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Local student-run nonprofit hosts fundraiser to expand organization

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PEORIA, Ill. — A popular student-run program is looking to get a little bigger.

AppsCo is a local nonprofit start-up program, founded by Alexis Khazzam, that gives 80 high school students from Richwoods and Manual the opportunity to gain real-world professional experience.

Khazzam said the idea was created about five years ago with the idea of starting teens off young with business and tech skills that would benefit them for the future…

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Wildlife Prairie Park: Olde English Faire

Wildlife Prairie Park: Olde English Faire

Blog, Initiatives, Uncategorized

 

By: Ethan Mejzak

Wildlife Prairie Park is host to many events that are held year round and give people many different things to do when you visit. One of these events is the Olde English Faire, which was held on June 21st through June 23rd is one of Wildlife’s biggest events and is a medieval faire. There are many different things you can do, with shows, shops and attractions that will keep your attention for the whole day! I will discuss some of the things that I saw and my overall experience at the faire.

   Attractions

The attractions at the Olde English Faire were interesting to see and look at, as I watched many people participate in them. The two most popular attractions were the axe-throwing and archery attractions. For axe-throwing, you could pay money to get 3 or 5 axes and throw them at a target. There wasn’t a prize for hitting them, but the fun came from throwing actual axe and seeing if you could hit the target. It was much harder than it looked, as there was specific ways to hold and throw the axe, as the people working it didn’t want you to injure yourself. The other attraction was archery, and it was pretty straightforward. You could pay money to be able to shoot a bow and arrow at a target that was around 30-50 feet away. It was also pretty tough to work, as putting the arrow in the bowstring isn’t easy. I didn’t get close to a bulls-eye at all, but neither did anyone else that I watched, so that made me feel a little better about myself. All in all, I thought the attractions were a good way to interest people in doing something they haven’t tried before.

 

   Shops

The faire had a lot of shops filled with various goods everywhere. The faire had a ton of variety on what you could look at and buy, with loads of interesting shops. The shops that interested me the most are the places that had weapons, or crowns, rings and necklaces with unique designs. The shops with weapons had lots of custom swords with uniquely designed sheaths and handles. I looked at a lot of them, and saw a really cool sword that I liked, but then realized that all I was going to do with it was display it, then eventually lose it. The other shop that had caught my attention was a crown, ring and necklace store that had beatifically crafted items that were amazing to look at. They allowed people to try the crowns on, and I have to say that I didn’t look half bad with one on. The shops were a nice to go into and look around, with a lot of items that would interest you.

   Shows

The shows were my favorite part of the faire, with every show being entertaining in its own right. The first show I saw was a show called the “knotty bits pirate circus” it was a comedy show with some acrobatics thrown into it. It was very entertaining, and was a great way to start the day. Another show that I saw was a show where they showed off different kinds of birds, ranging from hawks to owls. What I liked was how they explained how the animals would be used in medieval times. The biggest show however, was the jousting match. You could go into to two different stands where two different knights would compete against each other in four games, a game where you use your lance to collect rings, one where they hit a shield and see how many times it goes around, a game where you see how much of a melon you can cut, and lastly, the match against the other knight. Both times I went, both sides were very into the match and it was very entertaining to watch. Sadly, my knight lost both times. Overall, the shows were very fun to watch, and kept me entertained.

   Overall EXPERIENCE

Overall, my experience with the faire was very enjoyable to go to and participate in, and I would recommend you to go next year if you are able. If you haven’t been to an English faire before, I believe that this would be a good place to start.

 

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Congressional App Challenge Press Conference

Congressional App Challenge Press Conference

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By: Shaelyn Johnson

12/18/17

On Friday, December 15th the Peoria Riverfront Museum hosted a press conference for us the AppsCo team and Congressman Darin LaHood! As we found out a week or so ago we won the 18th district in the Congressional App Challenge which is a national contests for students and teams to enter apps they made. The app we submitted for the challenge was an app we had made for the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

At the press conference we met many leaders and board members from Peoria Public Schools and the Riverfront Museum. We were able to mingle with previous clients and maybe even future clients. During the press conference Congressman Darin

 

LaHood spoke about the challenge and his representation of us. Then Ruby Hirschmann and Mariah Cooley gave a quick AppsCo introduction along with a brief talk about what we planned on doing with the app and what we presented through the app.

The press conference was short and simple but was a great experience for us , we were able to receive a plaque with our names on it to frame in our office! The opportunity to build an app for the Peoria Riverfront Museum was a great experience and it was amazing that we won with an app made for them! Thank you to everyone who attended the press conference and everyone who has worked with us to get to the point and win such a great award and honor.

 

 

Thank You Kiwani’s!

Thank You Kiwani’s!

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By: Shaelyn Johnson

12/14/17

On Wednesday , December 13th the AppsCo leaders were invited to attend a Kiwani’s International lunch at Golden Corral. Kiwanis International is an international, coeducational service club founded in 1917 in Detroit, Michigan. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States and is found in more than 80 nations and geographic areas. One of the Kiwani’s groups is home right here in Peoria. It is a group of volunteers from all different age ranges and they invite local Key Clubs from different high schools around the area and  they present them and ask about the local events and  organization they’ve been  working with. Their goal and motto is to help improve children’s lives.

At their lunch on Wednesday we were guest at the program along with Key Clubs from Peoria High School and Peoria Heights. Key Club is an after school club that gives children opportunities to help out in the community by volunteering at different places or making cards and care baskets for local organizations.

