In and Around Park Forest Week of March 18, 2013

Fire Chief Robert Wilcox
Monday night’s Park Forest Village Board Meeting will include a resolution recognizing the tenure of retiring Fire Chief Bob Wilcox. (PHOTO: VOPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—March 18, 2013. Monday night’s Park Forest Village Board Meeting will include a resolution recognizing the tenure of Fire Chief Bob Wilcox who will be retiring. After the Board Meeting, cake and coffee will be served at a reception in his honor at the Fire Station. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Calling all adults that want to play softball this summer — an organizational meeting for the 2013 adult summer softball leagues will be held at the Park Forest Tennis and Health Club on Monday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. Men’s teams will play on Mondays and Thursdays and a new Sunday Co-Ed league will be formed this year. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. The Tennis and Health Club is located on Westwood and Sauk Trail.  For additional information, call Kevin Adams at 708-748-2005.

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

Village Board Meetings

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, March 18 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 at www.villageofparkforest.com.
To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=BoardMtgArchive&category=Village%20Governmentand click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Advisory Board will meet the week of March 18:

  • Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. – Recreation & Parks Advisory Board

The meeting will be held at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Park Forest Non-Partisan Committee

Candidate Forums

The final Candidates’ Forum hosted Park Forest Non-Partisan Committee will be held on Sunday, March 24 at 1 p.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive for the Library Trustees and Village Trustee Candidates. This Forum is being co-sponsored by the Park Forest Cooperatives.
Previously held Candidate’s Forums can be viewed at: CandidateForums.

Arts & Entertainment

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

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

  • Monday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. – Imagine! Create! Participate! — This program is designed for children ages 3-5 and will include not only a story, but the use of their imaginations. It’s designed to help children develop their creativity while interacting and connecting to other children in the community. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Monday, March 18 at 2 p.m. – Basic Internet — Learn to the basics of using the internet, including safe browsing and getting driving directions. Registration required.
  • Monday, March 18 at 6 p.m. – Live Acoustic Blues Jam — No Drum Kits, No Amps, No Egos, Bad Attitudes, or Monkey Business Allowed. Electric Piano provided. Players from all age groups invited. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult caregiver
  • Tuesday, March 19 at 10:30 a.m. – Movement & Me — Come in and enjoy time with your preschooler during this class combining movement with adventure and stories. Exercise is a key to living a healthy lifestyle. In this class parents and caregivers are able to move with their children while having a great time. (Ages 3-5). Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. – P.J. Story Time — Wear your pajamas & come join us for stories, crafts & games. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. – Best of the Web — Find out about some of the best web sites around like Pinterest and others! Registration required.
  • Wednesday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m. — Art Club (Ages 2 – 5) — Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Wednesday, March 20 at 4 p.m. – Internet Practice — The first five people to come may attend these practice sessions. There is no registration required.
  • Wednesday, March 20 at 5 p.m. – Art Club (Grades K – 3) — Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Wednesday, March 20 at 5 p.m. — Women in STEM: Spotlight on Medicine – Women in Medicine will be explored. Featuring Elizabeth Blackwell and Mary Edwards Walker. Join us for stories, discussion and STEM activities based on medicine.
  • Wednesday, March 20 at 6 p.m. – Art Club (Grades 4 – 6) — Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. – Reader’s Theater – Do you love dancing, acting, and singing? Would you like to put on a show for your friends and family to see? Join us every Wednesday for Reader’s Theater, where we will bring out the artist in you! Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Thursday, March 21 at 10:30 a.m. – Mother Goose Time — During this 30-minute session, babies and their parents will share nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs, music and age-appropriate books. For babies ages 2 and under accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Thursday, March 21 at 4 p.m. – Microsoft Excel Practice — The first five people to come may attend these practice sessions. There is no registration required.
  • Thursday, March 21 at 5 p.m. – LEGO Club — Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display at the library. For boys and girls in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31. The library is looking for donations of new or used LEGOs. Please contact the library if you would like to help with this project.
  • Friday, March 22 at 1 p.m. – Senior Travelogue — America’s National Parks: New Orleans Jazz and Acadian Culture.
  • Friday, March 22 at 3 p.m. – Wii Games — Meet up with your friends at the Park Forest Public Library for some gaming fun. The library will provide some games — YOU bring a friend. If you have a favorite game, bring it along to teach and share. Join us after school as we take a little time to have some fun! Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 3
  • Saturday, March 23 at 11 a.m. – Art Club (Grades K – 3) — Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Saturday, March 23 at 11 a.m. – Microsoft Excel — An introduction to using the spreadsheet program Microsoft Excel. Registration required.
  • Saturday, March 23 at 12 p.m. – Art Club (Grades 4 – 6) — Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Saturday, March 23 at 12 p.m. – Keeping Children Safe: Poison Prevention — Jenise Ervin will be joining us from Nurses Plus, a division of The Park Forest Health Department, to talk to families about Poison Control.
  • Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. — Harry Houdini Birthday Celebration — Celebrate Harry Houdini’s birthday at the library with a live Magic Show!

