In and Around Park Forest Week of January 26, 2015

Somonauk Park
Believe it or not, it’s almost time to reserve your pavillion for summer picnics. (Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—January 26, 2015. The 2015 Park Forest Idols Battle of the Suburbs will showcase talented people from the south suburban area. This year’s event will be taking place on Saturday, January 31 at 7 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard. Tickets for this popular event are $5 and are selling quickly. Tickets can be purchased by calling 708-283-5621.

The Village of Park Forest is currently recruiting for the positions of Firefighter/Paramedic and Police Officer. Application packages are now available at Village Hall. Additional information about these positions can be found in the ‘This & That’ 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 – Monday, January 26

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, January 26 at 7 p.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 here.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site here and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commission is scheduled to meet the week of January 26:

  • Wednesday, January 28 at 7 p.m. –  Cable Communications Commission

The meeting 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

‘The Light in the Piazza’ – Tickets Now on Sale

‘The Light in the Piazza’ will be performed on February 13, 14 and 15 at the GSU’s Center for Performing Arts. Winner of 6 Tony awards, this musical comedy is the perfect Valentine’s weekend date. Join Margaret and her daughter Clara on a romantic Italian odyssey where love is in the air and a secret is reveals. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on February 13 & 14 and at 2 p.m. on February 15. Tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and two hours prior to each performance or online at http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?organ_val=21840&schedule=list. For additional information call 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

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

‘Metamorphosis’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present Steven Berkoff’s “Metamorphosis” in the Fullerton Stage Theatre in the Theatre School building located at Racine and Fullerton. The production premieres February 6 and runs through February 15. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Previews are February 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. About the play: Gregor Samsa, an overworked salesperson, wakes up from disturbing dreams to find he has transformed into an insect-like creature. His new condition disorients the Samsa family household who depend on him for their bread and butter. Gregor can’t communicate, can’t get enough to eat, and he certainly can’t head into work. His desperation grows, as does his family’s, as the world they thought they knew is turned upside down. Adapted from Franz Kafka’s novella, this surreal and disturbing account of a dysfunctional family is directed by Kelvin Wong, MFA directing, class of 2015. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates (six or more people) are available. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling 773-325-7900 or visiting the online box office at http://theatre.depaul.edu. The performance will be audio described February 15 at the 2 p.m. performance with a pre-performance touch tour for patrons who are blind or have low-vision. Call 773-325-7900 for information. The February 15 performance also will be interpreted in American Sign Language; TTY: 773-325-7975. February 11 is USO of IL Night. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families can attend the 7:30 p.m. performance for free. Visit www.tixfortroops.org to reserve tickets, or call 773-325-7900 for more information. Additional special events include an opening night reception on Feb. 6 following the performance, and post-show discussions February 8 and 12.

‘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.

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘Two of Hearts’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for the performance of ‘Two of Hearts’ which will take place on Tuesday, February 3 at 11 a.m. at Freedom Hall. Powerhouse vocalists Benjamin Utecht and Anne Cochran are teaming up to perform songs from their romantic collection Two of Hearts: Cherished Love Song Duets. Utecht, the NFL Super Bowl XLI Champion with the Indianapolis Colts, is now pursuing his dream of sharing his extraordinary vocal talent with the rest of the world while Cochran continues to power her way through a successful music career as the lead touring vocalist with Jim Brickman. Their flawless partnership celebrates this album, featuring 12 all-time favorite love songs, from beloved standards such as “Unforgettable” and “When I Fall in Love” to contemporary classics including “My Heart Will Go On” and “I Will Always Love You.” Tickets are $13. For additional information or to order tickets, call 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.org.

