Historic Peoria Women’s Club Program

Former City Council member Bruce Brown, owner of Paparazzi restaurant,
will present a program titled “Peoria & Peoria Heights:  Histories and Progress
Merged” at the Historic Peoria Women’s Club on Thursday Oct. 15.  The Club is located  in downtown Peoria at the corner of Madison and Fayette. (301 N.E. Madison) Metered parking is available along Fayette.
The program is free and open to the public and scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. 
Reservations are not required for the program.  A luncheon follows the program and reservations for the luncheon are required.  The cost is $15.  To make lunch reservations call 309-427-1180 by Oct. 13.

ICC teacher publishes first book

Local Teacher-of-the-Year Publishes First Book

Illinois Central College’s 2014-2015 Gallion Award Winner Signs Book Contract with Distinguished Press

Peoria, IL, September 29, 2015:  Joe Chianakas, professor of communication at Illinois Central College, signed a contract for a horror fiction series through Distinguished Press. The first book,Rabbit in Red, releases on September 29.
Illinois Central College recently awarded Chianakas with their Gallion Award, the highest teaching honor for full-time faculty. While working on Rabbit in Red, Chianakas collaborated with a variety of local artists, most notably local pop-punk band Terribly Happy, comprised of current and former ICC students, who produced “Enter the Rabbit,” an adrenaline-pumping song inspired by the novel.
Here is the current back of the book synopsis: Bill Wise has blood in his past, so he turns to horror films to wipe it clean. Jaime Stein has felt the betrayal of death, so she too takes refuge in the on-screen deaths of others. Now Bill, Jaime, and seventeen other horror-loving teens have gathered at Rabbit in Red Studios, the brainchild of eccentric horror producer Jay “JB” Bell, for the terror-filled, blood-drenched contest of their lives. JB has presented this competition as a race between the best of the best that will reward the winners with cash, internships, and a career making the movies they love. But things aren’t always as they seem at Rabbit in Red, and soon life starts to imitate art. Will Bill and Jaime be strong enough to confront real horror to save their friends, or will they all fall victim to JB’s twisted plans?
The book will be available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other major online booksellers beginning September 29. I Know You Like a Book in Peoria Heights will host Chianakas for a party and book signing Saturday October 17 at 4:00 p.m. The party will include live music by Terribly Happy and a costume contest—dress as your favorite horror character for a chance to win prizes.
Previously, Chianakas taught English at Metamora High School. In addition to teaching, Chianakas, 36, runs the Cougar Karate Club at Illinois Central College and teaches fitness classes at the ICC CougarPlex. He loves to write and is excited to introduce the world to Rabbit in Red.

“Measuring Blood Pressure in Children: Why It’s Important”

Dr. Joseph Flynn, Chief of the Division of Nephrology at Seattle Children’s Hospital will present:

WHEN:  Wednesday, September 30,  At 6:30 p.m.
WHERE:  Spalding Pastoral Center,  419 NE Madison Ave., Peoria
 Free and open to the public.  
Space is limited. For more information or to register, call 309.624.4533 or email mshea5@uic.edu
Presented by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and Children’s Hospital of Illinois
About the Speaker:
Dr. Joseph Flynn is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Nephrology at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He has developed specialized expertise in the treatment of childhood hypertension and has published extensively in this area. Dr. Flynn has served on the Working Group of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program and is the co-chair of a new American Academy of Pediatrics committee charged with developing new guidelines for childhood hypertension.

Explore Canada: Trade, Politics and a History of Cooperation and Rivalry

Peoria Area World Affairs Council: October 5th – a day of events held at the Bradley University Student Center and the Hayden- Clark Alumni Center.

Canada and the U.S. are each other’s most important trading partners.  How does this color our shared histories and approach to challenges in the global economy, politics and security in a rapidly evolving world order?

Chris Gunning, Winnipeg Consul for the U.S. Department of State, will speak on Monday, October 5, 2015.  Canada is America’s largest trade partner, and Gunning will discuss the business and political relationships between the two countries.  A reception and networking event will begin at 4:45 PM at the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center on the Bradley University Campus.   Gunning’s remarks will begin at 5:30 PM.  The reception and networking event will include light food and a cash bar.  The cost is $10.00 per person.  The 5:30pm lecture is free for all students. 

