Monday, October 31, 2016

Chamber Challenge Trivia Night

Don't Forget to Shop Small on November 26th

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing Honored with 5 Pinnacle Awards

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing, a communications firm headquartered in Pekin, recently received 5 Pinnacle Awards in a ceremony sponsored by its peers. The ceremony was recently held in Galena, as part of the annual conference for the Illinois Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations (ISHMPR). 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

Award of Merit

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing draws on more than 50 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 Rockford, Ill., and 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.  

American Water's Annual Economic Impact in Illinois Estimated at $232 to $245 Million

American Water partnered with the University of Illinois' Regional Economic Applications Laboratory to analyze the Company's impact on the economy in the state of Illinois. The study, completed earlier this year, determined American Water's overall economic impact at $232 to $245 million per year, for a total economic impact in Illinois of $714 million between 2013 and 2015.

"We are proud to contribute to the economic health of Illinois and the communities we serve. American Water remains committed to Illinois, not only to the residents, businesses and fire departments we serve, but also to our dedicated employees," said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water.

The study states American Water generates between 2,690 and 2,830 jobs per year in Illinois. Illinois is unique to the American Water footprint. It is home to multiple locations of American Water Subsidiaries, including Illinois American Water, which provides regulated water and wastewater services to 128 communities. Other American Water subsidiaries operating in Illinois include the National Customer Service Center in Alton, National Laboratory in Belleville, American Water Resources, Military Services Group and Contract Services Group.

Other highlights of the study in regards to employment and taxes include:

  • American Water employed an average of 1,036 people across the state of Illinois. 
  • American Water paid an average of $52 million in salaries and wages to its employees in Illinois. 
  • American Water's activity in Illinois generated an estimated $156.7 million in state and local taxes and generated from other jobs and business supported by American Water. 
  • In 2015, American Water directly and indirectly generated $43.5 million in state and local taxes and $44.2 million in federal taxes. 
In addition, the study determined that in 2015 alone every $1 spent by American Water generated an additional 86 cents elsewhere in the Illinois economy. In addition to the job generation mentioned above, American Water's activities in Illinois supported an additional 1,686 jobs, $107.4 million of activity and $40 million of income. 

Illinois is one of the 16 states American Water operates regulated utilities. 

GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Guides


Illinois Central College Criminal Justice Program will host a Town Hall Community Conversation on “Race, Inequality, & Policing” on Thurs., Nov. 3 from 6 to 8 pm at Manual Academy High School Auditorium, located at 811 S. Griswold St., Peoria. The free event is part of the Arts & Communications Dept.’s annual Lecture & Art Series and is open to the public.
“The purpose of this event is to bring all members of the community together to promote and facilitate an informative, healthy and issues-driven conversation,” said ICC Dean of Social Sciences and Public Services Dr. Marwin Spiller, who will serve as moderator for the meeting.
“We hope to encourage, in particular, the young members of the community to explore ways to impact change as informed citizens so that they’ll leave this meeting equipped with a better understanding of the recent events around the country which have incited racial division, police mistrust and social unrest.”
Panelists will include Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich, ICC Criminal Justice Professor Dr. Anthony White, Peoria City Council Member at Large Elizabeth Jensen, Federal Public Defender Thomas Patton, ICC Professor of Criminal Justice Nick Graff, ICC Professor of Economics Bill Feipel, Pastor Deveraux Hubbard of St. Paul Baptist Church, and Bradley University Director and Associate Professor of Social Work Dr. Portia Adams. 
Reservations are not required. Parking is available close to the building.

For more information, please contact Dr. Marwin Spiller (309) 694-5361 or


Illinois Central College will offer an Emergency Medical Responder (formerly First Responder) EMS 112 course this spring at its Pekin Campus, located at Riverway Business Park, 225 Hanna Dr., Pekin. Students in the Emergency Medical Responder class will learn how to meet the emergency care training needs of police officers, firefighters, industrial health personnel, and teachers responding to an emergency call.
Skills covered in this course include airway management, patient assessment, and treatment of medical or trauma emergencies. Emergency Medical Responders are responsible for providing care prior to the arrival of higher-level trained personnel such as EMTs, paramedics, nurses or physicians. Upon successful completion of this course and a licensure exam, students may apply for an Emergency Medical Responder license through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The class is open to anyone at least 16 years old with no criminal background. Prior to enrollment, students must complete an ICC application, which is available online at
Students taking the Emergency Medical Responder course must also be CPR certified at the American Heart Association Basic Life Support, or may enroll in the Basic Life Support course (HLTH 041) offered during the Emergency Medical Responder course to receive certification.
The class meets Wednesdays from 5:30 to 9 pm, January 18, 2017, through May 10, 2017. Tuition for the two credit hour EMS 112 is $280 plus a lab fee of $30.  Tuition for the HLTH 041 CPR course if needed is $70.00.
Registration opens on November 1. Students may register online at or in person at Enrollment Services on the East Peoria, North, Downtown, or Pekin Campuses. For hours and further details on applying and enrolling at ICC, visit

