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!