In and Around Park Forest Week of January 30, 2012

Field along Old Plank Trail, Matteson, IL
Missing the warmth of summer? Enjoy a bit of scenery from Old Plank Trail from last June. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)-January 30, 2012. Everyone loves to have a green, weed-free lawn. However, achieving this goal does not have to be accomplished through the use of toxic chemicals that harm the environment and have a negative impact on our health. On Saturday, February 4 the Park Forest Environment Commission and Park Forest Garden Club will be hosting an educational forum where you will discover the health and environmental impacts of conventionally maintained lawns and the benefits of a natural lawn care approach. There will also be a discussion on the 2012 Park Forest Community Project. You will find the details about this event in the ‘Green Events’ Section below.

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 of Park Forest Advisory Board & Commission Meetings

The following Park Forest Commissions and Advisory Group will meet the week of January 30:

  • Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group
  • Thursday, February 2 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, February 2 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission

The meetings will take place at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Dr. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Green Events

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest

‘What’s Going on at Bartel?’ – Wednesday, February 1

On Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m. at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Dick Riner will explain how an old hayfield can be encouraged to revert to its natural state as a wet grassland and become home to native plants and animals. Mr. Riner has been steward of the 640-acre Bartel Grassland, part of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, since 2005, having started there as a bird observer in 2004. Because of a lot of seeding and planting and tree cutting, done by a lot of volunteers, Bartel now provides nesting sites for many birds that are declining elsewhere because of destruction of habitat. Riner will also talk about plans for the celebration of Bartel’s 10-year anniversary on May 10, 2012. The event is free and open to the public.

Park Forest Environment Commission & Park Forest Garden Club

‘Natural Lawn Care Basics’ – Saturday, February 4

The Park Forest Environment Commission and Park Forest Garden Club invite you to attend a free educational forum on ‘Natural Lawn Care Basics’ that will be held on Saturday, February 4 at 10 a.m. in the Ringering Room of the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. Speaker Rachel Rosenberg, Executive Director of Safer Pest Control Project, will help you to discover the health and environmental impacts of conventionally maintained lawns and the benefits of a natural lawn care approach. A status report on the 2012 Park Forest Community Garden project will also be provided. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, call Rosemary Piser at 708-747-1991.

Village of Park Forest

Village of Park Forest Sustainability Plan

In April of this year, the Village of Park Forest was selected by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to participate in a local technical assistance program for the purpose of creating a Sustainability Plan. CMAP received a three-year $4.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement their adopted regional comprehensive plan, GO TO 2040. They are using this grant to fund around 60 local planning projects throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area that will be instrumental in the implementation of the GO TO 2040 Plan. CMAP staff assistance is being provided to prepare the Sustainability Plan at no cost to the Village. A Sustainability Assessment has been developed over the past several months. The next step in developing the Sustainability Plan is to develop strategies to help implement the Vision and Goals contained in the Sustainability Assessment. The public’s input is needed to ensure that this step in the Plan reflects the community’s desires for a sustainable community. To that end, all residents and Park Forest business owners are invited to participate in a public assessment tool. This survey will take should take no more than 15 minutes to complete, unless you have a lot of input to share. Please use the following link to access the assessment tool – http://parkforest.metroquest.com/

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

To learn more about the Sustainability Plan Project, visit: http://www.villageofparkforest.com.

