In and Around Park Forest Week of April 14, 2014

Park Forest Baseball opening day parade
The Cubs looked tough at the Park Forest Baseball Opening Day parade Saturday. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—April 14, 2014. Looking for something to do on Saturday night that will be an evening of lively entertainment while helping a great cause? Head over to Park Forest’s First Baptist Church when the Voices of Triumph will perform a benefit concert in honor of Phillip “Poppie” Gaston on Saturday, April 19, at 4 p.m., at the church. Admission is free for the concert.  A freewill offering will be gathered during the event and forwarded to the Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF). Additional information about this event can be found in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

Attention all Park Forest graduating high school seniors: the deadline to apply for the Park Forest Scholarship is May 2. Four awards are available; three for $500 and one for $1000. Graduating high school seniors with a grade point average of at least 2.75, and living in the Village of Park Forest, are eligible. Learn more about the Park Forest Scholarship.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest

Special Meeting for Park Forest Residents Impacted by Water Main Pilot Project—Tuesday, April 15

The Department of Public Works will hold a special meeting Tuesday, April 15, beginning at 6 p.m., at Village Hall for residents impacted by a water main restoration pilot project expected to begin in the coming months. The upcoming project, Cured In Place Pipe Lining (CIPP), will restore approximately 1,350 feet of water main along Central Park Avenue, from Sauganash Street to Sangamon Street, and along Sangamon Street, from Central Park Avenue to Shabbona Drive. Residents in the impacted area were mailed a letter in early April asking for their attendance at the critical April 15 meeting. For the project to be successful, resident assistance is imperative. At the meeting, Village officials along with the company hired to complete the work will provide an overview of the project and what is needed from residents.

Park Forest 2014 – 2015 Vehicle Stickers – Must Be Displayed by May 1

Park Forest vehicle stickers for 2014-2015 are now on sale. Park Forest vehicle stickers must be displayed on every vehicle registered in the Village or Park Forest before April 30, even if the vehicle is not located in the Village, to avoid late fees and fines. Vehicle stickers are available for purchase at Village Hall during normal business hours. Stickers are also available for online purchase. For additional information about purchasing a vehicle sticker, along with applicable fees, visit: villageofparkforest.com/CivicAlerts

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Advisory Board is scheduled to meet the week of April 14:

  • Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. – Housing Authority

The meeting will be held at Park Forest Village Hall and residents are encouraged to attend.

Earth Month Celebrations

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Earth Underfoot at Thorn Creek’s Earth Day Celebration –Saturday, April 26

Earth Day at Thorn Creek this year celebrates soil on Saturday, April 26 from noon to 4 p.m. What is soil anyway? Soil is more than just dirt, and it is always forming. More is known about stars millions of miles away than the soil right here under our feet. Creatures of all kinds live in and help form the soils under our feet. Come discover all about soils at Earth Underfoot. Is soil dirt? Join us for a presentation at 1 p.m. to find out what makes up soil and how soil is formed here in Illinois. At 2 p.m. join naturalist April Richards and Jon Mendelson on a hike to understand the story told by the layers of soil here in Thorn Creek Woods. Your guides will help you see the land formations in the preserve.   And you’ll take soil samples to discover what the different soil types look and feel like. Come and view life sized dioramas from The Field Museum depicting life underground. These special displays are rare snapshots of life down in the earth. See cicadas, moles, burrowing crayfish and burying beetles. View scenes of soils beneath forests, meadows and wetlands. Find out about the insects and earthworms that populate the soil. See maps of Thorn Creek’s soils and landforms and soil profiles. Touch and feel different soils. Refresh yourself with a Soil Sundae that you build yourself. See how it is a reflection of the living organism soil. There will be lots of fun for everyone including Soils Sundae refreshments, activities, crafts, displays, a hike and the start of our Spring Raffle. Thorn Creek is known for remarkable raffles. This year features themed baskets, suncatchers fashioned by one of our volunteers, a signed numbered print of Marikay Peter Witlock’s “Prairie Chapel”, three “almost new” bicycles and more.  Raffle chances are $1 and 6 for $5. Raffle tickets are available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays noon to 4 p.m.at the nature center. The Spring Raffle items will be awarded at our Picnic at Thorn Creek Woods Fundraiser on Saturday May 10. The Earth Day program is free and open to all ages. Registration is not required.  Please watch for parking signs.  For more information, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, at 708-747-6320 or [email protected].  Visit our new website tcwoods.org. The nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and trails are open daily, dawn to dusk.

Arts & Entertainment

Angels on Assignment, 1370 Main Street, Suite 7, Crete

‘Angels Day at the Derby’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Angels on Assignment will host a fundraising event, ‘Angels Day at the Derby’ on Saturday, May 3 at Balmoral Race Track, 26435 S. Dixie Highway, Crete.  The event begins at 4:30 p.m. in Balmoral’s 1st floor Grandstand. Upstairs the dining room opens at 6 p.m. The buffet runs from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. with deserts available until 9 p.m. The first race starts at 7:10 p.m. There will also be a Silent Auction and Raffle Prizes. The donation is $50 and includes dinner, complimentary clubhouse admission and a complimentary official racing program. There will be a race dedication to Angels on Assignment and a group photo in the Winner’s Circle. Tickets can be requested by calling the office at 708-367-1100 or go to angelsassigned.org for details.

About Angels on Assignment
The Angels on Assignment organization works to help children by providing solutions for families with a seriously ill member. The organization’s mission and efforts reflect the impact on individuals when a community works together to help families struggling with serious illnesses. In early 1999, Angels on Assignment was formed by residents and local business and community leaders following a fundraising event for a sick child. Energized by the fundraising event, this group recognized the ongoing need to support families and children dealing with serious illness. For additional information about Angels on Assignment, please visit angelsassigned.org.

