In and Around Park Forest Week of December 9, 2013

Valeria Bona, Denies Marshall, Brenna Fuller of the Dollar General Store
The Dollar General Store held its grande opening Saturday. Meet Valerie Bona (Park Forest), Store Manager Denise Marshall (Richton Park), and Brenna Fuller (Blue Island). (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—December 9, 2013. The League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area will host an educational meeting about proposed changes to the Illinois income tax on Wednesday, December 11 at the Park Forest Library. The program will be about the campaign to change to the Illinois income tax from a flat rate tax to a graduated rate income tax. If adopted by the General Assembly, this referendum would ask Illinois voters if they want to amend the 1970 Illinois Constitution, which currently states that the personal income tax must be non-graduated (flat). Additional information about this important meeting can be found in the ‘Educational Lectures & Opportunities’ section.

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 hold meet on Monday, December 9 at 7 .m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend. 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 Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions and Advisory Boards are scheduled to meet the week of December 9:

  • Tuesday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Rights
  • Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group

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

Holiday Shopping & Events

Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock Street, Park Forest

Christmas Choir Concert – Sunday, December 15

On Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m. the voices of Faith Choir will present a formal Christmas concert as well as the bell choir. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call Brenda Kinder at 708-747-1330, extension 16 or visit

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘TIS THE SEASON! Starring Mac Frampton – Tuesday, December 10

On Tuesday, December 10 at 11 a.m., Freedom Hall’s Senior Theatre will present ‘TIS the Season! starring Mac Frampton. A heartwarming homage to everybody’s favorite Holiday music, sprinkled with great music for all seasons. Mac Frampton’s played the huge arenas and the concert halls, soloed with the great orchestras, released scores of recordings. Now, in the fullness of artistic maturity, after nearly four thousand performances worldwide, Mac Frampton returns to his roots, back to the basics: a concert grand piano, the passion to perform, and an expectant audience. Mac Frampton and his music – an unbeatable combination! Join us as Mac plays the standards and Holiday Classics for this special show! Tickets are $13 and can be purchased at the box office, over the phone at 708-747-0580, or on-line, at

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Step Back Into a 1950s Christmas at the Park Forest House Museum – Through January 2

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, will be decorated in vintage Christmas decorations including Christmas Gurley candles. We put up our rotating Black Forest green tree, pre-decorated with glass ball ornaments, Christmas decorations are in every room. Visit for a nostalgic look at Christmas-past. Christmas decorations will be on display at the Museum through January 2. For additional information and Museum hours, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website,, or call Jane Nicoll, 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Holiday Movie & Treats – Saturday, December 14

The Park Forest Public Library will show the 1947 Christmas film ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ on Saturday, December 14 at 1 p.m. After the movie, hot chocolate and homemade cookies will be served. The film is free of charge and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-748-3731 or visit

Pecans & Calendars Are Back!

The Park Forest Public Library’s annual holiday sale of pecans and calendars is now taking place. If you have never tasted these pecans, you’re in for a real treat. Available this year are:

  • Fresh Mammoth Pecan Halves $11.00 per 1 pound package
  • Candy Pecans $10.00 per package:
    Milk Chocolate covered pecans
    Dark Chocolate covered pecans
    Pecan Clusters
    Cinnamon Glazed Pecans
    Glazed Pecans
  • Book Lovers’ Calendar $ 6.00 each
  • Pecans and Calendar $16.00

Supplies are limited so be sure to stop by the Library and pick some up. Make great holiday gifts.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main St., Park Forest

22nd Annual Holiday Art Sale – Through December 21

Salon Artists Gallery will hold its 22ns Annual Holiday Art through December 21. Items for sale include original one-of-a-kind gifts of art and other unique items at affordable prices done by local artists. You will receive 10% off any item over $20. For additional information or gallery hours, please call 708-833-5108 or 708-748-3946.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Annual Holiday Show – Through January 12

