In and Around Park Forest Week of June 30, 2014

St. Irenaeus Community Garden
Help the St. Irenaeus Community Garden win a $15,000 grant. See below.. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—June 30, 2014. The Village of Park Forest has scheduled a full slate of events for the 4th of July holiday celebration. The event will begin with a parade that will starts at 6 p.m. on Main Street and Orchard Drive. The parade route provides many opportunities for viewing as it winds its way around Central Park, Orchard to Westwood; Westwood to Lakewood; and Lakewood back to Orchard.

The Parade Grand Marshall this year will be recently retired Recreation and Parks Director, John Joyce.

At 7 p.m., BBI takes the stage for a free concert on the Village Green Main Str. & Cunningham Dr.). BBI lays down the classics from Motown, R& B, rock and roll to current dance hits.

At approximately 9:15 p.m., concertgoers can turn their chairs around and enjoy the 15 minute fireworks display that will be launched from Central Park. No need to travel far this holiday weekend when you can celebrate and old fashioned 4th of July right here in your own backyard.

Wishing all of our eNews readers a happy and safe July 4th holiday.

Our friends at the St. Irenaeus Community Garden in Park Forest, along with the South Suburban Food Coop and Sustainable Agriculture Food Exchange have entered a contest for a $15,000 grant to help purchase additional equipment and supplies to improve the garden. For those who might not be aware, the St. Irenaeus Community Garden project provides fresh, organic produce to people lacking access to quality fruits and vegetables for economic reasons. They deliver food to St. Irenaeus/Catholic Charities Food Pantry on site and 5 other area pantries ensuring food gets to those in need while still fresh. The pantry serves over 500 families from Park Forest and neighboring communities whose households have 510 children under the age of 18 and several seniors over 90. Clients may also pick produce at any time, and during peak harvest season we encourage canning and freezing the excess. Sadly, suburban poverty is increasing faster than urban poverty across the nation and without the infrastructure of resources to help address the many accompanying issues.  If it were not for the work of these organizations, many in our own community would not be able to enjoy fresh produce.

The first part of the grant process is a public opinion poll. To help St. Irenaeus’ Community Garden get to the next level of the contest, they need your help. Please take a moment to read the entry and cast a vote for the St. Irenaeus Community Garden. You can vote once each day through July 7.

To view the proposal and cast your vote, visit: http://naturespath.appbuilder.spredfast.com.

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 Hall Closure – Friday, July 4

Park Forest Village Hall will be closed on Friday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions and Advisory Boards are scheduled to meet the week of June 30:

  • Thursday, July 3 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, July 3 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission

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 Parkway, University Park

GSU’s Center for Performing Arts 2014 – 15 Season Announced – Tickets Now on Sale

GSU’s Center for Performing Arts kicks off another exciting season that offers a live entertainment experience unlike any other in the Chicagoland area. The 2014-15 season features provocative theater; musical favorites like the Beatles, big band, and the blues; contemporary dance and family entertainment that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

The full slate is divided into series packages. The Mainstage series features “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey starring Jasmine Guy (“A Different World”) and the Avery Sharpe Jazz Trio.” Opera Up Close puts audiences on stage in an intimate cabaret-style seating that will give them a new appreciation for the art. The Family series features the classic holiday ballet, “The Nutcracker,” and Spencers Theatre of Illusion, which combines the elements of live theater with elaborate stage illusions. The Made In Chicago series brings the vibrant and colorful influence Chicago has had on music, dance and drama to the Southland, thanks to the generosity of The Chicago Community Trust, First Midwest Bank and The National Endowment for the Arts. And the Theatre series features performances from the Southland Area Theatre Ensemble (SLATE) and GSU’s very own Theatre and Performance Studies program.

Returning for the third year in a row is “Chicago Live!,” in which host Rick Kogan brings the Chicago Tribune newspaper to life with the help of special editorial and musical guests and the renowned Second City comedy troupe.

The Center for Performing Arts goes out of its way to offer engaging activities beyond the performances. As part of the Opera Up Close series, “Bon Appetit!,” the audience will enjoy food sampling and Julia Child’s French chocolate cake as the musical stories unfold. For “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey starring Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Jazz Trio,” audience members may purchase a VIP ticket that includes a pre-show dinner reception and a post-show meet and greet with the star of the show, Jasmine Guy. For “Classic Albums Live presents Abbey Road-The Beatles,” fans may buy a pre-show English pub experience food ticket. And for Congo Square Theatre’s “Twisted Melodies,” patrons should come early to enjoy a listening party featuring music of the late great Donny Hathaway and some of the best soul food in Chicago.