This Peoria Area World Affairs Council event is part of the “Explore Canada Seminar,” sponsored by Bradley University’s Turner Center for Entrepreneurship.   The lunch and afternoon workshops will be held in the Ballroom of Bradley University’s Michel Student Center on Monday, October 5, 2015.  Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 AM.  All PAWAC members are welcome to register for the seminar, which will feature trade and business experts from both sides of the border.  Cost for the lunch and seminar is $20.00 per person.  The cost to attend both the Explore Canada Seminar and the PAWAC reception is $25.00 per person.  The afternoon workshop programs are free with student ID.  However, if students would like lunch, the cost is $15.00.  Please see attached information sheet about the Explore Canada Seminar.

Online registration for both the PAWAC reception and the Explore Canada Seminar is required via this linkDeadline to register is September 28, 2015.

Workshop: Path to Zero Energy: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy for Homes & Buildings

Presented by:

Todd Abercrombie is an energy consultant who is president of EverGreen Home Energy Consultants, Inc based in Peoria.

Jason Hawksworth specializes in solar PV Development and is President of Hawk Energy Solutions.


*Wednesday, September 23rd.  6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  Peoria Public Library – North Branch.  3001 W. Grand Parkway, Peoria, IL 61615

*Tuesday, September 29th.  6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  Washington District Library – 380 N. Wilmor Rd, Washington, IL 61571

*Wednesday, October 7th. 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Normal Public Library, 206 W. College Ave, Normal, IL

Topics include:

  • Introduction to “zero energy” and “net zero”
  • Implementing an energy efficiency strategy
  • Renewable energy that makes sense
  • Incentives and financing that may be available

Description:  How far can energy efficiency and renewable energy take us?  Can we bring energy usage down to a point where it can easily be offset by on-site renewable energy?  The concept of “zero energy” or “net zero” is growing throughout the United States and describes the point where energy efficiency is low enough that on-site renewable energy can offset the remaining energy use of the building.  The U.S. Department of Energy has been partnering with builders around the country and has found that homes can be constructed using affordable, off-the-shelf technologies.  This presentation will cover the steps that can be taken to achieve zero energy in both new construction and existing buildings.

Awkward Family Photos: The Exhibition opens at Riverfront Museum, Sept 15

More than 200 unintentionally funny family vignettes frozen in time will soon go on display at Peoria Riverfront Museum, when Awkward Family Photos: The Exhibition opens September 15th.

Awkward Family Photos brings to the public the original photographs that made the website of the same name an overnight, internet phenomenon. Museum visitors are invited to explore the “perfectly imperfect” occasions that come with the family experience, celebrate the often comical awkwardness – and take comfort in the fact that such family moments are universal.

“Most of the photographs in this exhibition were taken as formal family portraits, whether shot by a family member or by a professional photographer,” said museum curator Kristan McKinsey. “As such they are actually snapshots of how the family chose to present itself for posterity.”

The exhibition was created by Awkward Family Photos founders Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, and debuted in 2014 to record visitors at California Heritage Museum, Santa Monica, Calif.

Bender and Chernack, friends from childhood, got the idea for Awkward Family Photos after Bender rediscovered an awkward family vacation photo hanging in his parents’ home. Realizing that there were likely many other families with similar photos, the two designed and launched AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com in 2009 as “a friendly place where people could share their own accidentally odd family moments.”

“It is our hope that this exhibition will bring all our families a little closer together as we acknowledge those special times when we wished we were a lot farther apart,” said Bender.

Awkward Family Photos: The Exhibition is sponsored by a Friend of the Museum and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The exhibition runs Sept. 15 through Nov. 15, and is included with general museum-planetarium admission: $11 adults, $10 seniors (60+) and students (with ID), $9 youth (3-17).

Pediatric Resource Center Fundraiser



Pediatric Resource Center September 26th event helps with growing need


PEORIA, Ill. (Sept. 3, 2015) The Pediatric Resource Center continues to see an increasing number of children who are suspected victims of abuse. As the number of victims continue to grow each year so does the need to provide those services.


The annual Harvesting Hope fundraiser helps PRC provide ongoing child abuse prevention education and ensures clinics are staffed so children can receive the services crucial to their well-being and safety.


