Celebrating 20 Years!

Celebrating 20 Years!

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) is a group of more than 1,000 individuals, age 50 and over, who learn together through three distinct programs: OLLI Classes, OLLI Learning Trips, and OLLI Study Groups.

Here, members can discuss what they learned, what they enjoyed, and offer suggestions to enhance future program offerings.

Take a look at the photos we're taking, and the discussions we're having as OLLI members.

Whether we're in class, in town, or out of town ... we're on the go, having fun, and constantly learning.

We look forward to reading your comments!

While you're online, be sure to visit our website www.bradley.edu/continue/olli to register for our programs.

Don't forget -- OLLI has its own YouTube Channel, where you can see video clips of Learning Trips, Classes, and Study Groups!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy OLLIdays Spelling Bee- 2013

 Spelling Bee Winners Pat Landes and Richard Barthel pictured with Janet Lange, Executive Director of Continuing Education

Susie Smith Third Place winner!

2013 Happy OLLIdays Spelling Bee!
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The third annual Happy OLLIdays Spelling Bee was held at Kickapoo Creek Winery. As OLLI members arrived they were greeted with Bloody Marys and Mimosas, and then enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet. After breakfast we had 17 members sign up for the spelling bee.

The competition was tough as it took many rounds to whittle down the group to our final champions.

Our spelling bee winners for this year were:

1st Place - Pat Landes

2nd Place - Richard Barthel

3rd Place - Susie Smith

OLLI thanks the staff at Kickapoo Creek Winery for the wonderful food, and big thanks to all the members who came out to cheer on our spellers.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Midland Davis - November 15, 2013

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OLLI visited the Midland Davis Corporation in Pekin. The Pekin facility, acquired in 2005, by Midland Davis, covers 8 acres and houses sales and administrative offices, the metal scrap yard and processing facilities, paper recycling facilities and curbside service facilities for Pekin and many parts of Tazwell County.

Our personal guide was Tony Lamberson, who gave OLLI an in-depth behind the scenes tour of the facility in action. We learned how this fifth-generation company has evolved into a full-service recycling provider that processes more than 168,000 pounds of cardboard, 42,000 pounds of newsprint, and 21,000 pounds each of paper and co-mingled plastics each week. We were able to watch the entire scrap metal recycling process, from hopper sorting to semi loading.

It was an amazing opportunity to watch the huge yet efficient, high quality baling and sorting system that takes the recyclables and automatically makes them into perfect bales.

Lamberson talked about the importance of recycling and how much more we can all do to bcome involved. OLLI thanks Tony Lamberson and his entire crew at Midland Davis for the time and effort they gave, it was inspiring to see such dedication to the recycling mission.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pere Marquette - November 14, 2013

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In 2011, the Peoria City Council approved an agreement with developer Gary Matthews to temporarily close the Pere Marquette for an extensive renovation and expansion into a full-service, upscale Marriott hotel.

OLLI members had the opportunity take a guided tour of the eagerly anticipated hotel and get a look at some of the 286 guest rooms and 18,840 square feet of meeting space.

We also learned about the history of the Pere Marquette, as we toured throughout ballrooms.

OLLI members enjoyed a delicious lunch served on-site at the hotel's new restaurant, Table 19. It was wonderful to see the beautiful new space created in downtown Peoria.

OLLI thanks the staff at the Pere Marquette for allowing us to be their guests for the day.

EP!C -- November 12, 2013

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OLLI visited EP!C (Empowering People, Inspiring Capabilities) formerly known as PARC. They have been serving individuals with developmental disabilities and their families for over 60 years.

Our group met with several of the staff, who gave us an overview of their many services, as well as a short history of the program which was originally organized to serve ten children with disabilities and now serves over 600 individuals and their families annually – people of all ages with many kinds of developmental disabilities including, but not limited to cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, and epilepsy.

