Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Now Available for Purchase: Sis & Me: Down by the Sea: A Book about Boundaries, Safe Touches, and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, written and illustrated by the Center for Prevention of Abuse

 Peoria, Ill – The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA), whose mission is to help all people live free from violence and abuse, published its premier children’s book, Sis & Me: Down by the Sea: A Book about Boundaries, Safe Touches, and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. The family-friendly book is now available for purchase online with Amazon and Lulu.

 Sis & Me is an important step in helping caregivers and adults start the conversation with children in their care about consent, boundaries, and how they can keep themselves safe,” said Carol Merna, CEO at the Center for Prevention of Abuse. “One in four females and one in six males experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday, so it’s paramount we ensure they have the specific language to stand up and speak up for themselves, as well as have an understanding of the body safety rules. I am grateful to our Prevention Education and Marketing departments at the Center for Prevention of Abuse for their hard work in writing, editing, and illustrating this book.”

Sis & Me teaches young children about body safety through its singsong and rhyming story about Sister and Brother and their day at the beach. As the siblings enjoy an outdoor adventure, they encounter a variety of friends who help teach them about safe and unsafe touches. They learn four important body safety rules: Say No, Get Away, Tell Someone, and Be Believed. The book also uses gender-neutral language during all interactions with the sea creatures and animals.

“The Prevention Education Department is proud to offer age-appropriate, evidence-based, and comprehensive programming on child sexual abuse prevention, among other topics, in the Tri-County Area,” said Laura Kowalske, Director of Prevention Education at the Center for Prevention of Abuse. “Sis & Me will not only be of use to us in the classroom and through remote learning during the school year, but it’s an excellent tool for parents, caregivers, guardians, counselors and administrative staff, as well as at daycares and other professions who interact with children on a regular basis.”

Sis & Me is complete with a “Resources After Reading” section at the back of the book full of questions and prompts to continue the conversation. CFPA also created a bonus free digital toolkit with 30+ pages of age-appropriate activities, games, and discussions available for download here. A portion of the proceeds from Sis & Me benefit CFPA and help build a safe and peaceful community.

To purchase a copy, visit www.centerforpreventionofabuse.org/sisandme. To learn more about Prevention Education at the Center for Prevention of Abuse, visit www.centerforpreventionofabuse.org.




Camille Yameen  
Center for Prevention of Abuse / 309.272.2904 

 About the Center for Prevention of Abuse

The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA) is the only agency authorized by the state of Illinois to provide a combination of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and adult protective services for survivors of abuse. Annually, CFPA serves more than 5,000 women, men, and children affected by violence and abuse. CFPA offers school-based abuse prevention programming to students pre-K through college age, reaching more than 35,000 young people each year. Through these activities, plus community presentations and trainings, CFPA lives out its mission to help all people – women, men and children – live free from violence and abuse. For more information about CFPA, visit www.centerforpreventionofabuse.org or call 309-691-0551. The crisis line is available 24/7 1-800-559-SAFE (7233) and all victim services are free and confidential.



Monday, October 26, 2020

CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit Announces CASAblancaDancing with the Local Stars

CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit Circuit's premiere fundraising event, CASAblanca Dancing with the Local Stars, is going virtual for 2020! Join us online on November 7th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM for this unique and fun-filled event. Watch the dance competition and other entertainment and participate in the interactive online activities from the comfort of your own home.

Your virtual ticket will include access to the streaming site to watch the event from your phone, tablet, computer or even your Smart TV. You'll be able to cast your vote for the Critics' Choice Award, participate in the voting for the People's Choice Award by making a donation ($1 = 1 vote) and see the real-time results! Host a viewing party for 10 people or less (safely, please!) and be eligible for the Hilltop Wealth Management of Raymond James Viewing Host Award, presented to the Viewing Host that raises the most money. Individual tickets are $150 per person and the Viewing Host is $1,500 for 10 tickets.

Register online at https://iconnect.d2kcorp.com/casapeoria/event.asp?e=5ppe4p6njy. Visit our website at https://www.casaofthetenth.org/ for more details or contact CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit at 309-669-2939 or casa@peoriacounty.org.