Masters of Soul – Tickets Now on Sale

An encore performance for Masters of Soul, formerly Masters of Motown will take place on Friday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m. In the early ‘60s some of the most iconic names in the history of popular music were discovered in the Motor City of Detroit, MI, better known simply as Motown. Masters of Soul is a celebration of these artists, their music and style. The show features stylishly costumed fully choreographed tributes to both male and female groups backed by a live band. MOM performs: Temptations – Gladys Knight & the Pips – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Four Tops – Diana Ross & Supremes, Jackson Five – Martha Reeves & Vandellas – Stevie Wonder – Commodores and many more. Read more about Masters of Soul. Tickets are $30. Learn more about Masters of Soul & get your tix! For additional information, call 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.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 26 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 27 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 28 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 29 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.
  • Friday, January 30 at 1 p.m. – Senior Travelogue — Storm Warriors: Heroes of the Shipwreck Coast.
  • Friday, January 30 at 3:30 p.m. – Board Games — Stop in to play some classic board games like Monopoly and Sorry!
  • Saturday, January 31 at 2:30 p.m. — Stop Bullying Now! — Join us for a peer-led community discussion about bullying and youth violence and what we can do to take a stand. We’ll conclude by making a community banner to promote peace and cooperation. This event is open to ages 10-18.

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.

Roosevelt University Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

‘Crime Then and Now’ – Through April 11

Compelling photos related to crime in Chicago since the 1920s will be on display for the first time as Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, continues the Above the Fold: 10 Decades of Chicago Photojournalism series. Running through April 11, “Crime Then and Now: Through the Lens of the Chicago Tribune” tells the story of crime photography and how it has changed over the decades through 65 Tribune photos from the early 1920s through the present. Co-curated by Chicago Tribune Picture Editor Michael Zajakowski and Gage Gallery’s Tyra Robertson, the exhibit features vintage photographs as well as contemporary photos taken by photographers assigned to the Tribune’s crime beat. The exhibit features historic shots of such well-known figures as Al Capone, John Dillinger and Clarence Darrow arguing in 1924 against the death penalty for Nathan Leopold and Robert Loeb, who were sentenced to life in prison in one of Chicago’s most notorious murder cases. Contemporary crime photography of gang shootings and communities in distress over escalating violence also are featured prominently in the exhibit. Free and open to the public, the ongoing Gage series is sponsored by Roosevelt’s College of Arts and Sciences and is made possible by the generosity of donor Susan Rubnitz. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 312-341-6458 or visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Journeys, Passages, Retreats’ Exhibit – Through February 28

The ‘Journeys, Passages, Retreats’ exhibit will run through February 28. The exhibit is 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

‘Color & Cork’ – Friday, February 6

Union Street Gallery will host a ‘Color & Cork’ event on Friday, February 6 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Gallery. ‘Color & Cork’ is a painting lesson and social event lead by renowned artist Patricia Moore who will teach participants step by step on how to dray and paint their own work of art while enjoying your favorite wine. ;Share this artistic adventure with old friends or meet new ones as you explore your inner artists together. Participants are encouraged to color outside the lines and add their own flare. (BYOW: bring your own wine) Tickets are $35. All proceeds benefit Union Street Gallery, a not-for-profit art center. Purchase Tickets at the Gallery’s website www.unionstreetgallery.org/colorandcork2015. For additional information, call 708-754-2601.

‘Pedagogy’ Exhibit – Through February 7

‘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 run through February 7. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

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

‘The Four Agreements’ Book Discussion – Thursday, February 12

UUCC will host a Healthy Living Session on Thursday, February 12 beginning at 1 p.m. Carol Wentz, Occupational Therapist, will summarize and lead a discussion of the book ‘The Four Agreements’ by author don Miguel Ruiz. ‘The Four Agreements’ reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering.  Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, ‘The Four Agreements’ offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. As outlined in the book, ‘The Four Agreements’ are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best. Noted American self-help author and motivational speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer indicates ‘The Four Agreements’ is an inspiring book with many great lessons…." The event is free and open to the public. You do not need to have read the book ‘The Four Agreements’ to attend. Optional donations will be appreciated. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org. UUCC is located just east of Western Avenue and south of Steger Road.

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.

