Newsbriefs for January 2011

Peoria County Genealogical Society January Meeting

 Jon Austin, General Manager of Springdale Cemetery, an avid genealogist and professional historian, will speak during the January 13 meeting of the Peoria County Genealogical Society. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Genealogy Library, 101 State. St. Austin will explain the application process for membership in the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Illinois. 

Mr. Austin is a West Peoria native who spent the twenty-three years running small museums, archives, and historical organizations in Upstate Central New York and Springfield, Illinois, recently returning to the Peoria area. Austin served a six-year term as Historian of the Illinois Mayflower organization. In that position, he was responsible for assisting prospective members with their applications. He began his own family research in 1972, which led to memberships in the Mayflower society as a descendant of Governor William Bradford, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the US.  He is a Bradley University alumna and completed graduate study at New York University in New York City.  

Peoria Cabaret Theatre 2011 Slate of Shows

 The Peoria Cabaret Theatre, a membership-based company focused on presenting small cast plays and musicals as well as solo cabarets proudly announces its 2011 SLATE OF MAIN STAGE SHOWS.

 All Main Stage shows are packaged with dinner. This year, the Peoria Cabaret Theatre and the host venue The Waterhouse (a banquet and catering facility) have placed particular emphasis on matching a special menu to each show. Show passes for all four Main Stage shows are available now with individual show reservations available starting at 11:00 a.m. on 1/11/11.

Call The Waterhouse office at 309.494.9100 to purchase your pass now or beginning 12/21/10 you can purchase your pass online at! Individual sales can be made by calling the Waterhouse office at 309.494.9100 or online at beginning 1/11/11 at 11:00 a.m.! 

Peoria Public Library Tidbits

 Cell phone users can keep library accounts up to date and more with a new text messaging service from Peoria Public Library and RSA CAT. The service is free, but service provider message rates apply. After signing up, text messages from the Shoutbomb service will send a text when you need to renew a book, will let you see if you owe a fine, and will tell you when your hold is available for pickup. It will work on any cell phone with text capabilities.

 It allows users to add multiple cards, so that parents can track a child’s card. To sign up, text the message “SIGNUP” to The service will request your library card number and your PIN number. If you don’t know your PIN number you can get it by email through the “my account” feature on RSA CAT, the Peoria Public Library electronic catalog at or by calling 309-497-2141.

 On January 17, all library locations will be closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. You can still use www.peoriapubliclibrary for many of your library needs.

The Peoria Public Library now offers patron GoodReads, an easy way to find book recommendations from trustred sources in order to help you find books you’ll enjoy. There are more than 20 e-newsletters you can have delivered to your inbox. Go to:

Volunteer Opportunities at Proctor Hospital

 Volunteers at Proctor are an integral part of daily service delivery. From patient transport, delivering mail, operating both a gift shop and snack shop, and making vital deliveries throughout the Hospital, volunteers play a critical role.

 They receive free uniform-jackets; enjoy a 40% discount in the cafeteria, fitness center memberships at only $7.50 per month and free parking in a well- lighted deck. Hours are flexible to meet your busy schedule. 

 Two volunteer groups exist, the Service Auxiliary – a women’s volunteer group that began in 1888; and the men’s Medical Escort group, which was created in 1986.

 Volunteers receive many personal benefits, too such as fellowship and meeting new friends, self-satisfaction, and a strong sense of giving something back to the community.

For information about our men’s and women’s volunteer groups contact Anne Lockhart at (309) 691-1057. 

The American Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter is educating children and adults about how to stay safe in the winter months. The Red Cross wants to ensure that you know what to do and how to respond in the face of a winter emergency.

 “We have kits that we take to show children what they should and should not wear in the winter,” says Monica Grugett, Youth Education Coordinator. “The children love this interactive class and are always excited to share their new found knowledge with their families.”

For more information about how to keep your family winter safe, visit: 

Students win prize for helmet safety campaign

 PilotPR, a team of Bradley University senior public relations students, has been awarded the Ebeling PR-ize for the top senior public relations campaign completed in the Communication 480 class this semester.

