In and Around Park Forest Week of March 3, 2014

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—March 3, 2014. March is National Women’s History Month. Its roots go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Beginning this week, you will find a special ‘Women’s History Month Events’ section announcing the various events that are taking place around town this month to celebrate women. Be sure to check them out.

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

Park Forest 2014 – 2015 Vehicle Stickers – On Sale Beginning March 3

Park Forest vehicle stickers for 2014-2015 go on sale beginning Monday, March 3. Park Forest vehicle stickers must be displayed on every vehicle registered in the Village or Park Forest before April 30, even if the vehicle is not located in the Village, to avoid late fees and fines. Vehicle stickers are available for purchase at Village Hall during normal business hours. Stickers are also available for online purchase. For additional information about purchasing a vehicle sticker, along with applicable fees, visit:

Village Board Meeting – Monday, March 3

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held 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
To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions and Advisory Boards are scheduled to meet the week of March 3:

  • Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Thursday, March 6 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission

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

Women’s History Month Events

Center for Performing Arts, 1 University Parkway, University Park

‘The Miracle Worker’ – Tickets Now on Sale

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Montana Repertory Theater returns to the Center for Performing Arts with ‘The Miracle Worker,; telling the story of Helen Keller, deaf and blind since infancy, who finds her way into the world of knowledge and understanding with the help of Anne Sullivan, her gifted tutor. In some of the most turbulent and emotion-packed scenes ever presented on the stage, Helen overcomes rage and confusion to triumph over her physical disabilities. The event will take place on Friday, March 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25, $35, and $45. Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

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

‘Not My Life’ Film Screening and Discussion – March 11

On March 11, in conjunction with Women’s History Month, GSU will host a special, free screening of ‘Not My Life,’ a film about human trafficking and modern slavery on a global scale. The film is directed by Robert Bilhheimer. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, which will focus on the effects of human trafficking on women in Illinois. Panelists will include Farah Baqai, activist and politician and representatives from the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and Chicago Dream Center. The program will be held in the GSU Center for Performing Arts from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the GSU Intellectual Life Committee, Office of International Services, Toastmasters and Lambda Pi Eta.

‘Hot Flashes’ – Tickets Now On Sale

SPAA & CBC Productions, in collaboration with GSU, will present the hilarious stage play ‘Hot Flashes’ in celebration of Women’s History Month which will be performed on Wednesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Join us for some real life lessons and solutions as a group of women, both young and old, learn to overcome a variety of obstacles that many women face every day, from being in abusive relationships, to growing old and living with a lifetime of secrets from personal insecurities, unreasonable expectations, sexual, mental and verbal abuse and more. See how different women handle their own version of ‘Hot Flashes,’ and see why men can experience ‘Hot Flashes’ too. So join them as they laugh, dry and “wobble’ their way through real life situations and learn to become the “phenomenal women” they were all created to be. Tickets are $10 and GSU students are free with ID. Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call 708-785-7371 or visit

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Meet Laura Ingalls Wilder – Saturday, March 8

The Park Forest Library will present a special Women’s History Month Program on Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m. It’s moving day for Laura Ingalls Wilder. In this presentation Laura is preparing to move her family from South Dakota to Missouri in the spring of 1894. The program displays the challenges and the fun aspects of life on the frontier in the 1870’s and 1880’s. Families will learn that the extraordinary Laura Ingalls Wilder had a rather ordinary life just like them. The event is free and open to the public and all ages are welcome. For additional information, call 708-748-3731, extension 22 or visit

