In and Around Park Forest Week of August 23, 2010

Wine and Chocolate tasting Illinois Theater Center

Brian Machay serves chocolate-covered treats at last week’s wine and chocolate tasting at the Illinois Theater Center and Tall Grass Arts Association. The event was truly a Sterling Celebration – brought to you by Evelyn Sterling of the Village of Park Forest. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—August 23, 2010. On Monday, September 6 beginning at 8 a.m., the Village of Park Forest will host the second annual running of the Park Forest Scenic 5 Mile and more. The annual race has been reconstituted onto a 5 mile course and augmented with a 5 mile family bike ride on the same course, a 5K nature walk around the Central Park Wetlands and include a variety of other activities at the Park Forest Aqua Center. Check out the course and invite your friends to come out and cheer on the runners and bikers or better yet join in the fun and fitness of the event. Detailed information about the event activities can be found on the Village’s web site at:

In addition, the Village is still in need of volunteers to assist during the day. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the Village at (708)748-2005 or email [email protected].

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.

Park Forest Youth Commission

11th Annual Youth Day Celebration – Saturday,  Aug. 28th

The Park Forest Youth Commission will be holding their 11th annual Youth Day Celebration on Saturday, August 28 on the Village Green, located at the corner of Main Street and Cunningham Drive, in DownTown Park Forest. The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to the public.

This year’s theme is “Back to School” and will feature great giveaways, food and outstanding entertainment. Be sure to come out and celebrate our Youth!

Those interested in participating as a vendor or entertainer, please contact Kevin Adams at 708-748-2005.

‘Green’ Events

‘A Chemical Reaction’ Film Screening – Save the Date

On Saturday, October 2 beginning at 1 p.m., the Park Forest Environment Commission, Thorn Creek Audubon Society and Governors State University (GSU) will host a screening of the documentary movie, ‘A Chemical Reaction’ in GSU’s Sherman Hall, 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL. ‘A Chemical Reaction’ explores how the elimination of lawn pesticides transformed one community in Canada, and how their actions impacted the chemical lawn care industry in North America. Following the screening, there will be a discussion by industry experts about activity occurring in the State of Illinois to reduce the amount of chemical pesticides being used by local governments and communities. Look for additional information in eNews Park Forest about this event shortly.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society

Annual Birdseed Sale – Orders Accepted Until October 1

Thorn Creek Audubon Society’s annual birdseed sale is now underway. Orders will be accepted until October 1. Pickup date is Saturday, October 23 at the Park Forest Aqua Center, 30 N. Orchard Dr., Park Forest. Prices are especially good this year. Seed will include black oil sunflower seed, safflower seed, nyjer (thistle) seed and a variety of seed blends. Also for sale are pine bluebird boxes and suet cakes. To obtain an order form, call Al Thomas at 708-957-9847 or visit: Sale proceeds help fund conservation and environmental education for children and adults.

Park Forest Environment Commission

Rain Barrel Sale – Saturday, September 4

On Saturday, September 4, the Park Forest Environment will hold its monthly rain barrel sale at the Farmers Market. Rain barrels are priced at $55 (55 gallon barrel) and $45 (30 gallon barrel). Rain barrel accessories such as bases, diverter attachments and netting will also be available for sale. Saturday’s sale is limited to the colors on-hand. If you wish to order a specific color, please stop by the Recreation & Parks Department at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive to order the color of your choice and they will be available for pick-up on September 4. Tumbling composters will also be available for sale for $110.

Arts & Entertainment

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

“Icons” – Opens Saturday, August 28

“Icons” opens at Salon Artists Gallery on Saturday, August 28 and runs through October. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Saturdays, and 12 Noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays. For more information, call Pat Moore or Bev Szaton at 708-833-5108.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 267 Artists Walk, Park Forest

“Fabulously Focused” Exhibit Now Open

“Fabulously Focused,” an exhibit of current works of Tall Grass Gallery Artists is currently open. Eleven new artists have successfully completed the jurying process and were invited to participate in the exhibit. “Whirling Ocean Life,” an abstract watercolor by Charlotte Sasser will be raffled off during the run of the exhibit. The event if free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit

Park Forest Historical Society

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

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is in an original rental townhome, built in 1947-1949 by American Community Builders. The museum provides a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane for anyone who lived in the 1950s or 1960s, or for those interested in that period. Visitors are encouraged to open drawers, cupboard and closets to discover period treasures inside. Contents of the house, furnished as though a young veteran and his family of small children occupy it, include dolls, toys, dollhouses, books, dishes, serving pieces, furniture and clothing from the period. When is the last time you said, "Hello," to Howdy Doody?

