November 4, 2018
Itoo Society, Inc.
Serving the Community
Welcome to our 91st Annual Itoo Supper. We hope you all
enjoy yourselves and satisfy your hearty appetites.
We would like to extend a gracious thank you to all the dedicated
men, ladies, and friends of the Itoo Society who generously
gave of their time, talent, and encouragement. We are proud
and thankful to have such a wonderful group that has continued
the Itoo Supper and makes it the great tradition that it is.
Thank you to all the individuals and business establishments
that have advertised in this year’s souvenir program. We highly
recommend and appreciate you patronizing our sponsors.
Sah-Thine (Eat Hearty and Enjoy)
CABBAGE ROLLS (Mah-shi Mal-foof)
CHICKEN WITH RICE (Riz a Da-jaaj)
BAKED KIBBA (Kib-ba Sa-nee-ya)
GREEN BEANS WITH MEAT (Loob-ya Laham)
GOLDEN FRIED CHICKEN
WHIPPED POTATOES WITH GRAVY
SALAD WITH LEBANESE DRESSING (Sal-ata)
We are eternally grateful to all the members of the Itoo Society
both with us, and those with us in spirit, for their unquestionable
loyalty and dedication. The many untiring hours in preparing and
arranging for these suppers the past 91 years will not be forgotten.
Histor of the Itoo Supper
In November 1928, a small group of Lebanese women, all members
of the Ladies’ Itoo Society, decided to cook a meal for their friends.
These 18-20 women extended their legendary hospitality to include
nearly 100 residents of Peoria at the banquet. The women cooked
much of the food in their own homes, using their own utensils and
recipes, and then donated it to the Society.
The rest of the typical Lebanese menu was cooked in the original
Itoo Hall on McBean and McReynolds streets, where they set up their
tables and welcomed their friends to the first Itoo Supper. The Supper
was such a success that the women made it an annual affair,
expanding it to eventually serve the Lebanese cuisine to thousands
For the Lebanese community,
the Supper was the social event
of the year. Young people especially
looked forward to the event since
the Supper Dance took on the
importance of Prom, Homecoming,
or a Cotillion, while the weary
mothers went home to rest their feet.
The Suppers were held in various
Peoria halls, including the original
Itoo Hall, the Itoo Hall on South
Adams, and Exposition Gardens.
In 1976 the first Supper was held
at the current Itoo Hall on
Farmington Road. 2018
marks the 91st anniversary
of the Itoo Suppers . . .
may the tradition continue.
Original Itoo Hall
McBean & McReynolds
Second Itoo Hall
1506 S. Adams Street
4909 W. Farmington Road
Histor of the Itoo Societ
The Itoo Society was founded on July 4, 1914, in Peoria, Illinois, by immigrants from the small village of
Aytou, Lebanon. Among the first of the immigrants to arrive in the United States were three cousins.
They arrived in Peoria between 1887 and 1889; they became the vanguard for all of the other families
who followed over the next century and beyond.
During the summer of 1912, a young man named Rumia Sarkis Halhoul immigrated to Peoria from Aytou.
He found a job working on an excursion boat on the Illinois River. One day, near Beardstown, the boat
struck an object in the water; Rumia fell overboard and drowned.
On August 24, 1912, he was laid to rest; his funeral and burial were paid by his cousins in Peoria. After
the struggle to pay for his burial expenses, forty-six men, our fathers and grandfathers, founded the
Itoo Reform and Progress Society, now known as the Men’s Branch of the Itoo Society. The Ladies’
Branch was founded on July 6, 1916.
From its beginning the Itoo Society was envisioned as an organization dedicated to charitable purposes.
It has lived up to that vision by helping its own members and the villagers of Aytou in times of misfortune.
As for our adopted home of Peoria, the Itoo Society works closely with many local and national charities.
The Itoo Society has flourished for more than one hundred years, making ours one of the oldest Lebanese
organizations in the country. The Itoo Society and her members have been a respected part of Peoria and
surrounding communities by helping others and living up to the vision of the Founders . . . Our Ancestors.
Itoo Societ Organized and Founded July 4, 1914, Peoria, Illinois - Charer Members
Row 1 - Anthony Joseph Slyman, Charles Anthony, Nelson Joseph, Peter Rafool, Edward Anthony, Albert Moses, Abdullah Slyman
Row 2 - William Peters, Tony Kouri Alwan, Joseph R. Alwan, Joseph Rafool, Anthony J. Slyman, Anthony Maroon, Joseph Farris, Risthum Slyman
Row 3 - Mason Unes, John Unes, Anthony Joseph, Tom Moses, Mike Couri, Lahood Peters, Charles Farris, John Joseph, Anthony A. Slyman
Row 4 - Charles Joseph, Edward Couri, Sam Joseph, Joseph Farrah, Harry Alwan, Joseph Albert, Joe LaHood, Peter Albert, Tom George
Row 5 - Peter Michael, Tom Michael, Joe Joseph, Charles Lahood, Joseph Romanus, Tony Latoof, George Joseph, Charles Maroon, John Peters
Outside (clockwise from top left) - Khoury Antoun Slyman, Khalil Trad, Tony John, Ed Slyman
In Loving Memor
As we celebrate our 91st Annual Itoo Supper,
we remember all those who have come
before us and helped pave the way to bring us
where we are today. This book is dedicated to
to all of the deceased family members of the
Itoo Society. Their unselfish giving and their
traditions that have been handed down through the
generations are the backbone of our Club today.
