In and Around Park Forest Week of April 19, 2010

Baseball opening day parade

Park Forest Baseball held its opening day parade Saturday. Hundreds showed for the traditional trek from Downtown Park Forest to Central Park. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

Photo Gallery: Park Forest Baseball Opening Day 2010

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—April 19, 2010. April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. However, forty years after the first Earth Day, many believe that the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity for each of us to do our part to help improve our environment now and for future generations. Every small thing we do to help improve our environment will help achieve this goal. So as we celebrate this historic event, vow that this will be the year that you:

  • Use reusable bags when shopping;
  • Eliminate the use of plastic bottles by using re-usable, stainless steel bottles;
  • Reduce or eliminate the toxic pesticides used in your gardening;
  • Replace light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs; and
  • Get involved by participating in the Park Forest Environment Commission, Park Forest Garden Club, and/or other environmental organizations like the Thorn Creek Audubon Society or Sierra Club.

Each of us can, and should, do our part to help make our world a better place for all.

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.

Earth Day Events

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

Earth Day Celebration, Thursday, April 22

Earth Day will be celebrated at GSU on Thursday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with music, stories, informative exhibitions, and great food served on eco-friendly products. Live folk music will fill the air. The cafeteria will offer a special Earth Day menu served on compostable products. Exhibits include demonstrations of GSU’s wind turbine, composting, and alternate fuel vehicles including the hydrogen bus from Bloom Township High School. Also on display will be a children’s art exhibit, rain barrels and eco-friendly garden stakes. Information on the uses of manure and herb gardening will be available. There will be stations for recycling batteries and pharmaceuticals.

A tour of Natural History of GSU, which will take participants to the GSU biology field station, will begin at 11:30 a.m. A tour of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park begins at 1 p.m. Storytelling will be at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the GSU Sustainability Committee and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 708-534-4524.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

How Big is Your Footprint? – Sunday, April 25

On Sunday, April 25 from 12 noon to 3 p.m., those of all ages are invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Join staff and discover what kind of mark you leave on the Earth. Determine your carbon footprint and learn how even small changes make a difference. There will be plenty of children’s activities through the day. Celebrate Earth Day in a new way and discover how you can lessen the impact you leave on the Earth. Additional parking will be located across the street from the Nature Center in the old field. The event is free but donations will be accepted. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Village of Park Forest Meetings

Park Forest Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Village Commissions will meet this week:

  • Plan Commission – Tuesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. (Note: The Plan Commission holds a second meeting each month if needed. Please call Village Hall at 708-748-1112 to determine if this meeting will be held.)
  • Cable Communications Commission – Wednesday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m.

All meetings are held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Healthy Living

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

Senior Ladies’ Brunch with Women’s Health Screening

The Park Forest Health Department in collaboration with Rich Township is sponsoring a brunch and health screening event. This free event is open to Rich Township women age 65 and older and will be held on Thursday, May 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive (lower level). Health screening tests include:

  • PAP test
  • Lipid (Cholesterol) profile and glucose (fast 9 – 12 hours)
  • Urinalysis
  • Hemoglobin (anemia test)
  • Stool Occult Blood Screening with instruction kit
  • Breast exam
  • Height/Weight
  • Blood Pressure

Appointments are limited. To schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118.

H1N1 Vaccine Available at Park Forest Health Department

The Park Forest Health Department has a limited supply of H1N1 vaccines available. H1N1 vaccines will be given by appointment only on Mondays and Fridays while supplies last. The fee for the vaccine is $15 and must be paid in cash at the time the vaccine is given. Medicare primary is accepted and Medicaid accepted for those 6 months through 18 years of age. No Managed Care enrollees accepted.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 708-481-1118. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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.

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

Free Counseling Services Available

Today, individuals and families face economic and social pressures as well as communication difficulties that frequently disrupt family unity and the ability to cope. Counseling is one of the most important tools for understanding and coping. Free, individual, family and vocational counseling is available through GSU’s Division of Psychology and Counseling as part of its training program for advanced graduate counseling students. Faculty members, who are also licensed counselors, supervise the sessions. Counseling sessions are conducted on campus in total confidentiality. For more information, call 708-534-4545 or visit www.govst.edu/counselinglab.

Arts and Entertainment

Park Forest Recreation & Parks

Tommy Gun’s Garage Lunch & Theater – Registration Deadline Tuesday, April 20

The Park Forest Recreation & Parks Department is sponsoring a Senior trip at Tommy Gun’s Garage on Wednesday, May 5. Come spend the day with Vito, Gloves, da gangsters and da flappers at Tommy Gun’s Garage, Chicago’s longest running interactive speakeasy that involves the actors, the audience and you. After a scrumptious sit-down lunch, join the crew for non-stop comedy and dangerous fun! You have a lunch choice of lasagna with meat or marinara sauce, prime rib, or boneless chicken breast accompanied by soup or salad, vegetables, a potato and dessert. Tickets are $65 which includes round-trip, coach bus (leaving from Freedom Hall at 11:15 a.m. and returning about 4:15 p.m.), lunch, and theater admission. The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 20. You can register in person at the Recreation & Parks Department at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, or over the phone with a credit card at 708-748-2005.

Park Forest Community Relations

2nd Annual Mother & Daughter’s Brunch & Play – Tickets On Sale Now

On Saturday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring your mother, daughter or some girlfriends to the 2nd Annual Mother & Daughter’s Brunch and see the exhilarating, family-oriented stage play, “Dear Mama.” The event will be held at Rich East High School, 300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest. Tickets are $15 per person. Tickets can be purchased on-line or by phone (with a nominal service fee added) at www.myeasytix.com or call 877-840-0457. You can also purchase tickets in-person at the Village of Park Forest Community Relations Department, 350 Victory Drive, 2nd floor. For additional information on the event, call Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Way, Park Forest

“No Way to Treat a Lady” – Through May 2

This slightly twisted musical comedy is based on the best-selling novel (and hit film) about a publicity seeking actor-turned-serial killer who’s a master of disguises, and the hapless NYPD detective who hunts him down. It’s a devilish blend of humor, romance and murder.
Performances are Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. Tickets are priced at $21 on Fri. & Sat., $19 at all other times. There is a $1 discount for students and seniors (65+). The Illinois Theatre Center is located in Downtown Park Forest at 371 Artists Walk (off Indianwood Blvd., adjacent to Village Hall). For tickets, call 708-481-3510.

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway

Whose Live Anyway? – Tickets Now on Sale

On Friday, April 30 at 8 p.m., get ready for 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff B. Davis leave their audiences gasping with the very witty scenes they invent, right before your eyes. More fun that the hit TV Show, Whose Line is it Anyway? Tickets are $56, $49, and $45. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

Patchwork — The Little House Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder – Tickets Now on Sale

Born in 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled across America’s rolling plains in the back of a covered wagon. The Wilders created patchwork quilts that would later help inspire her time-honored books. Laura’s quilts still exist today, and their patterns recall her beloved family and their adventures as they crossed the wild and often perilous frontier. Join the Ingalls in this adventure (authorized by the Laura Ingalls Estate) on Saturday, May 1 at 11 a.m. as they face the hardships and triumphs of the wondrous new land, with sometimes only their faith and the love of family to sustain them. Tickets are $15.50 and $10.50. Birthday Party Packages are also available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

Jukebox Musical Theatre Summer Camp for Kids

The Center for Performing Arts at GSU welcomes Emerald City Theatre Chicago to present its annual summer musical theatre camp for kids in the Chicago Southland from June 21 to June 25. Jukebox Musical Theatre Summer Camp culminates with a special performance recital on Friday, June 25 at 7 p.m. at the Center.

Camp is six hours a day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The weeklong camp costs $230, which includes materials, a camp t-shirt, and four tickets to the final performance. The Center is currently accepting registration for children ages 8 to 15. To register a camper, or for more information, call Burt Dikelsky, The Center’s Executive Director at 708-235-2238.

Park Forest Historical Society

Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard (Corner of Forest & Fir)

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is decorated for a 1950s Easter through April. There is a set of hand-painted blown eggs brought back from World War II Japan. The Museum is open on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Group tours are by appointment. Call 708-748-3731.

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

Rising Stars Recital –Sunday, April 25

On Sunday, April 25 at 4 p.m., friends of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) Rising Stars Recital will take place at PSC’s BCEC Auditorium. For ticket information, call 708-481-7774.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights, IL

Rattle Making Workshop – Friday, April 23

On Friday, April 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., come make your own unique rattle. Presented by Patty McWiliams who will help you manifest the sounds of creativity within your soul. The fee of $35 includes all materials. Contact Patty to reserve a spot at: 815-378-9032 or e-mail at [email protected].