Doris Hayes, Vice President of Quality Improvement, was our guide for a behind-the-scenes look at EP!C. The facility is enormous, Doris said approximately the size of two football fields. Our tour enabled us to observe participants in their daily activities, as we visited the dining hall, the workout room, a radio/ music studio, an art room, a cooking class, physical therapy rooms, relaxation rooms and more. It was really amazing to witness their Organizational Employment Services program which offers paid vocational training within EP!C’s 22,000 square foot production facility. They provide paid work opportunities and training for tasks such as: packaging, assembly, clerical, bulk mailing, and labeling. We also looked from afar at the greenhouse and garden area which is cared for by EP!C individuals who then sell the produce at a farmer’s market as another avenue for generating income.

It was inspiring to see EP!C fulfilling it’s mission,” to enrich the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities” and working toward their vision “A world where people with developmental disabilities are respected, engaged in community life, and have every opportunity to achieve their personal best.”

One of our OLLI members commented “Everyone should have the chance to see this”. OLLI thanks the entire EP!C staff for sharing us their remarkable program with us.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Festival of Lights East Peoria- Nov. 11, 2013

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It was just a few weeks before the big event when OLLI visited the staging center for the FOLEPI parade. OLLI had a chance to see the “Folepi Construction Company” and meet some of its “employees:” a merry band of volunteers who design and build the floats. OLLI members were amazed to learn these volunteers work year-round designing, welding, and maintaining the floats.

During our tour of the facility we learned it takes over 500,000 lights to light up the parade of 30 plus floats.

OLLI was fortunate to have several knowledgable guides for our tour, including our very own OLLI member Ralph Dalton, who is a long-time volunteer with FOLEPI. Rick Swan, Executive Director for East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the group and talked about how the parade is a community effort growing in tradition for the last 29 years. OLLI learned from John Broshears, Festival of Lights parade coordinator, the background and details of each particular float and how they evolve from concept to actuality. And of course we met with Wally Jaquet, age 94, sometimes fondly referred to as the “Godfather of FOLEPI” since he has personally taken part in designing, wiring and welding almost all of the floats.

As one of the largest lighted nighttime festivals in the nation, the Festival of Lights officially kicked off the season with the Parade of Lights on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013! OLLI thanks all of the volunteers with FOLEPI for giving us a look at what goes on before the parade hits the road.

For more information about the Festival of Lights, visit www.cityofeastpeoria.com.

Midwest Food Bank - November 6, 2013

OLLI had a chance to get “hands-on” during their tour of Midwest Food Bank, a faith-based, ecumenical nonprofit organization founded in 2003.

It all started back in 2003 when the Keiser family began providing food out of a building on their family farm in McLean County. Today, the organization serves more than 600 food pantries throughout the Midwest.

During our tour of the facility, we learned how Midwest Food Bank handles the donations, distributions, and volunteers that allow the organization to feed more than 225,000 people each month!

At the end of our tour, OLLI members had the opportunity to help prepare a food delivery. Apples had been donated that day, so it was our task to help pack the fruit for distribution. OLLI thanks Julie Brooks and everyone at Midwest Food Bank for coordinating our visit and giving us a glimpse inside your organization.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wayne Printing- November 5, 2013

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Bill and Roberta Herbst take a closer look at a printing sample during OLLI's trip to Wayne Printing.

OLLI visited Wayne Printing for a private tour of the company that prints, binds, and mails the OLLI brochure!

Founded in 1963 by Wayne Owens, Wayne Printing started as a small home-based business. Although Wayne sold the company in 1974, in 1991, Wayne Printing returned to being a family owned business when Ken Hoerr, Jack Kinney, and Scott Hoerr purchased the company. In 2001, the company moved into a new 37,000 square foot facility located in Edwards.

Our “behind-the-scenes" tour included a look at the new state-of-the-art printing equipment, such as computer-to-plate technology, a Heidelberg QMDI four-color press and a five-color 28x40 Heidelberg press. During our tour, we had the opportunity to learn about the many aspects of the printing process. We also learned about the direct mail division, which provides Wayne Printing with additional marketing tools that allow for a “one-stop-shop” that many clients demand today.

OLLI thanks the entire staff at Wayne printing for giving us a chance to see first-hand how the OLLI brochure is made.

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