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

‘Still Life’ – April 17 & 18

 On Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18 GSU’s Theatre and Performance Studies program will present ‘Still Life.’ Performances will begin at 8 p.m. each night in GSU’s Sherman Recital Hall. Based on real life experiences, ‘Still Life’ explores the way that Vietnam has affected three lives: a Marine veteran, his estranged wife, and his mistress. This docudrama explores the way that Vietnam has affected three lives: a Marine veteran, his estranged wife, and his mistress. The man confesses that he killed a Vietnamese family in cold blood and, carrying the seeds of violence with him, returns home to brutalize his pregnant wife. The wife, disillusioned and unhappy, wants to ignore the terrors that haunt her husband, believing that in time the awful memories will fade, while the mistress, an angry feminist, blames the man’s destructiveness on the forces that conditioned him before he went to Vietnam. In the end, these three become a metaphor for the nation as a whole—still trying to understand, and overcome, the lingering trauma that is the bitter legacy of the Vietnam experience. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on-line at: purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

Dee Alexander in Concert – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, April 26 at 8 p.m., the Center will present Dee Alexander in concert. Chicago’s Best Singer (2009 Chicago Magazine) Dee Alexander celebrates the music of Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Nina Simone and Dinah Washington, highlighting her versatility as a jazz, gospel, soul and world music vocalist. Dee Alexander is among the premier vocalists and songwriters in American music today, and one of Chicago’s most gifted and respected artists. Her performances span virtually every music genre including gospel, blues, neo-soul, rhythm-and-blues, and world music. But her true heart belongs to jazz, the one idiom that can encompass all her influences. Her 2007 “Sirens of Song” tribute to Nina Simone and Dinah Washington at Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion (commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago) attracted world recognition. Ms. Alexander is known by Chicago’s jazz elite (including Ramsey Lewis, Orbert Davis, and Nicole Mitchell), and leads two of her own bands: the Dee Alexander Quartet and the Evolution Ensemble, which emphasizes her original compositions. Her accolades include “Chicagoan of the Year” (Chicago Tribune, 2008) and “Jazz Entertainer of the Year” (Chicago Music Awards), and her 2009 album Wild Is The Wind received five stars (highest honor) from Downbeat Magazine, which named it among the Top Ten recordings of the new millennium.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on-line at: purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

Quilt Show ‘From Heart to Hand’ – Yvonne Wells to Lecture April 26

DePaul University’s Art Museum will unveil a new exhibition, “From Heart to Hand,” will run through June 22 featuring 23 quilts produced by African-American women. Originally organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Alabama, the exhibition demonstrates that quilts are not just household goods, but are also a means of personal expression. While quilting has been around in various forms for centuries, Louise Lincoln, Museum Director, explains that it was approximately 15 years ago that the contemporary art world “discovered” the distinctive work of the women in the town of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, who created quilts with intricate patterns that resembled abstract paintings. As the Gee’s Bend artists have become famous, quilt exhibitions have grown in popularity and have been featured in major museums, including the Whitney Museum in New York. The collection on display at DePaul Art Museum will include examples from Gee’s Bend, as well as other styles and subjects from the region of western Alabama, giving viewers rich insight on tradition and community. Celebrated quilter and one of the featured exhibition artists, Yvonne Wells, will give a lecture on April 26 at 1 p.m. Both the exhibit and event are free and open to the public. For more information, visit bit.ly/PUx4cp. The DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit depaul.edu/museum.

DePaul University Theatre School, 60 East Balbo, Chicago

‘Jackie & Me’ – Through May 10

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present ‘Jackie & Me,’ by Steven Dietz, adapted from the novel by Dan Gutman, and directed by John Jenkins, as the final production of the 2013-2014 Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences season. This production runs through May 10 at DePaul’s historic Merle Reskin Theatre. Performances are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. Friday performances will be held on May 2 and May 9 at 10 a.m. A special Sunday performance at 2 p.m. will be held on May 4. There will be no Saturday performance on May 3. Joey Stoshack has a talent that many kids dream of: the ability to travel through time. When Joey is assigned to write a report on an African American role model, he uses his powers to travel back to 1947 and meet Jackie Robinson, one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Through their adventures, Joey learns about real courage and what it feels like to walk in someone else’s shoes. This production is recommended for ages 8 and older. Educational themes include: baseball, courage, facing prejudice, family, history, thinking of others and overcoming adversity. For more information about pre-show and post-show educational activities and highlighted curriculum connections, please visit theatre.depaul.edu to download our free teacher guide. You can also request a teacher guide by calling the box office. For patrons who are blind or have low vision, the performance will be audio described on Saturday, April 19 at 2 p.m. with a pre-performance touch tour. Call 312-922-1999. The performances on May 2 at 10 a.m. and May 4 at 2 p.m. will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY: 773-325-7975. April 12 at 2 p.m. is USO of Illinois Day. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families, with a valid military ID, can attend the performance for free. Visit tixfortroops.org to reserve tickets, or call 312-922-1999 for more information. In addition, a wide range of events will be held in conjunction with this production including community partner days, an ice cream social, opening day autographs, post show discussions and more. For details visit the website or call the box office.  Tickets are $10. Subscriptions and group rates (15 or more people) are available. DePaul employees, alumni and college students receive a discount (with ID). Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 312-922-1999. DePaul’s Merle Reskin Theatre is located at 60 E. Balbo Drive at Michigan Avenue in Chicago. For information about parking, please contact the box office. The theatre is accessible via CTA busses (3-King Drive, 29-State Street, 146-Michigan/Museums and others) and CTA ‘L’ stops (Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Purple and Pink).