In Loving Memory of
the Bshara Family
In remembrance and gratitude
for Madeline Alwan’s many years
of service and love for the Itoo Club
Love - Mark, Debby, & Renee
In Loving Memory of
John & Agnes Couri
We would like to thank all sponsors of the Itoo Supper
who are featured throughout this book.
We ask that you support our sponsors
by patronizing their businesses
Cedars of Lebanon
Apartment Living for Senior Citizens
Rent Based on Income
Mark Shipp, Agent
PEORIA HEIGHTS, IL
Congressman Darin LaHood, 18th District
D. Joseph Companies
Jamie Harwood, Peoria County Coroner
Joe Couri Photos
Mark Shipp, State Farm Agent
Nicole Reese Designs
Schooners - Morton / Peoria Heights
Sheriff Brian Asbell
Andrew Rand, County Board District 4
Christopher J. Couri, D.D.S., M.S.
Landmark Recreation Center
Merheb Surgical Arts
Sid Ruckriegel, Councilman
Wright & Salmon Mortuary
CHIROPRATIC | REHABILITATION | ACUPUNCTURE
Fred’s Shoe Repair fredsshoerepair.com 686-4115
Jerry Brady, Peoria County State’s Attorney 672-6900
Joseph & Hishon Chiropractic chiropracticpeoria.com 693-2225
LaGondola peorialagonadola.com 688-0800
Mike Murphy Ford mikemurphyford.com 263-2311
Thursday Night Dances
Ballroom dance nights are held at the Itoo Hall most Thursday evenings from 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
Doors open at 6:00pm. Cash bar and free popcorn are available.
Visit society.itoohall.com/thursday-dances for calendar dates and additional information
Friday Fish & Chicken Dinners
Fish & Chicken Dinners are served at the Itoo Hall most Friday evenings from 4:30pm - 7:00pm
Visit society.itoohall.com/fish--chicken-dinners for calendar dates and a complete menu
Militar Affairs Ceremony
In 2009 the Itoo Society began to formally recognize and celebrate the
honorable military service of our members at the prelude of our
annual Itoo Supper. These events have been a great source of pride
for our Society’s members and their families as we have gathered to
say “thank you” as we remember our veterans who endured countless
hardships and made life-changing sacrifices so that our Nation
remains safe and free. On those special days it has been a truly
gratifying experience for all present as we have witnessed the
true joy felt by the families of our veterans as seen through their
World War II Veterans
Today we honor the families of some of our Itoo members who served
during World War II. About these men we honor today . . . we will
never know the sacrifices and suffering that they endured ridding
the world of a hell that was unleashed upon the earth.
Rather, what is certain; had these men never answered the call to
arms, had they faltered and had they failed; the world we would
have known most likely would have been one shrouded in complete
darkness and absolute hopelessness. To those who stand in their
place today, they were known as Dad, Uncle, Cousin; but to a
grateful world they will always be remembered as its saviors. Let us
now honor and give thanks for these men of the “Greatest Generation”.
To Our Dear Cousins,
We are Eternally Grateful for
Your Courageous Service in Defense of our Freedom,
and We Honor the Personal Sacrifices that You Endured
for the Protection of Our Nation.
2018 Honorees - World War II
U.S. Army Air Corps
Watch our website (itoohall.com) and Facebook page
(facebook.com/itoosociety) for additional event details.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
GivingTuesday / End-of-Year Giving Campaig
We invite you to join the movement this GivingTuesday in supporting Itoo Society,
Inc. as we work together to shape our future, building upon the work of so many
who came before us and continuing our rich, century-old traditions.
Satrday, Febrar 9, 2019
Save the date, and make plans to join us for our first Trivia Night at the
Itoo Hall - more details to follow.
Satrday, April 13, 2019
3rd Annual Militar Retiree Appreciation Day
The annual event for military retirees features a wealth of information and
prominent speakers from throughout the local and national areas.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
52nd Annual Itoo Shish-Ka-Bob
Held annually on the last Sunday in June, our Shish-Ka-Bob features both beef
and chicken kabobs, along with cabbage rolls, salad, and Lebanese bread.
Annual Itoo Societ Rummage Sale
Watch our website and Facebook page for additional event details.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
92nd Annual Itoo Supper
Please join us again next November at our Itoo Supper (held annually on the
first Sunday of November) as we celebrate 92 years of sharing our
Lebanese heritage with the greater community.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Did you know that Itoo Society, Inc. donates nearly $30,000 in actual
donations and over $30,000 in in-kind donations each year?
As a charitable organization, we strive throughout the year to support
other charitable organizations such as Saint Jude Midwest Affiliate,
American Red Cross, and Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association.
We also honor our country’s veterans in various activities
throughout the year, including hosting veterans and their sponsors
for a complimentary dinner on the eve of each honor flight to
Washington, D.C. (since the inception of the Greater Peoria Honor Flight).
We have always done our best to be humble stewards of a
blessed organization that our parents and grandparents left us.
We ask you to help us support others throughout the year
through your contribution on GivingTuesday, a global day
of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration . . .
Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely
recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday,
GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus
on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
We invite you to join the movement . . . please help to spread
the word, share our Facebook posts, and give this November 27
as we work together to shape our future, building upon the
work our parents and grandparents began over
a century ago and carried on over the years.
Main Banquet Hall
Small Gathering Room
4909 W Farmington Rd
Peoria, IL 61604
Contact Us to Host Your Next Event
Semaan Trad, Business Manager