In October 1968 several people answered the call from Chuck Glaczenski to meet to form a tropical fish club for the Peoria area.
Although no records still exist, there were about 10 people in attendance at Chuck and Edna’s shop, Aquatic Gardens, in Peoria Heights. Tri-County Tropical Fish Society was adopted as the name.
Over the next several months, officers were selected, a Constitution and By-Laws was adopted and membership grew. The meetings were held in the back room of Aquatic Gardens on the second Wednesday of each month.
Our first Annual Show was held in 1969 in the back room of Aquatic Gardens and the public was invited.
The second Annual Show increased in size and was held inside the big side doors of Bergner’s Department store in Sheridan Village in Peoria.
The next year we moved the show to the big Glen Oak Pavilion in Peoria. Then on to the large auditorium downstairs at Lakeview Center. We were there several years until they remodeled it and it was no longer available for our use.
In subsequent years, we have hosted the Annual Show at Twin Towers Mall in downtown Peoria, Pekin Mall in Pekin and Northwoods Mall in Peoria where we have held the majority of our shows and where we last hosted our 43rd Annual Show.
We have had weekend exhibits of several tanks at Glen Pak Zoo (now Peoria Zoo) back when they had the big hallway of aquariums and the huge tank of caimans. We endeavored to display a variety of fishes to show the public different aspects of the hobby.
Unfortunately at the age of 78 Chuck had a stroke on the way home from a regular meeting and never regained consciousness after another on the way to the hospital. He passed away in 1984 with Edna joining him the following year. In 1984 the Judge’s Choice Award at the Annual Show was renamed the Chuck Glaczenski Memorial Award in honor of our founder. .
Though both Chuck and Edna have both left us to continue their legacy, Jim Gualdoni is the only charter member that is still a member of TCTFS.
PS…Jim Gualdoni passed away on November 12, 2011, and we certainly will miss him. The Annual Show was his brain child from its beginning and he was Show Chairman for many years. It was his vision that made it what it is. He was asked to judge part of the show in 2011 on Labor Day Weekend and was still sweeping classes with his entries as usual. He was very ill then but he was so pleased to be asked to judge. We were honored to have him do so.