CWTC Awarded Three-Year CARF Accreditation! Cites CWTC’s commitment to offering programs of the highest quality

Community Workshop Training Center, Inc. is proud to announce that it has been accredited by CARF International for a period of three years for its programs and services.

According to CARF, this accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

CWTC, Community Workshop and Training Center, Inc., provides programs and services to adults with disabilities; enriching their quality of life, promoting social change, and optimizing their potential for independence.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at

For additional information, contact Patti Gratton, CWTC Executive Director, at 309-686-3300.



Join us at Peoria Zoo as we celebrate Superhero Day, Sunday, August 17 from 11 am to 2 pm. We will be celebrating comic book superheroes as well as real life heroes! Remember to dress up as your favorite superhero and come out to the Zoo for games, animal encounters and more! Plus you will have the chance to learn about our very own conservation superhero story—our Alligator Snapping Turtle Program!

Regular admission will be charged – Adults 13+: $9.00; Children 3-12: $5.25; Senior Citizens: $8.00. Consider a Family Membership and you’ll receive unlimited FREE admission to the Peoria Zoo for one full year, plus other great benefits!

For questions call the Peoria Zoo at (309) 681-3513 or check our website at

Peoria Park District offers HAPPY FEET SOCCER PROGRAM

The Peoria Park District will offer Happy Feet for ages 2-3 at Mossville Soccer Complex and Lakeview Rec Center starting the week of August 16. This soccer program is a perfect starting point for developing skills as it is non-competitive and uses fun techniques to train advanced motor skills, dynamic dribbling, shooting skills and fitness. The registration fee is $36 for both residents and non-residents.

A variety of Happy Feet practice times are available. To find a day and time that fits your schedule, visit or call Matt Suellentrop at 681-2866. You may also email Matt at



Ripley’s first Midwest Bizarre Buying Bazaar to come to the Riverfront Museum!

“This is our first Midwest Bizarre Buying Bazaar, so I’m excited to see what kind of oddities we can find here,” said Meyer. “We’re hoping to acquire relics, strange objects from science and nature, and unusual artwork – the weirder the better,” he added. 

Oddities are not limited to archeological artifacts or animal mutations – a two-faced calf and a six-legged chicken can be seen in the Museum’s The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not! exhibit. Meyer also collects odd artwork, as well as stories for Ripley’s publications and its long-running cartoon series.  

Ripley’s cartoons have featured local Illinoisans, such as Marcy Poplett of Peoria, who was knocked off her jet ski in the Illinois River by a silver carp, Tracker Bob Hiemenz, who owns the world’s largest 8-track tape collection, and Popeye the Sailor Man, a Chester, Ill. native. 

Some of the curious artwork that Ripley’s collects can also be seen at the exhibit, including portraits made from candy and burnt toast, a Transformer made out of car parts, microscopically small sculptures and a likeness of Abraham Lincoln etched onto the hood of a Lincoln Continental.  

For an idea of what’s weird, check out the Museum’s local oddities display. Borrowed oddities from Central Illinoisans include part of the world’s largest collection of 8-track tapes, a three-story bird’s nest with a golf ball embedded in the center, and a series of walnuts chewed by a mouse into smiley faces. 

Museum visitors are invited to find out the secrets behind the collecting of Ripley’s artifacts at a lecture by Meyer, August 10, 2 pm at the Museum’s Giant Screen Theater. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children (children under 6 free). 

Ripley Entertainment   - Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment. More than 12 million people visit its 90-plus attractions in 9 countries each year. In addition to its 31 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.


Riverfront Museum – The Peoria Riverfront Museum is the collaborative effort of eight organizations, with nearly 500 years of combined experience educating, entertaining, and supporting our diverse Peoria-area culture. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all – connecting art, history, science, and achievement through collections, exhibitions, and programs.


For further information about the Museum also visit


(BRIMFIELD, IL) – August 2, 2014, Brimfield will be closing down streets to showcase some the Tri-County’s finest vehicles in the area.  Brimfield is proud to sponsor the exciting 8h annual Super Cruise In for Diabetes for the American Diabetes Association.

The day of the Cruise In will start with a bags tournament at 3:00 pm. Team register for $20 and will start at 2:00 pm behind the Brimfield American Legion.  There will be cash prizes for the winners.  From 4:00p – 8:00p the streets will be lined with vehicles shining with pride showing their support for the American Diabetes Association.  There will be a People’s Choice and a Committe’s Choice awarded to selected participants.  Please contact Joe Arbogast at (309) 678-3639 with any questions regarding the Cruise In.

