In and Around Park Forest Week of January 12, 2015

University of Oregon Duck
(Source: uoregon.edu)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—January 12, 2015. It certainly hasn’t been a very good year for Chicago Bears fans. But if you’re looking for some great football action Monday night, be sure to catch the National College Football Championship when the University of Oregon Ducks, led by its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. As many eNews readers know, I relocated to Eugene, Oregon over a year ago and it doesn’t take long to live here before you catch a serious case of ‘Duck Fever’! Having been a life-long Bears fan, I can say that watching this U of O team will help get you over your sadness from the Bears dismal season. Go Ducks!

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 Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions and Advisory Boards are scheduled to meet the week of January 12:

  • Tuesday, January 13 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations
  • Tuesday, January 13 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Wednesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Board

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

Arts & Entertainment

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

GSU Concert Chorale Gala Performance – Sunday, January 18

Tickets are now on Sale for the debut performance of GSU’s Concert Chorale that will take place on Sunday, January 18 at 4 p.m. at the University’s Center for Performing Arts. With the songs of Aaron Copland, Randall Thompson, Moses Hogan & others to commemorate Martin Luther King Day and serving as our fundraiser, it includes a pre-concert reception for all ticket holders. Known for many years throughout the Chicago South Suburban/Northwest Indiana region as the South Suburban Chorale, the GSUCC still provides the area with the finest in choral literature performance. Continuing as it has for the past 16 years under the directorship of Albert M. Jackson, the Chorale remains the Chicago Southland’s premiere symphonic chorus, having performed many of the greatest masterpieces of classical choral and choral/orchestral literature. The 130 member chorus has performed throughout the Chicago south suburbs and Northwest Indiana, with orchestras including the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony, the LaPorte Symphony, the Illinois Philharmonic, and Lakeshore Symphony Orchestra, and undertook a successful European concert tour to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic in 2011. General Admission tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Buy Tickets. Tickets for the VIP Reception and Golden Circle Seating are $75. For VIP Tickets, please contact Gina Ragland at 708-235-7559. For additional information, visit http://www.govst.edu.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

‘Rooted in Soil’ – Opens Thursday, January 29

Beneath the grass and pavement that cover Chicago lies a vital, under-valued ecosystem that gives rise to a new art exhibition — ‘Rooted in Soil’ — opening January 29 at the DePaul Art Museum. The exhibit will run through April 26. Curators Laura Fatemi, interim director of the DePaul Art Museum, and her daughter Farrah Fatemi, an environmental scientist and assistant professor at Saint Michael’s College, combined their knowledge of art and science to explore the underappreciated role of soil in human life. ‘Rooted in Soil’ offers viewers a unique way to engage with environmental issues through the arts. Upon entering the museum, visitors will encounter a hanging terrarium built by artist Vaughn Bell, whose work challenges city dwellers to reconnect with nature. Bell invites viewers to enter the biosphere of the terrarium and peer out across the surface of the soil. A free opening reception will be held Jan. 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with several of the artists attending and the curators giving a gallery talk at 6 p.m. For more information on events related to ‘Rooted in Soil,’ visit http://museums.depaul.edu/. The DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu/. Photos from the exhibit can be viewed at: http://newsroom.depaul.edu/NewsReleases/showImage.aspx?NID=2845.

DePaul University Theatre School, 2350 North Racine Avenue, Chicago

‘Symphony of Clouds’ – Through February 21

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Symphony of Clouds’ by Margaret Larlham, directed by Ann Wakefield, as the winter production of the 2014-2015 Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences season.
Performances will run through February 21, 2015 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Special Friday performances at 10 a.m. will occur on February 6 and 13 and a Sunday performance will take place at 10 a.m. on February 8. There is no performance on February 7. ‘Symphony of Clouds’ follows the adventures and joyful milestones in the life of young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: boy genius, musical prodigy, and gifted composer. Discover how nature inspires and impacts Mozart, and how his family faces the acclaim, fame, trials, and tribulations of his early creative life in this story infused with music, dance, and a bit of magic. Recommended for all ages. Performances will take place at DePaul’s historic Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 East Balbo Drive at Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at http://theatre.depaul.edu/on-stage/productions/2014-2015/Pages/Symphony-of-Clouds.aspx. More information about pre- and post-show educational activities and highlighted curriculum connections is online at www.theatre.depauyl.edu.  Free Teacher Guides are also available online or by calling the Box Office at 312-922-1999. The February 6 and 8 performances will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY at 773-325-7975.

