Friday, August 30, 2019

Welcome To Our Newest Member

The HOPE Chest
1106 Derby St. 
Pekin, IL 61554
Dave Craig, Executive Director
The HOPE Chest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is very simple. We exist to Help Other People Excel. We will do whatever it takes to be a thrift store that is family friendly, low cost, and provides many experiences for people to excel in life and become all that God has purposed for them.

Resurfacing of Illinois 9 begins Sept. 3

 The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that resurfacing of Illinois 9 from just east of the U.S. 24 junction to the McNaughton Bridge begins Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Lane closures will be necessary during this project, which is expected to be complete in November.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.

For IDOT District 4 updates, follow us on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict4 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Rockin' For TAPS

Salvation Army Ribbon Cutting

Illinois American Water Pekin District Investing Approximately $1.1 Million to Improve Facility

Illinois American Water is remodeling its Pekin District office located on Broadway Street in Pekin. The approximately $1.1 million investment to upgrade the building originally built in the early 1970s will help improve operations and workforce training.

According to Cord Crisler, operations superintendent for the Pekin District, the building will be
upgraded to support employee development and local operations. Included in the project is the
construction of a formal training facility. Crisler said, “Our team is continuously learning and training to ensure safe operations and high customer satisfaction. A dedicated space to conduct critical training will help ensure our team works as efficiently and as safely as possible.”

The office will be closed to the public during construction. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2020. Customers needing assistance are instructed to call the customer service center at 800-
422-2782, Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM. Customers can also manage their account online at

About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100
dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and
other related services to more than 14 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe,
clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing.

For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and

Illinois Central College’s “Between the Lines” Lecture Series Announces Fall Schedule

Illinois Central College’s “Between the Lines” program is a free, open to the public lecture series presented by the faculty members of the ICC English, Humanities and Language Studies Department.  The goal of the series is to offer literary presentations to interest students and people in the community, as well as promote reading literacy and scholarly study.
This fall’s topics include the American obsession with zombies, popular non‐fiction books, and Margaret Atwood's “The Handmaid's Tale,” now a TV series.  
On Tues., Sept. 3, Andrea Walton will present “The Handmaid's Tale: What's Love Got To Do With It?” in Arbor Auditorium on the Peoria Campus from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.  This lecture will focus on authors’ ideas of female characters oppression to a commitment of love and as service male counterparts.  Margaret Atwood extends this idea in her novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”, by reducing her female characters’ value to their most basic function, producing babies.  Join us for a discussion that delves into unveiling a completely different female character identity.
On Mon., Oct. 7, Melissa Grunow will present “Zombies 101: Cultural Analysis of an American Obsession” in 210A on the East Peoria Campus from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.  For more than 80 years, zombies have infiltrated popular culture in America.  Unlike once‐popular horror tropes of werewolves, vampires, and clowns, zombies have remained an American obsession.  But where did this obsession come from?  Come learn the sociopolitical history and evolution of zombies as we explore how the undead horror motif serves as a metaphor for threats.
On Tues., Nov. 5, Amy Glass will present “Non‐Fiction That Reads Like Fiction” in Arbor Auditorium on the Peoria Campus from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.  This lecture will explore a variety of non-fiction genres and titles providing the same thrills, scares, and laughs as fiction books, including Steven Johnson’s “How We Got to Now.”  Participants are invited to bring a list of suggested non‐fiction for the group.                                                                                        
For more information, please contact Jim Sullivan at or (309) 694-5357.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Adult & Teen Challenge Annual Dinner