For questions, contact EMS Program Director Mike Dant at

Pekin Hospital League to Host Holiday Gift Show

The Pekin Hospital League will host its annual Holiday Splendor Gift Show on November 4th and 5th in the lobby of Pekin Hospital, 600 South 13th Street.
Friday’s event will run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday’s event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds from the two-day 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.

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

Goodwill Announces New Director of Program Services

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois has announced Lori Johnson as the organization's new Director of Program Services.

Johnson comes to Goodwill from OSF Healthcare Systems where she served as e-health Project Director. Prior to that Johnson was the Chief Information Officer for Pearl Companies. She holds an under graduate degree from Illinois State University and an MBA from Bradley University.

"Lori brings varied and valuable experience to this position," said Don Johnson, Goodwill President and CEO. "She has a keen head for the mechanics of running a program, but she also understands the need for partnerships, community involvement and of course the compassion it takes to support the individuals who we serve."

"Goodwill's mission is to assist people in finding employment," said Lori Johnson. "Goodwill does this in many ways and for many different populations in our community. Jobs empower people financially and provide the self-esteem that everyone deserves. From our veterans' services to our youth mentoring program, everything we do is geared towards employment and the power that it brings."

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois offers a veterans program, a nationally recognized youth mentoring program and youth services geared toward establishing a career path. The non-profit also offers computer skills classes, a fork lift operation certification program, a veterans home, and much more. All the services that Goodwill provides are free.

Goodwill is supported by the sale of donated goods throughout its 11 stores. Goodwill serves 21 counties within Central Illinois. More information can be found at

Friday, October 28, 2016

Advantage Auto Sales Celebrates New Pekin Store

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin congratulated Advantage Auto Sales on the opening of their new store at 1215 Court Street. Advantage Auto Sales offers a huge selection of used cars.  They have been in business in Central Illinois for 22 years and specialize in financing people who have had past credit problems.  They are open from 9am to 6pm, Monday through Thursday, until 8pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday.  Get more information at:  More pictures from this event can be seen at:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pekin Hospital Foundation to Host Jewels & Jeans Gala

The Pekin Hospital Foundation will host the 2016 Jewels & Jeans Gala on November 19th at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria starting at 6 p.m. The annual event is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser each year.
The Jewels & Jeans Gala will include live music from West MacQueen Street Band, silent auction items, a photo booth and more. Individual tickets for the Jewels & Jeans Gala are $150, and tables of 10 are $1,500. To make a reservation contact Director of Fund Development Sherry Semonis at 309-353-0983 or
Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the ProHealth Medical Office Building project, which is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017. The 62,000-square-foot facility will house multiple providers in Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
Part of Progressive Health Systems, the Pekin Hospital Foundation provides a direct channel for donors and volunteers to support Pekin Hospital’s mission of improving the health and well-being of the community with love, compassion and extraordinary care.

For more information visit

2016 World Series Mashie's Pub &Eatery



Illinois American Water Encourages Customers to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Mansion On Walnut

Good afternoon! I'm excited to announce that our operations have shifted to a new location in Pekin. Our new facility is located at 420 Walnut St and is called The Mansion on Walnut. It's a exciting place and we are grateful to keep the arts alive in this beautiful mansion that was built in 1862. Everything we will do is the same as our prior location. The facility is a wonderful place for events and we will continue our First Fridays and Exhibits alongside the current Crossroads Programs that is currently housed there. The Pekin Academy of Fine Arts has relocated there as well with their programs and classes. Their contact information is the same, only their address has changed.  Please take the time to change your contact information for me to 
We are launching our new website soon as well.
Our Facebook page is 
Please like this page to keep up with information on our events. We are planning a Open House Celebration and Art Exhibit on 
November 18, 2016 from 5-8pm. Mark your calendar and watch for the event soon on our facebook! 
I want to thank all of you for supporting me and my passion for the arts in Pekin!