 The Ebeling PR-ize™ was conceived by alumnus Chuck Ebeling and Bradley’s Dr. Ron Koperski, and is a competitive program among Bradley’s senior public relations students in their capstone course. It was first awarded in 2004.

 The Pilot PR team of Andrew Kistner (Peoria), Eric Beals (Metamora), Charlie Walker (Edelstein), and Matt Knobloch (Edwards) won the prize for their “Helmet Safety Awareness in the Local Community: Your Choice” campaign in which they worked with Grayboy Motorsports and the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to advocate for safety education programs. One activity developed by Pilot PR for the campaign was a Safety Awareness Fair held in November to promote helmet safety to the general public. The event included a bicycle helmet fitting station, a Peoria motorcycle police exhibit, and professional presentations. Each member of the team was awarded $500.

 Students in the capstone course form “agency” teams and are responsible for planning and implementing a real, coordinated public relations campaign on behalf of a local business and a compatible community service organization. Campaign submissions and judging criteria are based on nationally recognized Silver Anvil Award Competition administered by the Public Relations Society of America.

Ebeling served as a public affairs officer in the Army and later held public relations positions with several major agencies and national corporations before joining McDonald’s Corporation, where he rose to the position of chief spokesman and vice president of corporate communications. 

Art Auction to Benefit Habitat

 The 2x4s & More Art Auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area will be held on February 4th. Silent and live auctions of artwork  using 2x4s as the “canvas” wil be featured. The event will be held at the Waterhouse, 619 SW Water,  from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.

 The event is presented by CEFCU. Tickets are $24.24 and include hors d’oeuvres and music by the Larry Harms Trio. Cash bar. Purchase tickets  at:

 Habitat builds and sells houses to area income-qualified families and provides a 20-year interest free mortgage that helps keep monthly payments low. Those purchasing Habitat houses must invest sweat equity hours in building their house as well as other Habitat houses. Call 676-6729, ext. 3 for more info. 

Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area elected two new board members and officers for 2011

 Serving new two-year terms are David A. Gill, AIA MRAIC, Executive Director Design and Construction Services at OSF Healthcare system; and Greg L. Woith, Executive Director of Habitat.

 Officers for 2011 are Randall C. Blanton, president; Jim Manning, vice president; Mike Brown, treasurer; and David Nicoll, secretary. Continuing to serve on the board are: Thomas Aguilar; Jim Beuster; Ronald Givens, Sr.; Mari Halliday; Scott Lewis; and Rev. Eric Swanson.

 Habitat will hold its annual meeting Thursday, Jan. 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the community room of Advocates for Access in Heritage Square in Peoria Heights. The public is invited to attend.

 Habitat builds and sell houses to income-qualified families in Peoria, Woodford, Tazewell and Marshal counties. In 21 years Habitat has built 79 houses.

 For more info, call Greg L. Woith at 309-676-6729, ext. 3. 

January 2011 Book Clubs at Peoria Public Library

 Biography & Non-Fiction Book Club – Will meet on Sunday, January 9 at 3:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II by Gregory A. Freeman. This never before told story of WW II is based on newly declassified documents and exclusive interviews. One of the “Forgotten 500” was American airman Robert Wilson from Peoria, IL. Call 497-2186 for more info.

 Club Read – Meets on Wednesday, January 28 at Lakeview Branch at 6:30 p.m. to read and discuss The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. Former aide to Condoleezza Rice, Moore discovered that another Wes Moore, who was his age and also from the Greater Baltimore area, was wanted for killing a cop.

 Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club – Will meet on Sunday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lakeview Branch to discuss Tin Collectors by Stephen Cannell. Inside the department, they’re called Tin Collectors: Internal Affairs Agents, the police of the police. If they catch you breaking the rules, they’ll come after your badge. If they want you badly enough, they’ll collect more than just your tin.

 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club – Will meet on January 10 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? This is a tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation. Call 497-2149 for more info and meeting location.

 A Little Romance Book Club – Will meet on Sunday, January 9 at Lakeview Library to discuss One Night with You by Francis Ray. The archeologist who has come to rancher Duncan McBride’s property to authenticate cave drawings is trouble he’s sworn to avoid.