Downtown Brimfield will be full of activities for the whole family.  There will be food (pork chop sandwiches, etc) available for purchase and an Ice Cream Social at Brimfield’s historic L.L. Guyer Cabin, which will also be available for tours, fun filled activities for the kids including games and fire prevention awareness provided by the Brimfield Fire Protection District.  The event has grown drastically since its inaugural Cruise In 8 years ago.  Last year, over 125 vehicles entered the event, while hundreds of people came out for entertainment, food, and to support the great cause. This family event has something for everyone!

There will be silent auction items available for everyone to bid on throughout the day with the winners being announced at 7:00 pm.


(Peoria, IL – July 31, 2014)  The Peoria chapter of Mended Hearts will meet Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the RiverPlex in Peoria.

Mended Hearts, a national nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Heart Association, has been offering the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers for more than 50 years.

Because Mended Hearts is made up of the very kinds of people it serves—heart patients, their families, and others impacted by heart disease, its members draw on personal experience as they help others. Recovery involves not only physical healing, but emotional and psychosocial healing as well.

For more information about Mended Hearts, contact nurse practitioner Tammy Sarmiento at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center at 309.655.7292.



City’s Alley Maintenance

Beginning the week of July 28, Peoria Public Works started the process of alley maintenance.  Part of this process consists of applying a liquid primer in the alleys where repairs were completed.  Citizens may notice a dark colored liquid primer in the following areas of the City: Center Bluff, Southern Valley and East Bluff.  Motorist can drive on the alleys, but are advised to drive slowly if they notice primer. The application process and alley maintenance will continue until completed.

For more information, contact David Haste, City of Peoria Streets & Sewers Manager at (309) 494-8800.

Pet Rodeo – Entertaining Seniors

Peoria, IL July 29, 2014:

IPMR Senior World, Molina HealthCare of Illinois, Grand View Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, and Peoria Humane Society are teaming up  to provide Pet Rodeos for local senior citizens.  The Pet Rodeo will feature man’s best friend and his handler.   Pet therapy is a popular method of mild therapy for seniors.

The first Pet Rodeo stop will be at IPMR Senior World Peoria on Wednesday August 6, at 10:00 a.m.  where the handlers  will demonstrate their beloved pet’s skills.  Jackie Bowers, Director of IPMR Senior World, said, “we are excited to have therapy dogs and other trained volunteers and their pets provide entertainment to our seniors.   In doing so, they improve the mental and physical health of all they visit.”   The dog handlers will then stop by the Grand View Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Peoria.

Michelle Sanders, Community Outreach Coordinator, Molina Healthcare of Illinois; Jackie Bowers, Director, IPMR Senior World; Julie Hess, Administrator, Grand View Alzheimer’s Special Care Center; and Kitty Yankow, Education Coordinator, Peoria Animal Welfare are the architects behind the Pet Rodeo.

The “Special Pals” and their handlers are trained through the therapeutic pet program at the Peoria Humane Society.   The Peoria Humane Society provides therapy pets for senior living centers and day programs throughout Peoria County.

Peoria Heights to host Music Festival

9th Annual Tower Park event Aug. 1 and 2

Peoria Heights, IL – Spectacular music will fill the air in Peoria Heights during the 9th Annual Tower Park Music Festival, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 1 and 2.

The festival, free and open to the public, blends a variety of music with delicious food, a beer tent and family fun over the two days  ̶  all centered at Tower Park at Prospect and Glen in Peoria Heights. 

Bands include Heavy Shake, Roundstone Buskers and Paige DeChausse and the Reverent Few on Friday. On Saturday musicians will be the Robin Crowe Band, The Midnight Special, Celtricity, featuring Barry Cloyd, and Drivetrain featuring Nick Boettcher.  

Amazing food will be available and family fun will be provided on Saturday by Fun On The Run and the extraordinary Zoo Lady, who can paint more than 35 elaborate mask faces.  

And don’t forget, the iconic Peoria Heights Tower will be open, offering some of the area’s best views of the city and river valley.

For more information visit

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Hosts World’s Largest Duck at the 26th Annual Duck Race

rubber duckie





Thursday July 31, 2014 – Please join us for the Kick Off of the 26th Annual Duck Race to Stop Abuse.

Who: Martha Herm, Executive Director, The Center for Prevention of Abuse

What: Duck Race Kick Off Press Conference

When: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 @ 10:00 am

Where: Riverfront Park (behind Walmart), East Peoria, IL 61611

Why: To announce the 26th Annual Duck Race and Giant Quacky, the World’s Largest Duck who will be nesting at Riverfront Park in East Peoria.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse is the only agency authorized by the State of Illinois to provide a combination of domestic violence, sexual assault and adult protective services. Annually, more than 5,000 women, men and children, affected by violence and abuse are served by The Center. Additionally, The Center offers school-based abuse prevention programming to students pre-K through college age, reaching out to over 20,000 young people annually. Through these activities, plus community presentations and trainings, The Center lives out its mission which is to empower everyone – women, men and children – to live free from violence and abuse.