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

Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo – March 14

SSC proudly announces Saran Dunmore as the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo on Friday, March 14th located at the college’s Main Campus in South Holland. Saran Dunmore is an energetic fitness and lifestyle expert who enhances the lives of her clients and viewers through her passionate and motivating approach. Her knowledge and zeal for fitness is evidenced on NBC 5, where she has been a regular Fit Club Coach during the Saturday morning news hour, since 2007. Saran was also a trainer on the hit MTV weight loss show "I Used to Be Fat" from 2009-2012 and which is currently airing internationally. Saran is not just a fitness trainer; she’s an emcee, an athlete and a soon-to-be-author. The Chicago Women’s Conference & Expo is dedicated exclusively to women of all backgrounds ages 18 and up. This dynamic event features breakout sessions focusing on Health & Wellness, Business & Finance and Personal Empowerment topics. The cost of admission is just $15 per person with advance registration by March 14th or $25 at the door. The conference fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and admission to all of the break-out sessions. There will also be over 50 vendors providing shopping opportunities with a wide range of products and services. For more information, or to register for the 2014 Chicago Women’s Conference, please call 708-596-2000, extension 2455 or visit

Union Street Gallery, 1526 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘A Tribute to Women in Art’ – Opens March 5

‘A Tribute to Women in Art’ – an Exhibit for Women’s History Month will open on March 5 and run through March 31. The exhibit will be held at Chicago Height City Hall, 1601 Chicago Road. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit:

Arts & Entertainment

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

Opera Up Close – ‘An Afternoon of One Acts’ –Tickets Now on Sale

On Sunday, March 30 at 4 p.m., the Opera Up close series will continue with ‘An Afternoon of One Acts’ featuring "The Telephone" by Gian Carlo Menotti, "A Hand of Bridge" by Samuel Barber and "The Old Maid and the Thief" by Menotti. Sample a Café style opera. From the unique vantage point of your table on the stage, you’ll be looking out into the theater as the operatic stories unfold. Viennese pastries and coffee will be offered during this intimate performance on The Center’s stage. First on our triple bill of opera will be Gian Carlo Menotti’s twenty minute comic opera, The Telephone. Ben loves Lucy and wants to propose marriage. But Lucy is too distracted by talking on the telephone to notice. Just as he thinks he has her attention, her phone rings again. And again and again! Undaunted, Ben finally gets his chance by the only way he knows how… The Telephone! Next will be Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge. At only ten minutes long, Barber’s work is possibly the shortest opera regularly performed. The opera features two unhappily married couples playing a hand of bridge. Over the course of the game, each character expresses to the audience their inner most secrets and feelings. Some are light and frivolous, and some reveal unfulfilled longing and desire. And finally we present Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. Originally commissioned by NBC, The Old Maid and the Thief was one of the earliest operas composed specifically for performance on the radio. Lonely spinster Miss Todd and her man-hungry maid, Laetitia, invite a good-looking beggar named Bob into their home. To keep him there, the women resort to more and more outrageous behavior — but Laetitia is secretly playing her own game. Tickets are $35. Tickets are priced at $25, $35, and $45. Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

The Drama Group Studio Theatre, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

The Tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The Drama Group’s Daytime Children’s Theatre will present the tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Performances will be held Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, April 9, 10 and 11 at 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, April 12 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and Sunday, April 13 at 1 p.m. Enjoy the traditional tale of the selfish prince who has been transformed into a beast. Only true love can reverse the spell. Tickets are $6 in advance, 45 for groups of 25 of more and $7 at the door. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-755-3444.

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

‘Are You My Mother?’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On Friday, March 14 at 7 p.m., Freedom Hall’s Family Theatre will present ‘Are You My Mother?’ At long last, Baby Bird emerges from her shell and expects to be greeted by her mother’s song. But her mother is not there. Where is she? Why isn’t she home? Based on P.D. Eastman’s classic picture book for young readers, ‘Are You My Mother?’ is ArtsPower National Touring Theater’s enchanting musical about an adventure that overflows with love, dedication and friendship. Recommended for children Prek thru 2nd grade. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the box office, on-line at or by phone by calling 708-747-0580. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

‘Cherish the Ladies’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for Freedom Hall’s Senior Theatre’s presentation of ‘Cherish the Ladies’ that will take place on Tuesday, March 25 at 11 a.m. When describing ‘Cherish the Ladies’, the critics say it best; "It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do", the Boston Globe, "An astonishing array of virtuosity", the Washington Post, "Expands the annals of Irish music in America, the music is passionate, tender and rambunctious", The New York Times. For the past twenty eight years, ‘Cherish the Ladies’ have proven themselves worthy to live up to these accolades and in doing so have become one of the most engaging ensembles in the history of Irish music.
Visit Cherish the Ladies website to read all the critics raving reviews! Tickets are $13 and can be purchased at the box office, on-line at or by phone by calling 708-747-0580. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