Have you ever wished you could give someone a gift, such as a piece of jewelry of clothing that would be totally unique – instead of something mass produced and sold in a department store? Have you event wished you could hang something handcrafted on your tree or hung something artistic on your wall that is one-of-a-kind? Have you ever wished to send holiday cards that one of your friends will ever receive from anyone else? Then come to Tall Grass Arts Association Gallery for your holiday shopping. The Annual Holiday Show will run through January 12, 2014. On that day, the entire gallery will have been turned into a gift shop filled with original art, specially priced for gift giving. The gallery is open 11 a.m. through 4 p.m., Tuesday, through Saturday. The Holiday Show features artworks by a large number of Tall Grass artists. The artworks include paintings, prints, photographs and pastels. There are three-dimensional works including wooden bowls, ceramics and glass. A large selection of necklaces, earring and pins are available. They range from jewelry made from blown glass to semi-precious stones. This show includes hand-painted porcelain ornaments and dishes, hand-made holiday cars and hand-knit scarves, socks and hats. There is also a selection of items handcrafted in Kenya. For additional information, visit or call 708-748-3377.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Annual Holiday Food Drive for Rich Township Food Pantry – Through Saturday, December 14

Thorn Creek Nature Center and its Junior Ecologists Club is hosting its annual holiday food drive for the Rich Township Food Pantry. Donation items can be dropped off at the Nature Center during open hours, Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Acceptable items are: non-perishable food item (including boxed, canned and dry foods) especially cereals and peanut butter; personal care items for men and women, especially toothpaste, deodorants and razors; ziplock quart and gallon size bags; baby formula; and disposable diapers (adult and infant). Items will be accepted through Saturday, December 14.

‘Woodland Carols’ — Saturday, December 14

‘Woodland Carols’ will be held on Saturday, December 14 from noon to 2 p.m. at Thorn Creek Nature Center and marks the end of the food drive. Savor homemade soups while listening to a variety of holiday and seasonal music and carols sung by popular area performers. Cost for the program is $10 per person, or one bag of groceries per person. Please call 708-747-6420 or email [email protected] to register for ‘Woodland Carols’ or for additional information on the food drive. Help a local family enjoy the December holidays by making a food donation today.

Union Street Gallery, 527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Twelfth Month’ Annual Exhibit & Boutique – Through December 21

‘Twelfth Month’ is a charming and eclectic exhibit featuring over 50 talented local and regional artists exhibiting a wide variety of art and craft including paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, sculptures, glass art, and found object art. An array of smaller works of art will be for sale in the boutique areas of this exhibit including hand-made cards, small prints, jewelry, pottery, artist made accessories, blown glass, ornaments and more! The exhibit runs through December 21. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Visitors will enjoy coffee, cider, and sweet treats while they shop and mingle with exhibiting artists, friends, and members of the Union Street Community. Gallery hours are Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m.; Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-754-2601.

Food Drive for Respond Now – Through Saturday, December 21

USG is collecting for Respond Now this Holiday Season.  Donations needed include: canned food, nonperishable food items, deodorant, and gently used coats. Please donate and help the gallery give back to our community which so desperately needs it. Donated goods can be placed under the small Christmas tree on the first floor of the gallery now through December 21st. Respond Now is an emergency help agency, serving the southern suburbs of Chicago for over 40 years aiding people in need with food, clothing, toiletries, and so much more. Respond Now provides these services to over 2,700 persons each month and provides families with children with food and presents, including toys for over 1,000 children. For additional information about Respond Now, visit:

Arts & Entertainment

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

The Freddy Cole Quartet – Friday, December 13

On Friday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m., the Freddy Cole Quartet will take the stage at Freedom Hall. Featuring Freddie Cole – Piano, Elias Bailey- Bass, Curtis Boyd- Drums, Randy Napoleon- Guitar. Recognized as one of the great practitioners of American Song, Freddy Cole is widely regarded as one of the most influential singers in jazz music. Growing up in a musical household, Freddy remembers, “music was all around me." Visitors of the Chicago home of his youth included greats such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Lionel Hampton. Freddy Cole doesn’t apologize for sounding like his brother, Nat "King" Cole.There are certain unmistakable similarities. He plays piano, sings, and performs live with guitar and upright bass- just like Nat. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, and perhaps even jazzier. His vocals—suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate—are among the most respected in jazz. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased at the box office, over the phone at 708-747-0580, or on-line, at

