© 2024 Peoria Public Radio
A joint service of Bradley University and Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Carver Community Center Receives Nearly $19K in Unclaimed Money

Cass Herrington
Peoria Public Radio

A department of Illinois state government got some favorable attention today.

The Office of State Treasurer visited the George Washington Carver Community Center in Peoria to highlight the nearly $19,000 the center received through the unclaimed property division.

The funds are a residual balance from a foundation, started by a renowned comedian and Peoria native.

During the announcement, State Treasurer Michael Frerichs stood in front of the same stage where Pryor first performed as a teenager.

“Richard Pryor was really grateful for the opportunities and the people here at Carver Center supporting him, promoting him,” Frerichs said. “And when he made a lot of money, he didn’t forget where he came from.”

The money was left over from The Pryor Foundation, after years of inactivity. National City Bank surrendered the money to the state in 1991, Frerichs said.

The State Treasurer determined the foundation’s bylaws directed that leftover funds belonged to the Carver Center.

“Better late than never,” was the sentiment felt by Carver Community Center upon receiving the $18,827.

“It’s miraculous,” the center’s executive director Ken Hinton said.

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio
Peoria Public Radio
Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth says she first connected with Pryor's window, Jennifer, during the unveiling of his statue in the Warehouse District last May.

“It will allow us to do further programming for youth, also to serve our community, and become an asset to community like Carver has always been. It has been like a breath of fresh air and new life,” Hinton said.

Hinton says Pyror’s widow, Jennifer, told him, “Richard would have wanted Carver to have the money.” Richard Pyror grew up a few blocks away from the Carver Community Center.  

Frerichs used the opportunity to urge Illlinois residents and businesses to access the online database that lists unclaimed property.

“We have this money and we want to get it into the community, we want to get it into people’s pockets,” Frerichs said. “We think this money does more good for Peoria and for your community if it’s in your bank account, rather than sitting in our vault in Springfield.”

The State Treasurer’s Office says the unclaimed property database or I-Cash lists 140,000 names from Peoria County for unclaimed money totaling $23 million.