maintained the mark of excellence that the CPP designation represents. Williams earned this designation after meeting challenging requirements that measure her artistic and technical competence. PPA currently recognizes fewer than 2,500 Certified Professional Photographers.

“When I first became a Certified Professional Photographer in 2005, I did so because I wanted the credentials that prove I am a true professional. You wouldn't go to a Doctor or a Lawyer that didn't have their industry credentials, so why trust your most valued tangible memories to a photographer who can't prove they are a leader in their industry. Having my Certification makes me a better photographer and I strive to grow and learn all the time. I believe continuing education, while certainly not required to be a photographer, is a very important aspect of this profession.”

Professional Photographers of America is the leading body for certifying imaging professionals in the U.S. Certified Professional Photographers must pass a written examination, submit a portfolio for review and adhere to a strict code of conduct that upholds their mark of excellence. Certification must be renewed every three years, ensuring continuing confidence in the professionalism of Certified Professional Photographers.

For more information on PPA visit To learn more about the certification program go to and to view samples of Williams work and for booking information, visit

Diverse Culinary Delight Dessert Competition & Fundraiser

Starting A Business in Illinois

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Illinois American Water Offers Student Art Contest in Conjunction with National “Imagine a Day Without Water” Event

Illinois American Water is inviting 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms within the Company’s service area to participate in an “Imagine a Day Without Water” art contest.  Winning artwork will be featured in a future bill insert and earn the student(s) classroom a $100 donation.  The contest also helps to raise awareness about the value of water service.

“It’s hard to imagine even just one day without water. We need water to make a cup of coffee, grow fruits and vegetables, and manufacture nearly every product we use in our daily lives. While essential, few people understand the fundamental value of water and the systems that bring water to and from homes and businesses all day, every day,” said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water.

To help educate Illinois American Water’s youngest customers, the Company partnered with the Value of Water Coalition to launch the “Imagine a Day Without Water” event Oct. 6-8, 2015.  All across the nation, events and activities will take place to highlight the important, and often taken for granted, role our drinking water plays.  

Participation in the “Imagine a Day Without Water” art contest is easy.  Students are asked to draw a picture and write one sentence that describes what water service and a day without water means to them.  Teachers can find instructions and materials online at, in the “Learning Center” area of the site.  Learn more about “Imagine a Day Without Water” here    

Winner(s) of the art contest will be announced in November.  The winning student(s) and their drawing(s) will be featured in an Illinois American Water bill insert. The winning class(es) will also receive a $100 donation to purchase supplies or celebrate the winning artwork with a party.

By submitting an entry the student, teacher and school are agreeing to have the submission, including identification information like name, school, etc. to be used in Illinois American Water materials.  All entries should be sent to External Affairs Manager, Karen Cotton, at 7500 North Harker Drive, Peoria, Illinois 61615 by Oct. 27, 2015. Questions can be directed to

Pekin Public Library Grand Opening

Mackinaw Valley Upcoming Events

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and Winery
Upcoming Events
  • 10/18: Adam & Eve Go to Marriage Counseling Theater-Peoria Lutheran Women's Fundraiser, Open to the public, tickets on sale now,2-5pm

  • 10/24:  Vinyasa Yoga Class, Wine and Conversation, 1-3pm
  • 11/01: Open Mic Music Session, 1-4pm

  • 11/08:Masterpiece Painting Classes,11am-1pm, 2-4pm


October Murder Mystery Dinners
  • 10/30 & 31: Murder Mystery Dinner-It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's MURDER!
  • Times:  10/30-6:15-9:15pm, 10/31-5:30-8:30pm
IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S MURDER - When super villains start dropping dead, it takes a super sleuth to solve the mystery. Will the Joker kill the audience with laughs ... or will he kill them in a more deadly manner? Can Lois and Clark figure it out - or will it take the Boy Wonder and Inspector Gadget? See for yourself in this super-mystery - and come dressed as your favorite comic book hero or villain!

Arrival is suggested about one hour prior to the start time for seating, wine tasting and "mingling" with the cast, this is your chance to let them know, if you want to participate in the show. There are three complimentary wine samples per guest at the tasting bar and wine can be purchased by the bottle or glass, beer and sodas also available. The performance begins between 6:35-7pm, and will be held in the tasting room in the main building. Dinner is served buffet style after the first act. Dessert is served to the table. Tickets on sale now, call 309-359-9463 to reserve or email, for questions. Admission is $45+tax per person for dinner, dessert and the show, reservations required.
Fall Hours: OPEN Thursday to Monday Noon to 5 pm,
 Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Save 15%
Buy a case of wine,12 bottles, mix and match your favorites and get a 15% off discount. Great
 for Christmas gift giving.
Offer Expires: offer expires November 1, 2015

Free Computer Classes for Ages 55+


Blissful Images will host a Limited Edition Portrait Event on Sunday, November 8th at The Shoppes at Grand Prairie by appopintment.
The portrait sessions will be themed ‘Silly Faces’ and features a session of your child and a 5x30 print including 7 images. $25 of every session will be donated to the Peoria PlayHouse.

