An evening full of live entertainment will feature performances from local performing arts groups.
The fifth annual event, which takes place on Monday, April 17, at Illinois Central College’s Performing Arts Center, celebrates the arts and legacy of former Peoria Mayor Jim Maloof. Maloof worked with Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis, to establish the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate in Peoria, which opened in 1972. It is now called the Jim and Trudy St. Jude Midwest Affiliate.
Maloof’s son, Nick Maloof, will be hosting the event and Maloof’s two granddaughters, Michy and Markie Maloof, will be performing. Markie Maloof will speak on behalf of St. Jude.
The student-run event will raise money for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. Tickets cost $7, and this year 100 percent of the proceeds raised will go directly to St. Jude.
Peoria’s Chick-fil-A will be donating gift cards to each ticket holder. Tickets are limited with only 500 seats available.
The idea for the Jim Maloof’s Legacy of Love for the Arts event was started by a former student at Illinois Central College and the event is designed to promote the performing arts in central Illinois, while celebrating Maloof’s accomplishments.
“Five years ago when Mayor Maloof died, a large percentage of the Reader’s Theater cast that participated with Markie and Michy along with myself attended his funeral and when we were sitting there during the funeral, one of my students, Theresa Hicks, turned to me and said I got an idea, what about doing a performance of the ICC Reader’s Theater in memory of Mayor Maloof since Mayor Maloof attended Reader’s Theater performances,” said Event Coordinator Brent Goken. “I said that’s a great idea, but I think it would be better to have an event that features not just Reader’s Theater, but as many of the performing arts groups that had a link to Mayor Maloof, so we can really showcase who he was and what he did for the community.”
The two-hour-and-15-minute event showcases talent from 10 performing arts groups throughout all of central Illinois. Groups include Illinois Central College’s Hard Bop Jazz Band, Sound of Illinois, Central Illinois Youth Symphony Orchestra, Penguin Project, Peoria Ballet, ICC’s Vocal Jazz, Peoria Players, ICC’s speech team, Pride of Peoria Barbershop Quartet and the Maloof Sisters.
One of the groups performing helps children with special needs. “The Penguin Project is an organization that takes kids with different developmental needs and gives them an opportunity to be able to learn how to perform on stage, like sing and dance,” said Goken.
This year there are over 80 performers and 33 volunteers involved with the event.
Raffle tickets will be sold at the event for a chance to win a drone. The drone was donated by Peoria Camera and proceeds will go to St. Jude. Tickets will be $2 each or three for $5.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. There will be a pre-show starting at 6:10 p.m. featuring live music from ICC’s Hard Bop Jazz Band. The ICC Performing Arts Center will hold a reception at the end of the show with free cookies and punch for guests.
Tickets are available for purchase at ICC’s Performing Arts Center at 694-5136 or ArtsAtICC.com.