Matt Gardiner is a member of Carpenters Local Union 237.
He said he likes the work because ‘it’s easy and it makes the day go by fast’.
Jose Barrera works at his family’s restaurant; his mother owned a restaurant in Mexico and dreamed of having one in the United States. El Nopal, Authentic Mexican Restaurant opened two months ago and is a dream come true for his family.
John Wiesner is the owner of Mt. Hawley Bowl. He said it is never boring,
‘it’s nice to have a place where you are able to watch people enjoying themselves.’
Larry Curless is the manager at the Riverfront Visitors Center in Peoria. He said people stop by to find information about lodging, food, and entertainment. ‘People are surprised how much there is to do here’ he said.
J.W. Randle Jr. is excited to take part in the Martin Luther King Day event in Peoria, he also feels that to celebrate
President Obama’s inauguration today is fitting, ‘This is part of his dream’ he said.
Lisa Farrell is a makeup artist at Ulta, over the last 19 years she has done makeup at several places in and around Chicago.
‘Every woman should have the opportunity to look and feel as beautiful on the outside as she does on the inside’, she said.
Eliot Pattee of Oshkosh, WI, is a Hotdogger with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
It is a one year job driving the iconic hotdog shaped vehicle across the country as a goodwill ambassador.
What does ‘Deli Eliot’ (his Hotdogger name) plan to do after this job? ‘I have no idea, look for work’ he said.
Judy Svymbersky is a board member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Spalding Council of the Knights of Columbus #427. The group helps with the Friday fish fry one week each Month. ‘It’s the best Catfish I have ever eaten’ she says.
When Gary Bryant of Bloomington started replacing auto glass in 1969 the glass was held in by rubber gaskets. These days it takes a lot of specialized tools to work to remove the urethane that holds the glass in place, he said.
David Weihe recently located to St. Louis which just happens to be the location of Hardee's corporate headquarters.
He's a life-long super fan and used to have to drive over 200 miles to get a Thickburger.
John Vanderheydt is a press operator at P&P Press in Peoria, IL. He has been in the printing business for 20 years.
He says he enjoys his job, ‘it’s in my blood’.
Diane Russell has been in banking for 10 years, before that she was in retail. She likes banking
because she can develop relationships with her customers and feels she can help people more.
Norina Sinclair loves cooking, football, drawing and ceramics. ‘Being Nona’,
what her two granddaughters call her, ‘is the highlight of my life’ she said.
Emily Wegner, from Eureka, IL, brought her daughter, Grace (age 7), to the Eagle Day event in Peoria Heights.
At Christmas the Wegner’s decided to go on outings and spend some one-on-one time with each of their four children.
David McIntire is an EMT and Firefighter for the Dunlap Fire Department.
He was drawn to becoming a firefighter because a friend of his family and role model of his is a firefighter.
Wayne Huser says he shoots 1,500 rounds of ammunition per year, ‘since I retired, this is all I do’. He is a member of the Peoria Gun Club as well as a rifle and pistol range. He is holding his custom Model 21 Winchester shotgun.
Barbara Shiverdecker is the local Chapter Coordinator for Project Linus which provides love, security,
warmth and comfort to seriously ill or traumatized children through handmade blankets.
She wanted to thank Jones Sewing Machine Company for providing equipment and space for the group.
Brent Perkins started at Peoria Camera Shop in 1999, for what was expected to be a 1 year job,
in the digital camera section. Turns out digital photography had staying power and so did Brent.
He likes the challenge of the ever expanding technology of digital photography.
Dorie Miller is a baker and cake decorator at Apples Bakery in Peoria. Fans of Apples might recognize her,
she’s been on a break but came back to work over Christmas.
Steve Hutton of Morton is a basketball fan and has been coming to Bradley Braves basketball for 35 years.
He started following Bradley when an upper classman from his high school played college ball there.
Anne Rosenak of Peoria buys and sells antiques. She shares the hobby with her husband Greg and
they have been doing it for 27 years. She said she enjoys the hunt and the discovery of great antiques.
