LOOKING BACK: President Joe Biden visited Peoria in 2010, spoke on Violence against Women Act

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The 46th President of the United States is no stranger to Peoria.

Over 10 years ago, Joe Biden spoke at a luncheon for the Center for Prevention of Abuse, met with business owners, and left a lasting mark on some Peorians.

It was President Biden’s work in congress on an historic peace of legislation that led him to Peoria in 2010.

“We were thrilled that someone at this high level in government took our issues so seriously and so devoutly and put some action behind it,” said Martha Herm, former executive director at The Center for Prevention of Abuse.

Biden was the keynote speaker at the Center’s annual luncheon.

“As we were searching for one for that year in 2010, Ray LaHood got wind of that and said I can get you guys (vice) President Biden, and we said, ‘Well, okay, that would be just fabulous,” said Herm.

Herm says Biden discussed his work on the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.

“He talked about how it came to be for him to get involved in the whole issue of stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault,” said Herm.

She believes he’s the most high profile keynote speaker for the Center’s luncheon.

“I’m just thrilled to see him 10 years later taking the oath of office as President of the United States,” said Herm.

Herm thinks he’ll continue to fight abuse while in office.

“He’s going to take any issue that impacts a majority of us here in the country, he’s going to take that to heart,” said Herm.

After lunch, Biden stopped for some ice cream and social time at The Spotted Cow.

“It’s amazing that I can actually say I had served and named an ice cream after a President of the United States. It was just a really special moment in my family and my life,” said Frank Abdnour, the former owner of the Spotted Cow.

Abdnour says he’ll never forget the experience.

“It isn’t every day that you get the vice president of the united states to come into your facility, so we were honored, shocked, excited,” said Abdnour.

Abdnour has high hopes for Biden’s time in office.

“I just hope he’s as genuine and sincere as he was that day in my store and I believe he will be,” said Abdnour.

Both Ray LaHood and Joe Biden were working as members of the Obama administration when Biden said yes to LaHood’s request to visit central Illinois.

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