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

Community Health Worker Open House – Wednesday, January 28

SSC’s Department of Allied Health & Career Programs will be hosting an Open House for its newest program–Community Health Worker (CHW)–on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the Heritage Room on the college’s Main Campus in South Holland.  The Community Health Worker Open House will provide information about the role of CHWs in the workforce and the classes that will be starting up soon.  Faculty will be on hand to provide information on the program, answer questions and to help direct prospective students about how to get started at SSC. CHWs are frontline public health agents who are trusted members of and/or have an unusually close understanding of the community they serve.  This trusting relationship enables CHWs to serve as a liaison between health, social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. The SSC Community Health Worker Program prepares graduates to function along a continuum ranging from individual and community development to service delivery. This program is offered as a 63 credit hour Associate Degree, a 39 credit hour Certificate, or a 20 credit hour Basic Certificate Program. The dynamic class schedule can be accessed online at www.ssc.edu.  The CHW Program offers a wide range of classes beginning on February 9th and later.  These include the following weeknight courses:

  • CHW 100 – Health & the Public
  • CHW 101 – Introduction to Community Health
  • CHW 105 – Assessing Community Resources
  • CHW 110 – Community Health Development
  • CHW 112 – CHW Portfolio I
  • CHW 115 – Nutrition & Disease
  • CHW 120 – Public Health & Epidemics
  • CHW 200 – Case Management

Payment is currently due at the time of registration for late start classes, but Financial Aid can still be applied for this 12-week credit session (financial aid application must be completed by February 2, 2015).  New students should visit the Admissions Office in Room 2348 to complete the Application Form, or complete the Online Application at www.ssc.edu. SSC’s other Allied Health & Career Programs include Echocardiography, EMT, Health Information Technology, MRI Technology, Nanoscience Technology, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Radiologic Technology, Speech Language Pathology Assistant, and Ultrasound. For more information, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2258. 

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

Moraine Valley Community College Southwest Education Center, 17900 South 94th Avenue, Tinley Park

‘Linking and Leveraging Resources to Build Resilient Communities’ Forum – Registration in Progress

The ‘Linking and Leveraging Resources to Build Resilient Communities’ Forum will be held on Friday, February 6 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Moraine Valley Community College Southwest Education Center. This event is sponsored by the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (SMHEC). This Forum will continue the conversation started in 2014 at Joliet Junior College and will focus on how to grow and develop resilient communities through sustainable practices. Through activities and thoughtful conversation, attendees will:

  • Realize assets and leverage collective resources to fill in resource gaps.
  • Deepen our understanding of our social, economic and environmental needs.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Registration is currently underway at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Feb6LandL or on the SMHEC website www.SouthMetroEd.org. For additional information, contact Genny Boesen at [email protected] or call 708-534-4984.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – January 28

Come walk the trails with Wednesday Morning Walkers every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Follow the forest’s seasonal changes, enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on two miles of Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or icy or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. This weekly program is free and open to those 13 years of age and older. Registration is required two days before your first walk. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320.

Junior Ecologists Club – Registration Required by Thursday, February 5

Thorn Creek’s Junior Ecologists Club offers monthly fun-filled nature activities for young people age 9 to 12 has its next meeting on Saturday, February 7 from noon to 3 p.m. Participants will explore winter animal tracks and create their own animal track replicas. Young people should be prepared to get muddy, dress for the weather, wear boots and long pants. Junior Ecologists Club is a free program and registration is required by Thursday, February 5. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320.

‘Animals in Winter: Dreams of Spring’ – Registration Required by Friday, February 6

Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with our creatures living in Thorn Creek Woods at ‘Animals in Winter: Dreams of Spring’ on Sunday, February 8 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. How do these animals survive winter’s chills? What adaptations have they developed to keep war and find food? We’ll put ourselves in the paws of active woodland creatures and follow trails in search of tracks and other spoor, taking advantage of the first thaw and sap-run. Discover which animal corresponds to your own lunar birth year in the 12-year cycle. We’ll even make plaster replicas of tracks to take home. Participants should be prepared for the cold weather and be able to walk a mile outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven and possibly snow-covered ground. The ‘Animals in Winter’ program is free and open to all ages, but registration is required by Friday, February 6. If weather is inclement this program will still take place in the Nature Center. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320.

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 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 Nonpartisan Committee

Non-Partisan Committee’s Candidate Forums — Sunday, February 8

The Non-Partisan Local Government Committee, begun 60 years ago, is here to help you learn more about the candidates so that you are well-prepared to make important decisions on who to give your vote to on April 7. Three Village Trustee positions as well as the Village Mayor and candidates for three Library Board Trustees will be on the April 7, 2015 ballot.

