PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — National Public Works Week is May 16-22 and Peoria Public Works is celebrating by collecting food and wearing orange.
This year’s theme, “Stronger Together,” recognizes public works employees responsible for planning, building and improving the city’s infrastructure. Wednesday was “Wear Orange Day,” an homage to the original color worn for work zone safety.
Peoria Public Works is holding a food drive all week to benefit Midwest Food Bank.
“Most of the time we’re doing things quietly, we just go do what we need to do and be where we need to be, but this is a week that we get to be recognized,” said Sie Maroon, deputy director of operations at Peoria Public Works.
Maroon said the pandemic got in the way of their usual celebration for the second year in a row.
“We usually have an open house annually where families can come in, bring their kids, see the equipment, eat some popcorn, have their faces painted,” he said.
Maroon, who has been with Peoria Public Works for more than 30 years, said he can’t imagine doing anything else.
“I love my job, making sure that what we do is impacting people, and for that matter, it feels good everyday to know we made a difference in peoples’ lives whether they recognize it or not,” he said.