Shannon Cox
Director of The Mansion on Walnut & The Pekin Academy of Fine Arts
420 Walnut St
Pekin Il 61554

ProHealth Medical Group Hosting Open House for OB/GYN Practice

ProHealth Medical Group is hosting an Open House for members of the community to meet Dr. Arie Shaw, the first physician for the newly formed ProHealth OB/GYN medical practice, and Certified Nurse Midwife Susan Lock.
The free event will take place November 1st from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pekin Hospital, Medical Office Suite D. Refreshments will be served, and tours of the new office will be available. For more information about the Open House, call 309-620-9980.

Part of Progressive Health Systems, ProHealth Medical Group was established in 1986 as a sister organization of Pekin Hospital. ProHealth offers seven practices throughout the Pekin area, including ProHealth OB/GYN. For more information visit

Blackhawks Special at The Clubs At Sunset Hills



HOPE Chest Needs Thanksgiving Help

The HOPE Chest recently learned their usual resource for Thanksgiving meals cannot assist them this year.  They need your help to supply these meals this year.

They average 250 to 300 families each year who come to The HOPE Chest for help during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

The HOPE Chest's HOPE Cupboard is interested in partnering with local businesses, churches, organizations or schools to provide for these families. If your group is interested in helping with all or part of their needs, please call the Pekin Store at (309) 620-9043 and ask for Aaron or Rhonda.
Items needed are canned hams, jar or canned gravy, canned vegetables, canned fruit, biscuit mix, pie crust mix, boxed pudding and/or canned pie filling and jello mix.

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.  A tax receipt can be given to qualifying businesses for your donation.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Chamber Honors Thirty-Six

See more pictures of this event at:

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their 19th annual Business and Community Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, October 20 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, Homefield Energy, and Pekin Hospital.  Additional sponsors included Busey Bank, CEFCU, NRG Powerton, Pekin Community Bank, and Peoria Limousine.

Recognition was given to thirty-six 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.

The speaker at the luncheon was Dave Kinzinger, founder, owner, and president of Fun on the Run.  He shared his personal story of how he started Fun on the Run in 1996 and how it continues to grow. 

Special recognition was given to Neighborhood House who has provided services to the community for 120 years.  In 2011, they expanded their Meals on Wheel program to Tazewell County.  This year they opened a Financial Opportunity Center.

Chamber Board President John Franks 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, the backbone and job creators of local economies.

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

·         Advanced Medical Transport

·         BodyWealth Massage

·         Bond Eye Associates

·         Brady’s Carpet Cleaners of Central Illinois, Inc.

·         Cape Cod Village Apartments

·         Career Link

·         CT Gabbert Remodeling & Construction

·         Dan Pfeifer State Farm

·         Debbie Fornoff Interior Design and Draperies

·         Double D’s Ice Cream

·         DreamScapes Landscaping LLC

·         Enviro-Safe Refrigerants, Inc.

·         Facet Technologies

·         First Pekin Savings Bank

·         First State Bank of Illinois

·         Illinois American Water Company

·         Innovative Medical Therapies

·         Johnson Mechanical Service, Inc.

·         Mackinaw Valley Winery

·         Morningside Of Pekin

·         PAL Health Technologies, Inc.

·         Pekin Animal Hospital

·         Pekin Hospital/Progressive Health Systems

·         Pekin Insurance Company

·         Pekin Lions Club

·         Peoria Limousine Company

·         Porter Electric

·         Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory LLC

·         Sears Hometown Store

·         South Side Bank

·         The Hope Chest Stores of Central Illinois

·         The Salvation Army of Pekin

·         United Way of Pekin

·         YWCA Pekin

·         JL Hubbard Insurance & Bonds

·         Neighborhood House

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pekin Hospital Foundation to Host Jewels & Jeans Gala