 Lakeview’s Leaky Cauldron – Will meet on Wednesday, January 26 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This book club is open to all ages. For more info, call 497-2200.

 Read On Book Club – Will meet on Tuesday, January 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Branch to discuss Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan. McMillan revisits the four heroines of Waiting to Exhale fifteen years later. They’ve exhaled: now they’re learning to breathe. 

Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation 2010 Accomplishments

 Did you know that the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation works to protect our historic properties in Peoria? Everything they do is as volunteers. Countless hours go into both their preservation advocacy community-wide and Hall efforts. They depend mostly on membership money to help maintain their commitment. Here is a brief summary of their work in 2010.

 1. At the request of the Peoria City Council, a list was developed of 140 structures that are deemed historically or architecturally significant, including substantial documentation for each property.

 2. Worked with the Ad Hoc Committee of the Historic Preservation Commission to streamline the Historic Preservation ordinance and make it more user-friendly for property owners.

 3. Advocated for historic preservation when relevant matters came before the Historic Preservation Commission and the City Council of Peoria.

 4. Worked with the Peoria Public Library in the renovation/expansion of the Lincoln branch library to see that the project was executed with integrity in the treatment of this Carnegie library.

 5. Provided technical assistance to two property owners who wanted their homes landmarked by the City of Peoria.

 6. Completed the major renovations to the G.A.R. Hall and began renting it out for wedding receptions, meetings, and other events.

 7. Sponsored a presentation by Professor George Hopkins on President McKinley and his ties to Peoria.

8. Sponsored “Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon” with Preston Jackson at the Hall.


       A case regarding hazardous waste being treated at the Peoria Disposal Company Hazardous Waste Landfill, located at the edge of the city of Peoria, will be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court. This is one of only twelve cases were selected by the state’s highest court for hearing, out of over 300 cases listed in their November 24th posting.

 Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste and Heart of Illinois Group Sierra Club look forward to pursuing this issue in the state’s top court. The groups filed this case with the Illinois Supreme Court, after taking the issue to the Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa. The groups allege local residential areas, proximity of schools, playgrounds and other location issues were not taken into consideration when Peoria Disposal Company was given approval for delisting of a federally listed hazardous waste.

 In 2009, the Illinois Pollution Control Board approved Peoria Disposal Company’s request to delist K061, Electric Arc Furnace Dust Waste (EAF). EAF is steel manufacturing residue containing many heavy metals, including lead and mercury. The waste also contains hexavalent chromium, PCBs, and other persistent and cancer causing substances. The delisting process allows companies to have a hazardous waste go unregulated, or considered hazardous, based on mixing substances with it and treating it to meet lab testing standards for leaching heavy metals. But PDC will not provide their EAF treatment process to the public. The information was only given to the Illinois Pollution Control Board, which approved the delisting. 

Proctor Hospital’s Maternity Center Classes

 The Family Maternity Center at Proctor Hospital offers an array of classes for everyone in the family including moms, dads, siblings and grandparents. The following classes are free except where noted:

 • LAMAZE ($60 per couple) Wednesdays beginning January 5, Mondays beginning January 31

 • Infant/Child CPR ($35) January 5

 • Breastfeeding ($10) January 13

 • The Stork Club is a program designed specifically to include the parents and siblings and includes tours and a special class for children. (free) January 17

 • Early Pregnancy Basics (free) January 18

 • Epidural Anesthesia (free) January 19

Visit the Family Maternity Center online at To register for classes please call (309) 691-1053. For more info call (309) 691-1099. 

Ring-a-Ding-Ding New Year with Peoria Players and Frank Sinatra!

Ring in 2011 with Peoria Players Theatre and celebrate the music of Frank Sinatra! Ring-a-Ding-Ding in the New Year with local favorites performing the songs of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” Performances are Friday, December 31 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, January 2 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are just $15 (all ages) and include complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Call 688-4473 for reservations. 