Samantha Skowronski (age 5) is watching the Jellyfish at the Shedd Aquarium. She starts back at school Monday,
so she is spending the last day of her Christmas break at the aquarium.
Eric Freeman works at Aramark as a ‘fill in guy’ meaning he fills in for others with they are on vacation or sick.
He is looking forward to a regular route opening up.
Nancy Hawkins has worked at Chestnut Inn Family Restaurant in Henry since 1999.
She likes all the customers, from the local regulars, to those traveling Illinois Route 29 who stop for a meal.
Dan O’Neil has been participating in the Polar Bear Plunge for 15 years. Now even his 3 kids participate.
‘It’s a great way to start the New Year… Do something really stupid, then you are all set’ he said.
Steven and Mallory Miller from St. Louis, MO are in Peoria to celebrate the New Year
with friends. They are picking up a few party favors at Party City.
Timothy X, as a member of the Nation of Islam, is distributing copies of The Final Call.
He wants people to know ‘they should not be afraid to read’ the publication
because ‘it’s full of good information and world news’.
After 41 years, Clair Park considered quitting as the official score keeper for Pekin HS.
‘Then I thought, I love the game and the kids and I have the best seat in the house, why should I quit?’ he said.
Jaeden Barlow is a senior at Dunlap High School. She works part-time at Red Carpet car wash.
She says she has ‘a good boss and the people are nice’.
Mark Clay was a teacher before he started working as a security guard.
It was the noise of his classroom that lead him to the quite of this job.
Courtney Thurman works at J. Crew and is also studying business marketing at UCO.
She likes meeting people and the busy atmosphere of working retail.
Michael Konopasek is a general assignment reporter at KWTV News 9, Oklahoma City's CBS affiliated television station. Michael moved from Indiana in May of 2011. Today he is reporting on weather conditions in OKC.
Perry Kearnes is only one month into his first job, ever. He chose to work at Lanston’s Western Wear
in Midwest City, OK because he always wore this type of clothing and it seemed a natural fit.
Teron Gaddis has served as pastor for Greater Bethel Baptist Church in Oklahoma City for 19 years.
A warm and welcoming congregation of faith filled people.
Max Carr and his wife Vicki have always shared a love of aesthetics and architecture. Together they built Sandstone Gardens in Joplin, MO starting with 68 acres of farmland and built a beautiful, estate-like, building filled with home and garden décor.
Brandy Wright only had one coat growing up, ‘I’d never heard of Coats for Kids until I started working here at Salvation Army’. Now she heads up the annual drive and giveaway ‘it’s my favorite program’ she said.
Kevin Willenberg is the owner of Frames Plus in Peoria.
He said he got into the business because he likes the building aspect of making frames.
Crystal Bobo is ringing the bell for the Salvation Army for the 1st time this year. She wanted to contribute to the organization that helped her. As a teenager, she lived at the Salvation Army shelter and they helped her get through high school.
Kim Goodwin is the owner of EmbroidMe in Peoria. She has always enjoyed graphic design work and her Mom, who owned
a fabric shop, suggested she get in the embroidery business. She likes helping people make their vision into a reality.
Rita Ali is the Vice President of Diversity, International and Adult Education at Illinois Central College.
Her job allows her to travel all over the world ‘without leaving campus’ and she said ‘it’s great fun’.
Mike Mullally drives the Zamboni at Owens Center ice rinks. He says it is more than just driving in circles.
‘There is a real art to shaving the right amount of ice and adding the right amount of water’ he said.
Patti Kelton is an Adoption Volunteer for A.R.K., a no kill animal shelter in Lacon, IL. Today they are adopting dogs
at PetsMart, other times she is a Clinical Research Monitor and travels a lot for work.
Helping animals find a ‘forever home’ is very rewarding she said.
