Block party to support Washington businesses and Philippines

By Beau Ebenezer

June 12, 2014 Updated Jun 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Hundreds made it to the Peoria riverfront Thursday night in support of those affected by local and national disasters.

Water Street in downtown Peoria was closed off for the first-ever block party.

The street was lined with bands and local food vendors all night.

Washington businesses were invited to show off what they have to offer.

Some have lost 20 percent of their business since last year's tornado.

They hope the block party will help.

"The support is pretty awesome throughout the whole country really," said Michael's Italian Feast owner, Mike Axelson. "There are people coming in from everywhere, helping the businesses and helping the families. It is just amazing."

"It's kind of just great to know that somebody else cares," said Gracie's Chicago Style Grille owner, Gregory Wilson. "It's been awhile since that tornado hit our community. It's nice to think that people still know and still care."

The party was put on by the Funds from the Heart foundation.

Funds raised will go to Washington businesses and medical supplies for the Philippines.