The Art of Raising Awareness

Yesterday morning at the Farmer’s Market we had the privilege of meeting a few members of the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind family. The volunteers are survivors who shared their stories with us and touched our hearts. Our time was spent primarily with a fantastic gentleman who has survived two brain tumors in less than 10 years. His story moved us, listening to his battle. The emotions, fear, courage and strength. He is a warrior and shared his excitement in being a survivor, member and volunteer. Raising awareness is vital for the community to know about this condition and how to help those in need. We asked permission to write about the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind and to publish events and information surrounding this great organization. We were thrilled when we received a resounding yes!

About the Organization:

Every year over 79,000 Americans are living with a primary brain tumor. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males aged 20-39 and the 5th leading cause of death in women aged 20-39. They are also the 2nd most common solid tumor in children. 

Mark was only in his 20’s when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A Peoria native, he graduated from Richwood High School and then Southern Illinois University in 1997. He completed his studies for a Masters degree in Industrial Occupational Psychology in 1997 from Western Kentucky University.

Mark’s goal was to create a place where brain tumor survivors and those still fighting the battle can come and support one another in this battle. In an effort to reach out to other brain tumor survivors and to help raise funds for brain tumor research, Mark founded the Walk for the Mind in 2003. The Walk is a way to unite those individuals and their families as well as to raise funds to support brain tumor research in hopes to find a cure.

Sadly, Linder lost his battle in 2005 at the age of 31 but not before he got to see his vision making a difference. Re-named after his death, the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind now attracts over 800 participants from all over Central Illinois.  For the eighth year, all net proceeds will be donated to the “Brain Tumor Research Program” at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Information shared from

Be a presence in Central Illinois to promote awareness of brain tumors and raise funds for research. Information shared from .

Continue an annual walk to raise awareness of brain tumors and their impact on those in Central Illinois. There are many misconceptions about those who have or had tumors. Many people are not aware of their tumors, blaming symptoms on other possible causes.

Additionally, funds will be raised for research into treatment and cures for the various know brain tumors. Research currently includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, medication, and other possible treatments and therapies.

We also will remember and honor those lost to brain tumors, their families, friends and loved ones and celebrate those who have survived. Information shared from

If you or someone you know would like to be involved in the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind, please visit the website at You can make a difference. The walk is 17 years strong and helps to support research, awareness and to provide support for those diagnosed, friends and family.

Calendar of Events:

Date(s) – 08/05/2019
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Peoria Pizza Ranch

Come and Eat Pizza and Fried Chicken with us!

Date(s) – 09/01/2019 – 09/30/2019
All Day

All 3 locations of Eli’s:




Date(s) – 09/11/2019
All Day

All day at Kep’s Sports Bar & Grill, a percentage of food for dine in or carry out will be given to Mark Linder Walk for the Mind for brain tumor research!

Kep’s Sports Bar & Grill

313 Muller Road

Washington, IL 61571

Date(s) – 09/28/2019
7:00 am – 11:00 am

17th Annual Mark Linder Walk for the Mind

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Peoria, IL

Date(s) – 09/30/2019
All Day

Come to: East Peoria Avanti’s
2320 E. Washington Rd. (309-694-6200)

On: September 30th, 10:30AM-10:00PM

Present this flyer to the cashier upon payment for tracking purposes
and 20% of proceeds will go to support:
On Dine-In/ Delivery or Carry Out orders

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tax, gratuity and alcohol sales are not included in donation

Thank you to the survivors and volunteers for allowing us to share your information and calendar of events. We also want to send a heartfelt thank you for sharing your stories with us and for raising awareness. We appreciate all you do.


The Mileurs

The Art of the Riverfront Farmer’s Market

It may have been a hot day in Peoria, but the Hottest place to be was at The Farmers Market on the riverfront. The crowds braved the heat to find the hottest deals on fresh produce, but the best seller this morning was the load of fresh peaches. They were sold out and packed up within an hour of the opening, but never fear there will be more next weekend. The produce offered for sale is the best produced locally, sweet corn ripe and juicy, tomatoes, potatoes, beets and more ripe and ready for your dining pleasure.

We love going to the market on Saturday mornings. There are so many wonderful things to see and do, and so many friends to visit. We always have to stop for a great cup of coffee from Zion Coffee Co. or watch Carol at The Spot serve up her delicious drinks. Heather and I often stop to get a hot pretzel from Swanee’s Soft Pretzel Co. and then stroll thru the market to visit various friends, like Robert Martinez. He is an excellent leather worked and like to check out his new leather creations. Then a visit with the great folks at Popcorn Heaven and sample their new flavors.  Our next stop is to check out Tony and his wife at Grandma & Grandpa’s Farm for the latest farming news and produce. Such  wonderful people.

As we wander around we love to stop at The Brakers Dozen for the amazing treats. Today we chose Pumpkin bars, a favorite of mine, and a loaf of freshly baked Blueberry Bread. I wonder why I gain weight every summer. Before we left for the morning we enjoyed a delicious cool strawberry cheesecake from Harold Webster of Triple Dipple’s. A fitting treat on a hot day, to cool off. The cheesecake is so delicious, it is melt in your mouth good!