For a full lineup, detailed show descriptions, video previews, and ticket information, visit www.centertickets.net. Save up to 20 percent by purchasing a series package or building your own flex-package. Programming is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Art Council, an agency of the State of Illinois. Don’t miss this eclectic mix of phenomenal talent in a world-class theater that is affordable and accessible, and where the parking is always free. The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

For more information, contact the box office at www.centertickets.net or call 708-235-2222.

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

IPO Brass Quintet 4th of July Special – Wednesday, July 2

On Wednesday, July 2 at 7 p.m., at Ravisloe Country Club, 18231 S. Park Avenue, Homewood, the IPO Brass Quintet will perform a 4th of July concert of American favorites. Featuring “New York, New York”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Meet Me in St. Louis”, “San Francisco”, plus favorites from New Orleans, Chicago, the Old South, the New North, and more, it’s the perfect way to ring in the holiday. This concert will take place outdoors, weather permitting. General Admission tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at: https://secure.ticketsage.net.

For additional information, call 708-481-7774.

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

Espirit de Corps Exhibition – Through August 1, 2014

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

Surrealism and War – Through November 1

Surrealism and War, an exhibition of veterans’ artwork that explores the relationship between surrealism and the experience of war will be on display at the NVAM through November 1. Surrealism and War includes the seminal work “The Earth Lies Screaming” by Jim Leedy, a Korean War veteran who was one of only two Americans invited to participate in the largest Surrealist exhibition ever assembled at the Retretti Art Center, Finland, an exhibition that began with Miro, Dali, and DuChamp, and culminated with several works by Mr. Leedy. Surrealism is an attempt to revolt against the inherent contradictions of a society ruled by rational thought while dominated by war and oppression. Surrealism seeks expression of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason and free of aesthetic and moral preoccupation. It is this same absence of control exercised by reason that many combat veterans seek to explore and express after their experiences in war. Surrealism and War features the artwork of nine veteran artists that intentionally and unintentionally use and explore Surrealist processes and concepts.  Featured artists include Korean War veteran Jim Leedy, Vietnam War veterans William Dugan, Stan Gillett, Michael Helbing, and Richard Yohnka, Gulf War veteran Ehren Tool, Kosovo veteran Giuseppe Pellicano, and Iraq War veterans David Keefe and Robynn Murray. The National Veterans Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group admission reservations, call the Museum at 312/326-0270 or visit www.nvam.org. Patrons of the museum can access art from the permanent collection and biographical information on the artists through the NVAM Collection Online, a recently launched online and high-resolution archive of every piece of art in the museum’s permanent collection. The NVAM Collection Online can be found at www.nvam.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Library Closure – Friday, July 4

The Park Forest Public Library will be closed on Friday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day Holiday.

Paws for Fines – Through July 31

Bring in pet food, a new pet toy, collar, leash, dish, etc. and for each item you bring in the Park Forest Public Library will waive $2.00 in Fines (up to 5 items—$10.00). This is however not valid on lost or replacement items. On July 31st, the close of Summer Reading, all items will be donated to the South Suburban Humane Society. Please help our homeless friends.

Portraits in Paws

Do you have a favorite picture of yourself or family with your pet or stuffed friend? Bring it in to the Patron Services desk or email them to [email protected]. We’ll make copies of all pictures and return them to you immediately. Then watch for them on our "Window of Paws."

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

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

  • Monday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m. – Movie Madness Mondays: ‘Horton Hears a Who’ — It’s show time for the whole family on Mondays! This week: an animated tale of this Dr. Seuss classic.
  • Tuesday, July 1 at 7 p.m. — Goodnight Zoo — Wear your PJs out on the town! Bring along a fuzzy friend and your blanket too! Stories, crafts, and more… Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, July 2 at 11 a.m. – Storypalooza — Grab some carpet and discover some books you will go wild about! Ages 10 and under.
  • Wednesday, July 2 at 1:30 p.m. — Wild about Wii — Come hang out and play some wild games on the Wii. Impress your friends with your stellar hand-eye coordination. Ages 12 and under.
  • Thursday, July 3 – ALL DAY — We’ve Gone Bananas for Curious George — Join us as we tag along on the many adventures of this beloved little monkey. Stories and more will be provided. Ages 12 and under.

