Peoria County news briefs

: Local brewpub hosting bags tournament to benefit Greater Peoria YMCA this weekend, May 10. (Photo courtesy of Greater Peoria Area YMCA)


 Bags tournament benefits the YMCA campaign

Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery, 321 NE Madison Ave., Peoria is hosting a bag tournament that will raise money for the Greater Peoria Area YMCA’s annual campaign on Friday, May 10.

Check in begins at 5 p.m. with games beginning at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per team

The tournament will be double elimination with more than $200 in prizes to be won.

All proceeds will go to to the YMCA scholarships & community outreach programs.


Wildlife Prairie Park hosting Train Day

Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City is celebrating Train Day on Saturday, May 11 and Pekin’s River City Model Railroad Club will be there, providing operating displays and answering questions.

The day-long festivity is an annual event, this year celebrating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the park’s Wildlife Prairie Park Railroad. Besides the displays and model train layouts from the River City Model Railroad Club and other regional groups, there will be half-priced train rides on the Prairie Zephyr all day.

Other activities include a Train Scavenger Hunt, CAT Rail Car Giveaways, train merchandise for sale, a rail car display and crafts and games for kids.

The Wildlife Prairie Park Train Museum will be open in the Depot and there will be animal programs, as well.

The River City Model Railroad Club donates their time, displays and efforts to highlight and promote the hobby of model railroading to all.

For information, contact Rick Stephenson at 309-339-2896 or

Red Cross encourages blood donations

The American Red Cross needs donors to give blood during Trauma Awareness Month

and throughout the year to help ensure that trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured

patient arrives.

Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to help meet the needs of trauma patients and

others with serious medical conditions. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading

the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS


In thanks, all those who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross now

through June 10, will receive a $5 Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply;

see More information and details are available at

Major traumas can quickly deplete a hospital’s blood supply. By giving blood, platelets

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-

800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.


4-H offers youth, teen leadership development

A statewide study conducted in 2016 showed that participation in any 4-H leadership opportunity leads to a significant increase in leadership skills, including: getting along with others, understanding yourself, working with groups, communication and management skills. Moreover, the more leadership opportunities youth are engaged in, the more their leadership skills increase.

The 4-H program in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties offers a wide variety of leadership opportunities and classes for teenagers to build those skill sets. (Photo courtesy of 4-H)

As such, the 4-H program in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties offers a wide variety of leadership opportunities to allow participants plenty of ways to build those skill sets.

One of these programs is 4-H Federation. Federation members, grades eight and above, help plan programs and community service projects in each county.

They also volunteer at county, unit and state-wide 4-H events. In Fulton County, for instance, Federation sponsors a county-wide party at the local YMCA.

4-H Teen Teacher programs in Peoria and Tazewell counties are yet another leadership development opportunity. Teens undergo extensive training in positive youth development, classroom management techniques, and curriculum content to deliver lessons to younger youth.

Last year, Peoria County teen teachers reached over 1,000 students with STEM, nutrition, and other programming.

4-H clubs also help to develop leaders in the form of youth officers. The club president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and other positions are all filled by young people who plan meetings, facilitate group discussions, and execute group decisions. In this way, these young people take on a huge responsibility and practice a multitude of skills.

4-H membership is open year-round. Teens are always welcome to find out what opportunities are currently available by contacting the local U of I Extension office. Find more details online at or by contacting Emily Schoenfelder at or 309-347-6614.

Prairie Rivers Network names new director

The Prairie Rivers Network Board of Directors has appointed Elliot Brinkman as the organization’s new executive director. Brinkman, a seasoned member of the staff, assumes this leadership role at a time of significant growth and optimism for the state-wide environmental organization.

Elliot Brinkman

“Elliot brings a wealth of knowledge and commitment to the organization and our mission to protect water, heal land, and inspire change,” Board of Directors President Jon McNussen said. “While our search yielded many qualified candidates, it quickly became clear to us that the most qualified person was already doing the job and doing it extremely well. His leadership over the last few months as Interim Executive Director made our decision to offer him the director’s position permanently an easy one.”

With over eight years of experience as the organization’s water resources specialist, Brinkman is well versed in its programs and goals. Last December, he assumed the role of interim director, demonstrating a steadfast resolve in ensuring the organization’s strength and stability during the transition.

“I’m excited and humbled to take up the mantle of leadership at Prairie Rivers Network,” Brinkman said. “This organization has been a leader on environmental issues for over 50 years, and with our talented professional staff and strong network of members and supporters, we will honor that legacy as we continue to evolve and expand our work to protect the water, rivers, and wildlife of Illinois.”

As Illinois continues to face environmental challenges like climate change and threats to water and wildlife, Prairie Rivers Network states its commitment to these issues. “There are tremendous opportunities to contribute to a healthier environment and better quality of life for all Illinois residents, “ the organization states on its website. PRN is the Illinois affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation.