President’s Message

Time.  Talent.  Treasure.

In the Bible, Matthew 6:21 talks about, “showing God our love” with time, talent and treasure.  We often hear this same term bandied about in the not-for-profit sector as it relates to its volunteer base and stewardship.  The Moss Bradley Residential Association is a successful organization because of individuals giving of their Time, Talent and Treasure.

As a neighborhood, we are continually grateful for the people who give their precious time. It’s the participation and support of these individuals that allows us to help build and improve our neighborhood.

Last year, we introduced two awards to recognize individuals for their contribution to the Moss Bradley Residential Association: Volunteer of the Year and MBRA Beautification. The criteria and nominating process are found here.  The intent behind these awards is to formally recognize those individuals who really do make a difference for all of us through their time commitment or improvement of their property.

Please take a moment to read through the criteria and send in your nomination to recognize those people who make a difference.  Award recipients will be announced at the Annual Meeting & Potluck Dinner on May 3rd.

In addition to time and talent, the Moss Bradley Residential Association also make a financial commitment to the neighborhood.  As noted in the March 2016 newsletter, “We have been very fortunate over the past years to have had ever-growing success with the Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival.  What started out as a means of assisting with the financing of the Hanging of the Greens has grown into a very strong event, which now helps us reinvest in the neighborhood.”

I ask you to provide us with some suggestions of projects for our neighborhood to invest in.  You can do so by contacting any board member or submitting them to us at no later than March 31, 2017.

Councilman Chuck Grayeb

Spring is not far off–renewal and awakening time.

The recent announcement about Caterpillar moving its top executives has not played well in Peoria. For many years, we have been preparing for this possibility. The good news is that we have been successful! Peoria’s dominant employer is now the medical field. We have become a world class medical research and healing center. We now have a four year medical school and a government laboratory renowned throughout much of the world.

District Two remains a great place to live and a $100 million dollar investment will soon be made on The Hilltop. I am happy to recite the many blessings we have.

I predict Peoria will further diversify its economy and will soon begin to deal with its CSO/EPA issues, yielding great and green advances in our heritage neighborhoods and producing more local jobs. I hope we all take time to give thanks for what we have.

The most important thing this City has its resilient and courageous people. I am proud to represent all of Peoria as well as the Second District!

Our future is bright and we are moving forward to this Springtime of hope and renewal. By summer, some really exciting news will break about the old Chase Bank block.

Best to all!


from Joann Bannon

As usual, however, the numbers don’t tell the complete story! What we’re simply unable to count is the amount of effort and enthusiasm put into this project by the following members of the 2016-17 GREENS TEAM!

Please join me in thanking:

Tom Dougherty, Rick Melby and Michelle Funk, Rod and Karin Lorenz, Brian Buralli, Joe and Ed Merkle, Aaron Amstutz, Colleen Johnson,Sid Ruckreigel,  Matt Kindred & Remy Winget and their son Ryan, Andrew Rand, Jan Krouse, and Bradley volunteers from PKA Fraternity and the “Service on Saturday” project!

Remember that a portion of the revenue from the annual Moss Avenue Sale is used to purchase and dispose of the holiday greens, so an additional thank you goes to the many neighbors who generously allow vendors to use their yards during the sale.


The Greenway

Spring is coming and it’s time to start thinking about gardening. The Western Avenue Greenway has 9 x 11 organic garden plots available in April for your very own vegetable garden. The entire garden will be tilled in early April and water will be available through the summer at the site.

For information, call Martha Willi at 309-674-4500 or email her at

Johnpaul McGreal, a horticulturalist, and a member of the Western Avenue Greenway Board, is offering his professional horticultural services- garden advise-to the neighborhood. For a donation of $50.00 to the Greenway Johnpaul will solve your plant and landscaping dilemmas. Johnpaul has worked for Luthey Botanical Garden, Hoerr’s Nursery. Johnpaul enjoys using native plants
in the landscape and problem-solving landscape issues without the use of chemicals. Native plants have been shown to support the many pollinators we enjoy in our landscape.

You can contact Johnpaul via email at for more information

President’s Message

It takes a village…or a neighborhood.