The Pekin Hospital Foundation will host the 2016 Jewels & Jeans Gala on November 19th at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria starting at 6 p.m. The annual event is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser each year.
The Jewels & Jeans Gala will include live music from West MacQueen Street Band, silent auction items, a photo booth and more. Individual tickets for the Jewels & Jeans Gala are $150, and tables of 10 are $1,500. To make a reservation contact Director of Fund Development Sherry Semonis at 309-353-0983 or
Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the ProHealth Medical Office Building project, which is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017. The 62,000-square-foot facility will house multiple providers in Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
Part of Progressive Health Systems, the Pekin Hospital Foundation provides a direct channel for donors and volunteers to support Pekin Hospital’s mission of improving the health and well-being of the community with love, compassion and extraordinary care.
For more information visit

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pekin Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections Opens

The Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections is an Assisted Living Community that offers residents carefree, retirement living at its finest. They do it ALL! They'll cook, clean and do the laundry. They also take care of the lawn and remove snow and ice from the walkways. Reflections Memory Care provides security and support of your loved one needs to live successfully in a non-nursing home environment.  The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the community were on hand on October 15th to welcome them to Pekin with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections is located at 2720 S. 14th.  More information is available online at or by calling (309) 264-0341.  More pictures from this event are available at:


Illinois Central College will host its annual Cover Crop Field Day on Thursday, November 3, from 1-3:30 pm, on the East Peoria Campus. The field day will include short presentations and plot tours for area farmers and agricultural businessmen.
Presenters include Gordon Roskamp and Pete Fandel, who are all currently working with cover crop research at various locations in Central Illinois. A representative from Waterborne Environmental also will talk about the tile water testing at ICC in relation to cover crops. Participants will learn about different cover crop species, planting dates, herbicide carryover, and many other topics related to cover crops. Everyone will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding crop cover management in their own operations.

To register, call ICC Associate Professor Pete Fandel at (309) 694-5410, or email


Two new exhibits open on October 19 at the Illinois Central College art galleries, located on the East Peoria Campus.
An opening reception from noon to 2 pm for all will fragment, an exhibit featuring drawings and paintings by Peoria-based artist Bethany Carlson, takes place in Gallery 336B, located in the Academic Building.
In addition, a veterans’ art exhibit featuring works by military veterans from the area opens at noon in the ICC Performing Arts Center Gallery, located in the lobby of the facility. The event is the first show in what is hoped to be an annual exhibit featuring works of art by faculty, student and community military veterans. A reception for this exhibit will take place November 9 from 5 to 9 pm in the gallery.
Carlson, who serves as an adjunct art faculty member at ICC, resides in Peoria. She earned her bachelor of fine arts from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and her master of fine arts from New Mexico State University. She has exhibited her works across the US. She focuses on creating works that are pensive and funereal in nature. Her work features drawings, paintings, and sculptures that are often delicate and detailed.
Hours of operation for Gallery 336B are Monday through Thursday, from 9 am to 5 pm and Friday from 9 am to noon. The Performing Arts Center Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, and Friday from 9:30 am to noon. Operation of the galleries varies with ICC’s holidays and breaks. To confirm a gallery will be open at a particular time, call the ICC Arts and Communication Department at (309) 694-5113. The Performing Arts Center Gallery also is accessible when the Performing Arts Center is open for public events.
The exhibits are presented by the ICC Art Program and the Arts at ICC. The Arts at ICC has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.

For more information, visit, or contact the ICC Arts & Communication Department at (309) 694-5113.


