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Peoria’s Favorite Pachyderm Parades Around Town

Heartis Village residents’ handmade paper mache elephant, “Miss Violet,” is now one of Peoria’s favorite pachyderms.  


The senior artists created Miss Violet, aptly named because of her purplish hue, as part of their exploration of Thai culture. Who knew that Miss Violet would connect the residents with members of the larger community in such fun and creative ways as Heartis Village’s ambassador about town?


Miss Violet’s first stop: Peoria’s River Front Museum.


“As we are regular visitors to the Peoria Riverfront Museum for their Senior Mornings, word of Miss Violet’s residency grew beyond our building, and the museum asked if she could visit during their summer camp for kids,” says Heartis Village Community Life Manager Lynette (?) xxx.


Miss Violet spent two weeks at the museum, where she was given the honor of having a plaque next to her – exactly like the ones created for all the other sculptures on display.


Next, the travelling elephant headed over the Illinois River to Grace Methodist Church to take part in Thailand Trek, a summer Vacation Bible School program for kids. Church members created another paper mache elephant to be her friend.  The two elephants were very popular among the campers, who brought neighborhood friends to meet them.  The children also wrote a letter on behalf of Miss Violet to the Heartis Village residents to tell them all about her summer adventures.


After camp ended, Miss Violet went to the Peoria Civic Center to participate in IGNITE! Peoria, a day of celebrating the arts. Thousands of people met Miss Violet there and some even added more colors to her purple background.


Wherever Miss Violet roams, she never forgets her home. When back at Heartis Village, she continues to play an important role at the community, dressing up for various occasions like the Alzheimer’s Jimmy Buffet fundraiser, “Seas the Day,” and delighting visitors.


Managed by Pathway to Living, Heartis Village is an assisted living and memory care community located at 8201 N. IL Route 91, Peoria, IL.  For more information, contact Pathway to Living at 888-342-4111 or