Monday, July 31, 2017

The Pekin YWCA Child Care Has Openings Available

The Child Care department provides an enriching learning environment for children 6 weeks to 6 years. Our professional educators take pride in our high quality care with DCFS licensing and National Accreditation of Young Children (NAEYC). The Y’s Child Care has received the ElceleRate Il Gold Circle of Quality. The Teachers and Assistants hold certifications in CRP and First Aid and obtain service trainings to stay current with professional trends.

The YWCA Child Care provides a nutritious breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. We place emphasis on incorporating social and emotional development, manners, sharing, problem solving, reading and math preparedness, creative expression and, much more. Our professional teacher’s connect their lesson plans to the Il State Standards for preschool ages incorporating preschool activity wrapped with in a child care day. Technology, field trips, occasional swim time and fenced in play yard contribute to the high quality programming. Hours of operation are 6:30am-6:00pm.

To schedule a tour or for further information, contact Brenda, 347-2104, ext. 28.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Receives Prestigious Grant to Provide Services to Victims of Human Trafficking

The Center for Prevention of Abuse now offers services for victims of human trafficking in Central Illinois. Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS) is partnering with The Center for Prevention of Abuse through an award with the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) to provide a comprehensive array of services for all human trafficking victims – both sex and labor – identified within the Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties.

The grant will also support efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking victims through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities.

“We are thrilled to be part of this important grant so that we may expand our services to help victims of human trafficking and better serve our community,” said Carol Merna, Executive Director of The Center for Prevention of Abuse. “Human trafficking is a widely misunderstood human rights issue. It happens right here in Central Illinois, so we are grateful to be included and to provide the best level of care for all who come through our doors.”

HHCS and The Center for Prevention of Abuse are committed to helping survivors retake control of their lives, feel safe, enjoy physical and emotional health, and realize the human rights to which they are entitled.  Services are available for any survivor of human trafficking regardless of race, gender identify, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, or immigration status.  To qualify for services, the individual must be a victim of human trafficking as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (22 U.S.C § 7102 (9).

Indicators of Human Trafficking:

·         Being forced to work against your will;
·         Incurred a debt by using threats or forcing you to work to pay the debt;
·         Forced to work by using threats to harm you and/or your family;
·         Forced or pressured you into prostitution or to do other sexual acts;
·         Minor engaged in commercial sex regardless of force, fraud or coercion;
·         Confiscated your passport, birth certificate, or identification card to intimidate and control your movements

“This grant allows us to significantly expand our services and continue to meet the needs of our community,” said Sara Dillefeld, Director of Domestic Violence Family Centered Services. “Victims of human trafficking who come to The Center may have access to our two emergency shelters, specialized counselors, and intensive case management which may include legal and financial assistance.  We take each instance case by case and will do all we can to stay trauma informed and client-centered.”

When victims escape a trafficking situation, the factors that made them vulnerable to exploitation are still present and The Center for Prevention of Abuse can provide services to help with those needs.  All services are free and confidential. Survivors will be assigned a case manager who will assess his/her needs and provide resources, services, and referrals to the survivor to meet those needs.  All services will be provided in the language of choice of the survivor. These can include, but are not limited to:

·         Transportation assistance
·         Finding safe, affordable housing
·         Legal assistance
·         Medical and mental health services
·         Criminal justice advocacy
·         Linkage to public benefits
·         Education
·         Job training/employment

To learn more about Human Trafficking or to receive training please contact:  Sara Dillefeld at The Center for Prevention of Abuse, 309-691-0551 or

Camille Yameen
The Center for Prevention of Abuse / 309.272.2904                                                                           

About The Center for Prevention of Abuse

The Center for Prevention of Abuse is the only agency authorized by the State of Illinois to provide a combination of domestic violence, sexual assault and adult protective services. Annually, more than 5,000 women, men and children, affected by violence and abuse are served by The Center. The Center offers school-based abuse prevention programming to students pre-K through college age, reaching out to about 30,000 young people each year. Through these activities, plus community presentations and trainings, The Center lives out its mission which is to empower everyone – women, men and children – to live free from violence and abuse.  For more information about The Center, visit or call 309-691-0551. The crisis line is available 24/7 1-800-559-SAFE (7233).


AUGUST 1 — SEPTEMBER 30, When you visit any Bard Optical between August 1 and September 30, you can donate school supplies to LOCAL PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.

There are over one million students in the State of Illinois living in low-income situations. By simply providing school supplies, we not only help prepare students for a successful school year, but we can also help take some of the burden off struggling parents and educators. Bard Optical is asking our patients to join us in helping public school students start the school year off strong.

Supplies needed:
o    #2 Pencils
o   Colored pencils
    • Crayons
    • Folders
    • Glue bottles or sticks
    • Markers

Bard Optical, Vision For Life

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Chamber Connection

Your weekly Chamber Connection is now available here!