The Illinois Central College Guest Artists Series will feature classic songs from one of the most popular duos in music history with Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience, performed by brothers Jeb and Jock Guthrie, on October 21. The show begins at 7:30 pm in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus.
“We’ve always been attracted to harmony vocals,” Jeb said. “The first town we grew up in was a town called Brillion, Wisc., a town of about 1,500. There was this place there that had an ancient jukebox that they hadn’t really changed the music on in a long time. So the first things that we were really influenced by were the Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, and all the stuff that was from the early ’50s halfway through the early ‘60s.”
Although they have been performing for more than 30 years, the idea for a show featuring the music of Simon and Garfunkel didn’t emerge until more recently.
“The show kind of evolved,” Jock said. “Somewhere along the way, the first Simon and Garfunkel tune we learned was ‘The Boxer.’ It worked out so well that we started learning more, and one day we just sort of woke up and said, ‘Hey, tribute performances are a respectable thing these days; we should do a Simon and Garfunkel show.’ And it took off from there.”
While the Guthries have been performing this show for several years, they said they’ve never actually met either Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel.
“The closest we’ve come is sending [Paul’s] office licensing fees for the CDs we sell,” Jock said. “I do think that if he heard what we do, he’d realize the care and how we treat the material like we’re museum archivists.”
The brothers said the audience shouldn’t expect the type of show where the performers are closely imitated, but rather, they treat the show as an homage to Simon and Garfunkel’s music while staying true to their own style. They also enjoy a kind of dialogue with the audience.  
“We have been told that our audiences feel like they know us by the end of the show,” Jock explained.
In turn, the approach of being themselves on stage has helped the pair evolve and develop as performers.
“That’s one of the main things that we are so thrilled about,” Jeb said. “When you’re younger, you sort of have a one-dimensional view of what a performance is; you think you go up on stage and you play songs to someone and they like it and clap and everything is great. But really, it’s a much more interactive situation than that, and we’ve sort of embraced that aspect more and more the more we have performed.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria will be the highlighted community partner for the event. The community partner program, a part of the ICC Guest Artists Series, highlights a non-profit or community organization which has ties to the Guest Artists Series performance.
Patrons at the event who donate to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria will be entered in a drawing for two free tickets to a future ICC Guest Artists Series event.
In addition, patrons who attend the event will have the opportunity to provide input about future shows.
As it does for all ICC Guest Artists Series events, CityLink provides Park and Ride service from Peoria for the performance. Buses leave Evergreen Square near the former Lenscrafters building at 6:45 pm and transport passengers directly to the ICC Performing Arts Center. Buses return to Evergreen Square immediately after the show. Fares are $1 one-way. Senior citizens 65 years of age and older with verification can ride for 50 cents one way.
The performance is presented by the Arts at ICC. The Arts at ICC has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.

Tickets to the show cost $20 for the general public and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (309) 694-5136.

Marketing Seminar Offered

Friday, October 14, 2016

October Puttin' On Pekin Breakfast

Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, the new President of Illinois Central College was the speaker at the October 14th Puttin' On Pekin breakfast.  Dr. Bailey noted the community colleges can play in addressing economic challenges facing today's generation.  She also spoke of ICC's relationship with the local high school districts and the opportunities available at the ICC Pekin campus.  Several awards were also presented at the breakfast, including the Early Prize to Kay Sutton and the Late Prize to Mitch O'Shaughnessey.  Tom Hornstein accepted the Spotlight on Business Award on behalf of Excalibur Seasoning. The Blue Ribbon Award was presented to Mark and Lelonie Luft, owners of Maurie's Candy.  A second Blue Ribbon Award was presented to Mitch O'Shaughnessey (Dreamscapes Landscaping) and Sarah Newcomb (City of Pekin) for their beautiful downtown flower pot project.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

After Hours At Lick Creek

The Pekin Park District hosted the Business After Hours at Lick Creek Golf Course on October 13th.  There were plenty of refreshments, plus door prizes and a putting contest!  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Safe Roads Amendment

This November Illinoisans have a chance to change the direction of our state. On Election Day you’ll be able to VOTE YES on the Safe Roads Amendment, a proposed addition to the Illinois Constitution. This amendment creates no new taxes. The Safe Roads Amendment only requires our Illinois government to invest existing transportation taxes and fees on transportation projects and programs. 

Illinois is at the center of the North American transportation network. We travel over 103 billion miles a year on America's third longest inventory of roads. Within our borders we possess the third largest transit system, the second largest rail network, the eighth most navigable waterway, and we are a leader in passenger and cargo air travel.

To keep these systems running Illinois needs to invest billions into our existing transportation infrastructure over the next 25 years. However, since 2003 over $6.8 billion collected by the state of Illinois through gas taxes and vehicle registrations has been swept by our elected officials and used for other purposes. This has eroded the public trust while threatening Illinois’ ability to move people and materials safely and efficiently.

If this referendum does not pass in November, policy makers will continue to have the ability to divert billions of dollars away from where they need to be spent. A diverse group of organizations from across Illinois have come out in support of this amendment, including the Board of Directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please visit

Pekin Hospital Director Earns Patient Safety Certification

Pekin Hospital Director of Obstetrics (OB) and Manager of House Supervisors Darlene Hammond, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CPPS, has been recognized by the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS) as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety. 

Hammond earned this credential in part by passing a rigorous, evidence-based examination that tests candidates on their competency in patient safety science and application.