The 2020 Dancers helping to make a difference for abused and neglected children include:

Grant Murphy, Murphy & Dunn, PC & Maria Murphy, Children's Hospital of Illinois

Miguel Ramirez, MD, OSF Orthopedics & DesireĆ© Sehati, Sinclair Dance Studio

Adam Shaw, Sinclair Dance Studio & Mady McKeown, Sinclair Dance Studio

Peoria Ballet Students


Participating as Judges include former CASAblanca dancers:

Ryan LaCosse, Best Buddies

Arron McCall, CrossFit North Peoria

Deborah Roethler, City of Peoria

The Honorary Chairs are Adam Hawks of Hilltop Wealth Management of Raymond James and Associates and Laura Hawks. Event Co-Chairs are Teri Cook of Cook Travel and Karoline Seitz-Goddard of CIBM Bank. The evening's emcees are Ashley Bradshaw of Green Ford and Ryan Hite of Eagle Rock Insurance Services.

Thank you to the sponsors that help make this event possible: WMBD, WYZZ, D2K Marketing, CIBM Bank, Miguel Ramirez, MD OSF Orthopedics, Dr. Phillis Dewitt & Craig Nelson, Hilltop Wealth Management of Raymond James, The Louis S. Hensley, Jr. Family Foundation, and Lisa Murphy Web Design.

For more info see:




About CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit FKA CASA of Peoria County (www.CASAoftheTenth.org): Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Tenth Judicial Circuit is a 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the Juvenile Court system. Its existence is based on the belief that every child has the right to a safe and permanent home allowing them the chance to reach their full potential in life. The organization has been serving abused and neglected children since 2005.  CASA is supported by Heart of Illinois United Way, VCVA IL Attorney General, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority with VOCA funds, Illinois Court Appointed Special Advocates, and generous donors. CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit is a Member of the National CASA/GAL Association.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Illinois Central College Names Christopher S. McCall as 2020 Distinguished Alumnus

                Illinois Central College presented Peorian Christopher S. McCall with the Distinguished Alumnus Award on Thursday, October 22. The presentation was part of the college’s virtual Community Celebration event, held annually to recognize and celebrate ICC scholarship recipients, their donors and community partners.    

“The Distinguished Alumnus Award annually recognizes an ICC alum who has achieved outstanding success in their chosen field. It also recognizes their humanitarian service and demonstrated support for higher education and Illinois Central College,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “Mr. McCall’s inspirational story is another great example of the role ICC can play in changing lives. His numerous accomplishments, impressive community involvement and desire to make a difference make him very deserving of this award. Chris makes our community a better place, and we could not be prouder to call him an ICC alum.” 

McCall is well known for his involvement with local youth and the community. He created a free mentoring program for 5th through 8th grade children in central Illinois to learn and practice the basics of trial law. The program is known as “Order in the Court!” and provides the opportunity to present trial cases to volunteer paralegals, attorneys and actors who create mock legal conflict scenes. He has also served on numerous nonprofit boards, such as Central Illinois FRIENDS, Center for Prevention of Abuse and Peoria County Bar Association. He served as the past Peoria County Bar Association Diversity Chair where he helped raise funds for the diversity scholarship awarded to minority law students. 

 “I would like to thank the ICC board, faculty and staff and Educational Foundation for this recognition, along with my family and colleagues who assisted with furthering my career and community involvement,” said McCall. “ICC faculty and staff instilled in me the confidence and belief that I could succeed socially and academically. ICC truly is the Smart Choice.” 

 McCall, who was born and raised in Peoria, attended Richwoods High School and Illinois Central College before attending the University of Illinois. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and returned to Peoria to establish the McCall Law Offices in 2005.  

 In 2012, McCall was a recipient of the prestigious 40 Leaders Under Forty award recognizing Greater Peoria’s outstanding young professionals. He also received recognition as an Illinois Super Lawyer’s Rising Star, an honor given to only 2.5 percent of Illinois lawyers.  