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

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, March 21

The Potpourri of Lectures series continues on Thursday, March 21 at 10: 30 a.m. with "Report from Central Asia" by Jan and Stan Moore. The lecture will be held in the Library’s Ringering Room. Light refreshments will be served.

Museum Adventure Pass

Visit the Park Forest Public Library and check out a museum! View the list of participating museums for details on each destination. Find out what discoveries await you, get directions to the museum, and review each museum’s pass entry offer (including any restrictions that may apply). Come into the library with your Park Forest library card to check out a pass today.

Freedom Hall’s Nathan Manilow Theatre, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes – Saturday, March 23

On Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m., Freedom Hall will present ‘Hand and My Honky Tonk Heroes.’ This nostalgic look at Hank Williams and his influence on country music is amazing. Jason Petty pays tribute to those who influenced Hank and those that Hank influenced. Don’t miss Jason’s Obie Award winning performance as he brings Hank’s music back to life in this insightful and energetic show. Audiences and critics alike were taken back by Petty’s amazing acting ability in his portrayal of Hank Williams. The New York Post stated it best, “At times it sees as if Petty is not just offering an impression of Williams, but channeling his ghost.” Tickets are $24 and can be purchased in-person at the box office, or online at www.freedomhall.org. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

Billy Elton – Celebrating the Music of Billy Joel and Elton John – Tickets Now on Sale

Freedom Hall’s Senior Series will present Billy Elton on Tuesday, April 9 at 11 a.m. Billy Elton transports you to the excitement of Billy Joel and Elton John in concert. All of the energy and all of the hits come alive, expertly performed by virtuoso pianist/vocalist Reid Spears. Audience members sing and sway along with each timeless song in this high-energy show. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in-person at the box office, or online at www.freedomhall.org. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Cellist Joshua Roman to Perform with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra – Saturday, March 23

On Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Avenue, Frankfort, David Danzmayr, Music Director will present ‘Oberon’ by Carl Maria von Weber, ‘Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op.107’ by Dmitri Shostakovich featuring Joshua Roman, Cello, and ‘Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73’by Johannes Brahms. Tickets are priced at $55, $43, and $35 and can be purchased online at http://www.ipomusic.org/index.php/concerts.html. For additional information, call 708-481-7774 or visit www.ipomusic.org.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Park Forest House Museum — Step Back into a 1950s Easter – Through May 4

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, will have up its spring exhibit, "Step Back into a 1950s Easter," from March 6 through May 4, 2013. 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 $5 for adults; children 12 and under free with an adult. Scout and school tours are priced individually. Decorations include Easter die cuts, honeycomb rabbits and baskets, plastic and tin decorations, children’s books and Easter baskets with candy available in the 1950s. There is a very special display of hand blown, hand-painted eggs brought back from World War II. 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, 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.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Luise Renner Retrospective’ – Through March 31

