In and Around Park Forest Week of April 16, 2012

Nicole Lloyd and mother Sandra Cox
Nichole Lloyd and mother Sandra Cox in Nichole’s new home on Winnebago Street Saturday. Ms. Lloyd is becoming a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity. More photos here. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—April 16, 2012. It’s Earth Week and there are lots of activities of interest for those of all ages in and around Park Forest. See the ‘Earth Week Events’ section for details on events that will occur this week at Governors State University, Prairie State College and Thorn Creek Nature Center.

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

Village Board Meeting

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend. Village Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers) as well as on the Village web site at

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village of Park Forest Advisory Board & Commission Meetings

The following Park Forest Commission will meet the week of April 16:

  • Thursday, April 19 at 6 p.m. – Housing Authority

The meetings will take place at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Dr. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Electric Aggregation Public Hearings to Be Held April 16 and April 23 at Park Forest Village Hall

One of the referendums on the March 20th election ballot was the Electric Aggregation Referendum. This Referendum which will allow the Village of Park Forest to have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for residents and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of the program, passed by a vote of 1,618 to 1,344. Public hearings will be held April 16 and April 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, regarding aggregation for electric rates. The purpose of the public hearings is to obtain input on the proposed Electric Residential Aggregation Plan (“Plan”) for residential and small commercial retail electricity customers located in the Village. A copy of the proposed plan is available for review at Village Hall, in the Community Development Department, during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. All interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard at the public hearings. Written and oral comments will be accepted on the proposed Plan prior to or at the public hearings. For additional information, contact Director of Community Development Lawrence Kerestes at 708-748-1112.

Earth Week Events

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

‘Creating a More Sustainable Future’ – Tuesday, April 17

Learn more about establishing and maintain a sustainable future from Jack Byrne, Director of Sustainability Integration Office, Middlebury College, on Tuesday, April 17 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in GSU’ Engbretson Hall. Byrne will discuss his work with a wide range of sustainability projects including green building designs, greenhouse gas reduction strategies, local foods, renewable energy, and transportation initiatives. He is the co-founder of the non-profit Foundation for Our Future at the Center for Sustainable Future. He oversaw Education for Sustainable Future, a six-year $18 million U.S. Department of Education project. This event is free and open to the public.

GSU’s Earth Day Celebration – Thursday, April 19

GSU will host a day of activities on April 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of its Earth Day celebration. Activities will include a theatrical production for children, an art exhibit, earth friendly product demonstration, and animal exhibits. The exhibit and demonstrations will be held on the patio and along the pathway net to GSU’s lake. They include a range of Earth friendly products and processes such as composting, bee keeping, products created from recyclable materials, sustainable gardening, herbs, and organic foods. Big Run Wolf Ranch will also provide a display of wild animals, including wolves and a bear. The Kidsworks Touring Theater will present an interactive performance celebrating conservation, from 11 a.m. to 11:44 a.m. in the center for Performing Arts. In the hall of Governors, an exhibit will feature student artwork made from recycled materials. In addition, natural history tours will take participants to the university’s biology field station. Tours of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park will also be offered. Earth Day at GSU will also include recycling stations for batteries, pharmaceuticals, and cell phones. GSU’s Earth Day events are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-534-4524.

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

Earth Week Events

An Earth Week Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, in the PSC atrium. Attendees can test their carbon footprint, as well as learn about renewable energy systems, saving money by weatherizing your home, eco-friendly cleaning products, the PSC Community Garden, local environmental organizations and initiatives, and more.

At 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 19, a free Interactive Reptile Program and Community Film Night will be held in the PSC Conference Center, located on the main campus. The evening beings with an hour-long presentation by Jim Nesci, a reptile educator, and his reptiles Bubba the alligator, Tank the tortoise, and others. Nesci’s “Conservation through Education” program provides unknown facts and humorous stories about this misunderstood group of creatures.

The night continues with a 6:30 p.m. screening of “Vanishing of the Bees,” featuring Ellen Page. The documentary examines how honeybees mysteriously have been disappearing across the planet. There will be one screening for adults and a separate screening for children.

Guest lecturer Orrin Williams, executive director of the Center for Urban Transformation, is presenting “Does Urban Agriculture Exist?” from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., Friday, April 20, in the Health Tech Building Lounge. His lecture will focus on scaling up urban agriculture and the role of community colleges.

To learn more about all the events being held at PSC in recognition of Earth Week, visit, call (708) 709-7940, or email [email protected].

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd, Park Forest

Earth Day: Frogs and Toads and Salamanders – Sunday April 22

On Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m., those of all ages are invited to Thorn Creek Woods to celebrate Earth Day. This year, the Center will celebrate amphibians. What kinds of frogs and toads and salamanders live in Thorn Creek Woods? How can you tell the differences? Where can you find them? And what sounds do they make? Come find out and get your ‘Calling Frog and Toad Calendar’ too. Lots of fun for everyone including a raffle, refreshments, crafts and a hike in the woods. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

Arts & Entertainment

Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburban Affiliate, Chicago Heights

‘A Taste of Home’ Fundraising Event – Friday, April 20

‘A Taste of Home’ fundraising event will be held on Friday, April 20 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Tinley Park Kitchens and Bath, 17050 Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park. The event will raise funds to help Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburban Affiliate to continue its mission of building affordable homes in our community. Come out and enjoy wine tasting, appetizers and live jazz provided by Heart to Heart. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door the night of the event. Advance ticket purchases can be made at or call 708-756-2015. To learn more about the Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburban Affiliate, visit:

Park Forest Community Relations

Open Mic/Karaoke Night – Friday, April 20

On Friday, April 20 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Dunagains, 349 Main Street, Park Forest, al poets, musicians, and singers ages 21 and older are invited to come out and share your talent. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-283-5621 or e-mail [email protected].

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

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

  • Monday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime
  • Tuesday, April 17 at 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime
  • Tuesday, April 17 at 1p.m. – Learn to Use Your Kindle – An introduction to using an Amazon Kindle. Please note: you must bring your own device for this class.
  • Tuesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. – Pajama Storytime – For all story lovers Ages 2 thru 12. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Wednesday, April 18 at 3:30 p.m. – Breaktime! Ages 6 & Up. Stop in to see what we’re doing — crafts, games, more.
  • Thursday, April 19 at 10:30 a.m. – LapSit – Ages 0 – 35 months with caregiver. Registration Required.
  • Thursday, April 19 at 11:15 a.m. – Toddler Art – Ages 2-4 with caregiver. Registration Required.
  • Friday, April 20 at 4 p.m. – Teen Time – Ages 12 & up. Wii games, classic TV reruns, board game competitions, teen crafts.
  • Saturday, April 21 at 11 a.m. – Microsoft Excel – Registration Required.
  • Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. – Celebrating Earth Day – An afternoon dedicated to the environment! Design your own “Going Green” t-shirt – ages 8 and up. Earth-friendly crafts – all ages welcome.

For additional information or to register for these events, call the Park Forest Library’s Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731.

Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theatre, 410 Lakewood Blvd., Park Forest

 ‘The Great Green Adventures of R-Man’ – Friday, April 20

The Family Theatre at Freedom Hall will present ‘The Great Green Adventures of R-Man’ on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ‘The Great Green Adventures of R-Man’ is a wonderful, imaginative play that shows how kids believe we can save the planet and the importance of taking care of the world around us. Filled with super heroes, super villains and a lot of litter, this comic book style show is sure to be entertaining and informative for everyone. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the box office, online at or by phone at 708-503-7737.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘2012 Friends of the IPO Rising Stars Showcase’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for the ‘2012 Friends of IPS Rising Stars Showcase’ that will be held on Sunday, April 29 at 4:30 p.m., at the Prairie State College Auditorium, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights. The event is presented by ‘Friends of the IPO’ and the Prairie State College Department of Music. Back by popular demand, this year’s ‘Rising Stars Showcase’ spotlights the Southland’s best young performers, including Ellen Chmura, violin, Ben Clemons, trumpet, Ann Marie D’Ortenzio, voice, Katelyn Hoag, violin, Nate Pultorak, dulcimer, Alaina Rea, violin, Sarah Santos, piano. Thomas Ridgway will give an ENCORE performance on the Piano. The ‘Friends of the IPO Rising Stars Showcase’ helps support the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s education programming. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at:

Illinois Theatre Center (ITC), 371 Artists Walkway, Park Forest

‘Showtune! The Jerry Hermann Review’ – Opens Wednesday, April 18

Scheduling Note: Due to the recent death of Etel Billig, ITC’s artistic director, the opening of the Jerry Herman production “Showtune,” which was set to open April 13 has been rescheduled until Wednesday, April 18. The production will run two weeks and close as scheduled on April 29.

ITC will close the season with a delightful collection of hit songs from the most successful American theatre composer of the last 50 years. Most everyone will recognize a tune or two from Herman’s smash Broadway hits ‘Hello Dolly,’ ‘Mame,’ and ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ but what about such lesser-known gems as ‘Dear World,’ ‘Mach and Mabel,’ ‘The Grand Tour,’ ‘Milk and Honey’? The whole family will love this high-stepping, toe-tapping celebration of Broadway’s best. The play opens on April 18 and will run through April 29. Tickets are priced at $22 and $20. There is a $1 discount for students and seniors. For additional information, show times, or to purchase tickets, call 708- 481-3510 or visit

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Park Forest House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard, is decorated to depict life in Park Forest when it was first built. One room represents a classroom in the first school, Forest Boulevard School, which was set up in a row of townhomes in 1949. The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donation is Adults- $5; 12 & under free. The tour is free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Park Forest Store brick at 1 for $15; 2 for $25. Convenient, free, street parking available right outside the front door. For additional information, visit

Volunteers Needed for Increased Hours and Work on Archival Collection

The Park Forest Historical Society needs many more volunteers to cover the additional hours at the House Museum and to trim, photocopy and label article and documents for the archival collection. Some of the collection is in the Park Forest Library. Projects will include filing photocopied articles and documents at the library, and searching the files for answers to questions from out of town. Publicity volunteers are needed to design or distribute fliers, and help blog and fill in announcements on social media sites. If you have a talent to offer or need to put in some public service time for school, please contact Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252 or contact the society by e-mail through the website at

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

Treasure Hunt for 3 Hand-blown Glass Ornaments

Salon Artists Gallery is hosting a Treasure Hunt for 3 hand-blown glass ornaments. Here’s how it works.

  • Determine which Park Forest business the clues below describe.
  • Go to that business and ask if they have a bag with the photo of art work.
  • If that is the correct location, they will give you the bag which is to be brought back to the Gallery.
  • If you are the first person to bring the bag back to the Gallery for that clue, you win the ornament.

Here are the clues:

Business No. 1

  • A twist of metal can be seen.
  • Lots of different sizes.
  • Rapunzel let your hair down.

Business No. 2

  • Something anytime.
  • Many machines.
  • You can buy a brain freeze.

For additional information, call 708-703-7806 or 708-833-5108. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Data Screens Machines’ First-Ever New Media Arts Show – Through May 27

Tall Grass Arts Association will host its first ever New Media Arts exhibition in its 56-year history. ‘Data Screens Machines’ will feature eight artists from around the U.S. and was curated by artist Joseph Pankowski. The exhibit will run through May 27. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit

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

Benefit Concert for the Johnathan B. Fields Foundation – Saturday, April 21

A benefit concert for the Johnathan B. Fields Foundation will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 6 p.m. at UUCC. There is a suggested donation of $25 but donations in any amount will be gratefully accepted. Johnathan Fields was a 19 year old young man who was killed 5 years ago in a horrible act of violence. The Foundation was established after Johnathan’s death by his parents. The mission of the Foundation is to support at-risk children and adolescents through the funding of extracurricular music education programs in stringed instruments such as the violin. A focused study of music can provide a creative outlet for processing emotions, positively effect a student’s dedication to and performance in their academic studies, increase self-discipline, and prevent violence and drug abuse by providing structured activity during the after school hours when children are most vulnerable. The benefit concert will be a great opportunity to hear live music in your community, expose your children to music in a demi-casual format, and support local musicians and a very worthy cause. The concert will be followed with a reception with food and drink and ‘dinner music’ provide by Suzanne Brookes Rickman, David Forsman and Al Joseph. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit

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

‘Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret’ – Tickets Now on Sale

‘Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret’ is an unforgettable musical journey to “exotic” locations that many of us only know through broad cultural stereotypes. A playful, sexy, sometimes subversive, always entertaining pastiche of Asian and Middle Eastern images in American and British song, ‘Re-Spiced’ is coming to GSU’s Center for Performing Arts for one performance on Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. Tickets range in price from $15 to $39, with special $15 tickets for students, and are available by calling 708-235-2222 or online at For more information about ‘Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret,’ visit

‘The Elixir of Love’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Romance is in the air when ‘The Elixir of Love,’ Donizetti’s comic masterpiece comes to the Center for Performing Arts on Sunday, April 29 at 4 p.m. ‘The Elixir of Love’ is part of the GSU Center’s “Opera Up Close” series, featuring Sunday matinees with world-class singers performing opera classics in an intimate, on-stage setting complete with cabaret-style audience seating and European café menu of coffee and desserts. ‘The Elixir of Love’ will be presented in English. Single tickets are $37. Buy one, get one free single tickets are available at the box office two hours prior to curtain, for one hour only, based upon availability. To purchase tickets, visit or call the GSU Center box office at 708-235-2222.

Monkey Mind Art Studio, 3 W. Nebraska St., Frankfort

‘Pouring Paint’ Exhibit by Watercolorist Sandy Newell – Artist’s Reception, Friday, April 20

‘Pouring Paint,’ an exhibit by watercolorist Sandy Newell will run through May 12. An artist reception will be held on April 20 at 6 p.m. For Gallery Hours or additional information, call 815-464-8818 or visit

Sertoma Centre, 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

BIG Event 2012 Being Held Earlier This Year – Saturday, April 28

Sertoma Centre’s BIG Event 2012 will be held this year on Saturday, April 28 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street, 3350 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park, IL. For just $10, you can feast on delicious ribs, sensational chicken or firehouse chili. Magician and juggler, Dave Fleming will perform on stage at 6:30 p.m. and live music will be provided by Sound Barrier. There will be raffles and plenty of fun for the entire family. If you are a firefighter or know someone who is a firefighter, then consider competing in the hottest firehouse cook-off in town. Trophies and prizes are awarded for each category: chicken, ribs, chili, and ethnic dishes. Chefs prepare sample size portions for 500 people and are reimbursed up to $500 for food expenses.

Ticket information: Adults: $10 entry fee donation = ten food tickets Children 12 & under: $5 entry fee donation = five food tickets. For event information, fireman registration, or sponsorship details, see Proceeds from the event benefit the almost 700 individuals with disabilities served by Sertoma Centre, Inc.

Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights

‘Threshold’ Exhibit – Through May 5

‘Threshold,’ an exhibit of art that transcends the boundaries between fine craft and sculpture will run through May 5. The exhibit features artists who use traditional craft media to create innovative sculpture including woven fiber installations, embroidered narratives, ceramic sculpture, and paper books. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit

Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 W. 147th Street, Oak Forest