 

an opportunity to present to the group and introduce them to the AppsCo team through or intro video and hear a

During the Kiwanis meeting we recited the National anthem and the Kiwanis anthem and listened to the updates the Kiwanis members were giving the group. The meeting was very informational and a new experience for a lot of us members who never had attended a Kiwanis meeting before.  We were also given

little bit about us and what AppsCo has done for us personally.We also heard about some events we could volunteer at outside of AppsCo too or as a group!

This experience was great to all of us members and  we also were able to eat great food! Thank you Kiwanis and Golden Corral for inviting and feeding us!

Congratulations to Imani Neal

Congratulations to Imani Neal

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By: Shaelyn Johnson

12/7/17

As we wrote about in a post a few months ago, one of our very own , Imani Neal, the head of the multi-media team entered a video into the Illinois Bicentennial Video Contest. The objective of this contest for the contestants to make a 45 second -1 minute about something or someone in Illinois that means something or is just a historical part of Illinois.

 

For Imani’s video she choose to film a video about Richard Pryor a famous comedian that was born right here in Peoria, Illinois. He attended schools throughout the area and lived and  walked on the same streets many of us have and will in our lives. He started off his career performing short stand-up shows and plays  at the Carver Center and then he just blew up in the industry of film, writing, and comedy of course. He performed at 100’s of arenas in front of thousands of people! He lived a successful and prosperous live in Los Angeles, California. While living in California he had 6 children. 

 

Imani touched many subjects and events that happened in Richard Pryor’s life and how  he has effected and made a impact of Peoria. Richard Pryor is an important role model to Imani and all of us from AppsCo. It really teaches us that someone from this little town can become someone so successful like Richard Pryor, Shaun Livingston and many other successful figures from Peoria and the surrounding area.

We are so so proud of Imani and I hope she enjoys her complementary tickets to Hamilton in Chicago and getting her video presented.

 

 

Saving our Stadium

Saving our Stadium

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By: Shaelyn Johnson and Mariah Cooley

 

The AppsCo team presented to the Neighborhood Association at Peoria Stadium this past week. We, as a team presented in front of neighbors from the surrounding area, school board members, and other supporters. With this new digital sign we plan on helping raise money for the Peoria Stadium to help bring the life back to the stadium. At one point, Peoria discussed possibly putting a Walmart in place of the
Peoria Stadium.  The stadium is a historical site in Peoria, for many generations many people have either watched their loved ones play or have had the opportunity to play on the field themselves.

AppsCo has been working with the City Of Peoria and Peoria Public Schools on operation SOS. Save Our Stadium. In an effort to save our stadium we plan to place a beautiful digital screen with an  intricate brick enclosure surrounded by gorgeous landscaping. This digital screen will display advertisements from sponsors and local companies that support the Peoria Stadium and the future of Peoria . The digital screen will be nothing but great for the stadium and the neighborhood surrounding it. The digital screen will cause no distractions for drivers on War Memorial or the neighborhood. The screen will automatically dim at night , and their will be no flashing or moving images, and it will benefit such a local and historical landmark. Plus we are going to keep the original football sign exactly where it is to preserve the original glory!

In the future we plan on using revenue we plan on generating will come from; digital sign ad sales, stadium naming rights, concession naming rights, sponsor dollars, engraved pavers and landmarks, advertising signage in the stadium, goal post that will have ads posted on the pads , among other things to come. The Peoria Stadium has been through many phases in it’s cycle of life and we plan to make this the best on yet! In the near future we plan on doubling the  amount of parking , adding a history walk to tribute the stadium , along with more softball fields, cricket fields, soccer fields, among many other public amenities. The meeting was amazing and thank you to everyone for coming and giving us your feed back!

 

 

 

 

LED Sign Meetings

LED Sign Meetings

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By: Rebekah Swearingian, Mariah Cooley, and Shaelyn Johnson

7/27/17

Peoria Stadium is a highlight of our city and many people take great pride while looking back on playing at the field. However, it’s no secret that it has been struggling for a few years now. The AppsCo team plans to change that.

We are very excited to announce that our annual goal this year is to build a brand new LED sign at the stadium!

 

With this sign, our goal is to raise a substantial amount of money annually for Peoria Public Schools to use to better the district. This will go towards fixing up the stadium and whatever else they see fit. We are hoping the LED sign draws a huge wave of former players and old neighbors back to help. We plan to rent out 10 slots for sponsors and businesses to be displayed on the sign. This helps the community and local businesses promote.

We know that many people love the historical football sign that is currently outside of the stadium, so we plan to incorporate it into the new sign. Keeping the original sign is something that we plan on doing so the traditional aspects of the field aren’t all forgotten and changed entirely.

Yesterday, we had a very successful and informative meeting with Shannon Techie, Mick Willis, and Chris Coplan about the sign. They have been very helpful in telling us the provisions that go into getting our sign approved. Soon we’ll be attending Planning and Zoning Commission meetings to observe and learn from the City Council.

Earlier today, we met with Councilman, Tim Riggenbach to talk more about what we need to know about upcoming City Council meetings and more. He gave us helpful advice and expressed his enthusiasm about our company and this project.

We are so happy that this idea is turning into a reality and are so thankful for all of the support we’ve gained from many city leaders!

PPS student-based business to launch early next year

PPS student-based business to launch early next year

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PEORIA — About 30 Richwoods High School students could soon be pioneers in Peoria Public Schools’ new initiative to operate a student-based business.
City, school and business leaders gathered Wednesday at Richwoods to formally announce AppsCo, a software application doubling as a learning tool to give students hands-on business experience and, potentially, a paycheck.

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