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.

Center For Performing Arts at GSU, 1 University Parkway

All Star Night of Blues – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m., Electro Glide Records presents an All-Star Blues Jam that you won’t want to miss. Hosted by Electro Glide Records guitar sensation, Jimmy Warren, with his "rockin style" of blues, the evening includes performances by:

  • Lonnie Brooks, a blues legend recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame who is known for his "Louisiana Swamp Style";
  • Larry McCray, "The Delta Hurricane," known for his electrifying guitar solos and powerful vocals; and
  • Chris Beard, a bluesman that is known both for his "down-and-dirty" traditional blues and his showmanship.

Before the Jimmy Warren Band and the all-star cast takes the stage, The Catch Blues Band and Big Dog Mercer will warm up the crowd with a few songs to pave the way for an unbelievable evening of blues at its best.
Tickets prices are $20, $25, and $30. To purchase tickets, visit:

Tickets Now on Sale for 2010-2011 Season

The Center for Performing Arts is now selling series tickets for the 2010-2011 Season. Artists range from musical performers, ballet, plays, cabaret acts and events especially for children. Special offers are provided for those purchasing 3, 4, or 5 shows in the series including 15% off regular ticket prices, priority seating, ticket exchange privileges and dining discounts. Treat yourself to this amazing 16th Season at the Center and give back to your community at the same time. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call the Center box office at 708-235-2222 or visit

Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at GSU

Neil Goodman Sculptures On Display Through October

Five dramatic sculptures by Chicago artist Neil Goodman are currently on display at GSU’s Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Goodman’s sculptures have been commissioned and collected by museums, corporations, convention centers, parks, synagogues, universities and private residences. For more information about Neil Goodman in the Park call 708-534-4486 or visit [email protected].

CAUTION – Featuring Songs of the Grateful Dead

Harte’s Saloon – Thursday, August 26

CAUTION will be playing every Thursday night at Harte’s Saloon, 9858 S. Artesian. If you are a fan of the Grateful Dead, Phish and great musical jams, check out this band. For more information, call Harte’s Saloon at 708-424-2618.

“Chicago Heights” Makes Chicago Debut – Saturday, August 28 & Wednesday, September 1

“Chicago Heights,” a film made by students and faculty in the Master of Fine Arts program at Governors State University (GSU) will make its Chicago debut at the 2010 Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago. Screenings of the film will take place on Saturday, August 28 and Wednesday, September 1 at 8:15 p.m. “Chicago Heights” is an award-winning, short, experimental, black and white feature film made with a $1,000 budget for food, equipment on loan from GSU and during the free time of the all volunteer cast and crew.

Director Daniel Nearing, associate professor at GSU, and actor Andre Truss, will be present for audience discussion after the screening on Saturday night. Producer-cinematographer Sanghoon Lee, assistant professor at GSU, will participate in the audience discussion on Wednesday. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students and are available through Ticketmaster. For additional information about the film visit

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

The Artists’ Marks – Opens Friday, August 27

The Artists’ Marks is a survey of the drawings, paintings and prints of Richard Benoit, Akiko Matsuoka-Thorson, and Gary Thomas, three artists who are often identified by their own personal technical processes of transforming a blank work surface into a meaningful image. The Artists’ Marks gives viewers an opportunity to gain insight into the unique mark-making processes of these three artists. The exhibit will run through September 24. A reception for the Artists’ Marks will be held on Friday, September 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. when the artists will be present to discuss their work and their processes. For additional information and gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit:

“Objects of Affection” – Opens Friday, August 27

Objects of Affection,” a juried exhibition dedicated to the study, portrayal, and artistic interpretation of arranged objects opens on Friday, August 27 and will run through September 24. The opening reception will be held on Friday, September 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For additional information and gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit:

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

High School Seniors Offered Free Course – Register Through August 23

PSC is offering high school seniors, the class of 2011, the opportunity to take one course with no charge for tuition. To be eligible, students must live within the PSC district, have a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, and obtain permission from their high school. Students who take advantage of the free course during the fall before their senior year, and earn a B or better, are eligible for a second tuition-free course in the spring. For more information about the free course, please contact Beth Wyack at 708-709-7776. Registration for fall courses is currently underway and continues until August 23.