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Way, Park Forest

‘The Magical Music of Disney’ at the Rialto Square Theatre – Friday, December 20

On Friday, December 20 at 8 p.m., the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra will perform ‘The Magical Music of Disney’ at the Rialto Square Theatre, 15 E. Van Buren St., Joliet. Music from early classics to recent releases will take you on a musical journey to far off places where the stories, tales, and myths of many cultures have originated. Be amazed and entertained as animated images are synchronized with music to transport you to your favorite Disney moments! Disney movies featured in this program include: Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Rescuers Down Under, Aladdin, Mulan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King, and more! Tickets are priced at $59, $40, $30 and $20. To purchase tickets, call the Rialto Square box office at 815-726-6600 or visit

Park Forest Recreation & Parks

‘Hello Dolly!’ at the Rialto Theater & Dinner at The Department – Registration Deadline Friday, December 20

On Thursday, January 23 we’ll be heading Joliet’s beautiful Rialto Theater to see ‘Hello Dolly!’ Prior to the show, we’ll enjoy a delectable buffet dinner of pot roast, chicken, and various sides at The Department in Joliet. Winner of ten Tony Awards including Best Musical, ‘Hello, Dolly!’ is one of the most enduring Broadway classics. Emmy-award winning Sally Struthers (All In the Family, Gilmore Girls) stars as the strong willed matchmaker Dolly, as she travels to Yonkers, NY to find a match for the ornery “well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. Featuring an irresistible story and an unforgettable score including the title song, “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” “It Only Takes A Moment,” and the show stopping “Before the Parade Passes By,” Hello, Dolly! has been charming audiences around the world for nearly 50 years. The bus will leave at 4 p.m. from Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive and return at approximately 11 p.m. The fee for this trip is $95 per person and includes round-trip transportation, buffet dinner and ticket to the Theater. Registration deadine is Friday, December 20. Register in person at the Recreation and Parks Department at Village Hall or over the phone with a credit card by calling 708-748-2005. Mention code 348770-1 when you register.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

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

  • Monday, December 9 at 2:30 p.m. – Basic Email Class — Learn to the basics of using Gmail Email. If you do not have a Gmail account, please sign up before the class. Registration required.
  • Monday, December 9 at 3:30 p.m. – Podcast Mondays — During this program, I’ll teach the teens how to create their own radio show that we’ll turn into podcasting. In the program the teens will learn how to write a script, set up interviews, create a jingle and will be allowed to play music under my direction.
  • Monday, December 9 at 4 p.m. – Ductigami — Learn to use duct tape to make crafts.
  • Tuesday, December 11 at 10:30 a.m. – Movement & Me — Come in and enjoy time with your preschooler during this class combining movement with adventure and stories. Exercise is a key to living a healthy lifestyle. In this class parents and caregivers are able to move with their children while having a great time.
  • Tuesday, December 10 at 3:30 a.m. – Teen Coffee House — This is a time for teens to share poetry, paint, draw, create art on computers or phones and play video games. This is a laid back space to sip coffee and tea while creating and sharing with other teens.
  • Tuesday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your pajamas & come join us for stories, crafts & games.
  • Tuesday, December 10 at 7:15 p.m. – Microsoft Word Class — An introduction to using the word processing program Microsoft Word. Registration required.
  • Wednesday, December 11 at 10:30 a.m. – Masters of Art — Children will have the opportunity to listen to a story and complete an art project related to the story.
  • Wednesday, December 11 at 3:30 p.m. – Wacky Wednesdays — Why are Wednesday’s wacky?? Well thanks to Dr. Seuss we know many things can be Wacky and they can be even more so in the library. Rotating programs will ensure that Hump Day is never a bore. There will be virtual talent shows, Weird Science, Project Runway, Top Chef and more.
  • Wednesday, December 11 at 4 p.m. – Basic Email Practice — The first five people to come may attend. There is no registration for the practice sessions.
  • Wednesday, December 11 at 4 p.m. — La Ciudad de los Ninos — New for bilingual/ELL families! Registration required.
  • Thursday, December 12 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Tech — Learn how to build websites, iOS apps, Androids apps and more. Gain the knowledge you need to start your own business or apply for jobs in the Tech field.
  • Thursday, December 12 at 5 p.m. – Let’s Go Lego — Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display in kids’ zone.
  • Friday, December 13 at 11 a.m. – Discover! — Join this weekly science program for home schooled kids! Registration required.
  • Friday, December 13 at 3 p.m. – Freaky Friday! — Join for an assortment of after-school activities!
  • Saturday, December 7 at 11 a.m. – Microsoft Publisher Practice — The first five people to come may attend. There is no registration for the practice sessions.