 McCall is currently the Chair of the Central District of Illinois Court Rules committee and a board member of Peoria Police Activity League (PAL). He also remains active in his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. 

For more information on the Distinguished Alumnus Award, visit icc.edu/alumni/distinguished-alumnus-award. Additional information on the Community Celebration may be found at  icc.edu/communitycelebration. 



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

I-74 to Pinecrest ramp to close Oct. 22

 EAST PEORIA  The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that in addition to the closure of the ramp from Pinecrest Drive to westbound Interstate 74, the ramp from westbound I-74 to Pinecrest will close Oct. 22. 

The closures are necessary to resurface the ramps and are expected to last about two weeks. A detour will be posted  

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. 

Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,300 miles of highway and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation. Year One included approximately $2.7 billion of improvements statewide on 1,706 miles of highway, 128 bridges and 228 additional safety improvements. 

For more information on IDOT projects, click hereFor IDOT District 4 updates, follow us on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict4 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com and www.gettingaroundpeoria.com. 



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pekin Battle of the Badges Blood Drive

Pekin, IL - Pekin City Offices will host a community blood drive from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Tuesday, November 3 at 111 S. Capitol St.

*Please come donate blood in memory of Bethany Patton.

Bethany received several units of blood on March 27, 2018 while being treated for a pulmonary embolism. Family and friends were her passion and helping people was a way of life for her. Please help us honor Bethany by donating blood in her memory to help us continue her spirit of giving.

What: Pekin City Offices Battle of the Badges Community Blood Drive

When: Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Where: Event Room, 111 S. Capitol St., Pekin, IL

*Appointments and Face Masks are Required: To donate, please contact Jamie Evans at (309) 477-2388, Billie Ingles at (309) 478-5312, John Shallenberger at (309) 478-5652 or visit www.bloodcenter.org and use code 61117 to locate the drive.

Donor Eligibility Criteria: Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission form available through www.bloodcenter.org) and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, please call the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center at (800)747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before 9/8/20 are eligible to give at this drive.

About Blood Donation: Blood donation is a safe, simple procedure that takes about 45 minutes to one hour. Individuals with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure may be accepted as eligible donors.

ABOUT MVRBC: Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is the provider of blood and blood components to more than 100 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. In your area, MVRBC is the exclusive provider to Unity Point Health Pekin (Pekin, IL), Unity Point Health Methodist (Peoria, IL), Unity Point Health Proctor (Peoria, IL), OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center (Peoria, IL), Graham Hospital (Canton, IL), OSF St. Joseph Medical Center (Bloomington, IL), and Hopedale Medical Complex (Hopedale, IL).

Monday, October 19, 2020

IDPH Issues COVID-19 Holiday Season Safety Tips


Plan ahead for the holidays and consider alternatives

SPRINGFIELD – As Illinoisans prepare to spend the holidays with family and friends, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is offering recommendations on how to celebrate safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.  During a time when social distancing and limiting the number of people at gatherings is important, special considerations should be taken.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we work, live, and play, and will now change how we plan to celebrate the holidays,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “While the safest way to celebrate is with members of your household and connecting with others virtually, we know, for many, the holidays are all about family and friends, so we want to provide some tips on how to celebrate safer.”

Traveling increases the chance of spreading COVID-19.  When planning travel, consider the mode of transportation.  Traveling by plane, train, or bus can mean standing in lines and sitting less than 6 feet from people for long periods of time.  Traveling by car may include stops along the way for gas, food, and bathroom break.  Decrease your risk by consistently wearing face coverings and masks during travel.  

If you are hosting a holiday gathering, limit the number of guests and try to have as many activities outside as weather permits.  If your gathering needs to be inside, try to increase air flow by partially opening a couple windows.  Please prepare yourself and your guests to wear masks indoors when not eating and drinking.

Limit your activities in the two weeks before your gathering and ask your guests to do the same.  This will decrease the risk of exposure to the virus and further spread.

Try to do gift shopping online by looking at local store websites and choosing pick-up options.  Grocery shopping online with delivery and curbside pick-up is also available in many locations.  If you need to shop in-person, try to go at a time when stores are not as busy.