The exhibit, ‘Luise Renner Retrospective,’ will run at Tall Grass Arts Association through March 31.    The exhibit was curated by Richard Schmidt with assistance from Richard Renner.  It will feature the two and three-dimensional works of artist/illustrator Luise Renner who frequently exhibited in galleries in the Chicago area and southern suburbs.  Luise died in December of 2009 at the young age of 63. She left behind a large body of work.   This is the first time some of her works have been exhibited.  The exhibit is dedicated to her memory and presented in homage to her.   The exhibit features original paintings and custom tablecloths created by Luise. Unmounted high-quality prints (giclees) will be available for purchase. The collection displays approximately 60 works. The Tall Grass Gallery is located in Downtown Park Forest, adjacent to Village Hall.  Gallery hours are 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.  The Gallery is open to the public, free of charge.  For additional information, call the gallery at 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Beaux Arts Ball ‘Glitz ‘n Glam’ – Tickets Now on Sale

A Beaux Arts Ball, the annual fundraiser for the Tall Grass Arts Association, is scheduled for Saturday evening, April 6th at Glenwoodie Golf Course, 19301 S. State Street, Glenwood. The event is titled ‘Glitz ‘n Glam.’ For ticket information, or to contribute a donation to this endeavor, call the Tall Grass Gallery at 708-748-3377, Janet Muchnik at 708-748-5123 or visit Beaux-Arts-Ball-April-6.

Center for Performing Arts, 1 University Parkway, University Park

Aesop’s Dinosaur Puppets – ‘The Grasshopper and the Ant’ – Saturday, March 23

On Saturday, March 23 at 11 a.m., Aesop’s Dinosaur Puppets will bring fun for the entire family with the presentation of ‘The Grasshopper and the Ant.’ This production is by the Bits ‘N Pieces, America’s Giant Puppet Theatre. This spirited musical features singing and dancing by six giant prehistoric puppets – and wee TryANTasaurus – the play teaches children that “it’s better to prepare today for tomorrow.” Tickets are $12 and $17. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call the GSU Center Box Office at 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

‘Celtic Crossroads’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Just when you think that you have seen the best that Irish music has to offer, a fresh new show from Ireland is taking the art form to a spectacular level of innovation and virtuosity. ‘Celtic Crossroads’ will be performed on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. and does for Irish music what ‘Riverdance’ has done to Irish dance. ‘Celtic Crossroads’ incorporating seven world-class musicians playing more than 20 instruments on stage, is a fantastic spectacle. From start to finish, the performers present a captivating fusion of genres in the Irish music family – Eastern European Gypsy, North American bluegrass, classical and jazz, and the various forms of Celtic music from around Europe and the rest of the world. Tickets are $15 to $55. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call the GSU Center Box Office at 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

Summer Musical Theatre Camp to Feature Songs, Dances from the Wonderful Land of Oz – Registration Now in Progress

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to this summer’s Musical Theatre Camp at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts. This year’s camp, from June 17 to 21, takes its inspiration from “The Wizard of Oz” as young participants learn classic songs like “Over the Rainbow” and valuable theater skills. Campers develop a mini-musical based on “The Wizard of Oz” and perform a one-time-only production at the center on Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. During the camp, students will learn songs, choreography, and scenes from the play. Professional coaches will work with campers on scene study, voice, diction, improvisation, singing and dancing. Musical Theatre Camp is open to children ages 7 to 13. Camp takes place six hours each day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $250 for the week; the price of the camp also includes four tickets for the Friday night performance. Additional tickets for the performance are $10. To reserve a spot at Musical Theatre Camp, call the box office at 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

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

‘Ways of Making: Digital Art’ – Through March 27

The Visual Arts Gallery at GSU is presenting ‘Ways of Making: Digital Art,’ featuring the work of artists Kate Friedman, Kate Ingold, and Anne Hayden Stevens, through March 27. A closing reception celebrating the exhibition will be held on Wednesday, March 27 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-534-4021 or visit www.govst.edu/gallery.

Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park (NMSP), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Sculpture Rocks! – Saturday, March 23

On Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. children are invited to make their own sculpture with wood, pegboard, Carrera marble, wire, cardboard, dowels, and markers. We supply the materials and some inspiration, and you do the rest. There is a fee of $5 for materials. This event is limited to 50 children. To make reservations or for information on additional NMSP programs, call 708-534-4486 or visit www.govst.edu/sculpture.