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

GSU Concert Chorale Performance – Sunday, January 18

The 130-voice GSU Concert Chorale, under the direction of Albert M. Jackson, has announced their 2014-2015 season Gala Concert performance to be held in the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University. The group, which operated for the past 16 seasons under the name South Suburban Chorale, recently moved to GSU. The Chorale has previously performed throughout the Chicago south suburban and Northwest Indiana region, and toured Europe. Marking the “official” debut of the Governors State University Chorale under the direction of Albert M. Jackson, the GSU Center for Performing Arts and the School of Extended Learning present a gala concert on January 18 at 4 p.m. featuring works heard in the fall concerts, new materials prepared for the occasion and works celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program highlights include Stomp Your Foot from “The Tender Land”, Sally Gardens, Shenandoah, Lift Every Voice And Sing, The Road Home, Aura Lee, Battle Hymn of the Republic and My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord. Serving as a fundraiser to benefit future seasons of the Chorale, reserved seating is only $20, all of which will be used for the overall support of the Chorale. GSU’s Center for Performing Arts is located on the main campus. Tickets may be purchased early online at www.CenterTickets.net, by phone at 708-235-2222 or visit the Center for Performing Arts Box Office. The Chorale’s 2014-15 season is funded through a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation, a private, Chicago-based foundation which has awarded more than $200 million in grants since its inception in 1978. The Foundation is devoted exclusively to improving the quality of life for our nation’s older adults, especially those who are vulnerable due to advanced age, economic disadvantage, or disparity related to race and ethnicity. RRF fulfills its mission through grant-making programs which support innovative advocacy, direct service, professional education and training, and research projects that benefit older Americans.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Brahms and Elgar – Saturday, January 17

Tickets are now on sale for the performance of Brahms and Elgar which will be held on Saturday, January 17 at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Avenue, Frankfort. Acclaimed international rising star and 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner, Bella Hristova captivates the audience with her virtuosity in Brahms’ stirring violin masterpiece. Criss-crossing the globe, the orchestra performs American composer Gabriela Frank’s Peruvian-inspired elegy to the South American Andes and English composer Elgar’s mysterious and playful musical references to friends. Tickets are priced at $35, $45, and $55 and can be purchased online at https://secure.ticketsage.net/EventsPage.aspx?&PerfID=251675&SectId=5933. For additional information call 708-481-7774 or visit www.ipomusic.org.   