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

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, December 12

The potpourri of lectures continues on Thursday, December 12 at 10:30 a.m. with "Seasonal and Folk Music" with The South Suburban Dulcimer and Folk Music Society.  The event will be held in the Library’s Ringering Room.

Health Care Counseling – Saturday, December 14

Confused by Health Care? We’ve got you covered. Stop in on Saturday, December 14 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to speak with one of Aunt Martha’s certified In-Person Counselors. First come, first serve.

The Healers Trilogy Contest

Enter for a chance to win $2,500 for you and $2,500 for your library! To enter:
1. Complete the entry form here.
2. Read Donna Labermeier’s book, "The Healers" – it’s free for contestants. Sign up at the Info Zone desk to get your copy.
3. Create a billboard, video, speech, essay, poem, song or commercial based on the book (More details here)
4. Submit your work through social media.
5. Keep your fingers crossed while the judges decide!
6. Winners will be announced in March 2014

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

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

The Drama Group, 330 W. 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

‘Making God Laugh’ – Through December 15

Tickets are now on sale for the Drama Group’s presentation of the heartwarming family comedy ‘Making God Laugh,’ written by noted Chicago actor and playwright Sean Grennan. Performances will be held at the Drama Group Studio Theatre: December 12th, 13th & 14th at 7:30 p.m., and the 15th at 2 p.m. ‘Making God Laugh’ is a family comedy that takes place in four scenes, each ten years apart, set at various holidays. Starting in 1980, the newly "launched" kids – a priest, an aspiring actress, and a former star football player – all return home, where we learn of their plans and dreams as they embark on their adult lives. The "empty nest" parents contend with their own changes too, as old family rituals and dubious recipes are trotted out and ancient tensions flare up. Over the course of thirty years’ worth of celebrations – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Easter – we see how, despite what we may have in mind, we often arrive at unexpected destinations. Tickets are $19 for adults and $18.00 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. There is limited handicap seating. Please call the Drama Group box office for details. Good seats are still available, however, due to brisk advance sales, rather than waiting to purchase at the door, it is recommended to call the Drama Group box office at 708-755-3444 for advance sales. For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit our Web site at  

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

‘Not About Bombs’ – Through Fall 2013

The NVAM will host the opening of ‘Not About Bombs,’ a celebrated exhibit featuring the work by five Iraqi women artists through Fall 2013. The show will be open to the public through Fall 2013. For additional information, visit the museum’s website at

Espirit de Corps Exhibition – Through August 1, 2014

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

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

‘Abstract Impact’ Exhibit at Christopher Art Gallery – Through December 12

PSC is hosting “Abstract Impact,” through Thursday, December 12, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the PSC main campus. The exhibit features Midwest artists Zach Mory, Steve Leavitt, Sharon Swidler, Barbara Cooper, Michael Hopkins, Mary Burke, Cristal Tucker, and Shelley Gilchrist. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits also can be made by appointment. The gallery will be closed on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. For more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-3636.

Union Street Gallery, 527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

Union Street Gallery Annual Members Exhibit – Through December 21

Union Street Gallery will showcase recent artwork by our artist members in this captivating annual exhibit. Art exhibiting includes painting, photography, and sculpture. Artist members exhibiting are Chet Chylinski, Karen DelSanto, Ron Karlic, Peggy Lehocky, Selma Lisit, Jim O’Leary, William Marquardsen, Jaqueline Nalls, Don Sala. The exhibit runs through December 21. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m.; Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-754-2601.

Twelfth Month Silent Auction – Running Through December 21
Auction ends at 2 p.m. Saturday December 21. Winning bids will be notified 3 p.m. that same day. The Twelfth Month Silent Auction includes vintage posters and artist made/decorated bras. Bids start as low as $25. The bras were created by USG artists to raise awareness for breast cancer and breast cancer support. The majority of the proceeds from the bras will be donated to the Cancer Support Center in Homewood, IL. Proceeds from the posters will benefit Union Street Gallery, a not-for-profit art center.