Illinois Central College offers 12-Week Evening Course to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Illinois Central College will soon start its fall session of the pharmacy technician course.  The 12-week long evening course is designed to accommodate working students with evening class hours, and enable students to complete a certificate in 12 weeks. 
The pharmacy technician course will be held on Mondays, beginning Sept. 9 through Nov. 25, 2019, 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 $1,625, with payment plans available.  Cost includes tuition, Pharmacy Technician textbook and workbook, a set of medication flashcards, and a set of medical scrubs.
The course support ICC’s effort to bridge the critical Peoria-area workforce gap.  The end goal of the course, and all ICC programs, is to place students into careers with family-sustaining wages while giving them tools to succeed in the process.   
The course will give students a solid foundation in the skills necessary for employment as a pharmacy technician, and will prepare them for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam.  Students will receive training in the origins and history of pharmacy, calculating doses, drug regulations and controls, transcribing physician’s orders, correcting medication packaging, and more.
Courses such as these support ICC’s effort to bridge the critical Peoria-area workforce gap.  The end goal of all ICC programs is to place students into careers with family-sustaining wages while giving them tools to succeed in the process.   
For more information and to register, visit  For questions and payment plan options, contact ICC Dean of Corporate and Community Education Julie Howar at (309) 690-6909.

Winners Revealed: 31st Annual Duck Race Raises $211,000 to Benefit the Center for Prevention of Abuse

The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA) hosted its 31st Annual Duck Race today, August 24, at EastSide Centre where 30,000 rubber ducks raced down a 750-foot water slide. The event sold out of all 30,000 ducks and raised more than $211,000 to benefit CFPA and its mission of helping all women, men, and children live free from violence and abuse in Central Illinois.

Attendees enjoyed live music from Doghouse Daisy, refreshments from local food trucks: Clink Mobile Bar, Nacho Mama’s Grilled Cheese, Kamaela’s Kreamery, Mike’s Knot Just Ribs, Kona Ice, Peach’s Place, and DeMarchi’s Espresso, additional music from Mix 106.9, as well as free activities for kids, including bounce houses and face painting  before the race began at 6:00 p.m.

The owners of the first 31 ducks to cross the finish line won prizes. The first duck to cross the finish line and win the grand prize of $10,000 cash belonged to Donna Vogel of Tremont, Ill.

This year’s full list of winners includes:

         Grand Prize $10,000 sponsored by Associated Bank – Donna Vogel of Tremont, Ill.
         $5,000 sponsored by Bob Lindsay Honda and Bob Lindsay Acura – Martha Diebold of Mackinaw, Ill.
         $2,500 Sherman’s Gift Card – Susan Varnes of Biloxi, Miss.
         Microsoft Surface and Keyboard sponsored by Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, Menold Construction and Restoration, and Getz Fire Equipment – James Cota of Dunlap, Ill.
         Family Pack of Disney Tickets and $250 Visa Gift Card sponsored by Hanson Professional Services Inc. – Marlene Peterson of Dunlap, Ill.
         $500 Jones Bro. Jewelers Gift Card – Lynne Stewart of Hanna City, Ill.
         Espresso Machine sponsored by Farnsworth Group and Pure Bliss Hair Study and Day Spa – John Dean
         58” Roku Smart TV sponsored by Mike Murphy Ford and West Central Illinois Building Trades Council – Amy O’Brien of Johnston, Iowa
         Date Night Bundle (overnight stay for two at Stoney Creek Hotel, two tickets to Peoria Players Theatre, $50 Two25 Gift Card) – Samantha Lafary of Hanna City, Ill.
         $300 Kroger Gift Card – Charlotte Cronin of Peoria, Ill.
         Nintendo Switch sponsored by Ray Dennison Chevrolet – Paula Clark of Pekin, Ill.
         Gemstone Necklace sponsored by Nature Haven – JoAnne Smagacz of Wheaton, Ill.
         Apple Watch Series 3 sponsored by Kriegsman Warehouses – Rex Walden of Dunlap, Ill.
         Holiday Inn Express Bundle – Robin Boswell of Peoria, Ill.
         $250 JC Penney Gift Card – Randy and Nancy Lienhart of Green Valley, Ill.
         Tundra 45 Yeti Cooler sponsored by C.T. Gabbert Remodeling and Construction – Jessie Lascelles of Saint David, Ill.
         $200 Summer Savings Bundle ($100 Casey’s Gift Card, $50 Red Carpet Car Wash Gift Card, Beachler’s Oil Change Certificate) – Debra Newton of Chillicothe, Ill.
         Peoria Salt Cave Package – Mike Sheader of Dunlap, Ill.
         Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Package – Patti Polk of Peoria, Ill.
         Panera Bread for a Year – Mike Keough of Morton, Ill.
         “There’s More to Explore” Peoria Park District Package – Gene Lyons of East Peoria, Ill.
         $100 Jeffrey Alans Gift Card – Becky Frakes of Peoria, Ill.
         $100 Curvology Gift Card– Jessie McMeen of Bartonville, Ill.
         Art Experiences in Peoria sponsored by Canvas Connections and Fired Up – Norma J Just of Peoria, Ill.
         Presleys Outdoors Fishing Package – Kimberly Lister of East Peoria, Ill.
         Gone in 60 Escape Game Package – Sam Schonert of Washington, Ill.
         Gone Axe Throwing Package – Jeanann McCoy of Las Vegas, Nev.
         Ring Doorbell Security Camera sponsored by American Pest Control, Inc. – Jackie Fouts of Canton, Ill.
         CxT Roasting Company Basket – Corinne Jones of Peoria, Ill.
         Massage Envy Gift Card – Lisa Ullenius of Peoria, Ill.
         Gold’s Gym Two-Month Membership – Roger Cunningham of Peoria, Ill.
Winners should call CFPA at 309-691-0551 to claim their prize.