For additional information or to register for certain events, please call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org/

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Step Back Into the 1950s at the Park Forest House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, is open Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The museum can also be open for groups by appointment, at other times. Donation is Adults $5; Children 12 & under free with an adult. Scout and school tours are priced individually. For details, to arrange a special group tour, or to volunteer, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website, www.parkforesthistory.org, or call Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

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

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

‘Material Associations’ Exhibit – Through July 24

PSC is hosting “Material Associations: Works by Iris Goldstein, Laurie LeBreton, Laura Anne Cloud, Donna Hapac, and Gina Lee Robbins,” through Thursday, July 24, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the college’s main campus. Beth Shadur, gallery director and exhibit curator, says the works range from sculptures on pedestals or stand-alone works, to relief works hung on the walls. The exhibition features works in a wide range of materials, including clay, plastic fingernails, painted plaster, reeds, abaca paper, and other unusual media. The event is free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits also can be made by appointment. 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

Chicago Street Scenes iPhone Photography Exhibit – Opens July 8

Shooting from the Hip, an exhibit of iPhone-photographed Chicago street scenes by award-winning Chicago Tribune photographer Scott Strazzante, will be on display starting July 8 at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. The exhibit of 50 black-and-white photographs shot by Strazzante with an iPhone that he holds unassumingly just above the hip, captures and celebrates street life – unbeknownst to passersby along the city’s Michigan Avenue as well as nearby downtown locations that are within walking distance of the Gage Gallery. The winner of 11 Illinois Photographer of the Year awards in the last 14 years, including taking top honors the last three years in the Illinois Press Photographers’ Camera Phone category, Strazzante uses an iPhone application called Hipstamatic and a technique in which he never looks at his screen in order to frame and capture photos of people and news as it happens on city streets. Free and open to the public, Shooting from the Hip opens a day before Taste of Chicago and is expected to draw tourists as well as festival goers who are interested in a taste of Chicago’s street scene as well as its food. Gage Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Shooting from the Hip will run through August 30.

For information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery or call 312-281-3220.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Through the Lens of Wynn Hopkins’ – Opens Tuesday, July 1

‘Through the Lens of Wynn Hopkins’ will be the featured exhibit throughout the month of July. Join Wynn in celebrating a wonderful exhibition with a reception on July 25 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring music and refreshments. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information and Gallery hours, call 708-833-5108.

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

Auditions for ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ – July 9 & 10

The PAC Rats Theatre Company of SSC will hold open auditions for the Ken Ludwig comedy, ‘Moon Over Buffalo.’ The auditions will take place on July 9th and 10th beginning at 7:00 p.m. Readings will be held in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on the Main Campus in South Holland. Auditions are open to community members as well as SSC students. Appointments and prepared audition materials are not necessary. Auditioners will read from scenes, which will be available at the time of auditions. Copies of the script are on reserve in the SSC library. Everyone is welcome to attend both auditions. The rehearsal and performance schedule will be available at the time of auditions. Director Sandra Wagner, of Lansing, will cast four women and four men, ranging in age from 18 to 70 plus. Wagner is planning evening rehearsals. Performances are scheduled for September 19, 20 and 26, 27 and 28, 2014. It’s 1953 and Charlotte and George Hay, an acting couple, are on tour in Buffalo, NY with a repertory consisting of Cyrano de Bergerac and Noel Coward’s Private Lives. Fate has given these thespians one more shot at starring roles in The Scarlet Pimpernel epic and director Frank Capra himself is en route to Buffalo to catch their matinee performance. Mistaken identities, a deaf grandmother, sword fights and backstage romance–what else can go wrong? In addition to acting talent, the PAC Rats are also looking for volunteers who want to try their hands backstage.

For character descriptions, rehearsal schedules and more information, visit the Kindig Performing Arts Center’s website at http://learn.ssc.edu/theatre/ or email [email protected].