Help Repair Union Street Gallery Silent Auction – Running Through February 8

Auction ends at 4 p.m. Saturday February 8th, 2014. Winning bids will be notified Wednesday February 12th. This silent auction includes original artwork by Karen DeWitt, Mary Bookwalter, and Marlene Galagher. Bids start as low as $20. All proceeds will benefit Union Street Gallery, a not-for-profit art center, and go toward much needed building repairs. USG currently has over $60,000 in building repairs.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area

Meeting on Illinois Income Tax – Wednesday, December 11

The League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area will host an educational meeting on the Illinois income tax on Wednesday, December 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. This program will be about the campaign to change the Illinois income tax from a flat rate tax to a graduated rate income tax. The presentation will explain why the League supports the proposed constitutional amendment allowing a graduated rate income tax. Legislation (HJRCA 33/SJRCA 40) is pending in Springfield for a constitutional amendment on a fair tax allowing for higher rates on higher incomes and lower rates on lower incomes. The League of Women Voters Illinois (LWVIL) supports this plan, rather than the flat tax now imposed in Illinois. LWVIL believes this amendment will bring fairness to Illinois’ tax code, helping Illinois’ families. It will help Illinois protect key priorities such as education, public safety, health care, and human services. These vital services have been significantly shortchanged in recent years because of Illinois’ systemic budget problems; the result of an out-of-date tax code which overburdens middle income families. The legislation embodies another important principle: citizen participation. If adopted by the General Assembly, this referendum would ask Illinois voters if they want to amend the 1970 Illinois Constitution, which currently states that the personal income tax must be non-graduated (flat). The meeting is open to the public and anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to attend to learn more about this important issue. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Anyone interested in promoting responsible government is invited to be a member. For more information about the program or membership in the League, please contact Mary Lubertozzi, 708-747-1359.

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

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

Free ESL, GED and Spanish GED Preparation Classes

The Adult Education Program at PSC is offering free English as a Second Language (ESL), General Education (GED®), and Spanish GED Preparation classes, beginning Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, at the PSC Adult Training and Outreach Center (ATOC), located on the main campus at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights. Registration dates for GED classes are on Monday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 9:30 a.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 5 p.m.; and Thursday, Jan. 9 at 9:30 a.m. Registration dates for ESL/Spanish GED is Monday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 9:30 a.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 9:30 am. An assessment is required upon registration for all programs. The assessment is free. No appointment is necessary for the assessment, although participants are encouraged to arrive early as space is limited. No children are allowed during the assessment. Participants also need to bring an official government-issued photo ID and proof of public assistance, if applicable. Students who are 16 or 17 years old must provide documentation proving formal withdrawal from high school. The ESL program is designed to help people make the transition from different countries and cultures to American society. The purpose of the program is to teach skills in speaking, reading, writing, and listening to those whose native language is not English. Classes are offered twice a week, and are held on and off campus. To find out more about registration dates and how to enroll, call 708-709-3790. GED classes offer students an opportunity to complete high school studies and receive an equivalency certificate. The GED certificate is accepted as a substitute for a high school diploma. Preparation classes also are offered in Spanish for those interested in taking the GED in their native language. For more information on Spanish GED classes, call 708-709-3790. For more information on GED classes, call 708-709-7880 or 708-709-7931. The current version of the GED test is expiring at the end of 2013, and will be replaced with a new test on Jan. 2, 2014. The cost for the new test will increase from $50 to $120. All previous test scores expire on Dec. 31, 2013. PSC’s Adult Education Program is committed to providing services to our district residents. The districts PSC serves include Beecher, Chicago Heights, Crete, Flossmoor, Ford Heights, Glenwood, Homewood, Matteson, Monee, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Richton Park, Sauk Village, South Chicago Heights, Steger, and University Park, including portions of Country Club Hills, Hazel Crest, Lynwood, Tinley Park, and adjacent unincorporated areas of Cook and Will counties. If you are not a resident of the PSC district, please contact your local village hall for a program near you.

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].