Peoria Players News Bytes for January 2011

 Director Steve Bortolotti announces auditions for the regional premiere production ofThe Women. Clare Boothe Luce’s The Women features an all-female cast. This comedy is about contemporary womanhood and the power of female relationships. Men frequently are the subject of their lively discussions and play an important role in the action onstage, but they are strictly characters mentioned and never seen. Sharpen your claws for a timeless and wonderfully witty battle!  Auditions will be held January 14 at 7:00 pm and January 15 at 1:00 pm at University United Methodist Church, 2818 N. University in Peoria. In this play there are speaking roles for 20 women of all ages, and one speaking role for a 10-year-old girl. Perusal scripts are available in the box office.

Join Peoria Players Theatre for The Wizard of Oz Tea Party on Sunday, January 16 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. The Tea Party will be held at First Christian Church, 6400 N. University in Peoria. There will be face painting, games, crafts, photos with cast members, and much more! Tickets are $12.50 per person (all ages) and are on sale now. Seating is limited; payment must accompany ticket order. Call 688-4473. 

Methodist Medical Center Mobile Mammography

January 2011 Schedule

 The following is the schedule for the Methodist Medical Center Mobile Mammography Van for the month of January, 2011. Methodist features all digital mammography equipment providing improved, faster and more comfortable exams.

  The following is the schedule for the Methodist Medical Center Mobile Mammography Van for the month of January, 2011. Methodist features all digital mammography equipment providing improved, faster and more comfortable exams.

 January 4-Methodist at Morton-1909 N. Morton

 January 11-Cherry Tree Shopping Center-Washington

 January 12 Heartland Clinic-1701 W. Garden Ave.-Peoria

 January 13-Methodist Medical Group at Farmington-158 E. Fulton

 January 14-Methodist Medical Group, Chillicothe-525 Sweetbriar

 January 18-Methodist at Morton-1909 N. Morton

 January 19-Heartland at Carver Clinic, 711 W. John Gwynn Jr.

 January 20-Methodist at Pekin-1800 Broadway-Pekin

 January 21-Lewistown County Market-518 S. Main Street

 January 26-Wal-mart-2071 N. Main-Canton

 January 27-Heartland Clinic-2321 Wisconsin Ave.-Peoria

 January 28-Mackinaw IGA-100 N. Main Street-Mackinaw

 There is no need for a doctor’s order for a screening mammogram if you’re 40 or over. If you are uninsured or underinsured, tell us when you call for an appointment. You may qualify for a free mammogram. Call for an appointment at 671-8282

There is no need for a doctor’s order for a screening mammogram if you’re 40 or over. If you are uninsured or underinsured, tell us when you call for an appointment. You may qualify for a free mammogram. Call for an appointment at 671-8282. 

Peoria Public Library Local History& Genealogy to Close for Moving

 The Local History and Genealogy Department of Peoria Public Library that has been operating from space in the WTVP building on State Street will close on Friday, January 7 and tentatively reopen on Monday, January 31 in new space on Lower Level One of the Main Library at 107 N.E. Monroe.

 This special department offers materials unique to Peoria history as well as genealogy materials and will be housed in a newly constructed space on a floor not open to the public previously. It will be surrounded by a new gallery space.

While Local History and Genealogy is slated to open January 31, this date is tentative as poor weather could delay the moving of materials from one location to another.  Those interested in using the collection should watch the Peoria Public Library website at for information or call 309-497-2000 for more information. 


 Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing proudly announces its most recent scholarship recipients. Winners are listed by scholarship and hometown.

“Living the Dream” Brian Alexander Scholarship – Peoria: Kayla Anderson

Angela E. (Mattingly) Hank Memorial Scholarship – Peoria: Nicole McEnroe

Philip L. Graves & Carol Kenney Graves Endowed Scholasrhip – East Peoria: Cynthia Unes-Anderson

Terri O’Hern Render/Mary Jane O’Hern Scholarship – Peoria: Rachel Wittmer

Earl & Miriam Swords Endowed Scholarship – Burbank: Kaitlin Williams; Chillicothe: Paula Baize; Glasford: Bianca Junker; Gridley: Melinda Campbell; Lewistown: Caitlyn Welker

Normal: Jill McConnell; Peoria: Jessica Adlof, Susan Hughes, Robin Strange; Washington: Hailey Fairfield; Chicago: Elenmor Achurra