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

‘The Things They Carried’ – Permanent Exhibit

The National Veterans Art Museum reopened its permanent exhibit ‘The Things They Carried’ in a brand new gallery space meant to be more immersive for viewers. Inspired by Tim O’Brien’s book ‘The Things They Carried,’ this exhibit serves as a visual companion that illustrates the narrative with fine art and photography from veterans that lived the stories in the novel. Much like the book, the exhibit explores the concept of storytelling and questions how one might share the story of the Vietnam experience. The exhibit takes as its central question “how to tell a true war story” and prompts viewers to consider their personal stories and contemplate how they might share their own narratives. By literally incorporating the essential elements of storytelling: Who, Where, When, and What, ‘The Things They Carried’ begins by chronicling the Vietnam conflict through first-hand visual accounts and descriptions. The exhibit culminates in the re-creation of an authentic Vietnam-era tented shelter to bring viewers into the intimate physical experience of sleeping, living and working in the field during that time. With artworks and objects created and collected by over twenty Vietnam veteran artists, ‘The Things They Carried’ also provides visual interpretations to viewers, illustrating the war by those who were there. This form of pictorial storytelling offers insights into the individual personalities of those who served, where they were in Vietnam both geographically and environmentally, and what the cultural climate of the time looked like. Representations and artifacts come together in ‘The Things They Carried’ to offer an individuated and holistic presentation of the social and historical context of the Vietnam War. With didactic guides and lesson plans that accompany the artwork and artifacts, visitors of all ages can gain a better understanding of “how to tell a true war story” as explored in Tim O’Brien’s book, as well as explore possibilities and benefits of personal storytelling. Featured artists include László Kondor, Dean Sharp, Charles Shobe, William Myles, James McJunkin, John Hosier, Michael Harac, and Arthur Jacobs. The Museum is open Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers free admission year-round. For additional information, call 312-326-0270 or visit: www.nwam.org

Park Forest Historical Society, 141 Forest Boulevard

Step Back Into the 1950s House Museum

Step back to see Park Forest when it first began in the 1950s during a visit to the Park Forest House Museum. The Museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or by appointment, if possible. Period decorations are on display in every room. Call Jane Nicoll, Museum Director, at 708-481-4252 to confirm opening in case of extreme bad weather. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st Century to revisit your past in this gem of a museum, just down the street. Several Park Forest-related gift ideas are available at the museum and in the online store at www.parkforesthistory.org. Convenient street parking is available in front of the museum!

Park Forest Community Relations & Commission on Human Relations, 350 Victory Drive

2015 Park Forest Idols Battle of the Suburbs – Saturday, January 31

The 2015 Park Forest Idols Battle of the Suburbs will take place on Saturday, January 31 at 7 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard. Tickets are $5 and are selling quickly. Tickets can be purchased by calling 708-283-5621 or visiting the Community Relations Department at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive (located on the second floor, first door to the right).

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

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

  • Monday, January 12 at 11 a.m. – Storypalooza — A fun story time for all kids through the age of 6 with an adult. Siblings are welcome.
  • Tuesday, January 13 at 7 p.m. – PJ Storytime — Wear your PJs out on the town! Bring along a fuzzy friend and your blanket too! Stories, activities, and more. Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, January 14 at 11 a.m. – Baby Time — Story time for infants to 35 months of age with an adult. This story time is designed to engage children through movement, music, stories, and more.
  • Thursday, January 15 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art — Ages 3-5. Bring your little artist to create their very own masterpiece! We may get a little messy so wear play clothes.

For additional information call 708-748-3731 or visit http://www.pfpl.org/

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 South Halsted, Chicago Heights

‘Construction/DeConstruction’ Exhibit – Through February 5

PSC is hosting “Construction/DeConstruction,” through February 5 in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the college’s main campus in Chicago Heights. An artists’ reception is scheduled in the gallery from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, January 15. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public. The exhibit features diverse works by artists who create forms by either deconstructing objects or by building objects from various parts. Works will include large scale sculptures, fanciful wall relief pieces, installations and intimate works built from found and created objects. Featured artists include Shaila Christofferson, Melissa Jay Craig, Michele Stutts and the late Margaret Wharton, who is represented by Jean Albano Gallery. 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 college and gallery will be closed on Monday, January 19, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-3636.