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

Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program Open House – Wednesday, December 11

SSC’s Office of Continuing Education is hosting an Open House for the Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program on Wednesday, December 11th from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at the college’s Main Campus. Successful completion of this non-credit course is required in order to become eligible to take the State of Illinois Nursing Assistant Certification Examination, and is the first step towards entrance into the SSC Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program. The classes meet at the Oak Forest Center on Monday through Thursday with daytime and afternoon classes. The course instruction includes basic nursing skills through lecture, campus laboratory and supervised clinical experiences at a long-term health care facility. Each individual who successfully passes the certification exam will then be placed on the State Registry for Health Care Workers. Students must submit a health physical, proof of health insurance or signed release of liability waiver, and completion of a fingerprint criminal history record. The total cost of the program is $999 with books and supplies included (Financial Aid does not cover the cost of this program, nor the physical and background check). Please call 708-596-2000, extension 2497 or email [email protected] for more information.

Free Code Compliance Submittals Workshop: Developing & Reviewing Performance-Based Submittals for Code Compliance – Registration Now in Progress

SSC’s Business & Career Institute (BCI), funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, presents a free workshop for developing and reviewing performance-based submittals for IECC code compliance. The workshop will provide an introductory understanding of the home energy modeling and quality assurance process to help participants understand its challenges and rewards using REM/RateTM and REM/DesignTM and will help empower the Illinois design community in evaluating code-compliant, home performance-based designs. Short-forms will be used for quick and easy review of residential HVAC designs. This free workshop will run January 9, 2014, from 7:30 a.m. – 12 noon at SSC’s Oak Forest Center located at 16333 S. Kilbourn Ave. Attendees need to bring pencils with erasers and a duct calculator. This event is approved for 6.0 AIA HSW/SD LUs, 3.75 BPI CEUs, 6.0 GBCI CE hours, 6.0 NATE class hours and 0.6 CEUs toward ICC certification renewals. To register, please go directly to the website and scroll down to Training Opportunities and the workshop name, or email [email protected] for the registration link. For more information, please call 708-596‑2000, extension 2556.

Open Registration Now in Progress for 2014 Spring Semester

Open Registration for the Spring 2014 Semester at South Suburban College is now in progress with classes starting on Monday, January 13, 2014. Students are encouraged to register early to ensure a seat in a class section of choice. Students who plan to use financial aid as payment must have an official high school or GED transcript on file. Official transcripts must have a school seal and graduation date on them. Transcripts can be hand-delivered to the Admissions Office or mailed to: Office of Admissions (15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473). If a transcript is hand-delivered it must be in the original sealed, unopened envelope. New students should visit the Admissions Office in Room 2348 to complete the Application Form, or download it from and fax to (708) 225-5823 along with a current state issued ID to begin the enrollment process. New students will receive an SSC email account and a “My SSC” Username & Password via email which will allow access to the online schedule and class registration. The “MY SSC” portal allows students 24-hour access during college closed periods. SSC is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. A comprehensive schedule of evening and weekend classes will also be made available this spring at the college’s Oak Forest extension site–located at 16333 S. Kilbourn, Oak Forest, Illinois. For more information about all of SSC’s programs, admissions and registration, please visit or contact the Admissions Office at 708-210-5718.

SSC Seeks Tutors and Participants for Adult Volunteer Literacy Program – Tutor Training Through December 12

SSC is currently seeking tutors and participants for the Adult Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program. The program is structured to train volunteers to become one-on-one tutors for adults in need of basic literacy skills. Instruction in basic literacy includes the development of phonetic reading skills combined with communication skills. SSC is encouraging residents to take this opportunity to volunteer as a tutor or encourage someone you know to take advantage of this free program. New tutor-training sessions will take place on the Main Campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. through December 12th in Room 1243c. The tutor training is an 18-hour program that culminates with literacy training certification. Once certified, the tutors will go out to visit their adult learners at locations in or near their neighborhoods. Tutoring sites have already been established at the following locations: Acorn Public Library, Oak Forest; Calumet City Public Library; Grande Prairie Library, Hazel Crest; South Holland Public Library; South Suburban College Library, Main Campus; University and College Center Library, Oak Forest; Lansing Public Library; Dolton Public Library; and Midlothian Public Library. Tutoring is scheduled by the availability of the tutors and the learners, and the availability of space and hours of the tutoring sites. Tutors will receive one free professional development hour through this program in Adult Education, Reading, Writing, and many other subjects. Successful tutors are also eligible for letters of support or recommendation for jobs, scholarships, educational opportunities, and more. These opportunities are made possible by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library (ISL), a division of the Office of Secretary of State, using state funds designated for literacy. In just its four year of operation, SSC’s Adult Volunteer Literacy Program has enlisted hundreds of volunteers to date and is already an award-winning program, earning two prestigious Spotlight (SOS) Awards from the Secretary of State and Illinois Press Association. Volunteer tutor Mary Gercken won a Spotlight on Service SOS Award in 2012 and a literacy learner Tennie Fitts won the Spotlight on Achievement SOS Award in 2013. Gerken and Fitts are featured in a video accessible on YouTube entitled Improving Lives through Literacy. Also featured is author Ruth J. Colvin–a 95 year old SSC alumnus. (Visit to see the video or access it from under the “Adult Education” link.) If you would like to volunteer or know someone who would benefit from these services, please contact Christopher McElroy, Coordinator of the Adult Volunteer Literacy Program, at 708-596-2000, ext. 2558, or email [email protected].

