April 2020

Peoria’s typically busy spaces have become nearly devoid of human presence since a statewide stay-at-home order went into effect in mid-March to combat COVID-19.

Reagan Venturi, 11, does a no-hands cartwheel while practicing her flips Sunday, April 5 outside her home off Wilhelm Road in Peoria. She and her sister Rylie, 12, are members of Titanium Force Cheer, a cheerleading gym in East Peoria. They’ve taken to practicing in the yard whenever possible since the gym closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Rylie Venturi, 12, gets upside down while working on her cheerleading flips Sunday, April 5 in her yard off Wilhelm Road in Peoria.

Peoria-based musician Paul Adams records himself performing on a Native American flute Monday, April 6 at Springdale Cemetery. Adams heads out to the cemetery every couple days to relax and play some music, often posting a recording to Facebook.
Chains and plastic flowers adorn the door of a mausoleum Monday, April 6 at Springdale Cemetery.
A C-130 cargo plane lifts off from the Illinois Air National Guard base Tuesday, April 7 bound for Oregon to pick up a load of medical tents. The crew will deliver the supplies to Chicago for use in treating patients infected with COVID-19.

Kourtney St. Clair, left, activities director for Senior World, and Libby Dwyer, activities assistant for Senior World, paint a mural on the door of a shipping crate that serves as a storage shed for the Garden of Hope on Tuesday, April 7 in the 1000 block of W. Antoinette Street on Peoria’s south side. With Senior World closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OSF Healthcare employees volunteered their artistic skills as the community garden prepares for spring planting and harvesting.
Mike Brooks, left, garden coordinator for the Garden of Hope, helps volunteer Lexi Sands, an OSF speech therapist, with some repairs Tuesday, April 7 in the 1000 block of W. Antoinette Street on Peoria’s south side. The two-acre set of vacant lots near St. Ann’s Catholic Church has become a burgeoning community garden through a collaboration between the church, the City of Peoria and OSF Healthcare.

Tim Herold heads out from his NE Madison Avenue home Wednesday, April 8 for his daily litter cleanup along a five-mile route in Peoria.
Tim Herold picks up a piece of garbage Wednesday, April 8 along NE Monroe Street in Peoria. Herold typically collects trash along a two-mile route a couple of days a week. With extra time on his hands because of COVID-19 restrictions, Herold has stepped up his efforts to about five miles a day.
Tim Herold dumps a bucket full of garbage he collected over several blocks Wednesday, April 8 along NE Madison Avenue.
Tim Herold of Peoria has made a habit of picking up litter two or three days a week along a two-mile stretch in his North Valley neighborhood. The effort has expanded to about five miles per day since his work has been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Cheryl Williams laughs as she hauls a case of toilet paper donated by Sue Birckelbaw, background, and her granddaughter Autumn Totsch during a drive-up food drive Wednesday, April 8, at the East Bluff Community Center in Peoria. The center’s pantry has been diminished in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers decided to hold a drive-up effort to help minimize contact and maintain social distancing.
Signs of thanks and welcome dot the entrance to the East Bluff Community Center during a food drive Wednesday, April 8 outside the center at 512 E. Kansas Street in Peoria.
East Bluff resident Jodi Cohn drops off a supply of food Wednesday, April 8 during a food drive outside the East Bluff Community Center, 512 E. Kansas Street, in Peoria.

Neighborhood House driver Jeff David delivers food to John Slater, 78, on his daily Meals on Wheels delivery route Thursday, April 9 in Peoria. David has been with the Neighborhood House since 2008 and is highly valued by customers on his route. The program has seen an uptick in need since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Workers assemble plates of food on the cook line during Meals on Wheels prep time Thursday, April 9 at Neighborhood House in Peoria.
A set of meals sit in a box ready for delivery during Meals on Wheels preparation Thursday, April 9 at Neighborhood House in Peoria.
Ted Kinney, left, 70, greets Meals on Wheels driver Jeff David in the driveway of his home Thursday, April 9 in Peoria.

City Church pastor Shane Hawkins, right, ties up a bib on children’s pastor Nate Springer’s Easter Bunny costume as the pair get ready to deliver Easter baskets Sunday, April 12 throughout Pekin.
Dressed as a pair of Easter Bunnies, City Church pastors Nate Springer, left, and Shane Hawkins hand out treats to the Hansen sisters, from right to left, Dani, 2, Allison, 9, and Gabbie, 6, during a visit Sunday, April 12 in Pekin. Since COVID-19 forced the cancellation of City Church’s annual Easter egg hunt, the church’s leaders decided to deliver eggs instead. The pastors visited 72 households on their route through Pekin.
Ally Szerletich, 3, smiles for the Easter Bunny, aka City Church pastor Shane Hawkins, from the arms of her mother Kristina at their house Sunday, April 12 in Pekin. Hawkins and fellow pastor Nate Springer delivered dozens of Easter baskets to children throughout Pekin.

