In and Around Park Forest Week of December 26, 2011

Sauk Lake on Christmas morning 2011
The sun’s rays pierce through trees along Sauk Lake Christmas morning. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—December 26, 2011. The Park Forest Recreation and Parks Winter/Spring 2012 brochure was mailed to all residents this week and offers several options to help your family become happy, healthy and fit in 2012. Keep in mind that many of the programs and activities fill fast, so register early to avoid being disappointed. If you did not receive your copy of the brochure, you can pick one up at Village Hall, call 708-748-2005 if you would like a brochure mailed to you or view it online at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com.

Wishing all our eNews readers a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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

Park Forest Village Hall Closures

Park Forest Village Hall will be closed on Monday, December 26 in observance of the Christmas Holiday. In addition, Village Hall will be closed on Friday, December 30 and Monday, January 2 in observance of the New Year’s Holiday.

Green Events

Village of Park Forest

Park Forest Environment Commission – 2012 Community Garden Project Update January 5

As part of its 2012 goals, the Park Forest Environment Commission is facilitating the development of additional community gardens in Park Forest. The harvest from these gardens will be distributed to those in need in the community and to the local food pantry. The number of gardens planted will depend on the number of volunteers willing to help plant and maintain the gardens through the growing season. If you are interested in volunteering or want to learn more about this project, please plan on attending the meeting of the Environment Commission that will be held on Thursday, January 5 at 7 p.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. For additional information or if you are interested in volunteering for this project and cannot attend the January meeting, please call Rosemary Piser at 708-747-1991.

Village of Park Forest Sustainability Plan

In April of this year, the Village of Park Forest was selected by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to participate in a local technical assistance program for the purpose of creating a Sustainability Plan. CMAP received a three-year $4.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement their adopted regional comprehensive plan, GO TO 2040. They are using this grant to fund around 60 local planning projects throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area that will be instrumental in the implementation of the GO TO 2040 Plan. CMAP staff assistance is being provided to prepare the Sustainability Plan at no cost to the Village. A Sustainability Assessment has been developed over the past several months.

The next step in developing the Sustainability Plan is to develop strategies to help implement the Vision and Goals contained in the Sustainability Assessment. The public’s input is needed to ensure that this step in the Plan reflects the community’s desires for a sustainable community. To that end, all residents and Park Forest business owners are invited to participate in a public assessment tool. This survey will take should take no more than 15 minutes to complete, unless you have a lot of input to share.

Please use the following link to access the assessment tool: http://parkforest.metroquest.com/

Share this information with your Park Forest friends and family. This assessment will be available through March 2012. If you have any questions about the Sustainability Plan process, please feel free to contact Hildy Kingma, AICP, Director of Economic Development and Planning. Hildy can be reached at [email protected] or 708-283-5622.
To learn more about the Sustainability Plan Project, visit: http://www.villageofparkforest.com.

Holiday Activities

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

‘Fun Raiser’ New Year’s Eve Party – Saturday, December 31

Come to UUCC’s ‘Fun Raiser’ New Year’s Eve Party on Saturday, December 31 beginning at 9 p.m. Music and games will be provided for $10. Bring a snack to share. Beer and wine will be available for a $1 donation. Live music will be provided by Steve Lydell. Everyone is invited. For additional information, call 708-481-6046.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artist Walk, Park Forest

Annual Holiday Sale – Through January 8

Tall Grass Arts Association’s Annual Holiday Sale will continue through January 8. Get creative for the holidays and consider giving the gift of art. At Tall Grass you will find jewelry, mirrors, casseroles, wooden bowls, prints, photographs, paintings and holiday decorations that are unique. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Holiday Show – Gallery Artists – Through January 7

The Holiday Show exhibit will feature the artwork of Tall Grass Gallery Artists and invited artists, many of whom have shown their work nationally or internationally. The exhibit will run through January 7. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Monkey Mind Art Studio & Gallery, 3 West Nebraska St., Frankfort

A Little Somethin’ Somethin’ – Through January 7

Monkey Mind Art Studio & Gallery present A Little Somethin’ Somethin’ Holiday Group Art exhibit through January 7. A reception will be held on January 7 from noon to 3 p.m. where you can meet the artists. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information and Gallery hours, call 815-464-8818 or visit: http://www.monkeymindartstudio.com/

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

Make a Difference This Holiday Season for a Person With Disabilities

Members of Sertoma Centre’s Special Olympics team participated in the 2011 State Bowling Tournament in early December. More than 290 athletes from around the state qualified to compete in the state championship held at Landmark Lanes in Peoria. Following the event, athletes who completed the bowling tournament ramp events from Sertoma Centre asked for help in fulfilling their Christmas wish. Sertoma doesn’t have ramps for the athletes to use and the bowling facilities do not provide them. Fortunately, another agency, SouthStar Services has been kind enough to let Sertoma Centre athletes use their ramps at the sectionals and state bowling competitions. However, the athletes would really like to have their own equipment to allow them to continue to participate fully in the bowling competitions rather than relying on another agency. The cost to purchase two bowling ramps for the athletes would be $150 each.

The new ramps could also be used by Sertoma’s Bridge program consumers when they go on bowling outings.

If you, your business or family would like to make this Christmas wish come true, please send your donation to the Advancement Department, Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip, IL 60803 and mark the donation for bowling ramps. If you have any questions, please contact Amy Chmura at 708-730-6206 or [email protected]. Making this donation is a great way to help people with disabilities achieve personal success and make a difference this holiday season.

