2020 Local Legends

Their legacies are legendary, their impact profound. By sharing their stories, we hope to inspire the rest of us who are living out our own legacies, each and every day.

2020 Local Legends
Portraits by David Vernon

Sid and Flo. Bob and Joan. Junior and Jackie. Their pairings are ubiquitous, with each complementing and magnifying the strengths of the other. They are couples who joined together out of love, as well as a shared commitment to improving their communities and providing opportunities to young people.

For Junior and Jackie Watkins, it’s been a life of mentoring youth, coaching sports and showcasing African American achievement. For Bob and Joan Ericksen, this work took the form of a foundation—a lifelong project connecting kids of all ages to art, science and nature. For Sid and Flo Banwart, it’s been a legacy of philanthropy spanning decades and touching nearly every inch of the Greater Peoria area.

By sharing their stories, we hope to inspire and encourage the rest of us... who are living out our own legacies, each and every day. They are our Local Legends, and we salute them.

Sid & Flo Banwart 
Partners in Philanthropy

Over the years, this generous couple has quietly worked to make a positive impact on their community, having dedicated their lives to giving—and inspiring others to do the same.

Bob & Joan Ericksen
Connections to Nature

They came together as artists and teachers on a mission to connect children to art, science and nature, so today’s youth might experience the same magic they had felt as kids.

Junior & Jackie Watkins
Paying It Forward
From mentoring the next generation through sports to commemorating African American history, their life together has been one of dedication, purpose and accomplishment.

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