In the past year, the PRC provided medical and social services to more than 800 abused and neglected children throughout central Illinois, including those suspected of being abused. Within the past 5 years, the PRC has experienced a 48 percent increase in children evaluated for possible abuse or neglect.



WHERE:           Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center Auditorium

1306 N. Berkeley Ave., Peoria (adjacent to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center)

WHEN:             Saturday, September 26th at 6 p.m.

MORE:             Tickets are $75 each. For ticket information, call 309-624-9595 or email prcinfo@uicomp.uic.edu.


The event includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails starting at 6 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided by Larry Harms. Live and silent auctions feature unique and exciting items, including specialty gift baskets, multiple vacation packages, jewelry and more. All proceeds benefit the PRC.


Co-chairs for this year’s event are Community Advisory Board members, Trixie Jones and Lauren McBain. Honorary Chairs are the President of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Dr. Michael Cruz and Assistant Peoria County State’s Attorney Mrs. Donna Cruz. For more information, contact the Pediatric Resource Center at 309-624-9595 or visit www.pediatricresourcecenter.org.

The Pediatric Resource Center (PRC) is a service provider of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Since its inception in 1993, more than 8,700 children from 50-plus Illinois counties received medical and social services from PRC.



Mary Todd Lincoln: The Springfield Experiment

An original play by Jack Mertes.  A dramatized reading directed by Vic Burnett.

Performances on September 11 & 12 at 7:30pm at the Inspired Arts Academy, Morton IL

This play features:  Clark Abraham, Cheri Beever, Greg Bruce, Belinda Calvert, Barb Couri, Helen Engelbrecht, Nathan Irwin, Laura Johnson, Victoria Kapanjie, Mary Kerrigan and Doug Orear.

Purchase tickets:  online at Arts Partners or call Lisa Burnett at 309-224-8805

“Dinosaurs in Motion” Exhibition Opens

Peoria Riverfront Museum’s New Exhibit…

Fourteen life-sized kinetic metal dinosaur sculptures – including a 44-foot Tyrannosaurus rex – will be engaging the public this Sat., July 11 with the opening of Riverfront Museum’s “summer of dinosaurs” big exhibit – “Dinosaurs in Motion.”

Real-life dinosaur fossils inspired the exhibition’s recycled steel sculptures, which feature exposed gears and mechanics. Visitors can control the machine-like dinosaurs via lever and pulley systems, remote controls and X-Boxes, offering large-scale dinosaur interaction that’s unique for a museum setting.

“Dinosaurs in Motion” employs family friendly, hands-on science, art and innovative elements throughout, using each sculpture to teach various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts in a unique and intriguing way – for visitors of all ages.

The art components cover sketching, drawing and sculpting; science sections explore kinetics, balance, biomechanics and robotics; and innovation areas encourage observation and experimentation. The level of complexity, movement and interactivity of the sculptures increases as visitors walk through the exhibit.

“‘Dinosaurs in Motion’ is a very ingenious blend of art and science,” says museum programs VP Ann Schmitt. “Visitors will have a lot of fun while learning hands-on by experimenting with these simple machines – like finding the center of gravity of large objects.”

The sculptures were created by American artist John Payne from recycled and reused vehicles (signage identifies the car parts integrated within in each sculpture).

“The artist used exposed gears to teach the physics of how dinosaurs move, so he had to consider the balance of dinosaurs – their center of gravity – using the most recent findings,” Schmitt says. “For instance, the modern concept of T-Rex is horizontal – versus the upright ‘kangaroo’ stance you’d see in older incarnations – its tail is parallel to the ground giving a counterweight to its enormous head.”

“Dinosaurs in Motion” covers three Mesozoic time periods – Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic – and features sculptures large to small, from Triceraptops, T. rex, Ankylosaurus andDeinonychus, to a whooping crane and American crow. A juvenile Diplodocus will take up residence in the museum’s lobby.

The exhibition opens to the public July 11, 10 a.m. and runs through Oct. 4. It is presented by PNC Foundation and is sponsored by Maui Jim, PDC and the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA). It is produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. Sculptures are the creations of John Payne and Studio Properties LLC.