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Identity Interpreted and Assumed: Self Portrait’ – Through July 12

Tall Grass Arts Association’s next exhibition is ‘Identity Interpreted and Assumed: Self Portrait’ will run through July 12. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Juror Ruth Crnkovich selected works from 38 artists from around the country who have explored through direct representation and expressive interpretation the self-portrait as a symbol for identity. Crnkovich, well-known in our region for her roles as director and curator at galleries such as South Shore Arts, The Vietnam Veterans Museum, and our own Tall Grass Gallery, is also a respected art appraiser, and she has chosen works that range from literal portraits to mythical role-playing to symbolic meditations on how the artists see themselves. Artists included are: Jamilah Adebesin Mason, Marjorie Anderson, Dale Augustson, Sabine Betschart, Chris Cicala, Catherine Danae, Leonard Ferris, Lynn Garwood, Janet Glazar, Karen Anne Glick, John Gutierrez, Margi Hafer, Linda Lane Haynes, Mike Helbing, Gregg Hertzlieb, Jeanine Hill-Soldner, Fran Hollander, chawne kimber, Kim Laurel, Laura Lein-Svencner, Jean Lewis, Mikelle Lindsey, Carol Luc, Susan Mahan, Claudia McCarthy, Jennifer Meyer, Mary Lou Novak, Alison Oakes, Joseph Perryman, Alicia Post, Mark Reed, Don Sala, and Liz Clayton Scofield.

For additional information please visit the Tall Grass website www.tallgrassarts.org or call the Gallery at 708-748-3377.

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

‘A Little Garden Art’ Garden Walk – Presale Discount Tickets Now on Sale

USG’s annual garden walk, ‘A Little Garden Art’ will be held on Saturday, July 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine. Enjoy an enchanting day in the gardens as you experience some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes here in the south suburbs. Each garden will have a working artist creating art inspired by their surroundings and guests can watch artists working in a variety of media. Completed art will be displayed at Union Street Gallery after the walk in the fall. This is more of a "garden drive" than a walk, so transportation is necessary. Tickets are priced at $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event, but you can purchase a presale voucher now for only $18. For additional information or to purchase advance tickets, call 708-754-2601.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Graduate Business Programs Open House – RSVP by July 18

The College of Business and Public Administration at GSU is hosting a graduate programs open house on July 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Cafeteria Annex. Information on graduate programs in business administration, public administration, management information systems, and accounting, as well information about the accelerated, on line MBA in supply chain management will be presented. Academic advisors and admission counselors will also be available to answer questions and discuss admission requirements. Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak with advisors from the GSU Office of Career Services. Attendees are encouraged to bring official or unofficial transcripts for review. Refreshments will be served and tours of the campus will be offered. For more information or to RSVP by July 18, call 708-534-4391 or email [email protected]

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday at GSU

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

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

Registration Open for Fall 2014 Credit & Non-credit Courses

Registration for fall 2014 is open at Prairie State College (PSC). Credit courses begin Monday, Aug. 18. Non-credit courses include a variety of single-day and multiple-session offerings that begin throughout the fall. Both credit and non-credit courses are listed in the fall class schedule, available on the PSC main campus in Chicago Heights. The schedule also is available at area public libraries and online at www.prairiestate.edu/enroll. To register for credit courses, new students must complete an enrollment application in person at the college or online at www.prairiestate.edu/start. Through Friday, Aug. 8, Enrollment Services is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the college is closed on Fridays. Beginning Monday, Aug. 11, Enrollment Services will resume regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Current students can register for credit courses online or in person. Students can register for non-credit courses online or in person. To register online via Instant Enrollment, go to prairiestate.edu and select How To Register for Non-Credit Courses from the A-Z Index. Another option is to complete the registration form available online at prairiestate.edu/noncredit or in the back of the printed course schedule. Students also can register for non-credit courses in person at the Matteson Area Center (MAC), located at 4821 Southwick Drive in Matteson, or in the Enrollment Services Office on the PSC main campus. Through Aug. 8, the MAC is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Beginning Monday, Aug. 11, the MAC will resume regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

For more information about registering for courses, visit www.prairiestate.edu or call 708-709-3500.

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 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

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

Fall 2014 Registration – Now in Progress

Open Registration for the Fall 2014 Semester at SSC is in progress. Fall classes begin Monday, August 18th at the college’s Main Campus and Oak Forest Center. SSC will also host an end-of-summer Open House on August 7th from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. featuring tours, demonstrations, and information about the college’s wide range of options, programs and student services. Prospective students ages 18 and over attending the Open House will be entered in a drawing for a trip for two to the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas September 19 and 20th. New students should visit the Admissions Office in Room 2348 to complete the Application Form, or apply online www.ssc.eduto begin the enrollment process. New students will receive an SSC email account and a “My SSC” Username & Password via email which will allow access to the online schedule and class registration. The “My SSC” portal also allows students 24-hour access during college closed periods. Current and prospective students are encouraged to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.govusing institution code 001769. Students who wish to use financial aid as payment for fall classes must have an official high school or GED transcript on file. Official transcripts must have a school seal and graduation date on them. Transcripts can be hand-delivered to the Admissions Office or mailed to: Office of Admissions (15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473). If a transcript is hand-delivered it must be in the original sealed, unopened envelope. Contact the Office of Admissions at 708-210-5718 for enrollment information. SSC’s Main Campus is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, 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.