Recently, a neighbor in the Cottage District passed away.  He was found dead outside laying on the ground on Sunday, December 18th in sub zero temperatures.  The cause of death was exposure.  He was a friendly gentleman always saying Hello and engaging in conversation.  He was quirky.  Our neighbors on St. James liked him.  He was part of our neighborhood.  We looked out for him and always helped him with little things that made a difference in his life. He had his “demons” that sometimes affected his life .  Unfortunately, he never asked for help when those “demons” came calling.

I share this story because so many people are silent about asking for help.  Fear is what gets in the way.  Fear of over-stepping a friendship or of appearing too needy.  Or simply, a fear of revealing our struggle.  But when you don’t ask for help when you need it, you assume all of a burden.

Neighborhoods are social communities with considerable face-to-face interaction among its members.  We all share a common bond and are unified in our belief of creating  a better place in this world.  Most, if not all of us, care enough about our neighbors that we’d at least listen to someone who needs our help.

We can all do so much more together than we ever can alone.
As the New Year sets upon us, think of all the resolutions you’ve made or are going to make and add a resolution to be a good neighbor.  Ask for help when you need to.  Just as importantly, offer to help when you believe someone needs it.


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebI would like to address all of you about some great economic opportunities which lie ahead. Jobs are so important for the health and vitality of our community. Our city infrastructure rebuild will be vital, not to mention 10 years of work for local workers, pursuant to a green resolution of the EPA lawsuit. Stay tuned!

While there is uncertainty in the land during the Presidential Transition, I am hopeful that a much needed national infrastructure rebuild for our country will yield great dividends for a key employer, Caterpillar Tractor.

In District 2, a 15 million dollar project looms in the rebuilding of Pierson Hills, soon to be renamed Parkwood Commons.

Also, hundreds of jobs are looming for Bradley’s impending 90 million dollar Convergence Center to be built on the West Main Hilltop.

A potential moonshot effort to make the USA the global colossus in sustainable and renewable fuels –wind and solar– should contribute to a return to great prosperity and a revival of our middle class. This all has a direct impact on us in District Two.

The 4 million dollar new MacArthur Highway Bridge,  commencing in 2018,  will create a dynamic entryway to District Two.

I believe there is every reason to look with confidence to our future economically. It is my deepest hope that all of you find joy, health, and love in the New Year. Let us look back on 2016 as a year of great challenge, with great opportunity ahead. From my loved ones to you, I wish all of you the best for 2017!


Paul Masick: Down in the Trenches

paulIn the early spring of 2016 when Paul Masick’s friend and Moss-Bradley neighbor, Marjorie Klise, nominated him for MRBA Volunteer of the Year, she submitted a brief list of how he serves the neighborhood: “replaces the tattered flag, fabricates the neighborhood signs, attends endless meetings, paints the gazebo, has served on every board and committee.” She was only skimming the surface.

Paul’s service to the neighborhood is long and deep. And in addition to his community contributions, he pursues many other interests quietly but intensely.

Paul grew up in Jacksonville, Illinois, raised by his grandmother. He credits scouting with being crucial to his development. Early on he earned a scouting Silver Arrow and was given the Indian nickname, “Dark Star”, perhaps foreseeing a future for him as a bright star in his firmament. He later became an Eagle Scout, earning two Silver Palms. He has fond memories of trips to Philmont Ranch, the Boy Scout center in New Mexico, where he once met up with the oil baron, Waite Phillips, who gave the land to the Boy Scouts of America.

At Fort Leonard Wood , Missouri, while serving in US Army, Paul continued his interest in scouting , acting as Scout Master and establishing a Cub Scout Pack for boys living on the post with their military families.

After discharge from the Army, Paul came to Peoria and went to work for Cilco, the Central Illinois utility company, in the Credit Department. While employed with Cilco he earned a Bachelor of Law degree in l97l from the LaSalle Extension University. He slyly says he was inspired to learn about legal matters when he had to hire an attorney and was impressed by how money the attorney charged for doing a relatively small amount of work. His legal degree served him well in his Cilco position and he was to spend 33 years with the company before retiring in 1996.