A Musical Evening with the Danzmayrs – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m., IPO Music Director and pianist, David Danzmayr, and his wife, soprano Kathrin Danzmayr, curate an evening of delightful songs and vocal works. The concert features the Danzmayrs, the return of bass baritone, David Govertsen (from Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera), and select IPO musicians in performances of classical and popular songs – including works by Mozart, Wagner, Leoncavallo, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and more!
A post-concert discussion with the performers will follow. The event will be held at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem, Frankfort. Tickets are $35 and $25 and can be purchased on-line at: 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

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 3 at 4 p.m. – Ductigami — Learn to use duct tape to make crafts.
  • Tuesday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. – Movement and Music — Develop large motor skills, increase coordination and instill an appreciation for music of all genres in this weekly class designed for children ages 2-5 and their parents or caregivers.
  • Tuesday, March 4 at 6 p.m. — Dreamscapes: "Sleepy Cadillac" — This week’s book: "Sleepy Cadillac" by Thacher Hurd. Please bring in items that can be used as stars or to help decorate the car we’ll be making out of a box. During the month of March we will read one story and create a scene on the floor for the kids to pretend they are sleeping and acting out a scene from the story in their dream! We will give each child a chance to be in the scene and we will take a picture that we will have printed for the following week.
  • Wednesday, March 5 at 10:30 a.m. – Masters of Art — Children will have the opportunity to listen to a story and complete an art project related to the story.
  • Thursday, March 6 at 10:30 a.m. — We <3 Lapsit — Babies and their parents or caregivers are invited to read, sing and grow in this weekly story time featuring books by authors Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr. This program is geared toward babies 0 – 24 with an accompanying adult.
  • Thursday, March 6 at 5 p.m. – Let’s Go Lego — Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display in kids’ zone.
  • Friday, February 28 at 3 p.m. – Friday Funday: Slimy Science — Each week we’ll have a new fun topic! This week, enjoy Slimy Science!

For additional information or to register for certain events, please call 708-748-3731 or visit

Get Covered Illinois Information – Thursday, March 6

Are you without health insurance? Do you need assistance in learning about your health care options under the Affordable Care Act? Meet with a State-certified Navigator on Thursday, March 6. A representative will be available all day, however, sessions are available by appointment only. Please call Jillian Phillips at 773-266-4916 to schedule an appointment.

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, March 6

The Potpourri of Lectures will feature "Ethnic Chicago at the Art Institute" with Maureen Cribbs. The event will be held on Thursday, March 6 at 10:30 a.m. in the Ringering Room.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

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

The museum provides a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane for anyone who lived in the 1950s or 1960s, or for those interested in that period. Visitors are encouraged to open drawers, cupboard and closets to discover period treasures inside. Contents of the house, furnished as though a young veteran and his family of small children occupy it, include dolls, toys, dollhouses, books, dishes, serving pieces, furniture and clothing from the period. When is the last time you said, "Hello," to Howdy Doody? One room represents a classroom in the first school, Forest Boulevard School, set up by the developers in a row of converted townhomes. 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 $5 for adults; children 12 and 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,, 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 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

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

‘Metaphorical’ Exhibit –Through March 6

PSC is hosting “Metaphorical,” through March 6, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the PSC main campus. The exhibit features paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture by artists Renee McGinnis, Ana Fernandez, Sophia Nahli Allison, Robert Magrisso, and Joanna Pinsky. 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 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.