Arts & Entertainment

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

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

  • Monday, January 30 at 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime
  • Monday, January 30 at 1 p.m. – Art & Copy – A documentary film that introduces the cultural visionaries who revolutionized advertising during the industry’s golden age in the 1960s by creating slogans to live by and ads we all remember. Discussion will follow the film.
  • Tuesday, January 31 at 10:30 a.m. – Preschool Storytime
  • Tuesday, January 31 at 7 p.m. – Pajama Storytime – For all story lovers Ages 2 thru 12. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Wednesday, February 1 at 3:30 p.m. – Breaktime! Ages 6 & Up. Stop in to see what we’re doing — crafts, games, more.
  • Thursday, February 2 at 10:30 a.m. – LapSit – Ages 0 – 35 months with caregiver. Registration please.
  • Thursday, February 2 at 11:15 a.m. – Toddler Art – Ages 2-4 with caregiver. Registration please.
  • Friday, January 27 at 1 p.m. – Senior Travelogue: Bavaria
  • Friday, February 3 at 4 p.m. – Teen Time – Ages 12 & up. Wii games, classic TV reruns, board game competitions, teen crafts.
  • Saturday, February 4 at 2 p.m. – Beginning Hand Quilting Workshop – Learn how to do a very basic quilt stitch to embellish your projects. Each person will start a mini project to take home. Registration required by January 28. Ages 15 & up.
  • Saturday, February 4 at 2 p.m. – Kids Kindle Demonstration – Drop in and learn about accessing these new digital library titles. We’ll also have a sampling of E-readers for you to look at, and an experienced user here to help you find your way through many of the features on each reader.
  • Saturday, February 4 at 3 p.m. – Valentine Crafts – Ages 4 & Up. Make a “monstrously cute” Valentine cardholder. Teens stop in and make “Fortune Cookie” valentine messages for friends.

For additional information or to register for these events, call the Park Forest Library’s Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731.

Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theatre, 410 Lakewood Blvd., Park Forest

Ryan DeHues – Tickets Now on Sale

Freedom Hall’s Senior Series will continue on Tuesday, February 7 at 11 a.m. when Ryan DeHues, an abundantly gifted singing prodigy will ignite the audience with his impressive vocal stylings and incredible command of the stage. Ryan valiantly keeps the flame burning for singing in the tradition of his influences – Jack Jones, Frank Sinatra, Booby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme. The music he sings reflects meticulous taste and the quality standards of the great American songbook writers such as Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Sammy Cahn and Hoagy Carmichael. Ryan tells the story of every tune, breathing life into every note and word, singing with unrestrained feeling. Tickets are $9.00. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.org.

Hot 8 Brass Band – Tickets Now on Sale

On Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m., New Orleans’ own Hot 8 Brass Band, that epitomizes New Orleans street music for over a decade, will perform with funk and energy. The members of the Hot 8 Brass Band were born and raised in New Orleans, having performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and several Spike Lee documentaries. They have released critically acclaimed recordings and are featured on the latest Blind Boys of Alabama recording. Tickets are $28. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.org.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Walkway, Park Forest

‘Broke-Ology’ by Nathan Louis Jackson –Through February 12

Tickets are now on sale for Nathan Louis Jackson’s ‘Broke-Ology’ which will run through February 12. This exciting new play is a stirring portrait of an African-American family. When a college student returns to his Kansas City home to help his brother care for their ill father, they find themselves strangely at odds. The New York Time described it as ‘A moving exploration of how time and circumstance – and the hard fact of poverty – can diminish hope, divide loving siblings, and ultimately extinguish life itself.” Tickets are priced at $22 and $20. There is a $1 discount for students and seniors. For additional information, show times, or to purchase tickets, call 708- 481-3510 or visit www.ilthctr.org.

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

‘No Place Like Home’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Join us on Saturday, February 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 12 at 3 p.m. for a "world cruise" for the senses when Markand Thakar, music director of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, leads the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra in a program bursting with melody. Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man heralds the equality and nobility of mankind as the U.S. was thrust into World War II; Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, one of classical music’s greatest hits, is Russian to the core; and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 is a lively sketch of his beloved Bohemia. The February 11th concert will be held at Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center
19900 S. Harlem Avenue, Frankfort. The February 12th concert will be held at Trinity Christian College’s Ozinga Chapel, 6601 W. College Drive, Palos Heights. Tickets are priced at $30 and $25 and can be purchased at: https://secure.ticketsage.net. For additional information, call 708-481-7774 or visit www.ipomusic.org.