“This certification reflects Darlene’s commitment to patient safety, which is critical to the work we do at Pekin Hospital every day,” said Beth Thomas, Director of Quality and Patient Safety. “We congratulate Darlene on this achievement, and we thank her for her continued dedication to the communities we serve.”

Hammond joined Pekin Hospital in 2006 and has managed the OB department since 2007. In addition to her patient safety recognition, she holds certifications in neonatal resuscitation, electronic fetal monitoring and inpatient obstetrics.

Part of Progressive Health Systems, Pekin Hospital is a 107-bed medical center serving Central Illinois since 1913. For more information visit

Cullinan Properties Continues Its Course of Expansion with New Projects and Announces Promotions

Diane Cullinan Oberhelman, Chairman of Cullinan Properties, announced today that Cullinan’s portfolio continues to expand as the company aggressively moves forward with new projects in the retail, office, medical, and multi-family sectors throughout the Midwest and Texas. With the expansion, Cullinan also announces promotions and the addition of key executives to its leadership team. 

Included in the expansion is a recently acquired 265-acre site located in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of I-55 and I-80 in Joliet, IL. A mixed-use development encompassing retail, office, entertainment, hotel and multi-family components is planned for this super regional site named Rock Run Crossings. Cullinan also recently opened a 3 story, 100 person, student housing complex in Peoria, Illinois, as well as a 6 story mixed-use development, known as Lofts at Euclid, that features 87 luxury residential loft apartments and 8,500 sf of street level retail and restaurant space in the Central West End of St. Louis, Missouri. Cullinan Properties also continues to enhance its real estate portfolio with medical and general service administration projects. Its current projects include the development of the Streets of St. Charles in Metro St. Louis, Missouri, and Burleson Commons in Burleson, Texas, along with the recently completed VA Clinic in Austin, Texas and the 86 acre mixed-use Levee District located in East Peoria, Illinois. 

As part of the growth, Cullinan Properties, who employs over 145, is adding additional team members and has promoted and added key executives to its leadership team. Christopher M. West has been promoted from Partner/Chief Operating Officer to Partner/Chief Executive Officer and Sean R. Garrett from Vice President of Investments to President of Acquisitions and Director of Community Relations. Sean will serve in this new capacity until January 2019, at which time he will be named Chief Operating Officer. Sean Garrett will work alongside Chris West on aligning resources for the future and defining critical success factors for Cullinan Properties management going forward.  

Chris West began his association with Cullinan Properties in early 2002 as the leader of Urban Retail Properties’ development of the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. After Urban’s acquisition in 2002, Chris formed CW Development Services to complete the Shoppes of Grand Prairie project for Cullinan. West later joined Cullinan Properties as Partner and Group President. In 2010, West was appointed Chief Operating Officer for the company. As Partner/CEO, West will lead the organization’s day-to-day management decisions and implement the Company's long and short term plans. He also maintains his leadership of the construction division of Cullinan Properties and oversight of Cullinan Properties’ Chicago office.

“Since taking the reins in 2010, Chris West has been an outstanding leader to this company. While our company is larger, stronger and more resourceful, now is the time to reorganize our strategy for continued business improvement and elevate him to Partner/CEO”, states Diane Cullinan Oberhelman.

Since 2013, Sean Garrett has served as Vice President of Investments for Cullinan Properties. He joined the company in 2011 from Western Development Corporation in Washington, DC and served as a Financial Analyst for Cullinan Properties where he developed strong relationships with business partners, investors, lenders and community leaders. Sean presently serves as Secretary on the board of the Central Illinois BizPAC and is a Peoria CEO Council committee member. As President of Acquisitions and Director of Community Relations, Sean will oversee all aspects of the acquisition and disposition processes, including financial analysis, due diligence and underwriting while also developing and maintaining important relationships with community partners. He will also work alongside West to create a compelling and sustainable path forward for Cullinan Properties while at the same time seamlessly implementing Cullinan Properties growth initiatives.

“I have been honored to lead Cullinan Properties through its tremendous growth and bring a national prominence to Cullinan Properties as a leading real estate development company. Sean has been an integral part of the team and communities in which we have developed over the last five years and he has distinguished himself as an extraordinary leader. We look forward to Sean having an increased role in the company and the communities we serve. He and the entire Cullinan Properties team is well equipped to continue the transformation of our company for the next generation of our business partners to exceed expectations and build winning relationships in every market we develop”, states West.