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

‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’ – Opens Wednesday, March 20

The Drama Group Children’s Theatre production of ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’ will run from March 20 through March 24. See the puppet who longs to be a ‘real’ boy in his many adventures. His conscience is ever present to remind him to “always tell the truth.” Good deeds and unconditional love are rewarded in the end. This one-hour attention-span-friendly children’s show will thrill young and old alike. There will be a ‘Meet & Greet’ with the characters after each show so bring your camera. Advance tickets are $6 for adults, Senior and children. Tickets at the door are $7. Groups of 25 or more can purchase tickets from $5 each. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-755-3444 or visit www.dramagroup.org.

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

PSC Annual High School Exhibition – Through April 11

Student artists from regional high schools will have their work on display during the PSC Annual High School Exhibition through Thursday, April 11 at the Christopher Art Gallery on the PSC main campus. A reception for the artists and their families will be held at 5 pm. on Thursday, March 21 and features an award ceremony at 7 p.m. Student submissions will include works in computer art, drawing, painting, mixed media, graphic design, sculpture, and photography. High schools represented in previous years include Rich Central, Rich East, Rich South, Bloom, Bloom Trail, Crete-Monee, Beecher, and Homewood-Flossmoor. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits can also be made by appointment. For additional information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, contact the PSC Foundation at 708-709-3636.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Mad World’ Exhibit – Through April 6

Union Street Gallery will present its Spring National Juried Exhibit ‘Mad World’ which will feature art that is absurd, surreal, and simply MAD! 35 artists from 11 different states will be exhibiting a wide variety of art including large sculpture. ‘Mad World’ will run through April 6. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information, and Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

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

IN WAR Series – Through Memorial Day 2013

In light of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the rising need for mental health care for returning veterans, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) is proud to hold its third annual IN WAR series in its new location at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. The third annual INWAR series examines intergenerational trauma: the passing of mass traumas from one generation to the next. Trauma takes a profound psychological and physical toll on survivors that has ramifications for decades. For additional information about the exhibit or museum hours, visit: www.nvam.org.

‘Not About Bombs’ – Through Fall 2013

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

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

‘Deployment, Homecoming, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)’ – Wednesday, March 20

Issues related to serving in the military are not limited to veterans. Often the effects of their experiences are felt by their family and friends, and in their community. The issues facing veterans and the people who care about them will be discussed in a presentation at GSU entitled ‘Deployment, Homecoming, and PTSD’ on Wednesday, March 20 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Engbretson hall. The event is free and everyone is welcome. John Mundt, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago will speak about readjustment problems experienced by many veterans of war zone service, and how problems may manifest in a higher education setting. Mundt will focus on the experiences of both deployment and homecoming, with an emphasis on what civilians need to know in order to better understand student veterans and support them in their transition home. He will also discuss the cause and effects of PTSD. Additional topics on the agenda are readjustment problems including substance abuse, suicide, violence, and aggression. Mundt’s presentation is geared toward informing non-clinicians working in higher education, as well as family and friends. Refreshments will be served. For additional information or to reserve for a group, contact Ann Nagel at 708-235-7353 or e-mail [email protected].

Spring Knowledge Exchange Classes at GSU – Registration Underway

“Never stop learning” could be the mantra of students in The Knowledge Exchange, a program from the School of Extended Learning at GSU. Classes are offered for adults on a wide range of topics. Registration for spring classes is underway. Classes begin on April 5, and are held on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., through May 24. The Knowledge Exchange course offerings encompass a variety of interests, including history classes focusing on the Civil War and the history and culture of Native North America, as well as a Cinema Studies course based around globally and socially relevant documentaries. There is also a course of play readings in which participants read roles aloud and discuss aspects of the works. In another course offering, participants use film and readings in “Achieving Wholeness and Wellness Through a Study of Carl Jung.” The Knowledge Exchange is also offering all participants a free special presentation “Climate Change: The Earth Calls to Us,” on Friday, April 26 from noon to 1 p.m.

This informational session on climate change includes an enlightening Power Point presentation with accompanying lecture by Richard Treptow, an environmental services professional. The Knowledge Exchange is a continuation of the former Adult Learning Exchange (T.A.L.E.) with the same focus – to continue to offer unique and diverse non-credited courses at a reasonable priced ($73 per class, $28 for an additional class).