Think about the seating arrangements if you are planning a meal.  Keep members of the same household together and try to put space between one family and another. 

When serving food, avoid a buffet-style or potluck setting and consider having one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.  Also try to limit the number of people going in and out of areas where food is being prepared – like the kitchen and dining room.

If you are sick, do not travel and do not attend gatherings and celebrations.  Even if your symptoms are mild, you may still be able to infect others, and no one wants the gift of sickness this season.

To help stave off illness, get your flu vaccine now.  It takes the body several weeks after receiving the vaccine to build up antibodies that will help protect you from flu, so get it now to help protect you and others during the holidays.  Roll your #SleeveUp and get your flu shot.

For more holiday safety tips, go to the IDPH website under guidance.


Tyler Neal, MD Joins Orthopedic Team at HMC




Hopedale, IL – Hopedale Medical Complex (HMC) is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Tyler Neal, orthopedic surgeon, to its medical staff.  Dr. Neal will see patients and perform surgery at Hopedale Medical Complex providing his patients specialty care, close to home.

Dr. Neal was born and raised in Bloomington, IL, and went to Illinois Wesleyan University.  He attended medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, FL and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at St. Luke’s Des Peres Hospital in St. Louis, MO.  During his residency, Dr. Neal completed orthopedic trauma training and worked with pediatric orthopedics at SSM St. Louis University Hospital and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

It was because of his passion for orthopedic sports medicine that Dr. Neal pursued additional training at the respected San Diego Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program.  During this time, he had the opportunity to work as a team physician for San Diego State University, the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League, and numerous community college and high school sports programs.

Dr. Neal has advance training in sports medicine and minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.  He has special interest in shoulder repair, reconstruction, and replacement. 

Hopedale Medical Complex allows for a full continuum of care for all your orthopedic needs.  We offer the availability of convenient and easily accessible appointments with the orthopedic staff at the Hopedale Wellness Center.  In addition, we offer a “swing bed” hospital stay and can assist with your therapy needs at the HMC Physical Therapy Department. 

Dr. Neal is now accepting new patients.  Call 309.449.4501 for more information or to schedule an appointment.  Medicare and most insurance plans welcome. 

For over 65 years HMC has been a leader in healthcare innovation, and we continue to serve the needs of our community.  We are proud to welcome Dr. Tyler Neal, and look forward to providing you specialty care, close to home.



If you would like more information about this, please call Emily Whitson at (309) 449-4394 or email her at ewhitson@hopedalemc.com.

Monday, October 5, 2020


October 2, 2020

This Week in Illinois 

California Governor Signs Corporate Boardroom Diversity Law

This week California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill requiring more than 660 public corporations with California headquarters to have at least one board member from an unrepresented community or face stiff civil penalties.  The measure requires at least two directors on boards with at least four members that identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native or as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Firms that have more than nine directors must have at least three board members that meet the above criteria. Firms that do not comply face $100,000 fines for the first violation and $300,000 for subsequent violations.

We expect similar legislation to be introduced in Illinois this spring with the new legislative session. The Illinois Chamber has great concerns about this type of legislation and has opposed similar bills introduced in the past. We will keep you informed as further action is warranted.

Also from the California Files

California Governor Gavin Newsome signed an executive order last week which will ban the sale of gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars in that state by 2035.  California often serves as the harbinger of things to come in Illinois. For now, Governor Pritzker's electric ambitions remain merely goals.

Annual Meeting

If you missed the Chamber's virtual annual meeting last week, you can view President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Charles Evans' keynote speech on Economic Development in Distressed Communities below.


Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Charles Evan's on Economic Development in Distressed Communities

Next week, we will be sending out more photos and videos from the event, including the opening remarks from Illinois Market at Commerce Bank CEO and Chamber Board Chair Brent Eichelberger and the panel discussion with Chairman of the Chicago Cubs Tom Ricketts and Wintrust President Timothy S. Crane, moderated by Wintrust Vice President of Community Affairs and Chamber International Business Council Co-Chair Susana Meza.