The Drama Group Studio Theatre, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

‘Ragtime’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for the musical ‘Ragtime’ which will be presented on May 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and May 4 at 2 p.m. The production will take place at Bloom Theatre, 101 West 10th Street, Chicago Heights. This musical tapestry depicts an African-American family, a Jewish immigrant family and a wealthy suburban White-Anglo Saxon Protestant family in turn-of-the-century America. Tickets are $20 for adults; $19 for Seniors age 65+; and $19 for students with Student ID. Group rates are also available.

For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-755-3444.

First Baptist Church, 80 North Orchard, Park Forest

Voice of Triumph Concert to Benefit Leukemia Research Foundation – Saturday, April 19

The Voices of Triumph of the First Baptist Church will host a benefit concert in honor of Phillip “Poppie” Gaston on Saturday, April 19, at 4 p.m., at First Baptist Church. Admission is free for the concert. A freewill offering will be gathered during the event and forwarded to the Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF). The concert features the Voices of Triumph gospel choir, a skit performed by the First Baptist Church Kingdom Seekers, Reverend Bryan O. Davis & Songs of Deliverance, Mama Africa & Company Dance for Jesus, Minister Denine L. Webb, guest Gospel Saxophonist Justin Smith, Tracey Worth Serenity Entertainment, and Mrs. Kimberly Riddle-Howard honors the chapter’s namesake, Mr. Phillip Gaston, with a book signing of ‘Grandma Can I.’ Phillip Gaston was diagnosed in March, 2011 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Although he did have a bone marrow transplant, his body would not regroup from it. He died in March, 2012, a year to the day the CLL was discovered. Learn more about the Phillip (Poppie) Gaston Chapter and the LRF at allbloodcancers.org.

About The Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF)
The Leukemia Research Foundation, headquartered in Wilmette, Ill., is committed to funding research and providing support to people affected by blood cancers. The Leukemia Research Foundation is dedicated to conquering all blood cancers by funding research into their causes and cures, and enriching the quality of life of those touched by these diseases. For 67 years, thousands of volunteers and 23 chapters have helped the Foundation raise more than $56 million to help fund research specifically targeting aspiring, eager, and innovative scientists and physicians around the world, provide patient financial assistance, and offer educational and emotional support for patients and their families. Leukemia Research Foundation information is available at allbloodcancers.org, or by calling 847-424-0600.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Bus to Harris Theatre with the IPO – Tickets Now on Sale

Enjoy a special evening downtown with the IPO and leave the driving to someone else.  Board a chartered bus at 6:30 p.m. in Frankfort, at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Ave., on Saturday, April 26, 2014 and relax with friends as we head downtown for the Orchestra’s high profile concert with the Avalon Quartet at the Harris Theater.  Following the concert, the bus will depart Harris Theater at 10:30pm. Purchase your round-trip bus ticket here for $20 at https://secure.ticketsage.net/websales.aspx?u=ipo&pid=243052

NOTE: Tickets for the concert must be purchased through the Harris Theater directly.  For more information on the concert, and to purchase tickets, click HERE or call 312-334-7777.

National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM), 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

Espirit de Corps Exhibition – Through August 1, 2014

NVAM is celebrating its first anniversary in its Milwaukee Avenue location with its art exhibition, Esprit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience. Esprit de Corps features art by nine veterans of Vietnam, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror. The NVAM will be free and open to the public through August 1, 2014. Esprit de Corps is sponsored by Omicron, Bank of America and Paratech Incorporated. Drawing on breakthroughs in using art to assist with reintegration of veterans and for therapeutic expression, Esprit de Corps traces the process and roles of therapeutic art from the act of initial perception through expression of experience to an ultimate communal sharing and understanding of the real impact of war. Featured artists include Joseph Fornelli, Jerry Frech, Jonathan Hancock, Peter Sullivan, Benjamin Suarez, Thomas Gilbertson, Theodore Gostas, Richard Williams and Erica Slone. High resolution images of work in the show are available through the NVAM’s Dropbox. For additional information and hours, visit the museum’s website at nvam.org

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Library Closure – Sunday, April 20

The Park Forest Public Library will be closed on Sunday, April 20 in observance of the Easter holiday.

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

The following events will be held this week at the Park Forest Public Library:

  • Monday, April 14 at 4 p.m. – Ductigami — Learn to use duct tape to make crafts.
  • Tuesday, April 15 at 10:30 a.m. – Movement and Music — Develop large motor skills, increase coordination and instill an appreciation for music of all genres in this weekly class designed for children ages 2-5 and their parents or caregivers.
  • Tuesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. — Dreamscapes – During the month of April we will read a story and create a scene on the floor for the kids to pretend they are acting out a scene from the story in their dream! We will give each child a chance to be in the scene and take a picture that will be printed for the following week.
  • Wednesday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. – Masters of Art — Children will have the opportunity to listen to a story and complete an art project related to the story.
  • Wednesday, April 16 at 3 p.m. — Book Your Own Travel Online — Learn the ins and outs of searching for hotels and transportation online. Registration required.
  • Thursday, April 17 at 10:30 a.m. — We <3 Lapsit — Babies and their parents or caregivers are invited to read, sing and grow in this weekly story time featuring books by authors Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr. This program is geared toward babies 0 – 24 with an accompanying adult.
  • Thursday, April 17 at 1 p.m. — Knit Lit: Danielle Steel — Please join our new monthly lunchtime discussion group for knitters and readers. Be sure to bring your own lunch to munch. We will exchange stories, share our favorite book moments, and even swap knitting ideas. This month we’ll be reading Danielle Steel. Multiple copies are available for checkout at Patron Services.
  • Thursday, April 17 at 5 p.m. – Let’s Go Lego — Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display in kids’ zone.
  • Friday, April 18 at 3 p.m. – Friday Funday – Join us for an assortment of after-school activities! Each week we’ll have a new fun topic!
  • Saturday, April 19 at 12:30 p.m. — Saturday Movie Matinee: The Sting — Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, The Sting stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as two con men in 1930s Chicago. After a friend is killed by the mob, they try to get even by attempting to pull off the ultimate “sting.” No one is to be trusted as the twists unfold, leading up to one of the greatest double-crosses in movie history. The con is on!

