Peoria - Twenty thousand...
That’s how many people packed the civic center this weekend.
They were there to see carpenters, roofers, tile and grout specialists... Experts in virtually every field of home building and repair, all under one roof.
But there is a slight sense of urgency in the crowd.
Home builders Association Executive Director Lisa Scott says, "With the storms we had in the fall, there are a lot of people in need of home repair, home renovation, and even a complete home reconstruction."
One of those people is Kevin Reece.
"We lost our home in the Washington tornado. It was a total loss."
Reece owns Peoria Brick Company with his wife. He says between the insurance and the rebuilding, there wasn't a lot of time for anyone else.
"It’s really hard not to be able to help friends and family and neighbors and everyone else involved because we are going through it just like they are."
That’s when they came up with the idea to give away personalized bricks to anyone who lost their home in the tornado.
"Kind of a keepsake, memento for the rebuilding process and what’s going on in Central Illinois."
The bricks say either Washington strong or central Illinois strong.
Reece hopes they serve as a reminder that their community will come back stronger than ever.
"Brick has always been our bread and butter and we will have a lot of that supplied to the central Illinois area for the rebuilding."
If you were not affected by the storms but still want a personalized brick, they are fifty dollars apiece.
You can contact Peoria Brick Company at 309-699-1116 or by visiting one of their locations in Mossville or East Peoria.
All proceeds from the sale of the bricks goes to the Washington tornado relief fund.