A Centennial Year in Pictures

Blake Scribner (Easterseals Ambassador) and Katie Pena (Easterseals Occupational Therapist) helped kickoff our 100th Anniversary year by participating in the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2019.
Easterseals President & CEO Steve Thompson Celebrating Easterseals Night at the Penguin Project’s production of Hairspray Jr. by posing for a picture with a cast member and his mom.
Jordan (Easterseals Ambassador) and Mark Scott (Easterseals Board Member) bringing down the house at the 14th Annual Black & Blue Ball for Easterseals on February 1, 2019.
A student at the Easterseals Learning Academy enjoying recess on the swing set.
Easterseals Ambassador Avah and her family pose for a picture at the 24th Annual Grape Soiree: Art, Wine, and All That Jazz at the Bloomington Country Club. Avah has been a featured artist at the event for several years.
In March, students at Limestone Community High School share their 2019 campaign total, surpassing the $1 million total raised mark for the children and families of
Easterseals Central Illinois.
A mom and her kiddos leaving the Peoria Service Center on a chilly spring day.
Shannon LoPiccolo (Easterseals Physical Therapist) leading an inclusive children’s yoga class.
Benit, a student at the Easterseals Learning Academy, and his teacher enjoy a moment of laughter.
The Ladies Auxiliary Fashion Show in April of 2019 featured Waylon (Easterseals Ambassador) walking down the runway, cheered on by his mom and WMBD news anchors Lauren Langer and Eugene Daniel.
Kaci (Easterseals Ambassador) crossing the finish line at the 6th Annual Run.Walk.Roll for Easterseals on April 20, 2019.
Passage to India co-chairs US Rep. Darin LaHood and US Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi speaking at the event on Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Peoria Civic Center.
Easterseals Ambassador Hayden celebrates graduating from occupational therapy with his therapist Lauren. To commemorate our 100th Anniversary, we created a “100 Reasons to Celebrate” wall at the Peoria Service Center, where we celebrate our kiddos milestones.
Easterseals Physical Therapist Becky working with Molly on pedaling a tricycle through the halls of the Peoria Service Center.
A camper at Easterseals Timber Pointe Outdoor Center enjoying the breeze on the zip line.
On July 13, 2019 several Easterseals Ambassadors participated in Walk With Me: A Walk With Champions at Illinois State University’s Hancock Stadium. Pictured with Team Jacob are the event co-chairs Julie Dobski and Marlene Dietz, as well as an ISU basketball player.
Easterseals Ambassador Cruz enjoying an occupational therapy session at his home.
Easterseals Ambassador Joci celebrating her completion of iCan Bike camp. iCan Bike is a weeklong camp dedicated to teaching children with developmental delays and disabilities how to ride a two-wheel bike.
An Easterseals Timber Pointe Outdoor Center camper soaking up the summer sun.
Easterseals Ambassador Alex posing for a photo with the Way Down Wanderers at Rock the Farm, an event his family created to raise funds for Easterseals Central Illinois. This year, Rock the Farm had record attendance and raised over $60,000 for Easterseals.
Easterseals kiddos enjoying a fun occupational therapy session.
Diane Oberhelman (co-chair of the Lyle Finch Memorial Claybird Classic) and Steve Thompson (Easterseals Central Illinois President & CEO) listening to a past Easterseals Ambassador address the crowd at the event.
A fun occupational therapy session at the Bloomington Service Center.
Participants pose for a photo outside of Easterseals Timber Pointe Outdoor Center’s main lodge before Run the Woods began on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
President & CEO Steve Thompson congratulations Easterseals Ambassadors who participated in the program at the Easterseals Century Ball on Friday, November 1, 2019. This portion of the program celebrated the amazing accomplishments of several past and present Easterseals Ambassadors.
Larkin (Easterseals Ambassador) sings a solo during the finale of the Easterseals Century Ball surrounded by her mom, Jennifer, her friend, Maggie, and several past and present Easterseals Ambassadors and their families.
Members of the Griffin and Scribner families enjoying time on the dance floor at the Easterseals Century Ball.
The Easterseals Century Ball concluded with a performance of “A Million Dreams” sung by Easterseals Ambassadors and their families, and featured an original dance choreographed and performed by past Easterseals Ambassador, Meghan.

5 Ways to Use Pillows for Indoor Sensory Fun

By: Easterseals Central Illinois Occupational Therapy Department

Using pillows provides proprioceptive and deep pressure to the sensory system. Proprioception provides input to muscles and joints.  Proprioception and deep pressure both calm the sensory system.

  • Pillows squishes:

Use pillows to provide squeezes to your child’s body.  Great for deep pressure and calming. You can pretend you are creating a sandwich, tacos, or a hamburger.  Add more pressure with each topping.  Take turns and have your child “squish” you or a sibling.  This will provide good proprioceptive input. Use this game to playfully engage your child.

  • Pillow pushes:

Hold pillows up and push against each other.  Great for deep pressure, calming, and proprioceptive input. Try in sitting, kneeling, or standing. 

  • Pillow crashes:

Pull couch cushions or pillows into a pile, jump, and crash.  Try rolling off the couch onto the cushions or pillows.  Try jumping off a trampoline or a stool into the pillows.

  • Make a pillow boat:

Fill a cardboard box, tub, laundry basket, or large container with pillows and blankets to provide deep pressure and calming input.  This can serve as a “safe spot” or a space to “take a break”.  Try reading a book, doing a puzzle, singing a themed song, or pretending you’re sailing off to sea. 

  • Floor is lava:

Place pillows on the ground and jump or step from one to another without touching the ground.  Try crawling, wheelbarrow walking, changing your speed, adding obstacles, or playing “red light”/”green light”.

Children should be supervised when completing all suggested activities.  Parental discretion is advised to ensure safety.