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History of the (Ex) Mayor's Roast

In 2016, an old tradition returned to the area — a "roast" of a local notable to benefit a charity of his/her choosing. This re-imagined event, chaired by Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, was based on the Sherriff’s Roast hosted years ago by then-Sherriff George Shadid.  


In recent years, Ardis and his committee have selected a number of community leaders that were willing to be a "guest of dishonor" in support of their favorite causes including:

Year              Roastee                Benefitting              

2016              Ray LaHood         Dream Center Peoria

2017              John Bearce         Easterseals Central Illinois and OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

2018              Rex Linder            Mark Linder Walk for the Mind, OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois

2019              Mike McCoy         Dream Center Peoria, Sophia's Kitchen, Camp Hope (for local St. Jude patients)

2021              Lesley Matusak    WTVP Mission for Children


When Ardis stepped away from his role as mayor in 2021, the event continued as the "Ex Mayor's Roast." Through the roasts of these local notables, over $1,000,000 has been donated to charities of their choosing. How wonderful it is that there are community leaders that are willing to laugh at themselves - all for a good cause!

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