After the race, kids in attendance helped in the annual “Kid’s Cleanup Crew!” and assisted in cleaning up and packaging the ducks. 

“We would like to thank every single person who sponsored a duck, those came out to celebrate with us on Race Day, and our incredibly generous sponsors who helped us put on a wonderful Duck Race,” said Carol Merna, Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Prevention of Abuse. “We couldn’t have done it without Mayor John Kahl, Doug McCarty of EastSide Centre, Rick Swan of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, and the East Peoria Fire Department. We are thankful for all the support that we receive so that we may continue providing free and confidential services to survivors of abuse and work toward building a safe and peaceful community.”

All funds raised through the Duck Race go directly to client services at CFPA, helping all women, men, and children live free from violence and abuse.

August Biz Barometer

Friday, August 23, 2019

UnityPoint Health Ribbon Cutting

A large turnout of employees, community leaders and guests were in attendance as the ribbon was cut for the new hospital lobby at UnityPoint Health Pekin.  Before the ribbon cutting Dr. Keith Knepp, the Regional CEO for UnityPoint Health, provided details of the extensive renovation project and thanked and recognized all of those involved.  Dan Pfeifer, President of the Board of Directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, read a chamber proclamation recognizing the economic contributions of UnityPoint Health to the community, and naming today UnityPoint Health Day in the city of Pekin.  You can seem more pictures from this event at:

CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit is participating in the Heart of Illinois United Way's Food Drive!

CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit is participating in
the Heart of Illinois United Way's Food Drive!

Did you Know?
·     1 in 5 children in central Illinois are at risk of hunger.
·     Each school year, 40 percent of public school students in our area are eligible for free or reduced school meals.
·     When students rely on school for a majority of their meals during the week, they struggle with hunger over the weekend.

Help us make a difference in a child's life!

* * For every 2 items (or 1 multi-pack) you donate
you'll be entered in a drawing for a CASA backpack! * *

Connect with us  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Graduated Income Tax Lunch & Learn

Join the Illinois Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch and Illinois Chamber Tax Institute Executive Director Keith Staats on September 12th for a Lunch and Learn on the Graduated Income Tax Amendment. Maisch and Staats will discuss the tax and political ramifications of this proposal and provide the business insights you need to know before voting on this amendment in the November 2020 election.

This event will be held at the Peoria Public Library North Branch, 3001 West Grand Parkway on Thursday September 12, 2019 from 11:30AM-1:00PM.