A Fanfare for Broadway with "Glee" – RSVP by February 14

A Fanfare for Broadway with “Glee” will be held on Saturday, February 25 at Idlewild Country Club, 19201 Dixie Highway, Flossmoor. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and its education programs. The event will feature a delicious dinner, exciting entertainment and an exclusive silent auction. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. A cash bar will be available and complimentary table wine. Reservations: $125 per person and you must RSVP by February 14th. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-481-7774 or order online at https://secure.ticketsage.net.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

"Step Back into a 1950s Valentine’s Day" – Exhibit Through February at 1950s House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard, is decorated throughout February with vintage valentines and decorations. One room represents a classroom in the first school, Forest Boulevard School, which was set up in a row of townhomes in 1949. In February, the classroom is decorated for a 1950s Valentine’s Day party with crepe paper candy baskets, and construction paper heart-shaped valentine “mailboxes” on each desk. Red honeycomb, puffy hearts and vintage valentines are on display throughout the house. The museum is open in February Wednesdays 11-2; Saturdays 10-3. Donation is Adults-$5; 12 & under free. The tour is free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Park Forest Store brick at 1 for $15; 2 for $25. Convenient, free, street parking right outside the front door.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artist Walk, Park Forest

‘African Expressions’ Art and Artifacts of Africa – Through March 18

‘African Expressions,’ an exhibit featuring arts and artifacts of Africa, will run through March 18. The exhibit will feature Neolithic artifacts through 20th century sculpture, metal work, figurative wood sculpture and prestige items. A reception will be held on Friday, February 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For Gallery hours or additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit: www.tallgrassarts.org.

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

Edgar’s Place Coffeehouse Presents ‘Small Potatoes’ – Saturday, February 11

On Saturday, February 11 at 8 p.m., ‘Small Potatoes’ will play at Edgar’s Place Coffeehouse located at UUCC, 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest. ‘Small Potatoes’ features the Chicago-based duo of Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso who have been touring on the folk circuit since 1993 and have become sought-after regulars at many clubs and coffeehouses across the U.S. They have made repeat appearances at major folk festivals, including the famed Kerrville Folk Festival, where Jacquie is a past winner of the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Contest. They call themselves eclecto-maniacs. They describe their music as “Celtic to Cowboy” and say it has taken them “years of careful indecision” to come up with a mix of music that ranges from country, blues, and swing to Irish, with songwriting that touches on all of those styles and more. They both sing, play guitars and an array of other instruments. They even yodel. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Edgars Place is a fundraiser for the Unitarian Universalist Community Church. For additional information call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org/events.

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

 ‘The Color Purple’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. ‘The Color Purple,’ a soul-stirring musical based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, and the moving film by Steven Spielberg will be performed. ‘The Color Purple’ is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who—through love—finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. Set to a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, and blues, ‘The Color Purple’ is a story of hope, testament to the healing power of love, and celebration of life!  Tickets are priced at $28 (students), $50, $57, and $65. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or visit: http://www.centertickets.net.

‘Treasured Stories’ by Eric Carle – Saturday, February 4

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Treasured Stories: A Brown Bear, a Moon and a Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle which will be performed on Saturday, February 4 at 11 a.m. The very hungry caterpillar is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See’; and the poignant story of a young girl’s unusual quest, ‘Papa Please Get the Moon for Me,’ completes an hour-long performance, which both entertains and educates. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry, the triple-bill highlights three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call 708-235-2222 or visit: http://www.centertickets.net.

‘Lift Every Voice’ – An Operatic Celebration of Black History Month – Tickets Now on Sale

On Sunday, February 19 at 4 p.m., celebrate Black History Month with a review of music drawn from the rich heritage of the Black experience. Two of Chicagoland’s greatest operatic stars, soprano Kimberly Jones and tenor Cornelius Johnson, will perform music from ‘Porgy and Bess,’ ‘Ragtime,’ ‘Showboat,’ and more. Viennese pastries and coffee will be offered during this intimate performance on The Center’s stage. Tickets are $37. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

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

‘Ways of Making: Photography’ – Through Friday, February 3

The Visual Arts Gallery at GSU is currently presenting ‘Ways of Making: Photography,’ featuring the work of artists Myra Green and Cecil McDonald, Jr. through Friday, February 3. A closing reception celebrating the exhibition will be held on Thursday, February 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public. The Visual Arts Gallery is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and by appointment. For additional information, call 708-534-4021 or visit www.govst.edu/gallery.