But, apparently never ever contemplating a life of leisure, in 1976, Paul bought a dilapidated and in danger of being torn down house at the corner of Cooper and Ayres in the virtual center of the Moss-Bradley area and thus began his forty years of home ownership, neighborhood involvement and community service.

Looking at photos of the house in 1976 and seeing it today, one would hardly recognize it as the same place. Siding, windows and roofing outside; woodwork, walls, plumbing and painting inside – all testament to hours of planning and backbreaking labor, all done by Paul. The yard was transformed from a literal junkyard to a landscaped space with brick patio, fountain, a profusion of plants and trees and grass, all expertly tended and surrounded by a pristine picket fence. Paul has won the Keep Peoria Beautiful Iris Award given for outstanding landscaping and beautification of home and garden, twice – first in 2006 and again in 2016.
In the mid seventies Paul had been active in Peoria Players, serving as production manager for six years and president from 1975 to 1977. Taking on homeownership in 1976 kept him busy with renovation and maintenance. But after retirement from Cilco, he turned his sights on his neighborhood and community.

Paul served on the City of Peoria Historic Preservation Commission for over 10 years, including Chairman for three years from 2005 to 2008. He has been President of Moss Bradley Residential Association twice, first for two years from 2001 to 2003, and again in 2006. As the MBRA representative to the West Bluff Council, he has been Vice President twice and President three times in the last 10 years. He also received the West Bluff Council Pillar Award in 2004.

Paul has represented Moss Bradley in the Neighborhood Alliance, a consortium of 29 neighborhood associations in Peoria, for over five years, serving as both Vice President and President during those years. The Western Avenue Greenway project enlisted him for their board in 2014 and this year elected him Vice President.

Never missing a beat in keeping his garden blooming, getting his garbage out in time, turning out fine pieces in his home woodworking shop, and doing a little landscape painting in his spare time, in 2016, Paul received the first Moss-Bradley Volunteer of the year award, and as his friend Marjorie, pointed out, “no one has been in the trenches for the ‘dirty work’ more than Paul Masick.”

Attached to Paul’s house, near the front door, is a bronze plaque, awarded by one of his friends when he became a member of the Peoria Historic Preservation Commission. It says, “On this site in 1897 nothing happened.” That was before Paul Masick moved in one hundred years later and made big things happen.

President’s Message

Wow!  Another year has come and gone…and quickly too.

I want to start out my message with my thanks to the MBRA Board of Directors for the time, dedication and talent they generously provide our organization.  A collection of individuals, each representing a different geography and demographic, this board reflects our neighborhood and the values we all share and wish to maintain.  We have a strong chemistry, engage in candid communication and share a culture of trust and respect.  This ensures that probing questioning, constructive criticism and challenging debate takes place.

I would also like to thank those individuals that continue to volunteer for the many activities and events we engage in throughout the year: Jan Krouse and her committee for producing the Moss Avenue Sale; Ed Tarbuck, Joanne Bannon, Tom Dougherty and Rick Melby for overseeing the Holiday Greens program; Rick Melby and Michelle Funk for assisting with the July 4th Celebration; Andrew Rand and his team at Advanced Medical Transport for donating the printing our newsletter; Tom Dougherty and Good Earth Landscaping for donating the maintenance of Tri-Corn park; David Wentworth who represents Moss Bradley on the West Bluff Council; and those others who make our life enjoyable.

I closing, I wish all of you the Happiest of Holidays and wish you Joy, Peace and Prosperity for the coming year.



Unhanging of the Greens

What goes up must come down!

WHEN:  Saturday, January 7, 2017, 9 AM

WHERE: Meet at the corner of Moss Ave. & Cooper St.

WHAT:  Dress appropriately, wear gloves, bring wire cutters & ladders if you have them, pick up trucks helpful.


Hanging of the Greens


A heart-felt Thank You to everyone who was willing and able to help with the Hanging of The Greens on Saturday, November 19th.  MBRA neighbors, along with 8 members of the

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and 15 students from Bradley’s Service on Saturday program made quick work of hanging evergreen garland from the street light poles within the neighborhood.