Cooper Family Leadership Scholarship – East Peoria: Kristina Herstedt; Moline: Elizabeth Cardenas; Morton: Amelia Slaughter

TAU Omicron – Peoria: Michelle Decker

Alumni Association – Creve Coeur: Julie Troup; Pekin: Victoria Olsen; Peoria: Michelle Decker, Rachel Tuma

Carolyn Hoffer Sherican Memorial Scholarship – Bloomington: Rokhia Doumbia

Cindy L. Marvin Memorial Scholasrhip – Pekin: Victoria Olsen

College Of Nursing Foundation- Prairie Farms Scholarship – Eureka: Amy Funk

College Of Nursing Foundation Scholarship -Eleanor Kinnamon Memorial – Carlock: Audrey Ruegsegger; Elmwood: Mallorie Menold; Washington: Kayla Fussner

College Of Nursing Foundation Scholarship – Kuntz – Morton: Jana Williams

College Of Nursing Foundation Scholarship – Bloomington: Katherine Michaels; Downs: Brittany Roop; East Peoria: Tamarra Lamprecht; Peoria: Truphenah Moseti; Princeton: Kimberly Morse; Washington: Ada Oku

College of Nursing Scholarship – Bartonville: Joe Zentke; Chillicothe: Brandy Calhoun

East Peoria: Femmi Rhose McGuire, Tiffany Trask; Edwards: Samantha Welch; Galesburg: Tyson Rogers; Goodfield: Marni Wooldridge; Grand Ridge: Jennifer Thomas; Lacon: Steven Rose, Diane Schrum; Normal: Victoria Washington; Ottawa: Susan Walsh; Peoria: Patricia Boland, Jessica Frazier, Angela Tyler; Mapleton: Amanda Miklavcic; Morton: Ashley Brewer

Spring Bay: Shannon Lowder; Washington: Hailey Easley, Michelle McNett

Presidents Scholarship – Continuing Students – Geneseo: Sarah Abell; Metamora: Emily Miller; Morton: Kerri Auer; Peoria: Anne Kirchgessner; Lakeville, MN: Anna Davidson

President’s Scholarship – Junior Students – Altona: Jenna Main; Bellevue: Danielle Wood

 Chillicothe: Chelsi Moser; Dwight: Theresa Kallas; East Peoria: Ashley Hintz; Edwards: Elizabeth Wlodarski; Eureka: Liesel Pflederer; Havana: Kyle McCarthy; London Mills: Lacey McMahill; Metamora: Kelsie Groff; Morrison: Natassia Nelson; Morton: Whitney Braker, Brittany Carius, Amanda Pauli; Normal: Sarah Jacob; Peoria: Kathryne Barbee, Teresa Hocking, Allison Sauder, Cynthia Walden; Peoria Heights: Robert Burroughs; Tremont: Rebecca Bolliger; Stanford: Kaylene Freitag; Washburn: Anthony Griffin 

“Cable TV shows look back at Previous Eras”

 Two special programs looking back at ten years ago and 25 years ago will be airing on Comcast Cable 22 in the next two weeks.

 CAPtions, Peoria’s longest-running TV talk show enters the way-back machine to 1986 on the issue of “Racism at Rumors.” Rumors was a nightclub within the Ramada Inn that allegedly barred African-Americans from entering.  Then-host Michael Banks interviews Norris Clark, Ernestine Jackson, and Frank Campbell…long-time director of the Peoria Urban League who recently passed away.

 This CAPtions will air Sunday, Jan. 2nd at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 5th at 7:00 p.m., and later at Midnight on Comcast Cable 22.

 JT’s Bourbon St. LIVE, where your neighbors are the stars, will feature a look at the year 2000, with video clips of the Millenium celebration at the Peoria Civic Center, the Black Arts Festival, River City Soulfest, interviews & more.

 JT’s Bourbon St. LIVE will air Saturday, Jan. 1st & at 12:30 a.m., and Sunday, Jan 2nd at 8:30 p.m., on Comcast Cable 22.