Gaelic Park Players Present ‘Try Anything Twice’ – Through April 29

The Gaelic Park Players proudly present their Spring 2012 production ‘Try Anything Twice,’ a comedy by William Rocke.  When vivacious forty-something Josephine McGowan wins a Glamorous Grandmother Contest and brings home suave, womanizing TV actor Clive Cartwright as a prize, she upsets more than her gone-to-seed husband Michael.  ‘Try Anything Twice’ is a saucy comedy, full of very clever one-liners which the cast throw at each other with wicked good fun.  Performance dates are April 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29.  Friday and Saturday night performances begin at 8 p.m.  The Sunday performance begins at 3 p.m.  Tickets are $12.  A special dinner/theatre combination package is available on Sundays for $25 per person.  Reservations must be made in advance for the dinner/theatre option.  To purchase tickets or make reservations, call Gaelic Park at 708-687-9323.

Oriental Institute, 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago

‘Picturing the Past Through Photography’ – Wednesday, April 25

What do photography and archaeology have to do with each other? Learn how our understanding of the ancient past is altered with the introduction of modern technology with our special gallery tour. Join John Larson, Museum Archivist and Co-curator of Picturing the Past: Imaging and Imagining the Ancient Middle East, for a unique tour on Wednesday, April 25 at 12:15 p.m. featuring the historic role photography has played in recording archaeological expeditions and discoveries, along with behind-the-scenes information on the Oriental Institute’s Photographic Archives, which contain more than 100,000 images ranging from the 1890s to the present day. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit

Green Events

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Rd., Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers –April 18

Those ages 11 through adult are invited each Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. through June 13, to follow the forest’s spring changes on Thorn Creek’s trails. Trails can be wet or muddy so please wear sturdy shoes. The terrain is moderate. Registration is NOT required. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest

Messenger Woods – Pilcher Park Field Trip – Saturday, April 21

On Saturday, April 21 at 8 a.m., TCAS will hold a field trip to Messenger Woods and Pilcher Park. Messenger Woods is famous for its spring flowers, particularly Blue-eyed Marys, and Pilcher Park should be a hot spot for migrating birds. We’ll meet at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, at 7 a.m. For directions, call Mary Anne McLean at 708-672-5494 or e-mail [email protected].

MDC, Elk Grove Village

MDC Launches ZeroLandfill™ Chicago to Keep Expired Interior Design Samples out of Landfills

Local artists, educators, animal shelters and other non-profit organizations are invited to take whatever they can use: carpet, tile, wallpaper samples, fabric and more. Expired samples have been dropped off and are now being sorted by ZeroLandfill™ volunteers. On Saturday, April 28 and Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., local community members are invited to pick up materials that they can put to good use. The event will take place at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 North Sacramento Boulevard, Chicago. For additional information, visit

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Park Forest Nurses Club

Monthly Meeting to be Held Thursday, April 19

The Park Forest Nurses Club will meet on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Calvary United Protestant Church, 425 N. Orchard (corner of Lincoln Highway and Orchard Drive). Cathy Kloss, Executive Director of the Prairie State College Foundation, will discuss “Endowed Scholarship Funds.” All Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, active or inactive, are invited to attend. For additional information, call 708-481-8387 or visit

Park Forest Economic Development and Planning Department

Annual Business Networking Event –Register by Monday, April 23

Park Forest’s Economic Development and Planning Department invite area business people to attend the Annual Business Networking Event that will be held on Thursday, April 26 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Dining on the Green Banquet Hall, 349 Main Street, in DownTown Park Forest. Rhonda Henderson, SCORE Mentor and Managing Partner of Lucbene Consulting will explain how to develop effective communication skills in order to start and maintain positive business relationships. Participants should come prepared with your business cards and a 30-second ‘elevator speech.’ The event is free and a full complimentary breakfast is included. A $50 advertising bonus will be given to the person who brings the most guests. Register by Monday, April 23 online at aprilnetworkingbreakfast, by phone at 708-283-5617, or e-mail [email protected].