Splendor of Christmas Past Holiday Home Tour

picture2Begin your holiday season with the Peoria Historical Society’s annual historic home tour.  There are five  beautifully decorated homes on the tour this year.

The historic home, the John C. Flanagan House Museum, will feature a 1940’s holiday.  WW II soldiers will greet visitors on the lawn.  Inside, there will be 40’s big band holiday music and costumed interpreters sharing anecdotes about the holiday and about Flanagan House.

Our other historic home, the Pettengill-Morron House Museum — will portray a French Christmas.  Miss Morron herself will greet visitors in the library to share her love of France. Learn what is on a French holiday dinner menu and see a beautiful Buche de Noel dessert.  Souvenirs from Miss Morron’s numerous visits to France will be highlighted, as well as her extensive collection of Louis Vuitton luggage. A gift shop will offer beautiful vintage items for sale.

Three private residences will be exquisitely decorated and open for viewing.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to tour these beautiful homes and learn about their unique history and architectural significance. The five homes were built within an 85 year time period, beginning in 1837 and ending in 1922.   All of the homes have many original features, including leaded windows, beautiful woodwork, fireplaces and built in bookcases.

The homes will be open Saturday, December 3 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 4 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Tickets go on sale November 1st.  Adult tickets are $15.00 each until December 1st and $20.00 after. Tickets may also be purchased at the door of any of the homes.   Children 12 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

To purchase tickets, please contact the PHS office at (309) 674-1921.   Tickets may also be purchased at Exhibit A Gallery, Relics, Urban Artifacts, and Gregg Florist. Check the PHS website for additional information:

We would also like to thank the many, many volunteers who make this tour possible, and our sponsors — Good Earth Landscaping, Wheels O’ Time Museum, Methodist Service League,  Team Oyler Realtors/Brokers of Keller Williams Premier Realty, and K & S RV Consulting — for each sponsoring a home.

This tour would not be possible without the willingness of the following homeowners to share their magnificent homes with the community.


Councilman Chuck Grayeb


Greetings, as we move into the holiday season!

The Neighborhood Awards Banquet is in the rearview mirror, and, once again, we honored those who toil  in our neighborhoods to make Peoria a great place to live. The Ted Bannon Brick Award was awarded to Tom Wester who is a very effective neighborhood leader and President of the Heart of Peoria NA. Tom is also a newly appointed member of the Historic Preservation Commission and has been instrumental in drawing attention to properties which can be saved.

Another city issue which looms large is balancing our biennial city budget. To date, our deliberations have produced near unanimity in the importance of continuing to focus laser sharp on public safety and roads/ infrastructure. I hope the budget will be put to bed well before Christmas.

A huge issue before us is the Combined Sewer Outfall Issue. I hope that our City is successful in getting the EPA to allow Peoria to be a Green City, which will allow a roughly 225 million dollar investment in the greening of Peoria, which will result in millions of dollars being spent in District Two with lots of good paying local labor jobs! We need to get this country moving again!!!!

The overall condition of our roads, bridges, ports, highways, and airports is a disgrace. Just down our street,  the MacArthur Highway Bridge has a structural integrity score of 8 out of 100 with 100 being the best! It has been languishing for many years with rocks falling on cars beneath it. In 2018, all of this will change, and we will continue to engage all of you in the planning of what the new bridge will be like.

Finally, when you read this, we will, in all likelihood, have a new President-Elect. This election will be very important for all of us. I hope that the new President will rally Congress to pass an infrastructure rebuild Marshall Plan scaled bill and make the USA the leader in solar and wind energy as well as other clean energy fuels.

If the Green Model is implemented here, thousands of good paying middle class jobs will be created, as we fix infrastructure in our neighborhoods. Once Caterpillar starts the new headquarters, there will be jobs for the trades for at least 10 years. All or most of these pieces will fall into place, thereby creating a bright future for our City and Nation.

Your Councilman believes this community’s best days are ahead. I wish to extend my best to all of you at this sacred holiday season.