For additional information or to register for certain events, please call 708-748-3731 or visit pfpl.org/

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Step Back Into the 1950s Easter at the Park Forest House Museum – Through April 30

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, will have up its spring exhibit, “Step Back into a 1950s Easter,” from March 15 through April 30, 2014. Open Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the museum can also be open for groups by appointment, at other times. Donation is Adults $5; Children12 & under free with an adult. Scout and school tours are priced individually. Decorations include Easter die cuts, honeycomb rabbits and baskets, plastic and tin decorations, children’s books and Easter baskets with candy available in the 1950s. There is a very special display of hand blown, hand-painted eggs brought back from World War II. For details, to arrange a special group tour, or to volunteer, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website, parkforesthistory.org, or call Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

Annabelle Gould’s print of the Park Forest Plaza is available for sale at the Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard. The vibrant print is from an original watercolor, showing kids and their moms in the Park Forest Plaza, in front of the old Holiday Theatre and Golden Hanger Shop. The print can be purchased at the House Museum during normal hours of operation on Wednesdays and Saturdays or through the Society’s online store on their website at parkforesthistory.org. Prints are $15 each. Online purchases also required an additional $6 fee for postage and handling. For additional information on other items for sale by the Society, visit parkforesthistory.org.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights

Star Violinist to Return for Southland Performance – Tickets Now on Sale

Violinist Jasmine Lin, a distinguished graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, will return to the area for a performance with the ensemble, Trio Voce, at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 21, in the PSC Auditorium. Trio Voce is composed of Lin, cellist Marina Hoover, and pianist Patricia Tao. Hailed by Fanfare magazine for its “deeply committed and passionate” performances, the ensemble has garnered acclaim for its concerts in New York, Chicago, the north Midwest, California, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. Lin was age 12 when she was named the 1985 winner of the senior division of the WTTW/Illinois Bell Illinois Young Performers Competition. Since her 1985 triumph, Lin has soloed as a teenage prodigy with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. She also has appeared with many orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, and in recital in such cities as Chicago, New York, Nova Scotia, Rio de Janeiro, and Montevideo. The New York Times describes her as having “electrifying assertiveness” and “virtuosic abandon.” She is on the faculty at Roosevelt University and a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. The April 21 performance will benefit the Friends of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prairie State College Foundation. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $5 for students and are available at the door. For more information, call 708-799-5520 or email [email protected].

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – Tickets Now on Sale

PSC is hosting a Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 11 a.m., Monday, April 21, in the Conference Center Auditorium on the PSC main campus. The event is being sponsored by the PSC Foundation, Division of Liberal Arts, and Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Tickets for the play are $5 for students, faculty, and staff of PSC, and $10 for general admission. The performance includes the 75-minute production, followed by a 15-minute talk back with the actors. Tickets are being sold before the event in the Business Office. Tickets also will be available at the door the morning of the performance. Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces award-winning plays on their home stage on Navy Pier, as well as throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods and on stages around the world. The company has been honored with numerous national and international awards, including the Regional Theater Tony Award, three Laurence Olivier Awards, and seventy-seven Joseph Jefferson Awards. CST was the 2012 recipient of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s national Shakespeare Steward Award for innovative teaching of Shakespeare in American classrooms. For more information, contact Justin Vidovic at 708-709-7981 or email [email protected].

Representative Robin Kelly, 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson

Congressional Art Contest for High School Students – Submissions by Appointment Only Through April 19

Representative Robin Kelly has launched her annual Congressional Art Competition open to high school students residing or attending a school within the Second Congressional District. The winner’s artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for one year. Students can submit their artwork at either of Rep. Kelly’s district offices, located at 1000 E. 111th St., 11th Floor, Chicago, or at 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson. Submissions will be accepted by appointment only, April 14-19, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the Matteson office at 708-679-0078, the Kankakee office at 815-933-0437 or the Chicago office at 773-568-2623. Artwork must be two dimensional, framed no larger than 28” x 28” x 4” and can include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photographs, computer generated art, or mixed media (use of two or more mediums: pencils, ink, watercolor, etc.) All artwork must be original. Representative Kelly will host a reception where she will announce the winner and runners-up on April 26, beginning at 9 a.m., in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located at South Suburban College in South Holland. The high school art competition was established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 to acknowledge and support the artistic talent of America’s young adults. For more information, call Danielle Echols at 708-679-0078. Contest entry rules can be found at robinkelly.house.gov.

Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Photo Exhibit on Southeast Ohio’s Post-industrial Landscape – Through May 10

An exhibition by award-winning photo essayist Matt Eich, who tells the story through his photographs of an Ohio community abandoned by major industry, runs through May 10 in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. Featuring images of southeastern Ohio from 2006-12, Carry Me Ohio is a catalog of working-class issues and people who were forced to adapt after industry, including mining for coal, salt and clay and the cutting of timber, left the region approximately 40 years ago. One of the nation’s most promising young documentary photographers, Eich began taking pictures in southeast Ohio while he was a photojournalism student at Ohio State University. He has worked as a freelancer for GQ, Esquire, Mother Jones, Time, Fader, Harper’s and National Geographic, among others. Free and open to the public, Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery has hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit roosevelt.edu/gagegallery or call 312-341-6458.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Mudd’—Through April 30

Join us at the Gallery for ‘Mudd’ which runs through the end of April. What do artists do with ‘Mudd’? Come take part in art fun on Friday, April 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 pm. where you can meet the artists and enjoy refreshments and music. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information and Gallery hours, call 708-833-5108.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 South State Street, South Holland