Certified Professional Photographer Jenni Williams designed the theme after doing portraits of her nephew’s silly faces in 2008.
“I loved all the adorable faces he made when he was little and I custom designed the 5x30 panel to hang in my home. I love donating back to area organizations, events and fundraisers, so partnering with the PlayHouse was a perfect fit for this Limited Edition Portrait Event”

Sessions can be booked by contacting Blissful Images at 309-369-0099.

Goodwill Recieves $50,000 Donation from CEFCU

Monday, October 5, 2015

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following employers who recently renewed their investment in the mission of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

1-Star MVPs
Farnsworth Group
Velde Cadillac Buick GMC

Classic Members
Concorde Inn & Suites
Cordts Heating & Air Conditioning
Dr. Michael Danner, DDS
Deuce Development Corp.
Easter Seals - Central Illinois
Home Health Care Plus, Inc.
Hospice Compassus
National Rental
Personal Finance Company
Sign Shop
Sunset Lanes
The HOPE Chest
Tomorrow's Hope Christian Academy

Welcome to Our Newest Member!

Flashmugz Photo Booth Rentals
Pekin, IL 61554
Brigitte Krieg, Owner
Flashmugz Photo Booth Rentals is a company specializing in open and enclosed photobooth rentals. Our booths and open air back drop designs are available for a variety of events including company parties and branding events, fundraisers, conventions, weddings and reunions.

Illinois American Water Awards Approximately $49,600 through 2015 Firefighter Grant Program

Approximately $49,600 will be awarded to 62 fire departments through Illinois American Water’s 2015 Firefighter Grant Program.  The program was created in 2010 to provide financial assistance to fire and emergency organizations serving customers in Illinois American Water’s service area.  Since creation, the program has resulted in over 280 grants totaling over $294,000 awarded across the state.

“We are committed to supporting our local fire departments,” said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water.  “This program enables us to further support fire protection in the communities we serve and partner with our local fire fighters.”

Illinois American Water’s Firefighter Grant Program awards grants to provide personal protective gear, communications equipment, firefighting tools, water handling equipment, training materials and classroom programs.  Illinois American Water presented grants to the following Illinois fire departments:

Northern Illinois
Des Plaines Fire Department

City of Elmhurst Fire Department
Elgin Fire Department
Homer Township Fire Protection District
Lemont Fire Protection District
Lisle-Woodridge Fire District
Mount Prospect Fire Department
Northwest Homer Fire Protection District
Orland Fire Protection District
Oswego Fire Protection District
Plainfield Fire Protection District
Prospect Heights Fire Protection District
Rockton Fire Protection District
Grand Ridge Volunteer Fire Department
Leonore Volunteer Fire Department
Long Point Community Volunteer Fire Department
Reading Volunteer Fire Department
Streator Fire Department
Sterling Fire Department

Central Illinois
Arcola Fire Protection District
Carroll Fire Protection District
Eastern Prairie Fire Protection District
Pesotum Fire Protection District
Savoy Fire Department
St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Department
Tolono Fire Protection District
Tuscola Fire Department
Urbana Fire Rescue Services
U of I Willard Airport Fire Department

Lincoln Fire Department
Lincoln Rural Fire Department
Cincinnati Fire Protection District
City of Pekin Fire Department
North Pekin Fire Department
Schaeferville Fire Department
Dunlap Community Fire Protection District
Limestone Township Fire Protection District
Logan-Trivoli Fire Protection District
Peoria Fire Department
West Peoria Fire Protection District
Pontiac Fire & Rescue
Saunemin Fire Protection District

Southern Illinois
City of Alton Fire Department
Godfrey Fire Protection District
QEM Fire Protection District
Cairo Fire Department
St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department
French Village Fire Department
Belleville Fire Department
East Side Fire Protection District
Church Road Fire Protection District
Northwest St. Clair County Fire Protection District
Hamel Volunteer Fire Department
Fairmont City Fire Department
Signal Hill Fire Department
East St. Louis Fire Department
Sauget Fire Department
Pocahontas - Old Ripley Fire Department
Villa Hills Fire Department
Mascoutah Fire Department
Waterloo Fire Department
Elizabethtown Fire Department