$15 Box Lunch: Members/Non-Members
$0 No Lunch Needed: Members/Non-Members

Click here for more information and to RSVP:

The Big Table

The public is invited to attend The Big Table: Greater Peoria.  You may have heard regional organizations talking about the plans for this event.  Now, we need your help in spreading the word.  And, registration is now open at:

We need you and many others to take a seat at the Big Table and be a part of the regional discussion!  Here’s how you can help and take part in the event: 

  1. If you are on social media, please like The Big Table GP  Facebook page to stay up to date on the event.
  2. Sign up to participate at a table or to volunteer as a table facilitator at
  3. Share this event with your friends, communities, and networks.  The success of this event depends on many voices from around our region taking a seat at the table.  This is a FREE PUBLIC EVENT!

WHAT: The Big Table is a day of regional community building through conversations designed to strengthen and connect communities. Through open, thoughtful conversations that focus on how we can strengthen our region, we will spark new relationships and new ways for working together by deepening our understanding of each other and what our region needs.

8:30am -10am                 Workforce Development & Education
10:15am-11:45am           Quality of Life & Place
11:45am-1:15pm             Lunch Break (ON YOUR OWN)
1:15pm-2:45pm               Innovation & Entrepreneurship
3:00pm-4:30pm               Diversity & Inclusion
4:30pm-6:30pm               Regional After Hours Recap Community Vision and Celebration

Contact the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce if you have any questions.

Illinois Central College to Host Agriculture, Diesel, and Horticulture Showcase

                Illinois Central College will host a special Agriculture, Diesel, and Horticulture Showcase for potential students to learn about in-demand careers.  The showcase, sponsored by Compeer Financial, provides attendees an opportunity to speak with ICC faculty, local employers and vendors, and industry specialists from a range of career and technically based programs in agriculture, diesel, and horticulture. 
The event will take place on Friday, September 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the ICC East Peoria Campus at the Agricultural and Industrial Technologies Building.  The free showcase features a student panel Q&A session, industry speakers, and lunch.  Representatives from 20+ local businesses will be on hand to demonstrate the sophisticated technology used to provide goods and services to farmers, producers and other agricultural businesses.  Tours of the Agricultural and Industrial Technologies Building, the Horticulture Center, and live demonstrations of diesel equipment, construction equipment, and highway trucks will be available.
                “There are many jobs available in the agriculture, horticulture, and diesel industries, but only a limited number of employable applicants trained in the emerging technologies,” said ICC Agricultural and Industrial Technology Professor Grant Grebner.  “That’s why ICC has partnered with local businesses in these fields to successfully train students with the desired high-tech skills.”
Attendees will have access to information regarding degrees, certificates, and “Earn and Learn” opportunities in these fields.  ICC Enrollment Services also will be on hand to answer questions regarding applying to the College and specific program admittance requirements. 
To register and for more information, visit or call ICC at (309) 694-5200. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Prepares 30,000 Rubber Ducks for 31st Annual Duck Race at Duck Tagging Event, 8/21

Who:                   Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA)

Interviews:        Carol Merna, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Prevention of Abuse

What:                 The Center for Prevention of Abuse will prepare for its signature fundraiser, the 31st Annual Duck Race, by hosting a “duck tagging” event where nearly 100 community volunteers replace the stickers on the bottom of each rubber duck with this year’s numbers.

The Duck Race raises funds to provide free and confidential services to help all women, men, and children live free from violence and abuse in Central Illinois, and will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 4-6 p.m. at EastSide Centre in East Peoria.