‘News That Stays News’ –Through Monday, April 21

SSC’s Art & Design Department is pleased to present a new exhibition titled “News That Stays News” in the Dorothea Thiel Gallery on SSC’s Main Campus in South Holland. The art works–created separately by Burleigh Kronquist and Jenny Roberts–are on display through the closing reception with the artists on Monday, April 21st at 12:30 p.m. Taking magazines and newspapers as both material and subject, artists Kronquist and Roberts make work that reflects on, plays with, and “reads” these materials, rearranging or altering layers of visual and textual information to reveal dormant beauty and explore latent meanings. Through his process-based practice, Kronquist paints on newspaper pages or takes pages from magazines and alters them using markers, pens, pencils and paint thinner, creating poetic abstractions and metaphoric scenes that still retain traces of the original text and images. Roberts takes a more conceptual approach, tracing, copying and appropriating found visual and textual information and reconfiguring it to make it visible and legible in new ways. The public is welcome to visit art exhibitions and receptions at no charge. The Thiel Gallery is on the 4th floor in the Art & Design hallway. SSC Galleries are open at minimum Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and holidays. For more information, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2445 or extension 2300, or visit ssc.edu/art.

Art Exhibits at SSC

The Art & Design Department of SSC is pleased to announce two exhibitions coming to galleries on the college’s Main Campus in South Holland. First, a solo exhibition of paintings by guest artist Mark Riesterer is currently running through May 2nd in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery. There will be a closing reception for the artist on Wednesday, April 30th at 12:30 p.m. Riesterer is an emerging, Chicago-based artist. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Lake Forest College in 2009. His work has been exhibited in Chicago, Colorado and India. His paintings reflect the artist’s interest in stained glass, illustration, the urban landscape and light. Additionally, the college’s Biannual Student Art Exhibit will be on display from April 29th through May 7th. More than 300 original artworks of Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Drawing, Jewelry, Photography, Digital Graphics and Animation created by SSC student artists will exhibit in the Dorothea Thiel, Photo Four, and the Lee E. Dulgar Galleries. A Pot Luck Reception will be held Wednesday May 7th at 12 noon in the Art & Design Department on the 4th Floor. Exhibits are viewable to the public at no charge Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Thiel and Photo Four Galleries are on the 4th floor in the Art & Design hallway, while the Dulgar Gallery is located on the college’s 1st floor. The galleries are closed on weekends and holidays. For more information, please call 708-596-2000, ext. 2445 or ext. 2300, or visit ssc.edu/art.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Near and Far’ by Nikkole Huss & Richard Schmidt – Through May 10

Tall Grass Arts Association invites everyone to visit our newest exhibit, ‘Near and Far,’ consisting of nearly 70 works by Nikkole Huss and Richard Schmidt. The exhibit will run through May 10. In ‘Near and Far,’ Huss and Schmidt follow the centuries-old tradition of finding inspiration in nature – natural forms, organic growth and decay, light and weather, time and space. But their methods of discovery and interpretation have taken them on two very different paths. Richard Schmidt works from environments he actually visits in Illinois, New York, New Hampshire and Maine to gather information for his very literal, highly-detailed oil and watercolor paintings. Nikkole Huss studies landscape from a distance, documented through satellite images and telescope records from hundreds of miles above the earth. She redefines and recreates nature in encaustic, often viewing from great distances the same kinds of places Richard studies from a few yards away. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information and Gallery hours, please visit the Tall Grass website (tallgrassarts.org), or call the Gallery 708-748-3377.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Entrances & Exits’ – Opens April 16

Union Street Gallery presents an exhibit of select photographs by members of Gallery 7 in Joliet, Illinois. The exhibit opens on April 16 and will run through May 10. ‘Entrances & Exits’ can be literal representations such as doors and windows or symbolic manifestations representing the entering or exiting of a place or time in our lives. Viewers will see a wide range of Entrances & Exits in this moving and beautiful photography exhibit. An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit unionstreetgallery.org/.

Regional Juried Exhibit of Small Works – Opens Thursday, April 16

A regional juried exhibit of Small Works will open on Thursday, April 16 and run through May 10. Art does not have to be large to make a statement. Some of the most powerful pieces of art are the smallest. Small art is deliberate and intimate; it draws the viewer in closer, causes them linger. Small art can be playful and whimsical like a toy, familiar like everyday objects, or precious like a small altar. Minute Musings is an exhibit of art that is 12″ and smaller. The exhibit will include 69 works of art by 45 talented artists from the Midwest region. Art exhibiting includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, digital art, collage, assemblage, mixed media and video. An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit unionstreetgallery.org/.

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

Dances of Universal Peace – Saturday, April 19

On Saturday, April 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., join UUCC for an afternoon of Dancing. Each dance has a chant, which is sung as the dance is being performed. This event is held on the third Saturday of each month. For additional information, call 708-481-5339.

Rainbow Café – Saturday, April 19

On Saturday, April 19 beginning at 6:30 p.m., join us for a Rainbow Café. This is a social event that provides a safe and welcoming environment for single or partnered gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults and their allies by creating a space where they are able to socialize outside of the usual bars. This event is held on the third Saturday of every month. For additional information, call 708-481-5339.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Career and Internship Fair – Thursday, April 17

GSU’s Office of Career Services is sponsoring an employment fair for people interested in jobs and internship opportunities in communications, technology, business and public administration, criminal justice, addiction studies, community health and related fields. The Spring Career and Internship Fair will be held on April 17, from 2-5 p.m., in the Hall of Governors and Center for Performing Arts Lobby on the university’s main campus. Current students, alumni, and community members are invited to attend. Potential employers are also invited to register as participants. This is an opportunity to match jobs and internships positions with qualified personnel. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 708-235-3974.