South Suburban PADS

‘N’awlins’ Style Fundraiser’ – Tickets Now on Sale

South Suburban PADS will be holding ‘N’awlins’ Style Fundraiser’ on Saturday, February 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street, 13359 Merrionette Park, IL. South Suburban PADS is an emergency shelter program that has operative in the South and Southwest suburbs of Chicago since 1990. It is an interfaith effort that provides food, shelter and hospitality to men, women and children with no place to live. Tickets are $45 per person and include wine, beer and soda bar, buffet meal of local favorites and Cajun cuisine. Special Guest Master of Ceremony will be Andrea Darias of WGN Radio. Dress is casual chic, costumes are encouraged. Advance ticket purchase is required. Tickets can be purchased at www.sspads.org.  For additional information, call 708-754-4357.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights

‘I Shall Be Released’ Regional Juried Exhibit – Through February 11

‘I Shall Be Released’ a Regional juried exhibit will run through Saturday, February 11. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

The Sculpture of Howard Haarer & Rob Millard-Mendez – Through February 11

The sculpture of Howard Haarer and Rob Millard-Mendez will be exhibited through Saturday, February 11. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘All Loans – Stepping Stones to Financing Small Businesses’ Four Part Series Workshop – Begins Tuesday, February 7 – Registration Required

The Park Forest Library will sponsor a four part series workshop titled ‘All Loans – Stepping Stones to Financing Small Businesses’ beginning on Tuesday, February 7. Consecutive sessions will be held on February 14th, 21st and 28th. All workshops will be conducted from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. The workshop will be presented by SCORE, a national nonprofit association and resource partner of the Small Business Administration. The presenter will be Wilbur Pelt of Matrix Equity, a cash flow consultant. Participants will learn about sources of funding, history of banking, real estate funding and business loan packing. This is an interactive series with homework activities expected between each session. Registration is required. There is no fee for the workshop. Seating is limited. Bring writing materials and a calculator. No laptops, Ipads, cell phones or other similar devices are allowed. For additional information or to register, contact SCORE at 312-353-7724 or visit www.scorechicago.org.

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

Careers for the 21st Century Workshops – Monday, January 30 and Thursday, February 2

GSU is hosting ‘Careers for the 21st Century,’ a series of free workshops for both career seekers and career counselors on Monday, January 30 and Thursday, February 2. Participants may attend the workshop(s) of their choice. Workshops on Monday, January 30 include:

  • “The New Careers Perspectives for the New Career World’ from 10 a.m. to noon, E-Lounge
  • “Intuition, A Long Overlooked Career Counseling Competency” from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., E-Lounge
  • “Personal Reflections on the Use of Intuition in Career Choices” from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Cafeteria Annex.

Workshops on Thursday, February 2 include:

  • “Career Transitions and Life Management in the New Career Market” from 10 a.m. to noon, Cafeteria Annex
  • “Navigating uncertainty” from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Cafeteria Annex
  • “Passion Search: Find Your Career Passion and Path” from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Cafeteria Annex.

Workshop presenters include Dr. Byron Waller, Associate Professor of Counseling at GSU; Carol Vecchio, founder of Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal, a nonprofit educational organization; and Dr. Heather Zeng, core faculty member and subject matter expert in career counseling at Capella University. Registration is not required. To reserve a seat or for more information, e-mail Dr. Bryon Waller at [email protected]. Include the workshops you wish to attend as well as your contact information.

Manilow Sculpture Park Docent Orientation Begins February 9 – Registration Required

Expand your horizons this year as a docent at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park (NMSP). Orientation sessions begin February 9 for the 2012 Docent Class at NMSP located at GSU. As a docent you will guide visitors through the nationally acclaimed sculpture park, home to 27 masterworks by some of the world’s great contemporary artists. Docents lead weekend tours of the park, host programs and receptions, and act as park ambassadors. Docents do not have to be experts in contemporary art, and persons of all ages are welcome in the program. Prospective docents will receive instructional materials and simple assignments will be due every other week during orientation. Topics include park history, an introduction to the history of sculpture, presentations on each piece in the collection, and pointers on how to conduct tours. This February 9 session takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Room G262 at GSU. Advance registration and a $25 fee are required. For additional information on the park docent program and volunteer opportunities, call 708-534-4486, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.govst.edu/sculpture.