Representative Robin Kelly, 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson

Congressional Art Contest for High School Students – Submissions by Appointment Only Through April 19

Representative Robin Kelly has launched her annual Congressional Art Competition open to high school students residing or attending a school within the Second Congressional District. The winner’s artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for one year. Students can submit their artwork at either of Rep. Kelly’s district offices, located at 1000 E. 111th St., 11th Floor, Chicago, or at 600 Holiday Plaza Drive, Suite 505, Matteson. Submissions will be accepted by appointment only, April 14-19, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the Matteson office at 708-679-0078 or the Chicago office at 773-568-2623. Artwork must be two dimensional, framed no larger than 28” x 28” x 4” and can include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photographs, computer generated art, or mixed media (use of two or more mediums: pencils, ink, watercolor, etc.) All artwork must be original. Representative Kelly will host a reception where she will announce the winner and runners-up on April 26, beginning at 9 a.m., in the Lee E. Dulgar Gallery, located at South Suburban College in South Holland. The high school art competition was established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 to acknowledge and support the artistic talent of America’s young adults. For more information, call Danielle Echols at 708-679-0078. Contest entry rules can be found at

Roosevelt University College of Performing Arts, 430 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Performance and Recording of Two Orchestral Compositions – Tuesday, March 4

Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Chamber Orchestra will perform and record two orchestral compositions by award-winning Roosevelt University composer Stacy Garrop. Led by guest conductor and music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Markand Thakar, the CCPA Chamber Orchestra will present Garrop’s Shadow, a 2001 piece chronicling the composer’s stay at the Yaddo artist colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and her 1999 three-movement piece, Thunderwalker, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 in Roosevelt University’s seventh-floor Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 100 and Ottorino Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1 will complete the concert program, which is free and open to the public. For information, call 312-341-2238 or visit Following the live performance, the CCPA Orchestra, under Thakar’s direction, will record the Garrop pieces for a CD being produced by Chicago-based Cedille Records.

Italian Opera to be Presented for Four Nights – April 2 & 4

A delightful Italian opera by Gioachino Rossini will be presented by Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) on April 2 and 4 in the University’s Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., in downtown Chicago. All four shows are free and open to the public. Originally commissioned for the 1825 coronation in Reims, France, of French King Charles X, Il viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Reims) is considered to be one of Rossini’s finest works. Set in the lobby of an elegant spa hotel in the French countryside, the Pilsen production features 14 soloists from the CCPA/Chicago Opera Theatre Professional Diploma program and graduate-level voice majors as well as the CCPA Orchestra. For more information on these and other CCPA productions, call 312-341-2238 or visit

Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Photo Exhibit on Southeast Ohio’s Post-industrial Landscape – Through May 10

An exhibition by award-winning photo essayist Matt Eich, who tells the story through his photographs of an Ohio community abandoned by major industry, runs through May 10 in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. Featuring images of southeastern Ohio from 2006-12, Carry Me Ohio is a catalog of working-class issues and people who were forced to adapt after industry, including mining for coal, salt and clay and the cutting of timber, left the region approximately 40 years ago. One of the nation’s most promising young documentary photographers, Eich began taking pictures in southeast Ohio while he was a photojournalism student at Ohio State University. He has worked as a freelancer for GQ, Esquire, Mother Jones, Time, Fader, Harper’s and National Geographic, among others. Free and open to the public, Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery has hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit or call 312-341-6458.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Ides of March’ Exhibit – Opens Friday, March 7

Join us as the Gallery artists exhibit an array of art work depicting ‘The Ides of March.’ Expect to see many new pieces displayed. The exhibit will open on Friday, Marcy 7 and run through March 28. Meet the artists at a reception on Friday, March 7 beginning at 6 p.m. with 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.