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

‘Sleeping Beauty’ – Through January 17

The Children’s Theatre Company of SSC is producing a play geared for young audiences in January. ‘Sleeping Beauty’ will run on Saturdays, January 10 and 17, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and Monday through Friday, January 12th through January 16th at 9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Award-winning playwright Michele L. Vacca’s adaptation of the classic children’s tale of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ is an amusing version of the Perrault romance, with just the right balance of comedy and suspense. King Philip (Pat Nevins of Homewood) and Queen Eleanor (Sandra Wagner of Lansing), rulers of Pharoffland, grieve because they have no child. Overhearing this, the three good fairies, Rose Petal (Angela Martin of Midlothian), Moon Beam (Catherine Hundt of Thornton) and Twinkletoes (Jamel Williams of Chicago Heights) combine their powers and the following spring a little princess is born.
The celebration is ruined by the dramatic arrival of Belladonna (Ashley Orendorff of Thornton), the evil fairy of Pharoffland. Bella is so angry at not being invited to the party, that she puts a terrible curse on baby Rosalind. The three good fairies have enough power to lighten the curse. Now the princess will only fall asleep for 100 years. The fairies place a magical rose hedge around the sleeping princess and vow to protect her. As the years pass, Princes arrive, hoping to rescue Rosalind (Laura Tiemes of South Holland). First on the scene is Prince Albert Egbert (Kevin Hathaway of Park Forest) who only wants material for his book of the most famous and unusual magic spells of the last century. The next attempt is made by Prince Orlando Leonardo Malvolio Smith (Eric Pradelski of South Holland), but he is more concerned with the hedge of thorns ruining his brand new suit. When the 100 years are almost over, Prince Stephen of Stratford (Paul Braun of Lansing) arrives. Bella tries to interfere, but Twinkletoes suggests that Prince Stephen kiss Rosalind. He does so and she awakens, since he is the “right” prince. Belladonna disappears from Pharoffland and Princess Rosalind and Prince Stephen live happily ever after, just as you might expect. Rounding out the cast are Heather Young of Chicago as the Narrator and Paul Braun of Lansing as Count Frederick. The play is directed by Lansing resident and Kindig Performing Arts Center manager Ellie Shunko. Set design is by Dean Scalzitti of Hegewisch. Lighting design is by Jon Jenkins of Chicago. The costume designer is Joanna Tassin of Park Forest, with stage management by June Wagner of Lansing. Anne Begora of Hegwisch is designing the props for the production.
‘Sleeping Beauty’ is suitable for young and old alike. Tickets are $5 each. Group rates are available. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the 24/7 box office voicemail line at 708-210-5741. You may also reserve tickets by e-mail at [email protected]. Reservations for weekday performances are required as many shows are already sold out.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Journeys, Passages, Retreats’ Exhibit – Opens Saturday, January 24

The ‘Journeys, Passages, Retreats’ exhibit will open on January 23 and run through February 28. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 24th, 2015 from 1 – 3 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. In this large and diverse exhibit, twenty artists from the Midwest Collage Society interpret memory, discovery and transformation through an elegant and uninhibited mix of media and techniques. Founded in 2003, the Midwest Collage Society includes members from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. All are professional artists; many teach classes and workshops; travel extensively; write constantly; find inspiration in family, friendship, nature, as well as other forms of art and art history; and believe wholeheartedly in experimentation, playfulness, humor, risk-taking, reinvention, and rediscovery. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Pedagogy’ Exhibit – Opens Wednesday, January 14

‘Pedagogy’, an exhibit or art by select local art educators from Prairie State College, South Suburban College, Governors State University and Moraine Valley Community College, will open on Wednesday, January 14 and run through February 7. A reception will be held at the Gallery on Friday, January 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