Reading Tutoring Available at GSU

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

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday At GSU

The Mobile Workforce Center’s mobile unit will be at GSU every Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., parked near the university’s front entrance. Center services include resume development, access to online job boards and websites, instruction in how to conduct an online job search and improve keyboarding skills, and assistance of staff. The center is equipped with 11 computer stations with Internet access, printer, and copy machines, and is wheelchair accessible. Services are free and available to residents in all counties. For additional information, contact the Workforce Services Division of Will County at 815-727-4980.

Representative Anthony DeLuca, Chicago Heights

2012 General Assembly Scholarship Program – Applications Accepted Through March 15

Representative Anthony DeLuca is accepting applications for the 2012 General Assembly Scholarship program through Thursday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. The scholarships are available o residents of the 80th District and will cover one year of tuition to the following universities:

  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield)
  • Chicago State University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Governors State University
  • Illinois State University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Western Illinois University

Eight recipients will receive one-year tuition, including summer semester. Fees, books, room and board are not covered. For additional information or to receive an application, call 708-672-0200 or visit www.housedem.state.il.us/members/delucaa/index.htm.

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

21st Annual Strong Children – Strong Communities Conference – Registration Required

The 21st Annual Strong Children – Strong Communities conference will be held on Saturday, February 25, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted Street, Chicago Heights.  This conference is hosted by Good Shepherd Center, a non-profit agency serving individuals with disabilities and their families since 1963.  The Strong Children – Strong Communities conference is the largest bilingual conference in the Chicago area, featuring many individual workshops in both English and Spanish. Attendees can choose from a variety of individual workshops and hear the keynote speaker.  The keynote speaker this year is Sue Black, Certified Bullying Prevention Trainer, Storyteller and Teaching Artist. Some of the workshops include – Playful Science: Rolling, Floating, Swinging and the Science Behind It, Power Struggles: Children vs. Adults, Nutrition, Disconnect to Reconnect: Helping Children Build Relationships at Home & School, Self-Defense, Creating a Special Bond-Siblings of Children with Developmental Disabilities, Early Math is more than Counting & Naming Shapes, Sign Language, Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and more.   Registration is only $35 per person and includes a delicious box lunch. Lunch includes a choice of turkey, ham and turkey or veggie wraps, a drink and chips.  Registration can be made on line at www.gscenter.org or by calling 708-335-0020 x 15. CEU and CPDU credits are available. Entertainment during lunch is provided by The Pink Panthers double dutch jumpers, Gold Medalists at Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics and 2010 Record Breakers Champs three years in a row.  For more information on the Strong Children – Strong Communities conference please call Good Shepherd Center, 708-335-0020 x 15.

Opt In to Technology at PSC

You can bridge the gap between technology and a new you at PSC’s new Opt In program that consists of two computer training centers and free classes to teach basic technological skills. One location is at the Adult Training and outreach Center in Room A145 at PSC’s main campus. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The other location is at the Matteson Area Center’s Computer Training Lab located at 4821 Southwick Dr., Matteson. Hours for this location are Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. No matter what skill level you have or want to have, Opt In can help. Both computer labs and on-site tutors are free and open to the public. For additional information, call Lisa Zeigler at 708-709-3548 or e-mail [email protected].

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

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

Healthy Living

Park Forest Tennis & Health Club, 290 Westwood Dr., Park Forest

Treat the Family to Tennis Lessons for Free – Saturday, February 11 – Registration Required

Enjoy three hours of learning the game of tennis — right here in town — at the indoor Park Forest Tennis and Health Club. You’ll learn some basics of the game and will be prepared to take your game outdoors when spring arrives. The event takes place on Saturday, February 11 from noon to 3 p.m. Participants should wear athletic shoes and, if possible, bring a tennis racket. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult. This program is free and space is limited. Register your family today by calling 708-748-2005.