Hear from the candidates running for office at forums taking place at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, on the following dates:

  • Sunday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 22 at 1 p.m.

More information on the Non-Partisan Committee can be found at: www.parkforestnonpartisancommittee.com  and www.facebook.com/ParkForestNonpartisanCommittee.

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

2015 Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo – Registration Now in Progress

SSC proudly announces Gia Claire as the Keynote Speaker for the 2015 Chicago Women’s Conference on Friday, March 13th located at the college’s Main Campus in South Holland, Illinois.  This year’s theme “Getting it All Together” marks the 7th annual event that the college’s Business and Career Institute (BCI) is planning for women of all backgrounds ages 18 and up to come together for one day dedicated exclusively to women.  The positive feedback and participation has grown tremendously since the event’s inception.  Last year over 350 participants and 50 vendors participated in this truly unique opportunity. A born and raised Chicago girl with a desire to inspire, Gia Claire draws from 20 years of experience in large corporate leadership roles to being a single mom.  In addition to an exciting Keynote from Ms. Claire, this year’s event will again include networking, shopping, and will feature over 15 speakers on topics including Personal Empowerment, Health & Wellness, and Business & Finance, along with a “Girl Talk” panel that will feature poignant discussions on the many areas of a woman’s life. The cost of admission is just $15 per person with advance registration, or $25 at the door.  The conference fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and admission to all of the break-out sessions. For more information, or to register for the 2015 Chicago Women’s Conference, please call 708 596-2000, extension 2455 or visit www.TheChicagoWomensConference.com. ;

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Village of Park Forest to Test for Firefighter/Paramedic Position

The Village of Park Forest Board of Fire and Police Commissioners will be testing and establishing a two year eligibility list for the position of Firefighter/Paramedic.  APPLICATION PACKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO COST — January 20, 2015 – February 12, 2015. An optional study guide for the written test is available for a non-refundable cost of $10. Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 12, 2015. Please submit completed applications to: Denyse Carreras Director of Human Resources Village of Park Forest 350 Victory Drive Park Forest, IL 60466
Important dates:

  • Mandatory Orientation – February 18, 2015
  • Written Examination – March 21, 2015
  • Oral Interviews – April/May   2015 TBD

Minimum requirements at time of hire:

  • U.S. Citizen, 21 -34 years of age,
  • Valid driver’s license,
  • High School Diploma or equivalent,
  • Illinois Licensed Emergency Medical Technician certificate – Paramedic,
  • Valid CPAT card with ladder climb endorsement within 1 year preceding employment date,
  • Ability to pass a background check, and
  • Physical and psychological test.

At this time there is no residency requirement. The starting annual salary for a Firefighter/Paramedic is $56,405. For further details on this career opportunity, visit us on the web at www.villageofparkforest.com. The Village of Park Forest is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Village of Park Forest to Test for Police Officer Position

The Village of Park Forest, Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, will be testing and establishing a two year eligibility list for the position of Police Officer.  APPLICATION PACKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO COST — January 20, 2015 – February 12, 2015. An optional study guide for the written test is available for a non-refundable cost of $10. Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 12, 2015. Please submit completed applications to: Denyse Carreras Director of Human Resources Village of Park Forest 350 Victory Drive Park Forest, IL 60466
Important dates:

  • Mandatory Orientation – February 19, 2015
  • Physical Ability Test – March 7, 2015
  • Written Examination – March 14, 2015
  • Oral Interviews – April/May 2015 TBD

Minimum requirements at time of hire:
U.S. Citizen,

  • 21 -34 years of age at time of hire,
  • Valid driver’s license,  
  • High School Diploma or equivalent,
  • Ability to pass a background check,
  • Physical and psychological test.

At this time there is no residency requirement. The starting salary for a non-certified Police Officer is $55,303. However, individuals who have served as a certified Police Officer for more than 36 months will have a starting pay of $68,715. Officers with certificates from other states will be required to pass a 2 week certification program in Illinois upon hire. For further details on this career opportunity, visit us on the web at www.villageofparkforest.com. The Village of Park Forest is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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.