2015 Spring Registration Now Open – Classes Begin January 12

Registration for the spring 2015 semester is now open at PSC. New this semester at PSC is Flexible Scheduling – classes starting at different times during the semester. Students can choose their schedule, their class, their time. Hundreds of courses are offered days, evenings, weekends, and online to accommodate busy schedules. The traditional 16-week course option is still available with a start date of Jan. 12 and end date of May 7. New this spring is the 14-week course, with a start date of Jan. 26 and end date of May 7. What were formerly called late start courses are now called 12-week courses with a start date of Feb. 6 and end date of May 7. All of these courses — 16-week, 14-week, and 12-week — offer the same course material with the same credit hours. The shorter the number of weeks, the longer the class period. Also for spring, PSC is offering two different eight-week courses. First eight-week courses start Jan. 12 and end March 9. Second eight-week courses start March 10 and end May 7. The eight-week courses typically are fewer credit hours. Many of the college certificate programs offer eight-week courses, allowing students to fit two courses in a semester and to make progress towards that certificate. Spring registration began Oct. 20 for current students. New students can begin registering on Oct. 27. Students are encouraged to register early as classes will fill quickly. Both credit and non-credit courses are listed in the spring class schedule, available on the PSC main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights. The schedule also is available at area public libraries and online at prairiestate.edu. To register for credit courses, new students must complete an enrollment application in person at the college or online. Enrollment Services is open Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Current students can register for credit courses in person or online. Students can register for non-credit courses online or in person. To register online via Instant Enrollment, go to prairiestate.edu and follow the directions to choose How To Enroll under continuing education courses. Another option is to complete the registration form available in the back of the printed course schedule. Students also can register for non-credit courses in person at the Matteson Area Center, located at 4821 Southwick Drive in Matteson, or in the Enrollment Services Office on the PSC main campus. The Matteson Area Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about registering for courses, visit www.prairiestate.edu or call 708-709-3500.

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

Public Speaking Symposium – Registration Now Taking Place

The Chicagoland Speakers Network would like to help area residents and professionals meet their self-improvement goals in 2015 through a Public Speaking Symposium. The Chicagoland Speakers Network has planned this half-day of educational workshops on various topics related to effective professional speaking at South Suburban College’s Oak Forest Center on Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Research has shown that the average American greatly fears speaking in public which may hamper growth in one’s career and professional life. The 2nd Annual Public Speaking Symposium topics include:

  • How to be the Most Organized Presenter in the Room, by Colleen Klimczak
  • Spicing up Your Presentations with Exercises and Icebreakers, Mary Erlain
  • Communicate for the Win, by Lori Klinka
  • Dazzling Your Audiences with PowerPoint, by Alexandra Glumac
  • Panel Discussion Q & A, with the presenters

Advanced registration is $39 through January 15th, or $49 from January 16th through the day of the Speaking Symposium. To RSVP or for more information, please visit www.csnsymposium.eventbrite.com or email Lori Klinka at [email protected]. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 S. Kilbourn, Oak Forest, Illinois.

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 http://www.onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ 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 http://www.topschools.com/, 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

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.

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].

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: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

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 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.

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 Rich Township Senior Café 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 10 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

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

Qigong with Jim Kobus – Most Thursdays

UUCC will host Qigong with Jim Kobus on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the church. This class will usually meet on Thursdays but there may be exceptions, so if you are interested in attending, please send an email to Jim Kobus at [email protected] so he can notify you when class will NOT be held. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class. Please bring your own water. It is recommended that you eat dinner after class, not before. For additional information, please call 708-799-1925 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Green Events

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Thorn Creek Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Friends’ volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways: staff the nature center on weekends; trail work; displays; leading hikes; special events; cleaning; pruning; artwork; music; research; and so on. Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day. Members receive a quarterly newsletter. Annual membership in Friends is $10. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

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.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Christmas Tree Disposal at the Park Forest Aqua Center Through January 31

If you’re looking to dispose of your Christmas tree, the Park Forest Aqua Center, 30 North Orchard, is a drop-off site, now through January 31. The north side of the parking lot of the Aqua Center is sectioned off where residents should look to drop their trees. Residents are asked to remove any tree decorations prior to drop-off. Trees that are picked-up with your regular garbage go directly into a landfill. When they breakdown there, they release the second most prevalent greenhouse gas, methane, which harms the environment. Park Forest is looking to offer a more sustainable solution for Christmas tree disposal. By dropping off your Christmas tree at the Aqua Center, trees will be chipped to be reused in landscapes or, at minimum, will be added to yard waste compost that, when finished processing, is a wonderful additive for soil. You may not have known, also, that a hefty truckload of tree mulch produced by the Village can be delivered to residents’ homes (for a small fee) when landscaping season resumes. Help Park Forest continue to be a leader in sustainability by dropping off your tree. Christmas lights can also be dropped off for recycling in the lobby of Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, during normal business hours.