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday at GSU

The Mobile Workforce Center’s mobile unit will be at GSU every Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., parked near the university’s front entrance. Center services include resume development, access to online job boards and websites, instruction in how to conduct an online job search and improve keyboarding skills, and assistance of staff. The center is equipped with 11 computer stations with Internet access, printer, and copy machines, and is wheelchair accessible. Services are free and available to residents in all counties. For additional information, contact the Workforce Services Division of Will County at 815-727-4980.

Park Forest Area League of Women Voters

Regional Cooperation in the Southland – Wednesday, April 16

The League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area will host an educational meeting on Regional Cooperation in the Southland on Wednesday, April 16, at 7:00 PM at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. Ed Paesel, Executive Director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers, will provide an update on current activities to foster regional cooperation among the municipalities in the southland. SSMA provides leadership in the areas of economic development, housing, transportation, technology and quality of life for Southland communities. He will talk about SSMA activities in economic development, workforce development and sustainable green infrastructure planning using the regional GIS system, and will highlight the development of the regional high speed broadband network to assist in economic development as well as the creation of the South Suburban Land Bank and South Suburban Development Loan Fund. The meeting is open to the public and anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to attend to learn more about how the Southland communities are cooperating to improve our area. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Anyone interested in promoting responsible government is invited to be a member. For more information about the program or membership in the League, please contact Mary Lubertozzi, 708-747-1359.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

PSC Job Fair – Wednesday, April 16

PSC invites job seekers to attend the 2014 Spring Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in the Conference Center of the college. The fair is co-sponsored with UPS and The Chicagoland Regional College Program. The job fair is free and open to the public, and will feature employers from various industries looking for employees with a range of education and experience levels. Company representatives will recruit for both full- and part-time positions, as well as internship opportunities. Several companies already are scheduled to participate, including Federal Aviation Administration, Matteson Police Department, Indian Oaks Academy, ArcelorMittal, Chicago Heights Steel, ManorCare Health Services, and Helsel-Jepperson Electrical, Inc. Employer registration is available until April 1, and new employers regularly are added. A complete, up-to-date listing of companies and the positions they are hiring for is available at prairiestate.edu/jobfair. Attendees are required to dress in professional business attire and encouraged to bring plenty of résumés. Pre-registration for the job fair is encouraged, and is available at prairiestate.edu/jobfair. For more information about the job fair, contact Norfleet at 708-709-3755 or Ramien Manson, career advisor, at 708-709-3922, or email Career Development Services at [email protected].

Opt In to Technology at PSC

You can bridge the gap between technology and a new you at PSC’s new Opt In program that consists of two computer training centers and free classes to teach basic technological skills. One location is at the Adult Training and outreach Center in Room A145 at PSC’s main campus. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The other location is at the Matteson Area Center’s Computer Training Lab located at 4821 Southwick Dr., Matteson. Hours for this location are Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. No matter what skill level you have or want to have, Opt In can help. Both computer labs and on-site tutors are free and open to the public. For additional information, call Lisa Zeigler at 708-709-3548 or e-mail [email protected].

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skill classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 South State Street, South Holland

‘Law Day’ – Registration Now in Progress

SSC’s Legal Studies Department will host their second annual ‘Law Day’ on Thursday, May 1, 2014. This year’s event will feature a special live court case. Oral arguments for a real criminal First District Appellate Court case will be heard in the Performing Arts Center. This is a rare opportunity for the community to observe the First District at work at an off-site location. The general public–especially educators and students–is encouraged to attend this unique opportunity to witness some of the area’s most talented, professional litigators in action. Opening remarks will begin at 10:30 a.m. Following the arguments, the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the Appellate Prosecutor and Appellate Defender. The justices will return to the PAC for another question and answer session at approximately 12 noon. This event also provides guests with an opportunity to find out more about educational and career opportunities in the judicial field, and to learn about SSC’s Paralegal, Court Reporting and Criminal Justice programs. For more information about Law Day or to RSVP for the day’s events, please email [email protected] or contact Jason M. Cieslik, J.D., Paralegal Coordinator, at 708-596-2000, extension 2579. 

Program Specific Open Houses at SSC – Now in Progress

SSC will be hosting several upcoming program specific Open Houses to assist prospective and current students with preparing their academic plan for the Summer 2014 Semester. The current Open House schedule at both the Main Campus in South Holland and the Oak Forest Center is as follows:

  • Community Health Worker, Coding Specialist, Phlebotomy, Medical Assistant
    Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Main Campus Atrium, [email protected]
  • Speech Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy
    Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Main Campus Atrium, [email protected]
  • Court Reporting
    Thursday, May 8, 2014, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Room 5190, Oak Forest Center, [email protected]
  • Non-Credit CNA/Basic Nurse Assistant Training
    Thursday, May 1, 2014, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Main Campus Cafeteria, [email protected]

Registration for the Summer 2014 Semester is now in progress. Summer class sessions begin Monday, June 2nd and Monday, June 9th. Contact the Office of Admissions at 708-210-5718 for enrollment information, or visit ssc.edu. SSC’s Main Campus is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois. 