Upcoming Events at Westminster Presbyterin Church


We welcome you to JAZZ VESPERS every Sunday at 4 p.m. – If you have not been, come check it out!  A fully professional Jazz Quartet leads the music of the service which also includes a short meditation on the scriptures for the day, silence and prayers for our common life together. Sunday December 18 will be the last Jazz Vespers service and will resume on January 8.

Sunday, Dec. 4 – A service of worship and music at 10:00 am, with the preaching of the Word in song by the Westminster Chamber Choir. The Choir will present a Christmas Cantata, “Welcome All Wonders” by the contemporary British composter, Richard Shephard, who blends ancient texts and poetry to his warm, embracing contemporary style of composition.

Sunday, Dec. 11 – At 4:00 pm. The traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols sung by the Westminster Choir and the gathered congregation will help you welcome the Christmas Season in your life.

Sunday, Dec. 18 – A Jazz Christmas led by David Hoffman and the Westminster Jazz Quartet.  Carols in swing, and poetry and scripture from a new angle make this an exciting and different Christmas experience.  Festivities begin at 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, Dec 24  An early service for Christmas Eve allows families to celebrate Christmas around the family table that evening.  We begin at 4:00 p.m. with music starting at 3:45. Join us and make Westminster your church home this Christmas.

Sunday, Dec. 25    A Service in celebration of the Nativity at 10:00 a.m.   Come and join us around the manger as we again sing the carols of Christmas and hear the joyous message that God is indeed with us!








President’s Message

We are well into the Fall season and soon Winter will be upon us. We’re seeing color in the trees and feel a bit of crispness in the air. I’m relieved to see these signs. I look forward to the transitions of each season as it marks a point in time – an end and a beginning.

I’m ready for the change because I know that with change comes new opportunities, new things to learn, new perspectives. Each season of the year has its own kind of beauty, its own reasons to be anticipated and celebrated.

The change in season, much like changes in life, provides a means for measuring progress, and how we can tell that we are growing and improving. We all find meaning and a sense of comfort in things familiar to us. And while it is tempting to hold onto those things familiar, I am grateful that time marches on anyway. As good as things are now, they will get better, but only if we are willing to change. Living is not being static. It is a pursuit of something that is just beyond the horizon, something that we occasionally get glimpses of as we move toward it.

The Buddhist faith believes it is only by recognizing how precious and how short life is that we are most likely to make it meaningful and to live it fully. The way in which we live our lives influence our future. By understanding the purpose of death we also understand the purpose of life.

Within the past few months, we’ve lost 3 individuals who have been a vital part of Moss-Bradley: Gladys Elwood, Marge Klise and most recently Dr. Richard Lee. Each have contributed so much to our organization over the years, providing us an insight and direction into being a better neighborhood and better neighbors. In mentioning these 3 individuals, I by no means am slighting those individuals who have passed before them as they too have been an important part of who we are as a
collective society.

I recall a conversation with Dr. Lee and his wife Jane discussing why we all own older homes. Dr. Lee made a very simple but apt comment, “We are simply caretakers for the next generation of home owners.”

Marge Klise was always one to look back, preserving our history, but always moving us forward. Her newsletter submissions, Thru the Windshield, always presented us a with a perspective of being more than we were, making the most of our lives and the impact this had on us as neighbors and as a neighborhood. And there are and will be others with the same impact and mindset as Dr. Lee, Marge Klise and those before them.

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to of looking back, addressing current issues and presenting future trends. Read on!

It’s Time to Hang the Holiday Greens!

The holidays will soon be upon us, which means that time to Hang the Greens!!  Please mark your calendar with the details and join us if you can.

  • Saturday, November 19th, 9:00 AM
  • Meet at Ed & Joanne’s house: 1705 W. Moss Ave.
  • Please bring work gloves, and a sturdy ladder if you have one!
  • Trucks are also needed for delivery of greens and bows.
  • Pizza Party for all volunteers afterward at Westminster Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall

We’re looking to expand our ‘experienced’ volunteer base with some younger and agile helpers.  Come to meet a few neighbors and decorate our neighborhood for this beautiful season.