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1913 W. Townline Rd. Peoria, IL 61615


May / June 2022

A message from our CEO

An EP!C Thank You to our Friends and Families, who faithfully advocated for the Governor and Legislators to invest in I/DD services by fully funding the Guidehouse recommendations. We appreciate you for making your voices heard on our behalf.

To bring the State up to date with Guidehouse recommendations for FY23, an additional $246.8 million should have been invested in this year’s budget. Legislators approved $94.8 million for this year’s budget, $151 million short of the funding level recommended. 

To quote information from the “They Deserve More” bulletin, “Despite this increased funding for the next fiscal year, it falls well short of what is needed to stabilize the community provider system, solve the staffing problems and position the service array for expansion; Guidehouse clearly laid out the investments needed to begin the work of repairing the system over five years. In a year of positive state revenue projections and an estimated $2 billion added to the Governor’s proposed budget by the General Assembly, we consider it a missed opportunity to have not fully funded the Guidehouse recommendations for the second year in a row. “

Your advocacy did make a difference, and as a result, we did receive a significant funding increase that wouldn’t have happened without the recommendations. However, we must continue to advocate for legislators to follow the blueprint the Guidehouse recommendations provide that solves the crisis through the gradual, multi-year implementation which takes additional state financial pressure into account. It is imperative that the Legislators work with us, agencies like us, and the Department of Human Services to follow those critically needed recommendations.

Kim Cornwell, EP!C CEO




We can’t thank you enough for attending our 11th Annual Bon Appétit and spending an evening with us IN-PERSON!

Chef Maneet was just as amazing in person as she is on TV and we are so thrilled to have been able to bring her into the Bon Appétit legacy. We hope you had an enjoyable experience and learned something new about the disabled community. We know our Staff and Chief Inspiration Officers had a blast. Thanks to your generous support and the funds raised that evening we can continue our mission: remaining the premier service provider of critical community supports for people with cognitive differences. 

Thank you for your investment in human potential.

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Career Summit

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Rehabilitation Services in conjunction with the Central Illinois Transition Planning Committee, EP!C and SEAPCO were able to host an inclusive Career Summit at the beginning of May at the Four Points by Sheraton.

Thirty area schools were invited to participate by bringing as many as ten neurodivergent students as part of their transition planning for after high school graduation. They participated in breakout sessions, hands-on workshops, and a career/college fair. Students heard from Keynote Speaker Jim Eller of Creative Fabrication Solutions, an extremely talented craftsman who owns his own business and doesn’t let his disability define him. We look forward to making this an annual event.



EP!Cycling Club

In 2020, EP!C received a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeves foundation that allowed us to purchase 4 accessible bikes.

Staff and volunteers have been trained how to safely ride and safety equipment has been purchased thanks to a grant from the Pilot Club so we are ready to ride.

Rides take place bi-weekly on Tuesdays starting at 9 AM. Anyone with a bicycle is welcome to join.


  • May 10th & 24th
  • June 7th & 21st
  • July 5th & 19th
  • August 2nd, 16th, & 30th
  • September 13th &  27th
  • October 11th &  25th




Mental Health Month

According to Mental Health America, 46% of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some time in their life.  

Approximately 60% of people currently supported by EP!C have a dual diagnosis, meaning they have both an I/DD and a mental health diagnosis. With some modifications to traditional therapy approaches, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can certainly benefit from counseling and other mental health interventions. It may be a little more challenging for the clinicians, but it is certainly worth it to help individuals live their best quality of life!

EP!C’s Behavioral Health Clinic recently expanded to hire Lori Cheek-Gilroy as the Director of our program. She’s a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who comes to us with years of experience and expertise to grow our program to help even more people.

If you have questions about our services, contact Lori at 309-324-0617 or lcheekgilroy@epicci.org



EP!C Harvest

CSA shares start July 5th!  

Sign up to enjoy delicious produce and support EP!C at the same time.

Refer a friend and receive $50 off a full CSA subscription or $25 off a half CSA subscription once they enroll.

Offers limited to first 50 subscribers.


Learn More

Sign up Today



The Jungle Book

If you attended Bon Appétit this year you experienced an energetic performance from PJ Dance Academy.

Owner Prasanna Jeer had a childhood friend with cerebral palsy who has inspired him ever since. This highly regarded dance group is hosting its next performance; a unique, colorful, visual interpretation of the beloved story of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.

Sponsorships are still available and tickets are on sale now!

Buy Tickets Become a Sponsor




EP!C Employees

March Employee of the Month

Ricardo Portales is a Job Coach and is often specifically asked for because of how well he communicates between the employer and employee. He’s a compassionate, devoted, team player who demonstrates patience and encouragement to everyone he coaches.


April Employee of the Month

Jeff Koposky’s services are widely appreciated and so nominated collectively by the residents and staff at the Glen Oak Group Home. “Jeff is productive, efficient, kind, thoughtful, committed, hard-working, and always has a smile on his face when he arrives at the house. You can tell Jeff really cares about his friends at Glen Oak.”




EP!C Thanks

Congratulations to Club Car Wash for opening its 4th Peoria area location on Glen and University.  

During the Grand Opening, they offered washes for $1 with proceeds being donated to EP!C. We joined them for a Peoria Chamber Ribbon Cutting and were presented a check for close to $9,000!


Whether it’s a car wash, corporate jeans day, a matching gift campaign or even a dance performance, you can join our league of business partners by hosting your own third-party fundraiser.

Join EP!C’s League of Business Partners

*Club Car Wash is an EP!C Inclusive Employment Partner (North Knoxville location)



CI Heroes

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit we had to move quickly to find the best ways to keep the people in our residential program as safe as possible.  

We did this by implementing a Live-In model where staff resided in our group homes for weeks at a time. We are still combatting a caregiver crisis and those staff continuing to take the live-in model shifts are helping the scheduling issues that continue to impact our agency.

We are excited to announce 11 staff members who went above and beyond and are being recognized locally by WMBD News 31 as CI Heroes.

Amanda Thompson represents several other DSPs who have been working the Live-In staffing model, including Beth Force, Deb McBryer, Laken Schoenman, Dominique Costic, Jacob Wilson, Stephanie Turner, Joyce Stahl, Sharon Boyd, Jen Kay & Toni Schultz.

We thank WMBD and Rebecca Brumfield for honoring our staff in this way!

During this time we’d also like to recognize the following staff members who embraced the Live-In model. Those honorable mentions are:

Tammi Page, Tanajah Purdle, Kennique Tillman, Tiara Gordon, LaTasha Floyd, Shauna Parker, Amber Stocker, Ashley Moore, Jade Jackson, Shaunterius Bailey, Shanika Grandson, Kathy Prine, Najaya Bailey, Talia Riley, Debra Peyton, Brandee Braggs, Stacey Fearson, Lucaya Rutherford, Dreshawn Harris, and Deborah Tate.

Read WMDB Article


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