The sights, sounds, artwork, people, aroma of fresh baked goods and homegrown vegetables make the market a location filled with activity. Live music fills the air alongside the scent of produce, flowers and baked goods. Artwork, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, signage, antiques and more line the walkways. It is truly amazing the vendors and the energy at the market.

Please make it a point to visit all of the wonderful people who make the Peoria Riverfront Farmer’s Market possible every week during the summer.  You will not regret making the trip.

The Art of Donald Mason

Wow! What a wonderful evening at The Contemporary Art Center. The opening of the Donald Mason exhibit.

Kevin has known Donald Mason for several years and has always admired his talent in taking everyday objects and turning them into beautiful and thoughtful works of art. He is inspiring in his dedication to his art.

Tonight we were able to learn more about the artist and his journey thru life which brought him here with his amazing talent. I can imagine that Donald was an amazing teacher in District 150 and touched many lives with his art and his stories of his life journey.

Donald captures life and emotion in his work. His work is thought provoking and intense. We enjoyed listening to his story and experiences that shaped him into the artist he is today.

Mr. Mason is a resident artist at the Contemporary Art Center and a master of his art. He explained the story behind the artwork. Each piece has its own story that speaks to the viewer. It was interesting to hear of these experiences in his life that served as inspiration to his work.

A big thank you to William Butler, Ricky Traughber and the volunteers at CAC for organizing such a wonderful event. If you didn’t get a chance to see his work tonight, his work will be on display for the next month on the 2nd floor.

July 25th Opening Reception – Suzette Boulais

Mark your calendars for an Opening Reception with Suzette Boulais. Join Suzette at the new Gallery Homes in Peoria Heights, near Jim’s Bistro, located at 4610 N Prospect, Peoria Heights, Illinois. Opening reception is Thursday, July 25 from 6:00-9:00 pm. The exhibit will be on display throughout July and August. Come meet the artist and experience her extraordinary works of art!

The Art of the Pond and Pasture

Imagine driving on a long curvy country road. Trees guiding the way, tall and reaching toward the sky. The sun shining brightly between the branches highlighting leaves and birds in the trees.

Meandering along we spy small bodies of water and animals scurrying from one spot to another. Soon we are surrounded by fields of crops on either side of us. We turn onto the long gravel drive we know so well.

On one side a pond, on the other the pasture. The pond is alive with insects and life. We can hear the choir of frogs in the distance, the buzzing of insects and spot dragonflies. The dragonflies are flittering and fluttering from pillar to post all around the pond.

We walk along the dock and hear the sound of a fish swatting it’s fin on the water. A turtle across the way is sliding in to cool in the water. My mind goes back to my youth and my love of water. I find myself wishing I could dive in and let the water cover me as I swim and float in it’s cool embrace.

The two of us sit together on the dock listening to the world around us and the insects and frogs provide nature’s music. The day is warm and the sun is shining upon us while we relax to the sounds.

We decide after awhile to make our way to the pasture. Standing at the edge you see the treeline of the property. An eagle flying overhead. A chipmunk scurrying through the grass. Free range chickens walking and bobbing to eat on the run.

One post has a dragonfly that is still and posed. He remains still even as I approach and photograph him standing in place. We are amazed he doesn’t fly off. He remains for several minutes and I admit I take advantage of his time photographing his pose.

We feel our stress of day to day melt away as we wander in the pasture. The only sounds are birds and insectsGreen grass, the smell of flowers blooming and the chorus of nature envelope us on our journey. A masterpiece that touches our soul.

Road trips in summer to destinations we enjoy. At times we just drive and take in the sights along our trek. Still other times we have a destination and enjoy how it changes each time we stop. Art surrounds us each day from how we view things to what we view.

We hope you enjoyed our journey. Until next time take care and keep creating.


The Mileurs

The Spotlight – A Place for Artists to Share Their Stories and Their Work

Duffy Armstrong Farrell thank you for sharing your story, beautiful artwork and for allowing us to publish all you have shared.

Our Spotlight this month turns to Duffy Armstrong a multi media artist from Illinois.

Duffy’s Story – In Her Own Words

Drawing Photography Printing Painting

I grew up in the Chicago area. Music was my first “love.” I played piano and studied classical music for five years through the Sherwood School of Music until I was 12 and discovered I was unable to perform in front of a large audience. My focus shifted to visual art. I received a BFA from Bradley University, focusing on drawing, printmaking and photography. Minor White, while a visiting artist at Bradley, critiqued my first two-person show. To this day his encouragement and inspiration influence me. Others who have significantly and personally guided my art are Kim Mosley, Dow Mitchell, Nita Sunderland, Art Sinsabaugh, Luther Smith and Francois Deschamps. It’s only now, in these later years, that I have returned to making art. My daughter is grown and successful. My professions – museum education, gallery directing, corporate sales, financial advisement, marketing, public relations and fundraising – no longer consume my time. My work? Query what you see. Think. Talk. Have fun. Learn. I like landscapes, the figure and abstract or intuitive images. That said, I make human marks that can be interpreted anyway you like.


Duffy Armstrong Farrell Art, LLC/ Member of CIAO/ Studio at Contemporary Art Center of Peoria/ Exhibit A Gallery, Peoria Heights, Illinois

Here’s “Self Portrait” that I did the other night for fun.  My paternal grandfather used to hold the record for the largest Northern Pike. He taught us to fish.

Self Portrait