A Publication of WTVP

Business News – In Brief | November 2022

by Peoria Magazine |
Business News in Brief

Peggy BocklerIllinois Prairie District Public Library honored longtime staff member Peggy Bockler with a farewell open house on Sept. 30 at the IPDPL-Metamora branch. Bockler grew up in Metamora and began working as a “shelver” for IPDPL in 2007. Over the ensuing 15 years she advanced to circulation manager for the Metamora branch of the library system

Illinois Prairie District Public Library

WTVP PBS logoKayla Hollowell has been promoted to director of studio operations and production crew at WTVP PBS.

The American Red Cross of Illinois has announced seven new members of the Central Illinois chapter’s board of directors. The chapter welcomes Tim Gronewold as chairman of the board, along with Emily Geerts, Lindsey Birkel, Jennifer Junis, Tim Bassett, Swaksha Kallepalli and Jacob Weinberg as board members.

Tazewell County is expected to save more than $765,000 thanks to a new six-year contract for election equipment and services with Tremont-based Liberty Systems LLC. Liberty Systems provides election software and support to counties throughout Illinois. The company currently assists in reporting on election results in 35 Illinois counties.

Galva Arts Council logoThe Galva Arts Council in Galva has received a multi-year Levitt AMP Grant Award of $90,000 in matching funds to present a free outdoor music series at Wiley Park from 2023 to 2025. The grant is from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a social impact funder supporting nonprofits nationwide at the intersection of music and public spaces.

Levitt Foundation AMP Grant logo

For the second consecutive year, the Illinois News Broadcasters Association named WCBU the Best Radio Small Market Radio Station in Illinois in its annual Crystal Microphone awards. WCBU’s Joe Deacon was honored as the Best Small Market Radio Reporter.


Peoria native and National Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome will be honored on Nov. 11 with the 2022 Living Legend Award from the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Thome played 22 MLB seasons and smashed 612 home runs (the eighth most ever), 2,328 hits and 1,699 runs batted in (RBI), with a .276 batting average. From 1991 to 2012 he played for six MLB teams, the majority of his years with the Cleveland Guardians (formerly Indians).

The Peoria Historical Society has received a $5,000 grant from Illinois Humanities to be used for general operating expenses, including collection and exhibition needs. Illinois Humanities is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Comcast announced that it has awarded the George Washington Carver Community Center in Peoria a $40,000 Lift Zone Opportunity Fund grant supporting digital skills training at the organization’s Lift Zone, which Comcast opened in January 2021. Lift Zones are Wi-Fi-connected safe spaces where children can get online to do schoolwork and adults can learn new digital skills and access services. The Carver Center is one of more than 1,000 Lift Zones throughout the country.

Children at Carver Center Lift Zone


The 57th Annual Cattle Auction to benefit Children’s Home Association of Illinois raised $283,000 on Sept. 9 at Weaver Angus Farm. Nearly 400 guests enjoyed dinner by Mission BBQ, a live auction, music and dancing. The only cattle auctioned was a life-size plastic cow by local artist Andrè Petty.

Children's Home logo

Dr Masi and Mrs MasiThe University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria has announced that Dr. Alfonse and Nancy Masi of Peoria will donate $1.2 million to kick off a fund leading to the establishment of an endowed chair there. The Dr. Alfonse and Nancy Masi Endowed Chair of Medicine will support a nationally renowned physician scientist who will enhance the department’s research enterprise while promoting a culture of innovation, scholarship and discovery.

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Bradley University is leading a trade mission to Southeast Asia March 8-16, 2023, with additional options for companies seeking sourcing/manufacturing in Thailand and Vietnam. Eligible participants will receive 50% reimbursements of approved program costs such as Trade Winds fees, shipping and in-country marketing through the Illinois STEP program. Travel costs such as airfare and hotels are also reimbursable. Contact Jim Ryan at 309-363-5803 or [email protected].

The Pediatric Resource Center (PRC) will host its annual fundraising event, “Hope for Kids,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Jump Simulation, 1306 N. Berkeley, Peoria. Proceeds from this event help PRC ensure the clinics are staffed with specially trained providers and case coordinators so that children can receive the services crucial to their health and safety. Additionally, funds raised help PRC provide education to area physicians, nurses and other partners regarding prevention efforts and child abuse/neglect concerns. Tickets are $100 each and may be purchased at For information, call 309-624-9595 or email [email protected].

Thanksgiving Luncheon graphic The Peoria Chamber of Commerce’s 47th Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon, sponsored by Caterpillar and Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, will be held Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Peoria Civic Center. Along with a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the event includes the presentation of awards for Woman of the Year, Young Professional, Community Wealth Award, Outstanding Small Business, and the Tom Connor Award. Registration closes Nov. 11. Learn more at East Peoria FOL graphic

The East Peoria Chamber of Commerce is seeking sponsors for the 38th Annual East Peoria Festival of Lights. Multiple sponsor levels are available for the event, which attracts more than 10,000 vehicles and their passengers each year. Visit or call 309-699-6212.

Peoria Historical Society graphic

The Peoria Historical Society has announced its Holiday Home Tour, Dec. 3 and 4, 2022. The tour offers an opportunity to stroll through historic private homes that are rarely open to the public and this year includes the Murray Baker estate on Moss Avenue, a restored home on Glen Oak, a grand building at Perry and Fayette, and a Moss Avenue residence recently featured on HGTV. Tickets are $20 in advance through or by calling PHS at 309-674-1921, or $25 at the door. More information:

Peoria Area Chamber logo

The Peoria Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for its Community Leadership School, which is designed to strengthen the Peoria area by developing future leaders who are educated on issues and challenges facing the community. The application deadline is Nov. 18. Learn more at

Peoria Chiefs logo

The Peoria Chiefs have announced their 2023 schedule, with opening day on April 7, 2023. Game times and promotions will be announced later. Season tickets for 2023 are available for purchase in person at the Dozer Park box office or by calling 309-680-4000.

Boston public media producer GBH and PBS LearningMedia have launched the U.S. History Collection, a comprehensive set of media-rich educational resources available free to teachers nationwide. The U.S. History Collection spans the breadth of core topics and periods in the U.S. history curriculum and is designed to introduce students to multiple perspectives and help middle and high school students develop critical thinking skills when learning about and interpreting history. Learn more at