Progressive Income Tax

We encourage you to add your business or organization's name to our coalition to stop the progressive income tax. You can learn more at our website at: chambersagainsttax.com.

Now is the time to come together and say NO to the progressive income tax amendment that will close businesses and raise taxes on working Illinois families.

I-74 work at Pinecrest in E. Peoria begins Oct. 4

 EAST PEORIA  The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that construction on Interstate 74 at Pinecrest Drive in East Peoria begins Oct. 4. 

The project involves upgrading shoulders to accommodate reconstruction of the Pinecrest bridge over Interstate 74, which begins in spring 2021. The shoulder work will reduce I-74 to one lane in each direction between 7 pm and 6am and is expected to last two weeks. 

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. 

Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,300 miles of highway and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation. Year One included approximately $2.7 billion of improvements statewide on 1,706 miles of highway, 128 bridges and 228 additional safety improvements. 

For more information on IDOT projects, click hereFor IDOT District 4 updates, follow us on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict4 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com and www.gettingaroundpeoria.com. 


Knowledge is Power

Hopedale, IL – Knowledge is Power.  Showcase your strength during the month of October by scheduling your mammogram during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Hopedale Medical Complex (HMC) is pleased to announce the addition of Saturday mammogram appointments on October 17 and 31 between the hours of 8:30am-4:00pm.  If you are over 40 years of age and have not had a mammogram within the last 365 days, no doctor’s order is necessary, so schedule your mammogram today by calling HMC at 309.449.4866.

Early detection and diagnosis are key to fighting breast cancer.  Stay close to home and get the services that you need to help with early detection of breast cancer at HMC.  We care about you, your health, and finding out the results that you need in a timely manner.  Let HMC be your strength this October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!



Thursday, October 1, 2020

McDaniels Marketing Gives Back to its Hometown Once Again. Donates Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Logo Design


(Pekin, IL) Identifying the need for an update to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce brand, Chamber Executive Director, Amy McCoy and McD President, Randy McDaniels decided it was time for a change. “We are proud to give back to the chamber who has supported our agency for decades. The McD designer, Jeff Wagnaar was excited to jump in and develop a new design and color scheme to modernize the chamber brand,” states Randy McDaniels. The agency also donated time to develop the new City of Pekin logo many years ago.

The Old Pekin Area Chamber Logo:

The New Pekin Area Chamber Logo:

“We were delighted by the offer to update our brand. Randy and his team teamed with us to craft a brand identity that best communicates our vision and tagline: Business Leadership, Connected Community… now we can move forward with new membership materials and an updated website to help attract new members and better serve our community,” exclaimed Chamber President, Amy McCoy.

McDaniels Marketing and its digital division, McD Digital serve international, national, regional and local clients in a vast number of industries with a significant number of clients in the tourism, economic development, municipal and county government sectors. The company has been headquartered in Pekin since 1966.

The Pekin Area of Commerce has served area businesses and residents since 1893 with a focus on delivering value to its members, advocating for the community and businesses while achieving organizational excellence.


For More Information, Contact:

Amy McCoy, Executive Director

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce (309) 346-2106 amy@pekinchamber.com

Randall R. McDaniels, President 

McDaniels Marketing (309) 346-7412 rmcdaniels@mcdmarketing.com


 Peoria, IL – October 1, 2020 – The Pilot Club of Peoria has donated a TV, Blu-ray player, a soundbar and Netflix subscription to the General Wayne A. Downing Home for Veterans.

“This is a gesture that means so much, especially now,” said Lori Johnson, Goodwill’s director of program services. “Due to the pandemic, our residents are restricted in what they can do. They are putting this donation to good use.”

The Pilot Club of Peoria has been serving the community since 1939, and is proud to support the many local organizations including; PARC, CIRT, Camp Big Sky, Penguin Project, ThinkFirst, B.I.G., Special Olympics, Operation Santa, Alzheimer’s Association and many, many more.

For more information visit Goodwill’s website at www.goodwillpeo.org.