Peoria SCORE helped the Moonlight Coalition for Adult Learning create a gift shop at the General Wayne A Downing Peoria International Airport. The shop helps provide funds for their adult GED program and employs GED graduates.

Hedy Elliott-Gardner

Co-Founder, PEORIA Airport Gift Shop
Coordinator of Moonlight Coalition for Adult Learning - Peoria Park District Foundation
Non-profit established in 1994.  Offering inter-city adults and opportunity to obtain their GED.

“SCORE was great.  When we first came, we really didn’t know what to expect.  They were fantastic – open to ideas, open to innovation, really gave us some confidence to go forward with our idea.  We are not business people, we are really in the social service arena.”

“I would highly recommend Peoria SCORE as a start for any new business.  SCORE was fantastic as far as helping us with our business plan, marketing ideas and the details we needed to make our program really successful.  Our gift shop, from month one, has far exceeded our expectations.”

“SCORE is a friendly atmosphere, very non-threating and offers fantastic advice for anyone who wants to start a business.”

Emily Cahill  Emily Cahill

Executive Director, Peoria Park District
Co-Founder, PEORIA Airport Gift Shop

 “We knew we wanted to have a gift shop, we knew we wanted to have GED workers there.  SCORE helped us hone-in on what kind of merchandise we would sell.  They helped us with our marketing plan to really promote the Moonlight Coalition for Adult Learning as the reason people should be shopping at the airport.  SCORE really helped us to build the foundation that has made us successful.   Travelers who come through the airport say this is new and we are so glad it is here. We have also been able to promote Moonlight Coalition. Customers are able to add a donation to their tab when they buy things at the gift shop and they are able to learn about our program.  Almost every time I am at the gift shop, I hear from someone who has a GED or is working on their GED.  We’ve seen increased referrals to the program and also seeing that stabilization of funding that we have been after all along.”

“If you have an idea for a business and want a sounding board and someone that can help you to refine that idea, SCORE is a great place to start.  SCORE really helped us to refine what our idea was.  They are so knowledgeable, so invested and so kind to us as we went through this process.  They continue to meet with us now that our doors are open and help us refine our ideas.  They are a great resource for our community and we are stronger for it."

Jim Peugh

SCORE Mentor and Chapter Vice Chair

"We want to be involved with your business not only at the beginning but for the long term.  If you have an idea, contact us, come to Peoria SCORE.  We look forward to working with you.  Whatever we do is free and confidential.  Our sole purpose is to help you grow your business and be successful."

Photos Credit: Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Press Release:

The Peoria International Airport has a new gift shop. The shop called Moonlighting is open 7 days a week from 5 am to generally 8:30pm in the evening. Hedy Elliott-Gardner is with the Moonlight Coalition for Adult Learning through the Peoria Park District Foundation. She says the shop has been open since April and is outperforming the business plan:  “It is amazing how many people ask, “do you have Peoria Tee-shirts, do you have Peoria magnets,” you name it. And it’s really exciting to promote our city and the Midwest.”  The net proceeds benefit the Moonlight Coalition for Adult Learning that includes flexible GED courses for low income and inner-city adults. 

Those who are not planning to fly out of the airport can check out the gift shop’s website. Here's the link: Moonlighting at PIA.

 

 

How SCORE Helped: 

"SCORE is a friendly atmosphere, very non-threating and offers fantastic advice for anyone who wants to start a business.
They helped us with our marketing plan to really promote the Moonlight Coalition for Adult Learning as the reason people should be shopping at the airport.  SCORE really helped us to build the foundation that has made us successful."

My Successes: 

"Our gift shop, from month one, has far exceeded our expectations."Hedy Elliott-Gardner