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

“Navigating Our Colliding Worlds” Lecture Series – Continues Wednesday, April 18

GSU’s Honors Program is hosting “Navigating Our Colliding Words,” continues on Wednesday, April 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in GSU’s Hall of Honors with a lecture by Dr. Charles Payne titled ‘Urban School Reform: The State of the Debate.’ Dr. Payne is the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, where he is also an affiliate of the Urban Education Institute. He recently published “So Much Reform, So Little Change” concerning the persistence of failure in urban districts, and “Teach Freedom: The African American Tradition of Education for Liberation” on Freedom School-like education. Recently Dr. Payne served as the interim Chief Education Officer for the Chicago Public Schools. The Honors Program lectures are free and open to the public.

Instant Admission Day – Saturday, April 21

Prospective undergraduate students, with the proper transcripts, can be admitted on the spot to GSU’s Instant Admission Day on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for students interested in transferring into one of GSU’s bachelor’s degree completion programs. Instant Admission Day will take place at GSU’s main campus in University Park. The event is free. Attendees will learn about specific undergraduate programs and financial aid, and have the option of attending group sessions or meeting with staff on a one-to-one basis. For more information about Instant Admission Day, contact the GSU Office of Admission at [email protected] or 708-534-4490.

Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp – Limited Seating — Registration Required

CenterPoint at GSU is hosting its semiannual, award-winning Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp on Wednesday, May 9 from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp is offered at no cost to veterans. Families and business partners of those serving in the military may attend for only $25. Designed by military veterans, the full-day event is the only one of its kind to be held in the Chicago southland and offers support to the families and business partners of our service men and women currently on active duty. The day features presentations and seminars from industry professionals, opportunities for free one-on-one counseling, breakfast with a panel of ex-military business owners who share their entrepreneurial journey, and access to CenterPoint’s numerous entrepreneurial services and resources. Break-out workshops will focus on a variety of topics, including frugal and effective marketing, SBA business financing options and the Patriot Express Loan, doing business with government agencies, cash flow management and business planning. Seating is limited to 100 participants and pre-registration is required. For additional information or to register, contact CenterPoint at GSU at 708-534-4929 or visit

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.

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

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.

Healthy Living

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

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.

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 Community Nutrition Network (CNN) site 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 11 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive (lower level)

Walk-In Flu & Pneumonia Clinic

On Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. flu and pneumonia immunizations will be available while supplies last. For fee information or questions, call the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118.

Babies, Teens and Adults Immunization Clinics

Babies, teens and adult immunization and flu and pneumonia clinics will be held on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details or to schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118. The Health Department is a low cost provider for children and adult immunizations.

Blood Pressure Screening

A free Blood Pressure Clinic is held at the Park Forest Health Department Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Walk in or call ahead at 708-748-1118.

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 to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

This & That

Park Forest Vehicle Stickers

Vehicle Sticker Sales Now in Progress – Stickers MUST Be Displayed Prior to May 1

The 2012-2013 Park Forest vehicle stickers go on sale beginning March 1. Vehicle stickers must be displayed, prior to May 1, on every vehicle that is registered with the State of Illinois with a Park Forest address; even if that vehicle is not located in Park Forest. Vehicles driven in Park Forest without a current vehicle sticker are subject to citations by law enforcement officers, until a sticker is purchased and displayed. The cost to purchase a vehicle sticker is $50 before May 1. Vehicle sticker purchases made on or after May 1 will be assessed a late charge of $25. An additional late fee will be assessed to vehicle sticker purchases made on or after August 1. Stickers can be purchased at Village Hall during the normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday – with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. To print an application, click here. For additional information, including more details on rate changes, click here.

Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock St., Park Forest

Northern Illinois University Steel Drum Band to Perform – Friday, April 20

The Northern Illinois University Steel Drum Band will return to perform a concert at Faith United Protestant Church on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. The 35 member band is directed by Associate Professor of Music Liam Teague and Clifford Alexis, composer, arranger, tuner, and builder. The band’s repertoire is vast: Bach, Beethoven, the Beatles, ragtime, etc. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door, or at the church, 10 Hemlock, Park Forest. For additional information, contact the church office at 708-747-1330.