Southland College Prep Charter School, 4601 Sauk Trail, Richton Park

‘I Remember When the Stars Fell’ – Sunday, March 9

Southland College Prep Charter High School’s singers and band, some 100 performers strong, will be special guests at the Grande Prairie Singers’ concert, “I Remember When the Stars Fell,” a musical journey through the history of slavery in America. The concert, open to the public, is scheduled on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 4 p.m. in Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock Road, Park Forest. Advance tickets at $15 for adults; students $10 may be purchased by calling 708.481.8684. Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Dr. Stirling Culp, Southland College Prep Charter High School’s Director of Music, will lead the school’s singers in a repertoire which he describes as, “gorgeous and stirring songs and spirituals from Africa that trace the triumph over horrific injustice and are sure to move and uplift the spirit of our audience.” The Grande Prairie Singers and Southland’s band and singers will perform music of famous arrangers and composers of the early African-American repertoire, such as Moses Hogan, H.T. Burleigh, William Grant Still, Evelyn LaRue Pittman and André Thomas as well as contemporary selections. Images and narration of the writings of escaped slaves, freed slaves, slave owners, and abolitionists will weave together the stories and music of the historic times. Among the songs to be performed will be “Amazing Grace,” “Precious Lord,” “Way Over in Beulah Land,” and “In Bright Mansions.” In addition to Culp, a tenor who will perform, other guest artists include sopranos Dorothy Canady and Kimberly Jones and Cornelius Johnson, tenor. Joseph Lawrence will conduct Southland College Prep’s Band. The Grande Prairie Singers, under the direction of Jo Rodenburg, are recognized as one of the region’s premier arts organizations. The Singers are heralded for their passion for the vocal arts and for breathing life into classic and modern masterworks of choral literature. The group, which began in 1977 as the Park Forest Singers, draws voices from 28 suburbs and villages, whose ages range from 17 to 89. The Grande Prairie Singers, comprised of doctors, students, engineers, teachers, accountants and grandparents, gather weekly from across Chicago’s Southland community to perfect their craft and revel in each other’s love of choral music.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

56th Annual Beaux Arts Ball – Saturday, March 8

The 56th Annual Beaux Arts Ball for the Tall Grass Arts Association is slated for Saturday evening, March 8th beginning at 6 PM at Glenwoodie Golf Club 19301 S State St, Glenwood. This is the annual fundraiser for Tall Grass and the theme is “A Blast From the Past”. For more details on program, tickets, etc. please contact Tall Grass at 708-748-3377 or via email at [email protected].

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Workshops for Educators – Registration Now in Progress – Limited Seating

GSU’s College of Education and Metropolitan Institute for Leadership in Education are sponsoring two workshops for school and district office administrators and staff. On Thursday, March 13 renowned speaker and educator Jennifer Abrams will present “Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, and Accountability,” from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., in GSU’s E-Lounge. This program provides essential strategies and resources for meeting the challenges of working in schools and achieving academic and organizational outcomes. This workshop will assist leaders in developing interpersonal skills to better deal with the complex needs of their district, department or school, and help those they lead to do the same. On Tuesday, April 8, Dr. Kathleen Hickey will present “Creating a Turnaround Culture to Close the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps” from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in GSU’s E-Lounge. This workshop will help school leaders understand how effective turnaround strategies can create and sustain a culture of high expectations. Research shows that schools that make a difference in student learning are led by principals who make a significant and measurable contribution to student learning and the effectiveness of staff. Participants in this workshop will develop a turnaround plan that can be applied in their schools to create a culture of opportunity and effectively impact student achievement and opportunity gaps. Space is limited. To register: or call 708-534-4024. The workshop price is $20 per person, but teams of three or more from the same district can attend free.

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].

Roosevelt University, 425 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago

Preview Day – Registration Now in Progress

Students who are interested in undergraduate or graduate study can learn about the many advantages of Roosevelt University during Preview Day being held from 9:30 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 22 at the University’s Chicago Campus. At Preview Day, future students and their families can lean about Roosevelt’s admission, financial aid and scholarship opportunities and meet personally with faculty to discuss academic programs. Current Roosevelt students and faculty members will be at Preview Day to answer questions and discuss their Roosevelt experiences. In addition, information about Roosevelt’s many resources for students like career development, tutoring and academic support, living on campus, campus life and athletics will be presented. This also is an opportunity to tour Roosevelt’s outstanding facilities, including its 32-story Wabash Building, the second tallest academic building in the United States. A mixed-use facility, the Wabash Building houses 600 students, a cafeteria, the college of business, classrooms and science laboratories, a bookstore and a fitness center. Learn more and register to attend at Any interested student who is unable to attend the March 22 Preview Day should contact Roosevelt’s Office of Admission to arrange a campus visit or attend another upcoming event. For more information, call 877-277-5987 or email [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 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, 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].