Angie Stiles Richardson started selling her hand made sterling silver jewelry in 2008. A portion of all her sales
go to a local charity. Metal Me, jewelry with a cause, contributes to Cancer Center of Peoria,
several no-kill animal shelters, many animal rescue groups and more.
Tony Tsounakas is the General Manager for Midway Bar-B-Q in Katy TX.
The restaurant is full of animal mounts killed by the owner Herman Meyer.
Lyle Simmons, from Ann Arbor, MI, is on a Southwest flight from Chicago to Houston for business.
He is seated in row 12 on Dec. 12, 2012.
Rabbi Eli Langsam is the Director of the Lubavitch Chabad of Peoria. He and his wife, Sarah, have run the organization
for 11 years. During this Chanukah season he wants to remind everyone that the Menorah
is a symbol of religious freedom,of light defeating darkness and good prevailing over evil.
Lizabeth Pearce is owner of Pearce Gallery in Dunlap, IL. She has worked as an Artist and Art Instructor all over the world. Her non-profit gallery hopes to facilitate a fun environment for families and children to come socialize and experience visual art.
Catrina Warren is Volunteering at the Stocking Stuffer Store to benefit Crittenton Centers.
She is a senior at Manuel High School and a member of the Tomorrow's Scientists, Technicians & Managers Program.
Her volunteer work helps her get her required service hours, but she says it’s fun seeing the kids so happy.
Axel Stahl is participating in the World War II re-enactment, ‘Christmas on the Ghost Front’, at Sommer Park.
He collects WWII memorabilia and enjoys meeting and making new friends at these events.
Angie Stancil is the Future Business Leaders of America advisor at Dunlap High School. The Group has opened a coffee shop in the school commons as a fund raiser. She says it also ‘teaches people skills, to manage supplies and develop products’.
Larry Winkler from Bartonville, IL has driven a concrete truck for 36 years. He loves driving the truck and meeting people along the way. He thinks people should know that it’s a good paying job with great benefits.
Captain Alex Grieves is the owner of the Spirit of Peoria, one of the few authentic paddlewheel-driven boats that offers overnight trips. He said he has enjoyed his 19 years operating the Peoria attraction, 'it's different everyday'.
Zach Copple of Elmwood, IL., delivers furniture for La-Z-Boy he is also a student at ICC. Though he said he thinks delivering furniture is not a bad job, he does not plan to do it forever.
Kaitlynn Wulfekuhle swims for the Dunlap Dolphins Swim team. Her best races are the 500 and the 50 freestyle. She said she likes swimming because it is ‘relaxing and hard core at the same time’.
Joanne McTaggart has been doing the carriage rides at Grand Prairie mall for 25 years. But this is her last year though she enjoys all the people, she is ready to retire. Joker, her draft horse, will be back next year with someone else behind the reins.
Jim Hall is one of the Trustees of Springfield Road Baptist Church, a congregation of 15 people. He is 80 years old and gives the Lord credit for ‘giving me the strength to keep going’. The church is currently searching for a pastor and new members.
Barbara Kepper is part of a group, from St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Lacon,
to visit the 4th Annual Festival of Trees at Expo Gardens.
Today was ‘Senior Day’ and Barbara said she thought the trees were ‘very beautiful’.
Benni Summy has been a farmer his entire life. He moved from Pennsylvania to Roseville, IL 3 years ago.
This is his first visit to the Greater Peoria Farm Show.
Christa Taylor is the Asst. Manager at Monkey Joes, she says she loves working with the children.
She is also in school to be a dental assistant and will graduate in June and hopes to work in pediatric dentistry.
Lou Garrett is the president of River Valley Antique Association he started collecting
tractors after inheriting his dad’s old tractor. He now has 12 antique tractors that he takes to shows,
parades and other events like this week’s Greater Peoria Farm Show.
Jan Wolosek cuts 10,000 Christmas trees every year from his farm in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
He wholesales most of them and then he loads up and heads to Peoria, IL.