Oberhelman also announces that Ginger Benz has been promoted from Operations Manager to Vice President of Operations and Marketing. Ginger joined Cullinan Properties in 2006 and brings over 20 years of operational management and marketing experience to the Cullinan Properties team. She works closely with ownership on the implementation of new developments, marketing and administration and has been integral in the pre-development for the Levee District at East Peoria Downtown, East Peoria, IL, the Streets of St. Charles, Metro St. Louis, MO and now Rock Run Crossings in Joliet, IL. Prior to joining Cullinan Properties, Ginger was the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at CPM Marketing Group, Inc., a Customer Relationship Management and database marketing provider for the healthcare, financial services and telecommunications industries. As Vice President of Operations and Marketing, Ginger will provide the day-to-day oversight of the operations and marketing departments of organization.  

Oberhelman continues as Chairman of the company focusing on investor relations, strategic partnerships and key tenant relationships. Cullinan Properties is also led by a core group of leaders including, Michael C. Owens, Chief Investment Officer and President of the Office and Medical Division, Michael F. Norbutas, Chief Financial Officer; Kathleen Cullinan Brill, Vice President, Director of Leasing and Scott Bishop, Vice President of Asset Management.

Cullinan Properties, Ltd., with offices in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL and St. Louis, MO, is a multi-disciplined real estate form that develops, manages and owns mixed-use, retail, multi-family, office and medical properties throughout the United States. For additional information on Cullinan Properties, Ltd., visit

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Salvation Army Ribbon Cutting

The Salvation Army of Pekin held a grand re-opening of their Rust Transitional Center and the Pekin Area  Chamber of Commerce was there to make it official with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  You can see more pictures of this event at:

Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection!

First Baptist Church hosts Kids Hope USA to Jefferson School

Kids Hope USA is a national program that started in Holland, Michigan in 1995. Today there are over 1,000 church/school partnerships in 34 states. Kids Hope USA matches a church with a public school. The church hires a director, who is trained by Kids Hope USA, and then members & regular attendees of the church volunteer to mentor a child. All mentors are trained and have background checks done. Each mentor spends one hour a week with their mentee during the school day. Children who are considered “at risk” either academically or socially are recommended by the school for Kids Hope mentors. This relationship can start in Kindergarten and last through 3rd grade.
In 2007 First Baptist Church started a Kids Hope program with Jefferson School as their partner school. Peggy Eagan was the first Kids Hope director. Peggy moved in 2013, and Shelly Hochstetler was hired as the new director. There are 23 mentors from the church who spend one hour a week with their students.  During the mentoring hour mentors help students with school work, listen to students read, play games, or make a craft. The main job of a mentor is to be someone that a child can count on to show up, and to encourage and help their child with school.
Through the years the relationship between Jefferson School and First Baptist Church has gone beyond just mentoring students. For many years the church held a free carnival, which was planned and organized by Children’s Ministries Director, Becky McIntyre. Jefferson School students were given $5 vouchers that went towards the $20 school supply fee that families pay at the school. This past year the church set a goal to pay the whole school supply fee for those who were unable to pay it. Because of the generosity of the FBC family a check for $5,000 was given to Jefferson. This money covered all of the unpaid fees.
At Christmas time, attendees of FBC “adopt” families from Jefferson.  Families in need at Jefferson School are recommended by the school, people from the church sign-up to buy presents for the children in those families. Each child gets 2 outfits and one toy. The presents are delivered to the school, where families can pick them up.
The church also provides supplies for the school nurse to give to children, which includes: underwear, socks, pants, shoes, and lice treatment kits.  This year, because of a generous donation, all of the K-3rd grade and 4th-6th grade schools in Pekin received some of these items.
Jefferson School has also given back to First Baptist Church. The school has a food drive, and they have donated the food to the First Baptist Church food pantry.

What started out as a few Kids Hope mentors spending one on one time with students at Jefferson School has grown into a relationship between a public school and a church.  

Heartland Bank to Host Fall into Free Event

On Friday, October 14th, Heartland Bank and Trust Company will host its Fall into Free Event. Local offices are extending an open invitation to customers, residents and businesses to join in celebration with refreshments, gifts, one-day-only offers and a chance to win a $500
VISA(r) Gift Card. Local Heartland Bank offices are located at 3400 Court St. and 2807 Broadway Rd. with additional offices in Morton, Mackinaw and Delavan.