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

Nature Camp for Seniors – Registration Required

On Thursday, August 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., those 50 years of age and up can discover the secrets of the woods as you explore Thorn Creek Woods from top to bottom in a new way. This program will take you outside for a portion of the day. There is a fee of $5 per person and registration is required. For more information or to register, call 708-747-6320.

Free Basic Computer Classes for Rich Township Residents

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skills classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, resume building skills, and more. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

Shop Locally

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.

Park Forest Farmers Market

The Park Forest’s Farmers Market will be held each Saturday through October from 7 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. Fresh garden plants and produce, bakery goods, gourmet cheeses, herbs and eggs will be available for sale. Local businesses will also be on hand with a variety of artwork, garden ornaments, candles and more. Meet your friends at the Farmers Market for breakfast or lunch and shop locally.

During the Farmers Market, local civic groups can give demonstrations, hold fundraisers or other events at no charge but must register in advance. For more information, call 708-748-1118 or visit

Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL

Farm Fresh Market –Thursday, August 26

Fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables are coming to GSU at its first-ever outdoor farmers market on Thursday, August 26 at the south end of Parking Lot D. Hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine. The Farmers Market will be held on Thursdays through September.

Healthy Living

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

Free Vision Screening – Thursday, August 26

Free vision screening will be held on Thursday, August 26 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest. The screenings will be administered by the Illinois Society for Prevention of Blindness, Chicago Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired, and the Vision Mission Group. This screening is offered free of charge. No appointment is necessary. For more information, pleas call 708-748-1118.

Back to School Physicals

Low cost school physicals and immunizations are available at the Park Forest Health Department. For more information, please call 708-748-1118 or visit

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

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 programs 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Folks on Spokes

Learn How to Fix Your Bike’s Flat Tire – Thursday, August 26

Ever wonder how to fix a flat tire on your bike? Bring your bike and join Folks on Spokes on Thursday, August 26 at 7 p.m. to learn how. This free event will be held at Flossmoor Village Hall, 2800 Flossmoor Rd. For additional information, contact Al Sturges at: [email protected].

Celebration Ministries, 424 Indianwood, Park Forest

Connect Café – Thursday, August 26

On Thursday, August 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the Connect Café is a place for the community to hang out, have a cup of coffee, latte, or hot chocolate, listen to music, talk, play a game of chess, or just relax. Kid friendly, also for Mom’s and Dad’s. This event will be held every Thursday. For more information, call 708-748-1995 or visit

Illinois Department on Aging Senior Hall of Fame – Nominations Due Monday, August 23

The Illinois Department on Aging now has applications available to nominate candidates for this year’s Senior Hall of Fame Awards. The annual award honors the contributions of older persons in the state. The award, established in 1994 by the Illinois General Assembly, recognizes adults 65 or older who excel in the categories of Community Service, Education, Performance and/or Graphic Arts, and Labor Force. Eligibility is based on the nominee’s past and present accomplishments in the category of choice. Candidates must be current Illinois residents or a former citizen, who has lived in the state most of his/her life. Nominations are also accepted for posthumous awards. Nomination forms are available by calling the Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966 or at Nomination forms will be accepted through August 23 with the awards program set for October.

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.

Sources:  Park Forest 2010 Summer Recreation Programs & More; Park Forest Winter/Spring 2010 Recreation Programs & More, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Union Street Gallery, Park Forest Rotary Club, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, Illinois Theatre Center, CAUTION, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Tall Grass Arts Association, Folks on Spokes, Thorn Creek Audubon Society websites.