Classes are designed for participants aged 55 years and over and provide a relaxed and friendly environment, open to shared learning, and the free exchange of opinions and ideas. Classes are peer-led by a community of dedicated volunteers including GSU faculty and many former Exchange students. Call Suzanne Patterson in the Office of Continuing Education at 708-534-4393 for more information or to register.

Undergraduate Program Instant Admission Day – Saturday, March 23

GSU’s Office of Admission and Student Recruitment is hosting an Undergraduate Program Instant Admission Day on Saturday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hall of Governors. Representatives from the Offices of Admission, Financial Aid, and Career Services will be on hand to answer questions and guide prospective students through the application process. Academic advisors will be available to answer questions about fully-accredited, high quality bachelor’s degree programs offered in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Education, and Health and Human Services. Applications for all undergraduate programs, except art and nursing, will be accepted and processed immediately. Attendees are asked to bring official transcrip0ts. The undergraduate application fee is $25. Applications deadlines apply to some undergraduate programs. Visit www.govst.edu/degree for admission and deadline information about programs of interest. Campus tours and financial aid information sessions for full and part-time students will also be available at Instant Admission Day. For additional information, call 708-534-4490.

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

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.

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

Village of Park Forest

‘Affordable Care Act Boot Camp for Small Employers’ – Registration Required by Friday, March 29

On Wednesday, April 3 beginning at 8 a.m. at Dining on the Green, 349 Main Street in DownTown Park Forest, Michael E. Wojick, CLU, CFP, Senior Vice President, Horton Solutions, will present an ‘Affordable Care Act Boot Camp for Small Employers.’ Small business owners will learn what they need to know about the Affordable Care Act and what they need to do to be compliant. The session will provide information on how the Affordable Care Act will impact the healthcare world. A general overview will be provided of the Individual and Employer Mandates, Illinois Health Benefit Exchange and the Insurance marketplace Around You. A free continental breakfast will be provided. Registration is required by Friday, March 29 by phone at 708-283-5617, e-mail [email protected], or online at www.2013pfspecialaprbus.eventbrite.com.

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

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

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

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

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

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

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit 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

Park Forest Environment Commission

‘Basic Canning’ Presentation – Limited Seating — Tickets Now on Sale

Based on numerous requests from members of the community, the Park Forest Environment Commission has arranged for Chef Kate Bradley to give a presentation on ‘Basic Canning’ on Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. at the Wetlands Discovery Center, 30 N. Orchard, Park Forest (located on the west side of the Park Forest Aqua Center). Kate will provide an overview of basic canning techniques and familiarize participants with the equipment needed to successfully can the fruits of your summer gardens for enjoyment in the cold winter months. Participants will also enjoy light refreshments canned from Kate’s kitchen. Seating for this event is limited. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance or on the night of the event if any remain. Proceeds from the event will be used for the benefit of the Park Forest Community Garden project. To purchase advance tickets or for additional information, call Rosemary Piser at 708-747-1991 or e-mail [email protected].   NOTE: The location of this event has been changed from Park Forest Village Hall to the Wetlands Discovery Center.

2013 Park Forest Community Garden Project

The Village of Park Forest will once again offer residents the opportunity to use vacant, Village-owned property for purposes of developing a community garden. Gardening groups using Village-owned lots will be reimbursed up to $370 for allowable gardening expenditures. This $370 reimbursement represents the amount that the Village would pay to have the lot maintained over the course of the summer. If you would like to garden, but don’t want to take on an entire Village-owned lot, we can assist you in finding a group where you can try out your ‘green thumbs’! For additional information about the Community Garden Project, please e-mail Rosemary Piser at [email protected] or Sarah Coulter, the Village’s Sustainability Consultant at [email protected].