Free Java Tuesdays

All are invited to Faith United Protestant Church for FREE Java Tuesdays. Visitors are asked to go to the Indianwood Boulevard side entrance between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. for free curbside service or to come and sit a bit. The event will continue each Tuesday as a form of outreach to the community throughout the summer and fall. For more information, call 708-747-1330.

Garden Club of Park Forest

“A Gardener’s Cookbook”

To celebrate their 55th anniversary, the Park Forest Garden Club offers this cookbook filled with memories, gardening tips, flowery sayings and of course recipes. Makes a great gift. All proceeds go to the club and are used toward community contributions. Cookbooks are $9 and are available at the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department, 350 Victory Drive. Call 708-748-2005 for additional information.

La Rabida Joli Burrell Children’s Advocacy Center, 200 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

5th Annual Champions4Children 5K Walk or Run – Registration in Progress

On April 28, 2012, the La Rabida Joli Burrell Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is participating in the 5th Annual Champions4Children 5K walk or run to raise money and awareness of children’s advocacy centers and child abuse prevention. More than 150 walkers and runners are expected to meet at 9 a.m. outside the Park Forest Aquatic Center, 30 N. Orchard, Park Forest, IL, for the event, which organizers hope will raise $50,000. Richard Calica, director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will serve as the Grand Marshal of the La Rabida walk in Park Forest, one of 18 taking place across the state this spring. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is the Grand Marshal for the statewide Champions4Children Walks. La Rabida Joli Burrell Children’s Advocacy Center has participated in the statewide effort since the first Champions4Children Walk in 2008.

The center is a safe, child-friendly environment for children who have experienced psychological trauma and for alleged victims of sexual abuse and other violent crimes. The CAC provides investigative, therapeutic and support services free of charge to children and their families throughout South Suburban Cook County. The La Rabida Joli Burrell Children’s Advocacy Center is part of the La Rabida Chicago Child Trauma Center which provides trauma-focused assessment and psychotherapy services to more than 400 children each year. To register for the event or to make a donation to the Center, visit For additional information about the event, call 708-481-9799 x 232 or e-mail [email protected].

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Good As New Thrift Store – Seeking Donations

The Sertoma Centre’s Good As New Thrift Store, 4331 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, is seeking donations of gently used furniture and other household items in good condition. Proceeds from the sale of items at the Thrift Store go directly to supporting the 14 programs offered by Sertoma Centre. The store also serves as a training program for consumers at Sertoma to allow them to gain experience and transition into permanent retail jobs. The Thrift Store will pick up furniture donations within the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago free of charge. To make an arrangement to make a tax deductible donation of furniture to Good As News, call 708-481-5627. For additional information, to schedule a tour, volunteer or to make a donation, please call Amy Chmura at 708-730-6206 or e-mail [email protected].

Rotary Club of Park Forest

The Rotary Club of Park Forest urges you to purchase a Golden Opportunities 2012 book to help support its youth activities. Books are only $25 and are now available for purchase at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Blvd.

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

“Operation Hero Miles” collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Greening of Park Forest

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Recycle Unused Wheelchairs

If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and would like to help a person with a disability, the Sertoma Centre will accept your donation. Contact Melanie Jones at 708-730-6206 for additional information.

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the “Recycling” icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Safe Disposal Program – Bio-waste

The Park Forest Health Department and Environment Commission have partnered to provide information on the proper disposal of bio-waste such as used syringes or lancets (medical sharps). Begin by purchasing a Sharps container to dispose of your medical sharps for $10 at the Park Forest Health Department. Return the filled container to the Park Forest Health Department and purchase a new container. Call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118 for more information.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Sources: Park Forest 2012 Winter/Spring Recreation Programs & More Brochure, 2011/2012 Park Forest Fall/Winter Calendar, Park Forest ‘Discover’ magazine, Rich Township Report, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Center for Performing Arts, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Monkey Mind Art Studio, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.