Emerging Leaders: Your City's Emerging Leaders


                The history of an organization that gives artists with special needs performance opportunities will be brought to life through words and music on stage at Illinois Central College.
                The Penguin Players, a collaboration involving Illinois Central College and the Penguin Project, presents three performances of Once Upon a Penguin: A Musical History of the Penguin Project on August 4, 5 and 6 in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus. Shows take place on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and on Sunday at 2:30 pm.
                Once Upon a Penguin is a revue-style presentation featuring musical scenes from past Penguin Project productions such as Annie, Jr.; Disney’s High School Musical, Jr.; Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr.; Singin’ in the Rain, Jr.; Crazy for You Young Performers Edition; and more. In addition, former Penguin Project members will speak between musical numbers about their involvement in and memories of previous Penguin Project shows.
                The ICC Penguin Players program held its first performances in 2015. The program is patterned after The Penguin Project, the successful local program that gives individuals 10 to 21 years old with special needs the opportunity to participate in the performing arts. However, the ICC Penguin Players program does not have an upper age limit.
                Penguin Players performances consist of cast members, along with peer mentors who work with artists with special needs and are present with them on stage during productions. Peer mentors are responsible for knowing all lines, songs and blocking for their partners.
                Artists and mentors participating in this year’s Penguin Players production include: Cristiano "Cris" Bennett, Peoria; Grace Brown, Dunlap; Nick Butler, Pekin; Grant Thomas Carey, Washington; Natalie Curiel, East Peoria; Vanessa Ellis, Peoria; Taylor Graves, East Peoria; Abby Grys, Pekin; Bekah Grys, Pekin; Kelsi Gustafson, Peoria Heights; Erin Hale, Peoria; Naomi Hardesty, East Peoria; Mackenna Hulsizer, Chilicothe; Sarah Johnson, Farmington; Kori Longbons, Washington; Skye Mayo, Peoria; Kammi Osborn, East Peoria; Sarah Routley, East Peoria; William Spangler, Peoria; Abby Swanson, East Peoria; Amanda Totten, Chillicothe; and Adam West, Peoria.
                Dr. Andrew Morgan, founder of the Penguin Project, is director of the ICC production.
                Tickets cost $11 for the general public and $6 for students. Tickets are available at or by calling the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office at (309) 694-5136.

The productions are offered by the Arts at ICC, which 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.

ICC Educational Foundation Hosts Student Center Donor Recognition and Reception

Illinois Central College and the Educational Foundation will host a reception for the generous donors who have supported the development of the new Student Center on the Peoria Campus. Speakers offering brief remarks include ICC President - Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, President of the ICC Educational Foundation Board of Directors  - David Zern, and Interim Exec. Director of the Education Foundation -  Stephanie Holmes.
 Donors and the spaces for which they will receive naming recognition (through signage) include:
  • Sid and Flo Banwart - Sid and Flo Banwart Library and Sid and Flo Banwart Academic Support Center
  • CEFCU - CEFCU Commons
  • CORE Construction – Group Learning Laboratory
  • Lowell “Bud” Grieves Family - The Lowell “Bud” Grieves Family Event Room
  • Kriegsman Family - The Kriegsman Family Group Study Room
  • Kuhl Insurance - Kuhl Insurance Group Study Room
  • Pekin Insurance - Pekin Insurance Computer Laboratory

Available for media interviews: Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey – ICC President, and donors in attendance.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Upcoming Events

Check out all the great events happening at the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard!

Pekin Area Network Scholarship Golf Outing

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Moose Lodge #916
2605 Broadway 
Pekin, IL 61554
Wilson Smith, Manager
The Loyal Order of Moose is a private organization. All activities and events are available to members in good standing and their qualified guests only.

Pekin Night at the Chiefs

Neighborhood House Day of Giving

Make a Donation Today

Join us in our first Telethon. The Telethon Lite will take place on Thursday, July 27 2017. This event will help raise money for the programs of Neighborhood House!
Donate today by clicking the "Donate Today" button below or wait and call this number 844-79-HOUSE on Thursday, July 27, 2017 between 6:00 AM-6:30 PM

Thank you for your support!

Bradley University Brave Launch

  The Illinois Small Business Development Center, at Bradley University, is again offering the first of its kind in the area, business accelerator, to work with startups, small businesses and corporate innovation teams.

  • What is Brave Launch?
    Brave Launch is a business accelerator modeled off of the National Science Foundation's I-Corps accelerator program and Steve Blank's Lean LaunchPad. The foundation of the program is evidence-based entrepreneurship and agile development, which pushes teams out into the real world to gain read more.....
  • Who is involved with organizing Brave Launch?
    The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) staff at Bradley University provides the management and instruction for Brave Launch. The SBDC is part of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business. Guidance and support is also provided by local entities and individuals involved in the overall Greater Peoria startup community.

