PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Easterseals Central Illinois honored Peoria philanthropist Kim Blickenstaff tonight at their 31st Annual Easterseals Tribute, Friday, Nov. 5.

The event recognizes individuals that have worked and made positive impacts on their community. This year, Easterseals invited guests to enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music from The Beach Boys and the Peoria Symphony Orchestra at the Scottish Rite Theatre.

This year’s event theme, “Good Vibrations,” not only alludes to The Beach Boys’ song, but also what President and CEO, Greg Birkland, said Blickenstaff brings to the area.

“Peoria has so many great attributes here, and that’s what Kim sees,” Birkland said.

Birkland said Blickenstaff’s work restoring buildings and creating new community spaces has revitalized the city.

“He sees what Peoria was back in its day, and what it can be today, and that’s why Kim’s invested what he has monetarily into Peoria and surrounding communities,” Birkland said.

Steve Thompson, also President and CEO of the company, said Blickenstaff lays down optimistic vibrations about the future of Peoria.

“When he came back, he began to see potential here that I think a lot of us didn’t see,” Thompson said. “His positivity and can-do attitude really aligns well with Easterseals mission, as we see the potential in every child to lead a productive and meaningful life.”

Blickenstaff was not able to attend tonight due to “unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances.” He said he was “heartbroken” to not be able to attend and felt honored by Easterseals and the support from the community.

“I’m so proud that this evening celebrates the rebirth of one of Peoria’s and now newest venue,” Blickenstaff said. “Thank you for your shared belief for what I know to be an extraordinary future for this remarkable community.”

Blickenstaff was awarded a custom, stained-glass window from the organization.

Learn more about Easterseals Central Illinois here.