When:              Wednesday, August 21, 2019
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where:               EastSide Centre
                             1 Eastside Drive
                             East Peoria, IL 61611

Why:                   The Center for Prevention of Abuse Duck Race is the longest running duck race in the country. Thanks to generous sponsors, 100% of the proceeds go to support all of the programs and services offered at CFPA to help all women, men, and children live free from violence and abuse.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Salvation Army Ribbon Cutting

The Salvation Army of Pekin held an open house to celebrate the completion of the renovation of their worship center.  The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce was on hand to join in the celebration with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Lt. Brandon and Capt. Megan Lewis were joined by staff and board members and Chamber Ambassadors for the ceremony.  Prior to the ribbon cutting Chamber Executive Director Bill Fleming read a proclamation signed by Chamber Board President Dan Pfeifer congratulating the Salvation Army and naming August 15, 2019 as Salvation Army Day in the City of Pekin.  You can see one more picture of this event at:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

SCORE: August News

How to Use Public Speaking to Grow Your Business

Learn why public speaking is an effective tool for small business owners, and how it can help you grow your brand and business.

The Secret Sauce to Success- The Entrepreneurial Mindset

August 1 @ 1 p.m. ET  / 10 a.m. PT

Discover the most important skill you need to make your business a success: the entrepreneurial mindset! In this 90-minute interactive webinar, attendees will learn how to use their frame of mind to accelerate their business goals.

Building Resilience After a Business Setback

August 8 @ 1 p.m. ET  / 10 a.m. PT

In this webinar, you'll learn resilience-building tools, and how to use them to bounce back after a business setback or disappointment.

SCORE Peoria is offering this free workshop
Getting Started with Facebook for Business (Beginner Level)
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM CDT
Fondulac Bank - Fondulac Room (Clock Tower Place)
201 Clock Tower Dr. East Peoria, IL 61611
Facebook advertising is one of the best ways to use your advertising dollars effectively. In this introductory level workshop, Tammy Finch, founder and CEO of Web Services, Inc., will show you how to set up a Facebook page for your business, how to target your audience, and cover how to find content for your page. In September, Tammy will return with a more advanced workshop to discuss Facebook Marketing Strategies.

This workshop is FREE, but registration is required.
Call SCORE Peoria at 309-676-0755 or register online by clicking here.

Simple Social Media Must-Do's for Small Business Owners 

August 22 @ 1 p.m. ET  / 10 a.m. PT

This webinar will cover the basics of social media marketing for small business owners and share tips for keeping up with the ever-changing social platforms. -Sponsored by Deluxe Corporation

End the Year in Good Legal Standing

August 27 @ 1 p.m. ET  / 10 a.m. PT

In this webinar, participants will learn key internal and external compliance requirements to review and other necessary legal to-do's for small business owners take care of before 2019 comes to a close.

A Practical Approach to Small Business Budgeting

August 29 @ 1 p.m. ET  / 10 a.m. PT

This webinar will outline the best ways to organize your finances, and how to choose the best budgeting format for your unique business goals.

SCORE helps you succeed!
Check out one of our latest success stories.

Small Business Success: Access Advocates

After 17 years as an architect designing ADA-compliant buildings, Hank Falstad started the program ACCESS Watchdogs in Wheelchairs, allowing people with disabilities to report on buildings in the lodging industry that failed to meet ADA standards. In 2012, Watchdogs in Wheelchairs evolved into Access Advocates. Through Access Advocates, people with disabilities can make complaints about specific buildings, and Access Advocates audits the building and takes legal action on behalf of the individual who reported the building. The work of Access Advocates is improving accessibility across the country, one building at a time.

How SCORE helped: SCORE mentors helped Falstad develop the basic structure for his business, preparing him to rebrand as Access Advocates. Mentor Bob Cushman helped Falstad with marketing and partnering with law firms and lawyers.

In 2018, Access Advocates worked on over 150 cases. Falstad's goal is to work up to 1,000 cases per year.

SCORE is a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Because of this, our mentoring services are free, regardless of the number of times you visit a mentor.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for more than 50 years.

Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and thanks to our network of 10,000+ volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at a very low cost.

Find out more about our mission, vision and values here.

SCORE Peoria - 403 N. E. Jefferson St., Peoria, IL 61603
Phone: 309.676.0755 - email:

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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