 CAPtions and JT’s Bourbon St. LIVE are produced by the Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity, Inc. Media Services Department. It is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 

Anger Management Classes at Proctor Hospital

 The Anger Management Group of the Counseling Center at Proctor Hospital will meet beginning  January 13th. The Group meets each Thursday evening, for  eight sessions, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.  There is a Group minimum of six participants with a maximum of 12.

 Group objectives:

 • Uunderstand angry emotions and take responsibility for one’s behavior

 • Assess one’s cognitive, behavioral and environmental triggers

 • Learn improved coping skills in the management of anger

The fee, paid in advance, is $250.00/ paid the evening of each session – $35.00  A certificate of attendance will be issued after attending all sessions. For more info call (309) 689-6008. 


 The Peoria Park District will host a Wiffleball Tournament on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the RiverPlex.

 Come out for this one-day tournament and enjoy the backyard game transformed into an indoor event. Teams will be made up of three players and compete in a double-elimination tournament.

 Fee is $75 per team. Register at the Glen Oak Pavilion or online at

 For more information, contact Matt Suellentrop at 681-2866 or

Illinois American Water’s H2O Help to Others Program Assists Customers with Water Bills

Over 800 Customers in Illinois Received Assistance in 2010

 llinois American Water’s H2O Help to Others program helps provide supplemental funding to Illinois American Water customers who would otherwise have trouble paying their bills. The program, which was created by Illinois American Water and the Salvation Army of Illinois, was utilized by over 800 customers in 2010.

 “Through H2O Help to Others we are able to help customers in their time of need to continue to have access to water service,” said Illinois American Water president, Karla Olson Teasley.

 H2O Help to Others is administered by local Salvation Army agencies and supported by Illinois American Water contributions and customers’ voluntary donations. Customers may make a voluntary donation to the program on their water bills. These donations are in addition to the company donation.

 The H2O Help to Others program is available to any Illinois American Water residential customer who requests assistance from the Salvation Army, has a delinquent account, and demonstrates financial need under the criteria established by the Salvation Army. A maximum of $150.00 per individual/family on a delinquent account will be provided one time per calendar year to applicants who demonstrate a need not due to chronic or intentional delinquency. Applicants must provide a copy of their delinquent bill to the Salvation Army caseworker.

 Customers who would like to apply for H2O Help to Others assistance can call the Illinois American Water Customer Service Center toll-free at 800.422.2782 or contact the Salvation Army in their area, listed below:

 Peoria – 401 N.E. Adams, Peoria, IL 61603 – (309) 655-7220

 Pekin – 243 Derby Street, Pekin, IL 61554 –   (309) 346-3010 

Peoria Public Library Celebrates Black History Month

 Peoria Public Library celebrates Black History with storyteller and African drummer Garry Moore on January 27 and on February 10th with the African American History Makers Program which features storytellers and performers D. Kucha Brownlee and Baba Tony Brown. Both programs begin at 6:30 p.m. at RiverWest Branch and are free events.

 Providing all new tales of Africa, WEEK news anchor, Chicago native, and Bradley University alum Moore is a familiar face to those who tune in to Central Illinois’s longest running news program. As a drummer and storyteller of the African American tradition, he’s  taught hand drumming and taught ‘Black Music’ at Illinois State University as an adjunct professor. He is a past board member and guest artist of Peoria’s Heritage Ensemble.

 The celebration of African American heritage continues with the storytelling duo, D. Kucha Brownlee and Baba Tony Brown. In their 50-minute presentation, Brownlee and Brown will weave a tapestry of the stories, contributions, and achievements of those Africans and African Americans who historically made a difference in innovation and inventions.  Using a  combination of African, African American and Spanish folk tales, fables, proverbs, & dialect with audience interaction, all performances are both fun and educational.

   Both programs are free. For more info go to:

Tidbits from the City of Peoria Winter Newsletter

 Plowing operations are expected to be completed on all streets within 18 hours after the snowstorm event has ended.

 Boundary changes of snow routes tweaked for better efficiency, resulting ins 23 routes.

 A mixture of salt and sand will continue to be used.

 The City’s website will provide storm updates, snow route maps and any additional public info.

 You can sign up to receive e-alerts by going to the City’s website:

 For a phone recorded message for updated storm conditions, call 494-8830.