Free Adult Education Registration Days

SSC’s Division of Adult Education is offering a wide range of opportunities for adults to build the basic skills required for success. Adult Basic Education (ABE) helps men and women whose skill levels are below the ninth grade. ABE students improve their skills in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Many adults choose to further build on these skills and pursue a high school education through the High School Equivalency (HSE) program. The HSE program will develop the skills required to pass the GED exams. Studies will include Reasoning through Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, and the US and Illinois Constitutions. Additionally, English as a Second Language (ESL) allows non-native students to improve their English skills from beginning to advanced levels. Most of the Adult Education programs are offered both full and part-time at the Main Campus in South Holland or the Oak Forest Center. At the time of registration, all students will take a Placement Test. The registration and testing days are starting up the third week of April. The complete schedule of registrations and classes at the Main Campus are as follows:

  • Part Time ABE/ASE/HSE, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 21 – June 18
    Register: Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 in Lecture Hall A at 6:00 pm
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 21 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm in Room L233
  • Part Time ABE/ASE/HSE, Monday through Friday, April 21 – June 19
    Register: Monday, April 14 in Lecture Hall A & Tuesday, April 15 in Room 1243 at 9:00 am
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 21 from 9:00 am and 12:00 pm in Room 1243B
  • Online High School Equivalency Preparation i-Pathways, April 21 – June 19
    Register: Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 in Lecture Hall A at 9:00 am or 6:00 pm
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 21
  • High School Equivalency (GED) for ESL Students
    Full Time ABE/ASE/HSE, Monday through Friday, April 28 – June 19
    Register: Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 in Room 2452 at 9:00 am
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 28 from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm in Room 2452
  • Bridge to Manufacturing Careers Adult Education Class, Monday through Thursday April 21 – June 19
    Register: Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 in Lecture Hall A at 6:00 pm
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 21 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm in Room L233
  • Full Time ESL, Monday through Friday, April 28 – June 19
    Register: Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 in Room L233 at 9:00 am
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 28 from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm in Room L233
  • Part Time ESL, Monday through Friday, April 28 – June 19
    Register: Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 in Room L233 at 9:00 am
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 28 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in Room L233
    The complete schedule of registrations and classes at the Oak Forest Center are as follows:
    Oak Forest ABE/ASE/GED Program:
  • Full Time ABE/ASE/HSE, April 21 – June 19
    Monday through Friday
    Register: Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 at 10:00 am
    Classes Begin: Monday, April 21 from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm in Room 5240

Please Note: An Adult education student enrolling for the first time at an SSC Adult Education Center must have:

  • CURRENT STATE I.D. or DRIVERS LICENSE INDICATING ILLINOIS RESIDENCE (MUST BE AN ILLINOIS RESIDENT)
  • UNDER AGE 18–WITHDRAWAL FORM FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL OF CURRENT RESIDENCE
  • PROOF OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

All courses are offered free of charge. For the purpose of compliance with Section 511 of Public Law 101-166 (the Stevens Amendment) Federal funds of $292,809 provides approximately 35.9% of the support of these programs.  For enrollment and class information, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2385 or extension 2240, or visit ssc.edu under “Non-Credit Offerings, Adult Education.” The Main Campus is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 S. Kilbourn, Oak Forest, Illinois.

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

Top U.S. Universities

Choosing what college or university to attend can be a very daunting experience. With educational costs continually increasing, it’s more important than ever to choose a university that meets your specific educational needs. At topschools.com/, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Healthy Living

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

‘Spring Into Wellness’ Family Health & Wellness Fair – Saturday, April 26

The health of the entire family, especially the children, is the theme of the Family Health and Wellness Fair at Governors State University on April 26 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. “Spring into Wellness – Empowering Healthy Families” is free and open to everyone. The fair presents resources for health and wellness for the entire family. Qualified professionals will provide general physicals for children. Developmental screenings will also be offered in speech, hearing, and physical development. Experts will also provide information on affordable healthcare options and available community services. Children will enjoy a crafts and activities table and there will be raffles, give-aways and samples. Resources will be provided by the following participants: Advocate South Suburban Hospital, Aunt Martha’s Head Start, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Child and Family Connections #15, Child Health Life, Easter Seals of Metropolitan Chicago (Child and Family Connections #12), Good Shepherd Center, Governors State University College of Health and Human Services including faculty and students from the departments of Communications Disorders, Health Administration, Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, Lakeshore, Park Forest Health Department- Nurses Plus Home Health Care, Respond Now, South Suburban Family Shelter, State of Illinois- Illinois Attorney General’s Office and Will County Health Department. The Family Health and Wellness Fair is sponsored by Governors State University Family Development Center, Early Head Start and the Health Services Advisory Council.

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

Sertoma Centre’s Mental Health Services facility is offering community mental health seminars, free of charge to community groups, schools, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, and other community groups at their location in Matteson or facility. Education Programs will include: Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) which increases public awareness of suicide and improves one’s ability to identify and refer those at risk for suicide. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education course that helps participants identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance disorders. Also included is Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Anxiety/Depression Screenings. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. To arrange a free educational opportunity for your club, group, workplace, organization, or church, call Gia Washington at 708-748-1951, Ext. 418 or email at [email protected].

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

Senior citizens of all income levels are invited to lunch weekdays at the Rich Township Senior Cafe located inside the Rich Township’s Shirley J. Green Senior Center. The CNN site is open to all south suburban residents, including those living outside of Rich Township. Participants must be 60 years of age or older. The suggested donation for lunch is $2.50. Lunch is served Monday through Friday at noon. Bingo begins at 10 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit pparx.org/en/click_illinois to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

Green Events

Park Forest Environment Commission

Rain Gardens – Saturday, April 19

On Saturday, April 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, University of Illinois Master Gardener, Marva King will discuss rain gardens. Learn how to capture the rain runoff in a garden to improve water quality, and enjoy nature in your yard.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights

Series of Energy Demand Reduction & Behavior Training Programs – Registration Now in Progress – Limited Seating

PSC will be offering a series of energy demand reduction and behavior change trainings this semester FREE of charge for employees and members of our community. The Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN)’s Illinois Community College Targeted Energy Management Training (ICCTEMT) Program provides a coordinated approach to offering behavior change and energy efficiency/reduction opportunities to Illinois community colleges. The program is targeted toward community college employees, as well as community members from all sectors, especially commercial and non-profit organizations. Funding is provided through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Building Industry Training Education (BITE) program.