Free HVAC Workshop – Monday, December 16

SSC’s Institute (BCI), funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, presents a free one-day Residential HVAC Load Calculations Workshop. This workshop, directed at the Illinois residential heating and air conditioning industry, supports the compliance of the 2012 IECC. Homebuilders, HVAC contractors, code officials and those interested in home performance are encouraged to attend. The IRC and IECC require room by room Manual-J load calculations. The use of Manual-J, Manual-S and Manual-D are now required components of the permit and inspection process. All participants will receive a 20% discount off list prices of Elite Software or 25% off selling prices of Wrightsoft Software. The free workshop will run from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Monday, December 16th at SSC’s Oak Forest Center, located at 16333 S. Kilbourn Ave. This event is approved for 6.0 AIA HSW/SD LUs, 3.75 BPI CEUs, 6.0 GBCI CE hours, 6.0 NATE class hours and 0.6 CEUs toward ICC certification renewals. To register, please go directly to the website and scroll down to Training Opportunities and the workshop name, or email [email protected] for the registration link. For more information, please call 708-596‑2000, extension 2556.

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.

Online Educational Resources

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

Top U.S. Universities

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

Healthy Living

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

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

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, DC

Information on Health Insurance & the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Visit for information about Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act. The following paper applications are available to print out: Individual Short Form, Individual without Financial Assistance, and the Family Form.

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.

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details:

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.

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.

Green Events

Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club, Matteson

Wolves Program – Monday, December 9

The Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, December 9, at 7:15 p.m. at the Frankfort Public Library, 21119 Pfeiffer Rd. (just off Rt. 30). Conservation writer Chris Johnson will discuss the controversial efforts to protect and restore the endangered wolf population in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Wolves have made a remarkable comeback due to the Endangered Species Act and an increased tolerance for predators and an appreciation of the role they play in our natural ecosystems. Sierra Club meetings are free and open to the public. People who enjoy outdoor activities, who want to protect the environment, or who wish to preserve the world in which we live, are encouraged to attend. Join us for a fun and enlightening evening!  For additional information, contact Patrick Coffey, Publicity Chair, at [email protected].

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

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

Green Community Connections, 166 N Humphrey Avenue, Oak Park

One Earth Film Festival Announces its ‘One Earth…Our Earth!’ Young Filmmakers Contest 2014 – Submission Deadline is January 12, 2014

Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 One Earth…Our Earth Young Filmmakers Contest! This film contest is part of the One Earth Film Festival ( and is open to students from grade school (third grade) through to college level. The goal of the Young Filmmakers Contest is for students to use the creative medium of film to address the issues surrounding climate change and sustainability. Students are invited to make a solution based, 3-8 minute film or short 45 second animation. Films are judged by industry professionals and leaders within the environmental community. Winners from each age category will have their film shown throughout the festival and/or at the Green Carpet opening event, in addition to being awarded a cash prize with matching grant. Deadline for film contest submissions is January 12, 2014. Additional details for the contest are available at: For questions, please contact: Katie Morris at: [email protected] or Sue Crothers at: [email protected].

This & That

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

Friday Fish Fry

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, December 13 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

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.

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: eNews Park Forest, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, National Veterans Art Museum, Center for Performing Arts, Freedom Hall, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.