Norm Nathan, a retired Peoria physician, hikes through Forest Park Nature Center on Monday, April 13 in Peoria Heights. Nathan said he has noticed a significant uptick in hikers at the park, not all of whom are practicing social distancing. Despite that, he said his near-daily walks have been a big help in dealing with the COVID-19 lockdown.
A construction worker cuts through pieces of steel as work continues on converting the former Chase Bank building at 124 SW Adams Street into the new OSF Healthcare headquarters Monday, April 13 in Downtown Peoria.
An American Paint horse stretches out for the fresh grass just outside the fence Tuesday, April 14 at Sky Blue Stables, 1001 W. Muller Road in East Peoria. Owners Ann and Kevin Eisele have operated Sky Blue since 1994 and offer horse boarding, training and riding lessons. Dozens of horses can often be seen grazing and roaming on the Sky Blue property which also features a large indoor riding arena.
Auggie, top, 6, and Stella, 5, a pair of Great Danes, wait patiently for their owner Michelle Comer of Sparland to return with a bag of bones Wednesday, April 15 during their monthly trip to Alwan and Sons Meat Company, 703 E. War Memorial Drive in Peoria Heights.

Chef Troy Ummel slices up partially cooked pieces of boar meat for one of his frozen takeout meals available at his restaurant, Connected, in Peoria. Ummel has created a limited menu of frozen gourmet meals that customers can take home and bake in an effort to keep his business running in the wake of COVID-19 closures.
A menu is projected on a giant screen as a customer picks up her order at Connected restaurant in Peoria.
Connected employee Steve Smith prepares dozens of trays of gourmet takeout for freezing at the Peoria restaurant.

Jolt Harm Reduction director Chris Schaffner, middle, hands out a new face mask as outreach worker Kshe Bernard, in background, prepares a bag of food during a food and face mask distribution for Peoria’s homeless, on Thursday, April 16 near the CityLink Transit Center in Downtown Peoria.
Craig Marlatt tries on a new face mask donated through Jolt Harm Reduction during a food and face mask distribution Thursday, April 16 in a parking lot across Harrison Street from the CityLink Transit Center in Downtown Peoria.
A group of homeless men and women cross Harrison Street from the CityLink Transit Center to get a sack lunch and other amenities from Jolt Harm Reduction on Friday, April 17 in Downtown Peoria.

A mute swan displays a behavior known as “busking” Friday, April 17 in a pond in front of the OSF HealthCare-Franciscan Prairie Office, 5901 W. War Memorial Drive, in Peoria. The swan, one of two in the pond, puts on a defensive display by holding up its wings and ruffling its feathers in reaction to a perceived intruder.
Justin Hamlet, right, and his girlfriend’s dad Paul Murray of Chillicothe fish from a concrete platform Monday, April 20 at Cutright Park in Chillicothe.

Physician’s assistant Natasha Rodriguez prepares to administer a COVID-19 swab test on a drive-through patient Tuesday, April 21 at Heartland Health Services, 2321 N. Wisconsin Avenue, in Peoria. A steady stream of vehicles filed through the old Kroger parking lot Tuesday on the first day of drive-through and walk-up testing at the Peoria location.
Nurses wave cars in for COVID-19 testing Tuesday, April 21 at Heartland Health Services drive-through and walk-up testing site at 2321 N. Wisconsin Avenue in Peoria. The tent at left is for registration. Samples are collected in the other tent.

Illini Bluffs School District 327 athletic director Steve Schafer moves a cart of donated items from a drop-off point into the micro-food pantry at the high school. The school has hosted the pantry since it closed down in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has grown steadily since then.
Donated food and other items fill tables in a hallway of Illini Bluffs High School in Glasford. The items are sorted and organized and then taken out to cabinets just outside the school’s entrance for distribution.

Peoria-based photographer Shaun Mosley takes a photo of the Monroe family, from left to right, Elise, 18, Grace, 16, Heather and Chris, on the front stoop of their Washington home. The photo is part of Mosley’s “drive-by shootings” project, in which she photographs subjects in quarantine on the front porch of their homes.
Shaun Mosley directs the Monroe family into a pose for a photo shoot on the front stoop of their Washington home.

Limestone Community High School sophomore cheerleader Kayley Barton, 16, works out Thursday, April 23 in the driveway of her Bartonville home. A cheerleader since she was 6 years old, Barton was trying to stay in shape by participating in a two-week challenge issued by popular YouTube fitness guru Chloe Ting.
Jaxen Torok, 7, right, practices soccer with his dad Matt and brother Kaden, 5, not shown, Sunday, April 26, 2020 in the field behind Renaissance Coliseum in the Bradley University campus. With regular soccer practices in limbo due to COVID-19 restrictions, Matt Torok wanted to keep his sons’ skills sharp so they’ll be ready when things open up again. Torok is married to Bradley volleyball coach Carol Price-Torok.

Big red corrugated plastic hearts hang by twine from some of Peoria’s best known sculptures Sunday, April 26 as a show of support for front-line workers and health care workers besieged by the COVID-19 pandemic, much like the Hearts for Healthcare campaign.

Five Points Washington fitness instructor Chelsie Grove broadcasts a Body Pump workout via Facebook Live from the garage of her Washington home. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced personal trainers to find alternative ways to keep clients active and involved in a fitness regimen.

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