Learn from experts:

  • Produce measurable electricity and gas savings (and save money at the same time)
  • Create a culture of energy awareness by making energy efficiency a top-level priority
  • Raise the level of energy efficiency literacy

Who should attend:

Local professionals, including: business owners, energy managers, facility operators, industry and manufacturing building owners, contractors, building officials, and municipal representatives
Community college faculty, staff, and students

What PSC is offering:

  • The Path To Sustainable Change, April 17, 2014 — 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    This is a skills-based workshop that trains participants in a process for creating sustainable change. This workshop will provide participants with:
    • An in-depth understanding of the Path to Sustainable Change
    • Skills to achieve sustainable behavior change in energy efficiency within organizations
    • Knowledge of how to start a movement
  • This training focuses on how to use the Path to Sustainable Change and connect the few and the many. There are four steps in creating sustainable change. This training explains these steps, provides examples of each, and lets participants practice creating sustainable behavior change for energy efficiency that can be translated into their organizations.
    SPACE LIMITED. ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
  • Facilitating Employee Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives, April 17, 2014 — 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
    In this training, participants will come together to focus on employee engagement strategies, and the resulting behavior change, as a means by which to increase awareness and participation in sustainability (specifically, energy efficiency) efforts. Drawing upon experiential and conversational techniques, the trainers will leverage proprietary tools created and applied within broad public and private social change initiatives to create an interactive and thought-provoking learning environment.  
    SPACE LIMITED. ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

All events are FREE and open to the public. Seats are limited. Advance registration is required for each event. For additional information, contact Allessandra A. Cairo, Sustainability Coordinator at 708-709-3764, e-mail [email protected] or visit: prairiestate.edu/sustainability.

Additional Energy Demand Reduction Trainings – Limited Seating

Additional Energy Demand Reduction Trainings will be offered at Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights. The training programs will be offered at no cost. Advance registration is required and seating is limited. Training Programs being offered are:

  • The Path to Sustainable Change
    April 17, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    This is a skills-based workshop that trains participants in a process for creating sustainable change. This training will provide participants with the following: an in-depth understanding of the Path to Sustainable Change, skills to achieve sustainable behavior change in energy efficiency within organizations, and knowledge of how to start a movement. REGISTER NOW!
  • Facilitating Employee Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives
    April 17, 2014, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    In this training, participants will come together to focus on employee engagement strategies, and the resulting behavior change, as a means by which to increase awareness and participation in sustainability (specifically, energy efficiency) efforts. REGISTER NOW!
    These training programs will be offered in PSC’s Conference Center, Heritage Room.

Note: Separate registration is required for each training.

Who should attend:

  • Local professionals including: business owners, energy managers, facility operators, industry and manufacturing building owners, contractors, building officials, and
  • municipal representatives
  • Community college faculty, staff, and students

The Illinois Community College Targeted Energy Management Training (ICCTEMT) Program is hosted by the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) with support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). For additional information, contact Allessandra Cairo, Sustainability Coordinator, at 708-709-3764 or e-mail [email protected] or visit igencc.org/energyefficiencytraining.

Sauk-Calumet Group of Illinois Sierra Club, Matteson, IL

Wind Energy Expert – Monday, April 14

The Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, April 14, at 7:15 p.m. at the Frankfort Public Library, 21119 Pfeiffer Rd. (just off Rt. 30). Jeff Smith, wind energy expert, will be on hand this month to discuss wind energy in Illinois. Mr. Smith is on the board of Citizen’s Greener Evanston and has served on the State of Illinois’ Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Advisory Council. Come and ask your questions! Sierra Club meetings are free and open to the public. People who enjoy outdoor activities, who want to protect the environment, or who wish to preserve the world in which we live, are encouraged to attend. For additional information, contact Patrick Coffey, Publicity Chair, at [email protected].

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – April 16

On Wednesday, April 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderator. The Wednesday morning walks will continue each week through April and walkers new to the program must register two days before they first hike. For additional information, please call 708-747-6320 or e-mail [email protected].  

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

Thorn Creek Nature Center is housed in a historic building, originally Immanuel Lutheran Church of Matteson, Illinois built in 1862, and later Village Bible Church of Park Forest. A gothic frame country church, its notable architectural features include curved ceiling, tongue-and-groove paneling and a raised pulpit. Its current attractions are displays of the preserve’s flora and fauna, a bird feeder viewing area, Eugene E. Schwartz reference library and an expanded children’s section. The Nature Center is open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Trails are open daily year-round, dawn to dusk. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

This & That

Congresswoman Robin Kelly, 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson

Financial Empowerment Fair – Wednesday, April 16 — Pre-registration Required

Congresswoman Robin Kelly will host a Financial Empowerment Fair on Wednesday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Faith Baptist Church, 25 S. Central Ave., Matteson. The fair will offer sessions on managing a budget in today’s economy, strategies for making a major career change, retirement planning and identity theft. Exhibitors include the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Illinois Bright Start, Neighborhood Housing Services, and American Portfolio Mortgage Corp. Programs are women-focused, but men are welcome to attend. Participants are required to pre-register at repkellyfinanceworkshop.eventbrite.com. For more information, call 708-679-0078, or visit robinkelly.house.gov.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Annual Spring Market – Thursday, May 1

Get ready for spring with a shopping trip to Governors State University. The GSU Civil Service Senate is hosting the Annual Spring Open Market on Thursday, May 1, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. in the Hall of Governors. More than 30 crafters and vendors will have unique items and gifts just in time for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays or just because. The market is free and open to the public. Interested vendors and crafters are encouraged to participate. Space is limited. For more information or to register, call 708-235-7559.

Park Forest American Legion Post 1198, 1631 Western Ave., Chicago Heights

Friday Fish Fry

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, April 18 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.