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest

Woodcocks Spring Sky Dance – Friday, March 22

On Friday, March 22 area birders will have the opportunity to watch the spectacular sky dance of the male American Woodcock at the Goodenow Grove Preserve. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Plum Creek Nature Center, 27064 S. Dutton Road, Beecher, with an explanation of the woodcock’s unique habits, followed by a short, easy walk to the viewing site. At sunset the male woodcock lands on the bare, mossy grounds and begins to strut around while making a series of throaty “peents.” Suddenly the peenting stops and the bird flutters skyward in a series of wide spirals while emitting a musical twitter. Higher and higher he goes while the twitter gets louder and louder, unti8l the bird is just a speck in the sky. Then, without warning, he tumbles down while making a soft, liquid warble. At a few feet from the ground he levels off, returns to the same mossy spot where the performance began, and resumes the peenting, strutting dance. The ritual display continues for an hour in the dark. At daybreak the whole show is repeated. And where is the female during this performance. This display is one of nature’s most unusual mating rituals. Don’t miss the show!

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

 ‘Woods Music: A Benefit for Thorn Creek Woods’ – Registration/Payment Required by Thursday, March 21

‘Woods Music: a Benefit for Thorn Creek Woods’ will be held on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. As spring begins come celebrate the woods with music. With the generous donation of the musicians’ time and expertise all proceeds will benefit Thorn Creek Nature Preserve. Refreshments will be served. This program will be held indoors. Tickets are $10 per person. Registration and ticket payment is required by Thursday, March 21. For additional information or to register, 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.

This & That

Village of Park Forest

Park Forest Vehicle Stickers and Animal Tags Now on Sale

Vehicle stickers for the 2013-2014 year are now on sale.  Vehicle stickers must be purchased and displayed on all vehicles registered in Park Forest by April 30, 2013. Vehicle stickers can be purchased at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, the Park Forest Currency Exchange, 98 S. Orchard Drive, and the Richton Park Currency Exchange, 2710 Sauk Trail.

Stickers can now be purchased through the internet by clicking here.  Scroll to Park Forest and follow the instructions.  Note that a $3 convenience fee will be added to your transaction.  Your sticker will be mailed to you. If you are eligible for a discount, you will need to come to Village Hall to purchase your sticker. For more information on vehicle sticker sales, including details on late fees, click here.

Animal tags are also on sale and are available at Village Hall only.  Animal tags should also be purchased and made visible on your pets before April 30, 2013.  Please note: a current rabies vaccination certificate must be presented with your animal tag registration form.

Park Forest Commission on Human Relations

‘Money Makeover’ – Registration Now In Progress

The Commission on Human Relations is presenting a program titled ‘Money Makeover’ on Tuesday, April 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Dining on the Green, 349 Main Street, in DownTown Park Forest. Celebrity financial coach and author Lynn Richardson will present the program. RSVP’s are now being taken with Evelyn Sterling by calling 708-283-5621 or e-mail [email protected].

Annual Lenten Fish Fry – Friday, March 22

The Knights of Columbus-Nina Council #3602 will hold their final annual Lenten Fish Fry on Friday, March 22 at St. Irenaeus Church’s School Gym located at south Orchard and Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest. Serving is from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The menu includes:

  • 3 piece fish dinner — $8
  • 2 piece fish dinner — $7
  • 2 pieces fish and 3 shrimp dinner — $10
  • 6 piece shrimp dinner — $8

All seafood dinners include macaroni and cheese, green beans, coleslaw and bread. Also on the menu is a Macaroni and cheese and green bean meal for $5 for adults and $4 for children. Coffee and tea are free. Bottled water and canned pop are available for $1 each. Dessert is sold separately. There is plenty of free parking. All are invited.

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.

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

Friday Fish Fry – Friday, March 22

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, March 22 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

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.

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

Get Your Taxes Done for Free at PSC

PSC in conjunction with the Center for Economic Progress (CEP) is offering opportunities for individuals and families meeting certain criteria to get their taxes done for free. The tax assistance will be available through April 13. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free assistance is available to individuals with incomes less than $25,000; for families with income level less than $50,000. The service is offered on a first come, first serve basis. To ensure the process goes smoothly, bring the following information: all W-2s and 1099s (if any), social security cards of Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) for all family members; valid photo ID; copy of last year’s tax return (if available); bank account number and routing number for direct deposit of your refund; property tax bill; and the amount spent on college expenses. Other options offered during the tax preparation session include free help filing an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) claim, open a bank or savings account to deposit your refund, or obtain a prepaid debit card for your refund. If you have any questions, call 888-827-8511.

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 Winter-Spring 2013 Recreation Programs & More Brochure, 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.