St. Joseph Church, 17951 Dixie Highway, Homewood, IL

A History of Church Hymns – Sunday April 25

On Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m., St. Joseph Church will present a History of Church Hymns. For more information, call 708-481-8654.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Rich East High School, 300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest

Community Classes – Saturday, April 24

As part of its receiving a $232,000 School Improvement Grant from the Illinois State Board of Education, Rich East High School is sponsoring a series of classes that will be open to all Park Forest residents, including Rich East students. The next series of classes will be held on Saturday, April 24 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Classes in the following areas will be available:

  • Computer Proficiency,
  • Careers that Work,
  • Yoga, Line Dancing Boot Camp,
  • Weight Training,
  • Culinary Arts/Soul Kitchen,
  • Chorus (Join the Rich East Community Choir), and
  • Reading.

Lunch will be served and daycare provided. For more information, call 708-679-6100 weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – April 21

On Wednesday, April 21 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., those ages 11 – adult can enjoy light exercise as you meander through Thorn Creek Woods. Experience the arrival of spring first-hand as you walk the 1.5 mile loop with a naturalist. Trails can be wet or muddy so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderate. The Walkers will meet each Wednesday through June 16 and there is a fee of $2 per week. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Woodcock Watch – Friday, April 23

On Friday, April 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., those of all ages can discover the fantastic aerial courtship displays of the Woodcock in this popular evening program. The arrival of the Woodcock is one of the spring’s most sought after sights. Join a naturalist for this evening program and watch in amazement as the male Woodcock seeks his mate. There is a fee of $5 per person, family rates apply. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

Lee Woodruff Speaks at GSU Wednesday, April 21

GSU will welcome Lee Woodruff on Wednesday, April 21. Woodruff will discuss her intriguing life as an author, PR executive, Good Morning America Contributor, wife of ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff, and founder of Remind.org. The free discussion is open to the public and will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., in Engbretson Hall on GSU’s main campus.

Woodward will sign copies of her newest book, “Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress” before and after the discussion. Copies of the book are available for purchase at the GSU bookstore. For additional information, call Robbie O’Shea at 708-235-3994 or e-mail at [email protected].

Transformations Lecture Series, Wednesday, April 21

The Transformations Lecture Series concludes with “The Transformation of Health Care for Underserved Populations” presented by Dr. Aida Giachello, Professor of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago, on Wednesday, April 21 at 5 p.m. in the Hall of Honors. Dr. Giachello is considered an expert on Hispanic/Latino health issues and is founder and director of the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call 708-534-4578.

Free Computer Workshops

GSU’s Library is offering free computer workshops to members of the community, students, staff, and faculty. Workshop topics include blogging, PowerPoint Basic, APA style formatting, plagiarism detection, and several workshops on genealogy. The workshops will take place through April and are open to the public. Advance registration is recommended but not required. For more information and a complete schedule of workshops, visit www.govst.edu/library or call 708-235-7514.

Vacation Education at GSU

Vacation Education at GSU provides a unique opportunity for current GSU students, college students home for the summer, and those wishing to learn more and add to their qualifications. The courses offered during this special summer program vary in subject and content from trauma and addictions to the Illinois Writing Project and from history of rock and roll to healthcare and politics. Vacation Education courses run from June 1 through July 15. All four colleges of GUS – Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Services, Business and Public Administration, and Education – have scheduled courses during Vacation Education. Between one and three credit hours are offered per course. Students do not need to be previously enrolled in GSU. These courses can be taken on a non-degree seeking basis. Prerequisites are dependent on the courses. For more information, call 708-534-4567 or visit www.govst.edu/vacationeducation.

Holiday Star Theater Scholarship Program for Arts and Media Majors

The Holiday Star Theater, 340 Main St., Park Forest, is offering $12,500 in scholarships for the Fall 2010 semester to local high school and college students who plan to or are currently majoring in film production, theater management, performing arts or related fields at a local Chicago-area college or university. Applicants will be evaluated based on a variety of factors including GPA, level of community involvement and other outstanding factors with preference given to residents of Park Forest and its surrounding communities. Additional information and the application form can be downloaded at www.theholidaystartheater.net. Applications must be submitted no later than May 17, 2010.