This & That

Park Forest Baseball

Park Forest Baseball Registration for 2015 Season

Registration for the 2015 Park Forest Baseball season is now underway. Upcoming Park Forest Baseball registration dates are:

  • January 17 — 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • January 31 — 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • February 14 — 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • February 28 — 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • March 12 — 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

All fees are due by March 12. For additional information, including registration fees and age restrictions, visit www.parkforestbaseball.org or call 708-975-1294.

Park Forest Economic Development & Planning, 350 Victory Drive

Business Breakfast – Wednesday, January 21

A business breakfast hosted by the Park Forest Economic Development and Planning Department will be held on Wednesday, January 21 beginning at 8 a.m. at Dining on the Green Banquet Hall, 349 Main Street in DownTown Park Forest. Allen Babiarz, Project Coordinator for Opportunity Advancement Innovation, Inc. will discuss utilizing tablets and smart phones in your small business. Business partnerships are formed, appointments are made, transactions are conducted and data is organized and stored on our phones. This presentation will show you how to utilize tablets and smart phones to your company’s advantage. Topics covered include setting up email, calendars, Square (payments), and cloud storage among others. Bring your electronics along and get started. This event is free and open to all however, the presentation will be geared towards small businesses. A complimentary full breakfast will be provided. Registration is required by Friday, January 16 via:

Park Forest Running & Pancake Club

5K Midwinter Cruise – Registration Now in Progress

The Park Forest Running & Pancake Club is hosting their annual 5K Midwinter Cruise on Sunday, January 25th.The event will kick-off at the Forest Trail Middle School, 215 Wilson, Park Forest. Pre-boarding (Registration and Packet Pickup) will be in the gym starting at 9:00 a.m. The race will begin at 10:30 a.m. The fee for the event is only $25 if you preregister before January 22nd and $30 for same-day signup. You can register online at our SignMeUp page. This event is USATF Certified and it will be chip timed. There will be quirky souvenirs and trophies for finishers. We are also including a one year membership for the PFRPC for 2015 for all race registrations. (If you are a current member, your membership will be extended.) There will also be raffle prizes such as gift certificates for shoes. And, as always, we will provide "Hot Pancakes" after the race. If you wish to volunteer or have additional questions, please contact Race Director Hilary Tydd by email at [email protected] or call 708-209-0216.

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

‘Hungry for Change’ Screening – Friday, January 23

UUCC will host the screening of the documentary film ‘Hungry for Change’ on Friday, January 23 at 7 p.m.  A discussion will follow the screening. We all want more energy, an ideal body and beautiful younger looking skin. So what is stopping us from getting this? ‘Hungry for Change,’ from the creators of the documentary ‘Food Matters,’ exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight-loss and food industry don’t want you to know about; deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping you from having the body and health you deserve and how to escape the diet trap forever. The film features interviews with best-selling health authors and leading medical experts plus real life transformational stories with those who know what it’s like to be sick and overweight. Learn from those who have been there before and continue your health journey today. To see a clip of ‘Hungry for Change,’ visit: www.hungryforchange.tv. The event is free and open to the public. Coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided. Optional donations would be gratefully appreciated. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org. UUCC is located east of Western Avenue and south of Steger Road.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Park Forest Park Permit Lottery – Saturday February 7

The issuing of park permits for 2015 begins with a lottery drawing on Saturday, February 7 at 9 a.m. at Village Hall. Interested park users are invited to place their names in the permit lottery for first selection of preferred dates. Permits will then be issued in the order names are drawn. Following the lottery, permits will be taken on a first come first served basis. A copy of your driver’s license or state identification along with full payment is required to complete the park permit process. For more information, call 708-748-2005.