Accelerate Your Business!

The Journey Begins Sept 26

Deadline to apply is Mon, August 21st
Free to Apply

Do you want to surround yourself with other driven individuals? Do you want access to mentors with incredible experience in a multitude of vocations including, but not limited to: customer development, product development, finance, sales and operations?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, Brave Launch is for you.  

First Baptist Church of Pekin Welcomes New Pastor

First Baptist Church of Pekin, is excited to announce Vernon Risner has accepted the position as our senior pastor.

Veron is married to Melissa and they have 2 daughters, Lydia (9) and Karis (7).

Vernon is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and Moody Bible Theological Seminary. He became a member of FBC pf Franklin when he was 19 years old. At 23 he was called to be their Associate/Youth Pastor. Then, in 2001, he assumed responsibilities of Senior Pastor.

Vernon and Melissa both strongly felt that this was God’s call on them to make this move in their lives.

Vernon’s first Sunday in the pulpit will be August 20th, same day as the Back to School Cruise-In/Carnival.

Vern’s greatest hope is to help First Baptist of Pekin be a light and a hope to people in our community and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. First Baptist of Pekin is very much looking forward to having Vernon and Melissa and their daughters become a part of the community here in Pekin, as well as at First Baptist Church.

July Biz Barometer

Thursday, July 20, 2017

AT&T Grand Opening

AT&T Custom Communications kicked off their grand opening weekend with a ribbon cutting on July 20.  Joining Mike Henline and the staff were representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.  AT&T Custom Communications is located at 3331 Court Street next to Buffalo Wild Wings.  AT&T Custom Communications is an award-winning National Authorized Retailer and AT&T Partner offering the latest in mobile services, devices and DirecTV. They can be reached at 740-0105.  You can see another picture from this event at: 

ICC Educational Foundation Hosts Student Center Donor Recognition and Reception

Illinois Central College and the Educational Foundation will host a reception for the generous donors who have supported the development of the new Student Center on the Peoria Campus. Speakers offering brief remarks include ICC President - Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, President of the ICC Educational Foundation Board of Directors  - David Zern, and Interim Exec. Director of the Education Foundation -  Stephanie Holmes.
 Donors and the spaces for which they will receive naming recognition (through signage) include:
  • Sid and Flo Banwart - Sid and Flo Banwart Library and Sid and Flo Banwart Academic Support Center
  • CEFCU - CEFCU Commons
  • CORE Construction – Group Learning Laboratory
  • Lowell “Bud” Grieves Family - The Lowell “Bud” Grieves Family Event Room
  • Kriegsman Family - The Kriegsman Family Group Study Room
  • Kuhl Insurance - Kuhl Insurance Group Study Room
  • Pekin Insurance - Pekin Insurance Computer Laboratory

Available for media interviews: Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey – ICC President, and donors in attendance.

Summer Market

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Heartland Health Services
3500 Court St. Suite 3422
Pekin, IL 61554
Jamie Messmore
Marci McCulley
Heartland Health Services is an example of how a community addresses its share of a nation-wide problem: a growing segment of the population, spanning all ages, lacks access to health care. The working poor, unemployed, and children are among those affected. When faced with a need for care many do without because they have no insurance, little or no money, and are ineligible for government assistance programs.

Emerging Leaders Coming Up

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Edward Jones - Marilyn Burrell
3556 Court St. 
Pekin, IL 61554

Marilyn Burrell, CPRC
Whether you're planning for retirement, saving for college for children or grandchildren, or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, Edward Jones - Marilyn Burrell can work with you to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. They can also monitor your progress to help make sure you stay on track or determine if any adjustments need to be made. Throughout it all, they are dedicated to providing you top-notch client service.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Classy Girl Boutique Ribbon Cutting

Classy Girl Boutique recently opened at 524 1/2 Court Street and representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin were on hand to congratulate them. Owners Brigette Sullivan and Holly Payne were joined by family and friends for the celebration. Classy Girl Boutique is a unique gift shop carrying cute clothes, Grace and Lace, Mona B purses, Crossroad candles, Goodworks bracelets, boot cuffs, scarves and so much more!!  They are open from 10am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9am to 2pm on Saturday.  They can be reached at 241-3841.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Pekin YWCA Seeking Applicants

Pekin YWCA is seeking applicants for fulltime and partime Early Childhood Education teachers

and swim lesson instructors. Applications are available at the Pekin YWCA, 315 Buena Vista, Mon-Fri 7am-8pm. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Illinois Central College will offer a fall session of its course to prepare individuals for employment as a pharmacy technician. The pharmacy technician course is 12 weeks of classroom instruction, which will give students a solid foundation in the skills necessary for employment as a pharmacy technician and will prepare students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam. 
The pharmacy technician classes will be held on Tuesdays, beginning August 22 through November 21, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Hickory Hall on the ICC Peoria Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria. Cost of the course is $1,600, and payment plans are available. Cost includes tuition, Pharmacy Technician textbook and workbook, a set of Top 100 drugs brand/generic flashcards, and a set of medical scrubs.
Find out more during one of ICC’s free informational sessions on Sat., July 15 from 10 am to noon or Tues., July 18 from 6 to 8 pm. These sessions also are held at Hickory Hall on the ICC Peoria Campus. No preregistration is required.