Shop Locally

Park Forest Spring Savings Coupons

Spring savings coupons were recently mailed to all Park Forest residents. Participating merchants include: Lifetime Automotive Repair, Quality Classic Health & Fitness Center, The Image of Inc. Barber Shop, Superior Cabinet & Window, Shrimp Max, Freedom Hall, and Last Minute Printing & Copy Center. Remember to support our local Park Forest merchants. If you did not receive coupons in the mail, pick some up at Village Hall.

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.

Greening of Park Forest

B3 Bottles, Park Forest

The United Sates leads in consuming bottled water, drinking 26 billion liters a year (that’s only one, 8 ounce glass per day). It is estimated that Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour with 86% of the plastic bottles used never getting recycled. B3 Bottles, a local Park Forest business, has a solution to this problem. B3’s stainless steel bottles can be filled with Park Forest’s award winning water or other hot/cold beverages of your choice, and then cleaned and re-used for a lifetime. To learn more about B3 Bottles and pricing information, call Laura Fitzgerald at 708-748-0934.

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.

Go Green with a Free Tote Bag

The Village of Park Forest encourages residents to visit Village Hall to pick up an environmentally friendly canvas bag that can be used for your day-to-day shopping needs. These bags are free while supplies last with only two expectations: 1) that residents have a valid email address so that future environmentally conscious concepts can be shared by the Village’s Environment Commission; and 2) that bags are limited to one per household. For more information on this program, visit the Village Manager’s Office on the second floor of Village Hall of call 708-748-1129.

This & That

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

Spring Job Fair – Tuesday, April 20

Recent graduates seeking their first position or experienced professionals searching for a new opportunity can network and explore job opportunities at PSC’s Spring Job Fair on Tuesday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Business and Education Center of the college. The job fair is free and open to the public. Company representatives will recruit for both full and part-time positions. For a complete listing of companies and the positions they are hiring for, visit www.prairiestate.edu and click on “Spring Job Fair: April 20.” Attendees are required to dress in professional business attire and bring plenty of resumes to share with companies. For more information on the job fair, contact Norfleet at 708-709-3755.

2010 Diversity Dinners – Thursday, April 22

The 2010 Diversity Dinners will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, 2010. The event, held at multiple homes, schools and other locations in Chicago’s south suburbs, brings people of different races, ethnicities, religions, lifestyles and ages together to share a meal, and have a conversation about various issues. These exchanges have led to a better understanding of our similarities and differences in our diverse society. Those wishing to participate by either hosting or attending a dinner should call Nancy Kolanowski at 708-283-4777 (e-mail [email protected]) or Barbara Moore at 708-747-6455 (e-mail [email protected]).

Church of the Holy Family and St. Margaret’s Guild, Sauk Trail & Orchard, Park Forest

Yard and Bake Sale, Saturday, April 24

On Saturday, April 24 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Holy Family Church and St. Margaret’s Guild will hold an indoor yard sale with a vast array of new and gently used clothing, household items, and books. The Bake Sale will include homemade treats and a shopper’s lunch served downstairs for a minimal charge. Come and shop, eat and shop some more. For additional information, call 708-481-1100.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp – Pre-Registration Required

CenterPoint at GSU is hosting its semiannual, award winning Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration beginning at 7:45 a.m. Seating is limited to 100 participants and pre-registration is required.

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 $25. The event is co-sponsored by Phoenix Business Solutions, Accion Chicago, GSU, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The day features presentations and seminars from industry professionals, opportunities for free one-on-one counseling, lunch with a panel of ex-military business owners who share their entrepreneurial journey, and access to CenterPoint’s numerous entrepreneurial services and resources.

For additional information or to register, call 708-534-4929 or visit www.centerpointgsu.com.

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 www.FisherHouse.org.

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.

Sources: 2010 Winter/Spring Recreation Programs, Park Forest Fall/Winter 2009 Calendar of Events, Park Forest Nurses Club, Park Forest Library, Village of Park Forest, Center for Performing Arts, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Freedom Hall, Tall Grass Arts Association, Union Street Gallery, Park Forest Rotary Club, South Suburban Family Shelter, and Park Forest Historical Society websites.