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch

Senior citizens of all income levels are invited to lunch weekdays at the Community Nutrition Network (CNN) site located inside the Rich Township’s Shirley J. Green Senior Center. The CNN site is open to all south suburban residents, including those living outside of Rich Township. Participants must be 60 years of age or older. The suggested donation for lunch is $2.50. Lunch is served Monday through Friday at noon. Bingo begins at 11 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

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

Walk-In Flu & Pneumonia Clinic

On Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. flu and pneumonia immunizations will be available while supplies last. For fee information or questions, call the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118.

Babies, Teens and Adults Immunization Clinics

Babies, teens and adult immunization and flu and pneumonia clinics will be held on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details or to schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118. The Health Department is a low cost provider for children and adult immunizations.

Blood Pressure Screening

A free Blood Pressure Clinic is held at the Park Forest Health Department Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Walk in or call ahead at 708-748-1118.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private programs available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit http://www.pparx.org/en/click_illinois to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

This & That

Park Forest Baseball

Registration for 2012 Season – Now in Progress

Registration for Park Forest Baseball’s 2012 Season will be held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 11 and Saturday, March 3. There will also be registration held on Saturday, February 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Village Hall. Players are required to furnish a birth certificate. Fees vary by division, with a refundable participation fee of $25 and a fundraising requirement of selling one box of candy. A complete uniform is provided and teams play approximately 20 games during the season. Park Forest Baseball is part of the Greater South Suburban Baseball League, which is made up of Hazel Crest, Richton Park, Glenwood, University Park, OTYA, Matteson, Matteson-Olympia Fields, Chicago Heights, and South Chicago Heights. For additional information, call Alan or Mary Kay Joens at 708-503-1944 or e-mail [email protected] or visit www.ParkForestBaseball.org.

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

Free Java Tuesdays

All are invited to Faith United Protestant Church for FREE Java Tuesdays. Visitors are asked to go to the Indianwood Boulevard side entrance between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. for free curbside service or to come and sit a bit. The event will continue each Tuesday as a form of outreach to the community throughout the summer and fall. For more information, call 708-747-1330.

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

Rainbow Café Monthly Meeting – Saturday, February 4

The Rainbow Café is an opportunity for single or partnered gays, lesbians, bisexuals or other sexual minorities, and their allies, over age 18 to meet one another and socialize in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Those attending are encouraged to bring some non-alcoholic drinks and a dessert or snack to pass, or bring a financial donation. However, neither is mandatory. The Rainbow Café is held from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the 1st Saturday of each month at the Unitarian-Universalist Community Church, 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest.

Garden Club of Park Forest

"A Gardener’s Cookbook"

To celebrate their 55th anniversary, the Park Forest Garden Club offers this cookbook filled with memories, gardening tips, flowery sayings and of course recipes. Makes a great gift. All proceeds go to the club and are used toward community contributions. Cookbooks are $9 and are available at the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department, 350 Victory Drive. Call 708-748-2005 for additional information.

Rotary Club of Park Forest

The Rotary Club of Park Forest urges you to purchase a Golden Opportunities 2012 book to help support its youth activities. Books are only $25 and are now available for purchase at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Blvd.

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

"Operation Hero Miles" collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit www.FisherHouse.org.

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Greening of Park Forest

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

Recycle Unused Wheelchairs

If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and would like to help a person with a disability, the Sertoma Centre will accept your donation. Contact Melanie Jones at 708-730-6206 for additional information.

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the "Recycling" icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Safe Disposal Program – Bio-waste

The Park Forest Health Department and Environment Commission have partnered to provide information on the proper disposal of bio-waste such as used syringes or lancets (medical sharps). Begin by purchasing a Sharps container to dispose of your medical sharps for $10 at the Park Forest Health Department. Return the filled container to the Park Forest Health Department and purchase a new container. Call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118 for more information.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Sources: Park Forest 2011 Autumn Recreation Programs & More Brochure, 2011/2012 Park Forest Fall/Winter Calendar,  Park Forest ‘Discover’ magazine, Rich Township Report, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Center for Performing Arts, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Monkey Mind Art Studio, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.