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, DC

Information on Health Insurance & the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Visit for information about Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act. The following paper applications are available to print out: Individual Short Form, Individual without Financial Assistance, and the Family Form.

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:

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 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

Community Green Connections, Oak Park/River Forest

3rd Annual One Earth Film Festival: 30 Inspiring Films, One Dynamic Weekend! – March 7 thru 9

March 7-9 at more than 2 dozen locations in Chicago and near-West suburbs. The Midwest’s premier environmental film festival is produced by Green Community Connections and features 30 films on topics such as food, water, waste, conservation, energy, and activism. Come explore, whether you are already committed to environmental action or just learning about sustainability. Enjoy post-film discussions and activities with topic experts to glean additional insights and get practical advice for taking next steps. Transformative films include “GMO OMG,” “Blackfish,” “More Than Honey,” “Harmony,” and more. Plus, engaging children’s films. One Earth Film Festival films are almost all FREE, and promise something meaningful for everyone — adults, teens, families and children. Sponsors and volunteers also sought! Visit Follow on Twitter: @OneEarthFF. Like on Facebook:

Park Forest Environment Commission

Third Saturday Gardening Basic Series — Saturday, March 15

On Saturday, March 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., ‘Veggie Gardening Success’ will be presented by Nancy Pollard, U of I Educator, Horticulture. Topics to be discussed include: what to plant when; raised bed or in ground gardening; watering and plant nutrition tips along with soil testing and mulch more! The event will be held at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, and is free and open to the public. Door prizes from the business community will be given at each workshop.

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

Series of Energy Demand Reduction & Behavior Training Programs – Registration Now in Progress – Limited Seating

PSC will be offering a series of energy demand reduction and behavior change trainings this semester FREE of charge for employees and members of our community. The Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN)’s Illinois Community College Targeted Energy Management Training (ICCTEMT) Program provides a coordinated approach to offering behavior change and energy efficiency/reduction opportunities to Illinois community colleges. The program is targeted toward community college employees, as well as community members from all sectors, especially commercial and non-profit organizations. Funding is provided through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Building Industry Training Education (BITE) program.

Learn from experts:

  • Produce measurable electricity and gas savings (and save money at the same time)
  • Create a culture of energy awareness by making energy efficiency a top-level priority
  • Raise the level of energy efficiency literacy

Who should attend:

Local professionals, including: business owners, energy managers, facility operators, industry and manufacturing building owners, contractors, building officials, and municipal representatives
Community college faculty, staff, and students

What PSC is offering:

Preventive and Predictive Maintenance Equipment Best Practices, March 26, 2014 — 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This training will discuss and demonstrate how keeping equipment operating within design limits will minimize environmental risks, reduce maintenance and operational cost, and energy usage. The training will identify how to maintain equipment resulting in electrical, gas, and fuel savings, as well as increasing capacity through the elimination of downtime.
The Path To Sustainable Change, April 17, 2014 — 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
This is a skills-based workshop that trains participants in a process for creating sustainable change. This workshop will provide participants with:

    • An in-depth understanding of the Path to Sustainable Change
    • Skills to achieve sustainable behavior change in energy efficiency within organizations
    • Knowledge of how to start a movement

This training focuses on how to use the Path to Sustainable Change and connect the few and the many. There are four steps in creating sustainable change. This training explains these steps, provides examples of each, and lets participants practice creating sustainable behavior change for energy efficiency that can be translated into their organizations.
Facilitating Employee Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives, April 17, 2014 — 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
In this training, participants will come together to focus on employee engagement strategies, and the resulting behavior change, as a means by which to increase awareness and participation in sustainability (specifically, energy efficiency) efforts. Drawing upon experiential and conversational techniques, the trainers will leverage proprietary tools created and applied within broad public and private social change initiatives to create an interactive and thought-provoking learning environment.
All events are FREE and open to the public. Seats are limited. Advance registration is required for each event. For additional information, contact Allessandra A. Cairo, Sustainability Coordinator at 708-709-3764, e-mail [email protected] or visit:

Southland Wind Council to Meet at PSC – Registration Required – Limited Seating

The Chicago Wind Council (CWC) will meet on Friday, April 11 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights. The meeting will be held in the Heritage Room in the BCEC building. The guest presenter will be Ms. Asia Ward of The KidWind Project (KidWind Outreach and Product Specialist). Since its founding in 2003, KidWind has impacted 600,000 students through classroom curriculum, KidWind Challenges, teacher workshops, and more. They believe that working with teachers creates long-lasting change at the community level through the students they engage daily. During the KidWind presentation, you will learn about their various educational programs, and participate in a hands-on activity called “The Instant Blade Challenge.” During the Challenge, teams will design and build blades in order to generate the most electricity from our tabletop turbines. The Challenge is a quick sample demonstration on how KidWind engages students around the world using wind education as a lens to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Seating is limited and we are expecting a big crowd so reserve your spot today! RSVP at [email protected]. For additional information about the Chicago Wind Council, visit:

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

‘Chili Evening Hike’ – Registration Required by Wednesday, March 5

‘Chili Evening Hike’ will be held Friday, March 7, 5-7 p.m. at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Join us to explore the Woodland Trail for a chilly evening night hike. Then we’ll return to the nature center to warm up with a mug of chili. A fun evening for the hot-blooded and intrepid. The ‘Chili Evening Hike’ program is for all ages. Fee is $5 and registration is required by Wednesday, March 5. Come dressed for the weather. Participants should be able to walk a mile outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven and possibly snow-covered terrain. For more information or to register for this program, please call 708-747-6320 or e-mail [email protected].

Wednesday Morning Walkers – March 12

On Wednesday, March 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 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 through March 26. For additional information, please call 708-747-6320 or e-mail [email protected].

Woods Music Benefit – Tickets Now on Sale – Limited Seating

Come celebrate the early spring woods with music at the annual Woods Music Benefit on Friday, March 21, 7 p.m. at Thorn Creek Nature Center. The evening will feature some Thorn Creek favorite musicians Patricia Caldwell, Ingrid Krizan and Moose River. Singer Patricia Caldwell will treat us to a program of inspirational and humorous songs from her repertoire. Ingrid Krizan is a classically trained professional cellist. Her unique “Bach & I” performance weaves a specially crafted seasonal narrative with her cello playing. Bringing this music, these ideas and live performances to a wide audience is her passion. Well known in the local music scene, Moose River has been playing around the South Suburbs for over 20 years. Folk and folk blues is their specialty, with a little eclectic fun added in from time to time. Moose River is Kendra Reinshagen, Steve Aultz and Jon Mendelson. With the generous donation of the musicians’ time and expertise all proceeds will directly benefit Thorn Creek Woods and Nature Center. Join us for a fun evening as the music echoes through the woods. Woods Music tickets are on sale now! Seating is limited and tickets should be purchased in advance. Cost is $10 per person. Program is for those older than 12 years. Additional parking is available at New Community Church just north of the nature center. Performance will begin at 7 p.m. so allow time for parking. For more information or to purchase tickets call 708-747-6320 or email [email protected]

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

Knights of Columbus Nina Council 3602, Park Forest

Lenten Fish Fry – Begins Friday, March 7

The Knights of Columbus Nina Council 3602 will sponsor a Lenten Fish Fry each Friday during Lent 2014 beginning March 7. The Lenten Fish Fry will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will be held at the St. Irenaeus Parish Gym, 78 Cherry Street, Park Forest (located at the corner of Indianwood and Orchard). There is a donation of $8 per person.

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

Friday Fish Fry

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, March 7 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

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

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.

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: eNews Park Forest, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, National Veterans Art Museum, Center for Performing Arts, Freedom Hall, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.