For more information on Heartland Bank's Fall into Free Event, visit:

Heartland Bank and Trust Company is an independently owned community bank with assets of $3 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<>.

*Retail value of prize: $500. Sweepstakes is open to legal U.S. residents, domiciled in the State of Illinois, 18 years of age and older at the time of entry, who are not employees of Heartland Bank and Trust Company, its parent or subsidiaries, or members of their immediate family or household.
Valid only on October 14, 2016. Entry form must be brought to a Heartland Bank office to be entered. Incomplete or photocopied entries will not be accepted. Need not be present to win. One (1) prize winner will be drawn from all qualifying entries received from individual Heartland Bank branches. No purchase necessary. Purchase does not improve chances of winning. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. See any Heartland Bank branch for official rules. VISA(r) is not a sponsor of, or participant in this promotion. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor:

Heartland Bank and Trust Company, 401 North Hershey Rd., Bloomington, Illinois. Only one entry per person. To stop receiving sweepstakes materials please contact: Marketing, P.O. Box 67, Bloomington, IL 61702.


Illinois Central College will open registration for its spring minimester and spring 2017 semester on Tues., November 1. The schedule is available online at
The College also will offer “Express Enrollment” Monday through Wednesday, November 14, 15, and 16 from 8 am to 4 pm, on the East Peoria Campus. Those interested in enrolling at ICC can complete the process of applying and enrolling in just one day. No appointment is necessary, and free parking is available in Lots A and B and in the Visitors Lot. Classes for the spring minimester begin on Tues., December 13, and the spring 2017 semester begins on Tues., January 17.
“Express Enrollment” can be completed in just a few hours’ time. Participants are encouraged to arrive by 1 pm in order to complete all of the steps leading to enrollment in one day. For advising or testing completion only, participants must arrive by 2 pm.
                The process includes: Completing and processing an ICC application, completing placement testing, meeting with an advisor to develop a class schedule, filling out financial aid paperwork and setting up a payment plan, and getting an official ICC identification card.
                Students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) five days prior to coming on campus at ICC Financial Assistance staff is available to answer questions about completing the FAFSA or you can find helpful information located at
In order to complete all of the steps of admission and enrollment, participants should be prepared to bring the following items with them:
·         A valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, or other government issued ID).
  • Check book or credit card to set up a payment plan.
  • In addition, potential students wishing to fill out a FAFSA also should bring with them: 2015 tax return, 2015 W-2 forms and current bank statements. (If the participant is aged 24 or younger, the parents’ social security cards, 2015 tax return, 2015 W-2 forms and current bank statements also are necessary.)
“Express Enrollment” is provided on a first come, first-served basis. The total time needed to complete all of the steps depends on the participant’s individual needs. Advisors will be available to help students wishing to enroll on a full-time basis (12 hours or more) in most majors and those students wishing to enroll on a part-time basis. However, follow up appointments with an advisor may be necessary in some cases. Some programs require restricted enrollment; therefore, only general education or prerequisite courses will be available to students interested in those programs.
For those interested in financial assistance, ICC has scholarships available for the 2016-2017 academic year. To be eligible for the scholarships, students must first apply to ICC online at Remaining scholarships are available at
For more information or for any questions, please call Illinois Central College at (309) 694-5-ICC or visit

Debbie Fornoff Interior Designs & Draperies $100 Rebate!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kiwanis Murder Mystery Dinner Show


Dr. Michael Honan Joins ProHealth Medical Group

ProHealth Medical Group, Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems are pleased to announce Dr. Michael Honan has joined the ProHealth Primary Care practice. He will see patients at 600 South 13th Street, Suite E, in Pekin.
Dr. Honan has been a member of Pekin Hospital’s Medical Staff since 2003, and he is a founding partner of Internal Medicine Associates of Pekin. He received his medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed the Internal Medicine residency program at Lutheran General Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Chicago.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Michael Honan as part of the ProHealth team,” said Dawn Moushon, Vice President of Practice Management for ProHealth Medical Group. “Dr. Honan is well known and greatly respected throughout Central Illinois. His passion for service and his commitment to our communities perfectly align with ProHealth’s promise to provide superior care with kindness and compassion.”

Part of Progressive Health Systems, ProHealth Medical Group was established in 1986 as a sister organization of Pekin Hospital. ProHealth offers seven practices throughout the Pekin area. For more information visit To contact Dr. Honan and his staff call 309-353-9709.