Park Forest Nurses Plus, 350 Victory Drive

School Physicals Available Beginning July 11 – Appointment Required

The Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus will hold school physicals for children on the following dates this summer: July 11, July 19, July 25, August 8, August 9, August 15, and August 23. Times vary. Appointments are required. Physical exams are conducted by a Family Nurse Practitioner. The exams cover: height and weight; screening for lead (6 years old and under only; hemoglobin; urinalysis; and dental exam/cleaning. Parents must bring child’s immunization record to the appointment. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118.

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.

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.

Green Events

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – July 3

On Wednesday, July 3 at 9 a.m., enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderator. The Wednesday morning walks will continue each week and walkers new to the program must register two days before they first hike.

Summer Safari Adventures at Thorn Creek — Registration and Payment Required by Monday, July 14

Hiking, stream-stomping and bug catching are a few of the key ingredients that make summer exploration camp a great way to learn and have fun!  Our three-day Summer Safari: Adventures in Thorn Creek program offers children ages 8 to 10 years old the opportunity to explore nature and learn about the critters that live along and in Thorn Creek. Through nature study and investigation, games, crafts, hikes and more, children will be guided in hands-on exploration and discovery of our natural waterway. Children should bring a lunch and water bottle, and wear play clothes: long pants, a light, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and sturdy shoes for exploring (not sandals). Insect repellent and sun block are also highly encouraged. Snacks will be provided. Participants should be prepared to walk 2 miles on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Summer Safari is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 22-24, 9 a.m.-noon. Cost is $35 per child. Registration and payment required by Monday, July 14. Please make check payable to Thorn Creek Nature Center and send payment to 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, Il 60466. For additional information, call 708-747-6320, email [email protected] or visit www.tcwoods.org.

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

Clothing, Shoe Recycling at Park Forest Farmers’ Market

The Park Forest Farmers’ Market will now offer clothing and shoe recycling services from 9 a.m. to noon every second Saturday through September. The dates when accepted items may be dropped off are:

  • July 12
  • August 9
  • September 13

USAgain, a green, for-profit company committed to protecting the environment, conserving resources, and creating green sector jobs through the collection of textiles for reuse and recycling, has agreed to collect residents’ old shoes and clothing at the Market. Items dropped off will be diverted from landfills to be re-worn, reused or recycled – reducing the carbon footprint of residents. Accepted items include men’s, women’s and kids’ shoes, boots and clothing as well as gloves, hats, bags, purses and belts. Sheets, blankets, drapes and towels are also welcome. The Park Forest Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays, May through October, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is located at 271 Lakewood Blvd, just across from the Park Forest Police Department. To learn more, call 708-748-1118.

Park Forest 41st Annual Farmers’ Market – Every Saturday through October 25

Park Forest’s 41st Annual Farmers’ Market will take place every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 25. The Market is located across the street from the Park Forest Police Station, 271 Lakewood Boulevard. The Market offers fresh vegetables, fruits, organic breads, salsa, specialty produce, garden bedding plants, perennials, garden ornaments, Amish butter, cheese and pies. A variety of food vendors, jewelry and oils will also be available for purchase. The Market accepts SNAP/Link cards, Senior Nutrition coupons and WIC. For additional information about the Farmers’ Market, call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118, email [email protected] or visit www.villageofparkforest.com.

This & That

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

Senior Trip to Arlington Park Racetrack – Registration Now in Progress

All bets are on as The Rich Township Senior Services invites you to come and enjoy a wonderful day at the beautiful Arlington Park Racetrack on July 10! Our trip includes: admission to the park, daily racing guides, two-hour buffet and three-hour soft drink package – all in an air-conditioned room. The International Room provides a cheerful summer setting with floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views of the track and the horses battling down the stretch. The Graze Chef’s Table will satisfy all of you. It is important to remember that Arlington enforces a Business Casual dress code, which does not allow shorts or tennis shoes. The cost of the trip is $70 payable by cash or check. We will depart from the Senior Center parking lot promptly at 10:00 a.m. We will return at approximately 7:00 p.m. To join us for a day of racing fun, call 708-748-5454 to make your reservations. Your payment must be made no later than three days after your reservation.