Arts & Entertainment

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Library Closed –Through January 3

The Park Forest Library will be closed until Tuesday, January 3, 2012 in order to complete much needed repairs to the Library. Special holiday loan periods will be applied to all items checked out. Any items due during the closing period may be returned to the book drop located on the west side of the building. For additional information, call 708-748-3731.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Walkway, Park Forest

‘Broke-Ology’ by Nathan Louis Jackson –Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for Nathan Louis Jackson’s ‘Broke-Ology’ which will open on January 27 and run through February 12. This exciting new play is a stirring portrait of an African-American family. When a college student returns to his Kansas City home to help his brother care for their ill father, they find themselves strangely at odds. The New York Time described it as ‘A moving exploration of how time and circumstance – and the hard fact of poverty – can diminish hope, divide loving siblings, and ultimately extinguish life itself.” 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 www.ilthctr.org.

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

‘Orchestral Landscapes’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On January 14, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S Harlem Ave, Frankfort, David Danzmayr, Conductor and Marie Christine Klettner, Violin will perform Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, (Fingal’s Cave) Op. 26, Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, and Symphony No. 5 in D major/D minor (Reformation), Op. 107. After three seasons with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Austrian David Danzmayr, leads the IPO with violinist Marie Christine Klettner. Danzmayr offers authoritative interpretations of three works spanning Mendelssohn’s mature period. The Hebrides overture paints an orchestral landscape of the composer’s honeymoon visit to Scotland’s Fingal’s Cave. Miss Klettner, a winner of the Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists, is sure to dazzle in the Violin Concerto, one of classical music’s most perfect compositions. After intermission, the powerful Reformation Symphony evokes a flood of profound emotion culminating in a glorious “Amen.” Tickets are priced at $50, $40, and $30 and can be purchased at: https://secure.ticketsage.net.

For additional information, call 708-481-7774.

Park Forest Historical Society, 400 Forest Blvd., Park Forest

Seeking Nominations for Park Forest Hall of Fame – Nominations Due by December 30th

Nominations for the Park Forest Hall of Fame are now being accepted from the public through December 30, 2011 by the Park Forest Historical Society. Nominees are selected for consistent, beneficial service to the citizens of Park Forest over a long span of time. The official nomination form must be used and nominations must include the requested information to be accepted. Nomination forms are available at Park Forest Village Hall, the Park Forest Public Library, or the 1950s Park Forest House Museum. The Park Forest Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held at Freedom Hall on April 15, 2012.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artist Walk, Park Forest

Tall Grass Film Series Continues – January 8

The Tall Grass Film Series continues on Sunday, January 8 at 6:30 p.m. with the screening of the film ‘Beginners’ by writer/director Mike Mills. The film will be shown at the Marcus Theatre Chicago Heights, 1301 Hilltop Ave., Chicago Heights. A facilitated discussion will follow the film screening. ‘Beginners,’ a comedy-drama, is about how deeply funny and transformative life can be, even at its most serious moments. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased at the box office. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or e-mail [email protected].

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

‘Tad in 5th City’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Tad in 5th City’ which will be performing on Saturday, January 21 at 8 p.m. ‘Tad in 5th City’ tells the story about African-American life on Chicago’s West Side in 1978. It is an unflinching depiction of poverty paired with genuine warmth. Tickets are priced at $49, $39, $34, $30 and $28 for students. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Animals in Winter – Thursday, December 29 – Registration Required

On Thursday, December 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., those ages 8 and older can learn how animals spend their winter. They may not have a cozy house and can’t make hot chocolate, but they have several adaptations that allow them to survive even our harshest Midwest winters. Participants will have an opportunity to snowshoe on the trails to search for signs of animals preparing for winter. If there is no snow, no worries. We’ll still walk the trails to search for animal signs. This program will take place on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Registration is required. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320.

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

Alternative Teacher Certification Information Session – Wednesday, January 4

Learn how to earn elementary or middle school teacher certification and secure a teaching position through GSU’s Alternative Certification Program Information sessions that will be held on Wednesday, January 4 at 7 p.m. in GSU’s Hall of Honors. The program offers three ways to earn certification and embark on a new, rewarding career in education. The Teacher Quality Partnership (TWP) leads to a master’s degree in education and teacher certification. TQP provides an opportunity to co-teach for a year with a certified teacher, a $30,000 stipend, and a 25 percent reduction in tuition. The Alternative Certification Program also offers the opportunity for teachers to teach full-time as they earn a salary and their teacher certification. In addition, there are reduced paid resident opportunities, which also lead to teacher certification. The program is open to college graduates with five years work experience after receiving a bachelor’s degree. The application deadline for the Alternative Certification program, beginning March 2012 is January 10, 2012. For additional information, call 708-534-4399 or visit www.govst.edu/altcert.

Reading Tutoring Available at GSU

GSU’s Graduate Program in Reading is sponsoring The Literacy Zone, a reading tutorial program for students in grades six through high school, on Tuesdays from January 24 through April 17 from 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This 12-week, one-to-one program brings students experiencing reading problems together with teachers who have the skills to help them. Students meet on the GSU campus with certified, experienced teachers enrolled in the Master of Arts Reading Program at GSU. Enrollment is limited and based on the number of tutors. Students will be accepted in the order in which the completed application and registration fee are received. There is a $70 registration fee. Snacks are provided at each session. Transportation is not provided. For additional information or to register, call 708-534-4122 or e-mail [email protected].

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 Street, 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 2 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

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 programs available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit http://www.pparx.org/en/click_illinois to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

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.

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.

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.

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 2011 Autumn 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.