He sets up in the Nena Hardware parking lot, where he has built a loyal clientele over the last 25 years.
Jeff Pulfer is the chairman of this year’s Kristkindlmarkt at the Lindenhof. This is the third year
for the Peoria German-American Society’s holiday event which consists of food, music, and crafts.
Ken Schlote sells the eggs from his chickens as a hobby. He makes his living from the 25 head of cattle he raises on his land.
Though he could sell the land to the many developers who have made him offers, he says he is not leaving.
Jim Rehm decided to participate in the Black Friday shopping day.
He got a few bargains and said the crowds were ‘not too bad’.
Brian Maine is the manager of the cart staff at Whitmore Country Club. He is working today, on Thanksgiving. He said he would rather do it than to make some of his staff work on the holiday. ‘Besides that’ he said, ‘it’s a good day for tips’.
Brittany Hennagir loves animals, she says the ‘zoo’ at her house includes; a snake, a rabbit, an iguana, a hedgehog,
some fish and a dog. ‘I love working here’ she said about her job at Greater Peoria Pet Resort.
Jim Babrowski has been in more productions with the Peoria Players Theatre than anyone else... ever.
He has been involved with them for 33 years. Now that he is retired, he volunteers 20-30
hours a week at the Theatre. Today, he is putting up the new marquee.
Doug Newton has been a driver for FedEx for more than 10 years. He said it was a great job, but he had to leave.
Max Gonzales is waiting outside of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception for his family after attending the Spanish Mass. Though he was born in the United States his parents were born in Mexico.
He attends both English and Spanish masses but prefers the Spanish mass.
Josie Foster age 5 of Morton is waiting for the start of the East Peoria Parade of Lights. Her parents say they bring her every year, but she doesn’t remember. She was excited when she was reminded she would get to see Santa Claus in this parade.
Esther Moreland is from Budapest, Hungary but has called the United States her home for the last 19 years.
Today, she and more than 90 others, recited the oath of allegiance and became US citizens.
She commented, ‘Today, I feel closer to the United States… it’s like I have a new identity’.
Bev Garrett attends the Alzheimer’s Association annual Candlelight Service. She has been active with the organization since her husband began suffering from Alzheimer’s. John Garrett died last February after wandering away from his home near Brimfield. Bev is working with local officials to start a program that can provide tracking devices for Alzheimer’s patients.
Brynn Kanikula is the Membership/Marketing Coordinator for the Peoria Art Guild. She has always had a passion for art. Combine that with experience in marketing in the corporate world and you have a recipe for a great job.
She likes meeting the new artists and interesting characters, ‘I see a lot of great talent’ she said.
Patrick Gornik is a Biology teacher at Dunlap High School, he coaches Boys and Girls tennis and the Scholastic
Bowl teams. Though his teams and students have had plenty of success, what was the highlight
of his year? ‘I am newly married’ he said with a smile.
Richard Rumbold works at Monica Elevator in Dunlap, he has done this type of work for more than 38 years.
He says it’s fun to see all the customers and their crops each fall.
Cindy Custer’s first job popping popcorn was when she was a little girl and her grandparents had a machine
and traveled to events. Now she is working at Holland’s Caramel Corn in Washington, IL
where they will pop corn for 12 hours a day during the busy season.
Mark Day has spent his Saturday tearing down a pole barn with some of his friends.
His regular job is cutting wood for Morton Building company.
Gianna Vitale, a 4th grader at St. Jude Catholic School in Dunlap, played the role of Mother Theresa in her school play.
She said it was fun writing and performing the play with her class mates, but the hardest part of portraying
the most famous and beloved woman of the 20th Century… ‘memorizing my lines’.
Ashleigh Miller is packing stockings to go to the troops for Operation Santa. Her husband is a captain in the Marines and is serving his 4th tour. She said that programs like Operation Santa are well appreciated
by the men and women serving overseas, ‘it lifts their spirits and keeps them going’.
Randy Murry of Pekin has been a tree cutter for the last 15 years.