 Parking Bans are automatically in effect with an accumulation of two (2) or more inches of snow. During a Parking Ban, all vehicles should be removed from posted snow routes to facilitate plowing efforts. Violators will be ticketed and may be towed. The minimum fine is $250 for parking on posted snow routes during a Parking Ban. 

Shea $1 Million Challenge Benefits Pediatric Development Rehabilitation Center at Children’s Hospital of Illinois

 The Pediatric Development Rehabilitation Center at Children’s Hospital of Illinois will be the beneficiary of a gift from Peoria businessman Tim Shea.

 Shea, a Peoria native and president of Peoria Builders, Inc., a local real estate and development company, is pledging $1 Million in the form of a Challenge Gift, which means he will be matching gifts of other donors during the 2011 calendar year up to $1 Million. In addition, Shea is making an immediate $100,000 donation to operations of the Pediatric Rehab Center, which brings the total of the gift to $1.1 million.

 The Shea Challenge was announced during a reception December 16, 2010 at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

 “I’ve been very fortunate to have a successful real estate career here in central Illinois, & since young children have always held a special place in my heart, it is immensely rewarding to be able to give back to our community by making this pledge to Children’s Hospital of Illinois, which helps so many children & families throughout the area,” said Shea in announcing the gift.

 The Pediatric Rehab Center at Children’s Hospital provides inpatient and outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and feeding therapy to children birth through 18 years of age, averaging 250 patients per month at its Pennsylvania Ave. and 5 Points Washington locations. Therapists work to improve a child’s abilities to function in the family and community. They also spend a great deal of time teaching parents and caregivers how to help their child gain skills.

 Shea’s daughter, Melissa Larson, is a Speech Language Pathologist at Children’s Hospital.

 “With the generosity of Mr. Shea, we will be able to expand the pediatric habilitation and rehabilitation services provided to children needing our care in central Illinois and develop innovative programming to better meet their needs,” said Vicki Lee, Manager, Pediatric Developmental Rehabilitation Center & Child Life Services.

 “Tim’s gift to Children’s Hospital of Illinois will fill a tremendous need for improved Pediatric Rehabilitation resources, enabling us to help more children lead fuller lives.  We are so humbly grateful for Tim’s enormous generosity, and on a larger scale, we are grateful for his vision and leadership in making central Illinois a great place to live,” said Tom Hammerton, Vice President, Children’s Hospital Foundation.

 “Children’s Hospital is blessed to be partnering with a philanthropist like Mr. Shea.  This campaign will allow us to maximize the impact of our very generous donor community,” added Wendy Mitchell, Annual Fund Director, Children’s Hospital Foundation. 

Illinois American Water Has Record-Setting United Way Campaign

 Employee voluntary pledges and corporate donations total $77,500 for United Way. For the fourth year in a row, Illinois American Water had a record-setting United Way campaign.  Increasing giving over last year, over $77,500 was raised for United Way agencies across the state through the company’s 2010 United Way employee-giving campaign.

 Illinois American Water employees volunteered to coordinate the local United Way campaigns in their communities, which ran through the month of October in every Illinois Ameri

 can Water district including Alton, Cairo, Champaign, Chicago Metro, Interurban (Metro East), Lincoln, Pekin, Peoria, Pontiac, South Beloit, Sterling and Streator. Volunteers hosted informational meetings, offered bake sales and organized casual days and other events to raise funds and complete the successful campaign.

 Illinois American Water has supported United Way for over 75 years. Through United Way, Illinois American Water is able to touch the lives of individuals in the communities it serves everyday.  

Proctor Family Care Program Makes Hospital Visits Easier

 This program was designed to assist patients & family members who must travel from outlying areas to Proctor for major surgical and interventional medical procedures. The program provides a motel room, meal passes to Proctor’s cafeteria, at no charge, for a limited period of time, for the patient and his/her immediate family members if the patient lives beyond a 45 mile radius or a 1-hour drive from Proctor Hospital. 

Proctor developed the program to help reduce stressors patients and families experience in driving out of town to receive medical treatment. For more info call  800-331-7440 or (309) 691-1032

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