For questions or to register with a payment plan, contact Ellen George at (309) 690-6909. To register and pay in full, visit or call (309) 690-6900. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Not-For-Profit, Bridgeway Inc., Celebrates Launch of New Website –

Locally based Bridgeway announced today the launch of its additional company website dedicated to the Affirmative Business services of the company. The primary mission of Affirmative Business is to create business-to-business contracts which generate employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and veterans in integrated work settings.
While Bridgeway is most well-known for serving the behavioral health and developmental disabilities industries, a little-known fact is that it also provides extensive manufacturing and centralized office services to many local and nationally-recognized companies. The new website provides a comprehensive summary of services to facilitate greater business and employment opportunities for those in the community.
“Through gainful employment, individuals achieve independence, economic self-sufficiency, dignity, and a sense of accomplishment and pride. We are proud of our mission and believe the new website will help bring new opportunities for our consumers, customers, and future business partners,” said Robert Johnson, Vice President of Affirmative Business.

Pekin Life Insurance Company Announces Premium Income Increase

Pekin Life Insurance Company announced a premium income increase of 3.1 percent to $222.5 million. Life insurance in force exceeded $17.1 billion in 2016, while the company reported a net loss of $1 million. In addition, shareholders elected directors Steven R. Anderson, Byron A. Dodd, and Bryan K. Lee to three-year terms.

OSF HeathCare Ranks Among the Top 20 Percent

For the third year in a row, OSF HealthCare was named one of the top performing healthcare systems in the country by Truven, an independent healthcare analytics research company. OSF ranks among the top 20 percent of large healthcare systems in the United States, and is one of only three in that category from Illinois.

UnityPoint Health - Pekin Honors 89 Employees

UnityPoint Health - Pekin recently honored 89 employees with 1,115 combined years of services at its 58th annual Employee Awards Banquet. Trust Builder Awards for demonstrating organizational values were presented to Dr. Gordon Cross, Dr. Benjamin Hanshaw, Dr. Michael Honan, Dr. Nani Moazzam, Dr. Volkan Sumer, Vicki Dirks, Wendy Hess, Georgiana Howard, Jenny Rose, Cory Carp and Dee Shawgo. More than 130 volunteers were honored for donating 20,256 combined hours over the last year, including Beulah Snyder, who donated the most with 1,174 hours.

Chamber Connection Now Available

This weeks Chamber Connection is now available!

Friday, July 7, 2017

July Business After Hours: Pekin Insurance

Over 100 chamber members and their guests attended the July 7 Business After Hours hosted by Pekin Insurance. There were plenty of summer refreshments, great conversations, and door prizes. Scott Martin, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Pekin Insurance gave a brief update on the company, their growing employment levels and the payroll impact on our community.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Neighborhood House Telethon Lite

We’d love to see you

Join us in our first Telethon Lite sponsored by WMBD/WYZZ! We need many volunteers to assist callers donating to the programs of Neighborhood House including, Meals on Wheels, Critters Meals on Wheels, Childcare, After School Meals & Summer Meals! 

Name of the event:
Telethon Lite
July 27, 2017
2 Hour Time Slots
6:00 A.M.-6:30 P.M.
Neighborhood House  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Hot Shots Pizza & Slots Opens

Hot Shots Pizza and Slots held a grand opening on Friday, June 30th.  Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin were on hand for the celebration.  Family and friends joined owners Ray, Ryan and Donald (father & sons) Wozniak for the ribbon cutting.  Hot Shots Pizza and Slots is located in Sunset Plaza at 2916 Court Street.  They can be reached at 346-1960.  More pictures from this event are available at:

Simple Steps for Growing Your Business: Part 1: Business and Time Management

As a business grows, there is increased need for organization and knowledgeable management. This workshop is the first in a four-part series designed for small business owners and managers looking for targeted assistance in key areas including goal setting, marketing, financial management and sales. In this session, Lee Maki, experienced SCORE Mentor and workshop leader, will provide an Overview of Business and Time Management. The first session will be held on Wednesday, July 12th at Pekin Public Library from 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm. Subsequent sessions, held July 26, August 9, and August 23 will cover Marketing, Financial Management, and Sales to complete the series.

All workshops are FREE, but participants must register for EACH session in the series. Click here to register for THIS session, or to register for ALL sessions, check the Peoria SCORE website.