He says it is a very dangerous job, ‘You have to be careful to make the right cuts’.
Laura Treichel plays and teaches piano. She votes every election, though this time it took some effort to arrange
the 1.5 hour wait around her other commitments. ‘Voting is our right, we should participate’ she said.
Anna Saving is a Store Manager at Family Video. She said that not only is the video rental
chain growing, ‘it’s super fun’ to work there.
In 1987 Steve Keen of Pekin collected his first baseball card, now he has more than 300 autographed cards,
baseballs and bats. ‘It’s all about the thrill of the chase’ he said from his booth at the Peoria Park District
Sport Auction and Card Show, ‘I just sell these so I can buy more tickets to the games’.
Mike Czajkowski is the head coach for the Pekin High School Cross Country team. This is his first year as head coach,
last year he was assistant coach. Today the team is competing in the State Championship.
Valerie Wolfe is a horticulturist at Luthy Botanical Garden. She is specifically responsible for the 61 year-old Conservatory, ‘this is my baby’ she said. She also said she is an ‘earthy spirit’ and enjoys bringing people close to nature.
Tim Smith is the Superintendent of Maintenance at Kellogg Golf Course in Peoria.
He says every day is different because the weather affects everything they do.
Today he is changing the hole positions, a job that had to wait because of early morning frost.
Doug Fauth and his family have a theme for the Trick-or-treaters every year. This year the theme is Pirates of the Caribbean.
It took three and a half weeks to build the pirate ship in his front yard. It is 24 feet long, has cannons that flash and smoke.
Laura Phillip-Gray is an Artist, but her art has not been paying the bills so her other job is as a nurse.
Specifically she is an RN, BSN, CMSRN. She works full time at OSF and the rest of her free time,
like today, she is giving flu shots at Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs all across central Illinois.
Maria Golden says she is not the type of person to sit around on the couch. Since retiring from Caterpillar, She has been involved in lots of volunteer work as well as this part-time job as a crossing guard for School District 150 in Peoria.
Tom Miller is the facility coordinator at Sommer Park in Peoria. Today he is demonstrating how to make candles
during Pioneer Days, which is an educational event showing the daily life of rural Peorians in the mid-19th century.
Adam Schaer has worked with his dad on the farm his whole life. Now he has his own pumpkin farm, Hilly Lane Pumpkins. There is a hint of pride in his voice when he says, ‘we only sell what we raise’.
Danny Van Buskirk is an Iron worker and owns Van Buskirk Construction Company.
He likes to build things and work with his hands, though running a business has upsides and down.
Jay Gaskins is delivering yard signs for Frank Ierulli. He has been involved in politics for the last 10 years.
‘I hope the best candidate wins’ he said, ‘I vote for the person not the party’.
Pete Targos of Peoria is taking advantage of the warm fall day to take his sons fishing.
They are trying their luck at the pond in Northtrail Park.
Katerina Lenz of Lacon, IL is 4 years old. This is her first year taking dance classes at Peoria Ballet Academy. Today’s class… Tap.
Anna Price of West Peoria is participating in the 40 days for Life campaign. Since September 26th she has spent an hour
each morning praying for an end to abortion and ‘praying for everyone, because people are hurting’.
Sandra and Gary Betts decorate their home for all the major holidays.
They say that people will go out of the way to drive by and see how the house looks
at the change of seasons. Why do they go all out on the decorations? ‘We’re a little weird’, Sandra said.
Jackie Morgan of Peoria makes handbags from interior design samples. ‘Each bag is a one-of-a-kind’, she said.
She does a couple of Craft shows each year, this one is at Northminster Presbyterian.
Becky Lagouros is a member of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society.
They are holding a bake sale at All Saints Greek Orthodox Church during the Ethnic Food Fest.
She has been involved with the event for 8 years and helps to bake some of the products.
Her favorite is the Melomacarona, a traditional Greek cookie that ‘is to die for’.