In and Around Park Forest Week of November 1, 2015

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An Intense Self Defense for Women Program will be held on Saturday, November 7 in the Rich East High School Gymnasium.  Registration is required.

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—November 1, 2015. Hard to believe it’s November already which means the holidays are right around the corner. Beginning this week, you’ll find ‘In & Around Park Forest’s’ annual Holiday Events section. You’ll find information about holiday programs, activities and shopping ideas. If you’re club, church or organization would like to have its holiday event included, please e-mail the information to [email protected].

State Representative Anthony DeLuca is hosting two important events this week. On Monday, November 2, the Pathway to Building Trades Apprenticeship Information Fair will be held at the Kankakee Valley Park District RecCenter from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. If you have ever thought about a career in the building trades, you should not miss this free event.

On Saturday, November 7, there will be an Intense Self Defense for Women Program at the Rich East High School Gymnasium from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will learn how to protect themselves by learning hands-on self defense. Space for this event is limited so be sure to register early. You’ll find additional information about both of these events in the ‘This & That’ section.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meetings – Monday, November 2 & Saturday, November 7

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, November 2 at 7 p.m. In addition, the Board will hold a Saturday Morning Rules Meeting on November 7 at 10 a.m. The meetings 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.

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

Village Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of November 1:

  • Tuesday, November 2 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Thursday, November 5 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, November 5 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission

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

Arts & Entertainment

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

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – Saturday, November 7

GSU’s Theatre and Performance Studies presents Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451” on Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 8 at 2 p.m. This powerful drama tells the story of the inner struggle of Guy Montag, a fireman. Montag has worked as a civil servant for ten years burning books, but lately he has become increasingly unsure about what he is doing. It is not until he meets 16-year-old Clarisse, who has strange ideas, that he is led into a dangerous and highly combustible situation. Now he must choose between his mundane existence and risking everything for the right to think. The play has Mature Themes. Tickets are $18. BUY TICKETS  For additional information, call 708-235-2222.

Ghashee w Mashee (The Dumbass) – Tickets Now on Sale

NGM Entertainment presents Ghashee w Mashee (the Dumbass) on Saturday, November 14 at 8 p.m. As if Im Hussein hasn’t already endured sufficient setbacks and struggles to fill years of stage plays, playwright Najee Mondalek sets her up for another crisis – dealing with the ignorance of her know-it-all husband. Tucked in between the lines of the main story are other issues that affect the Arab American community: divorce for infertility, drug abuse, conflict between two generations, welfare fraud, and more. Remaining tickets are priced at $45 and $85. BUY TICKETS  For additional information, call 708-235-2222.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

‘Idol Structures’ – Through December 20

Advertisements permeate public landscapes with billboards, signs and different forms of mass media. ‘Idol Structures,’ an exhibition of sculpture and photography by Chicago artist Matt Siber will run through December 20 at the DePaul Art Museum. This new body of work emphasizes the physical structures that are meant to stay invisible and passive while helping to relay the image, text, or graphic to the consumer. The sculptures and photographs featured in the exhibition are designed to make you more aware of your environment as you go about your daily life. Siber, who teaches advanced digital imaging at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has been working on this type of artwork since he was a graduate student. The sculptures are modeled after the photographs by using fine craftsmanship to reconstruct the signs out of wood and florescent tubes. Some of the sculptures are almost to scale, with the largest one measuring 14 feet tall. ‘Idol Structures’ is supported by a grant from the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation. More about Matt Siber at http://siberart.com/projects/structures. The DePaul Art Museum is located just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu.

DePaul University Fullerton Stage Theatre, 2350 N. Racine Avenue, Chicago

‘Joe Turner’s Come and Gone’ – Previews Begin Wednesday, November 4

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Fullerton Stage Theatre. The production, directed by Phyllis E. Griffin, premieres on November 6, and runs through November 15. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Previews are November 4-5 at 7:30 p.m.  About the play: It is 1910 and the Holly’s boardinghouse welcomes the descendants of freed slaves heading north in search of opportunity, identity and a place to call home. When a mysterious man and his daughter arrive, the residents share the struggle of reconciling their pasts in order to create a new future. “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” is the second play in August Wilson’s “The Pittsburgh Cycle” 10 part series, chronicling the lives of African-Americans throughout each decade of the 20th century. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates are also available. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are also available online at http://theatre.depaul.edu or by calling the box office at 773-325-7900. For patrons who are blind or have low-vision, the performance will include an audio description November 15 at 2 p.m. with a pre-performance touch tour. Call 773-325-7900 for more information. The performance on November 15 at 2 p.m. will also be interpreted in American Sign Language. For additional information call TTY at 773-325-7975. November 11 at 7:30 p.m. is USO of Illinois Night. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families can attend the performance for free. Visit www.tixfortroops.org to reserve tickets, or call 773-325-7900. Additional special events include an opening night reception following the performance on November 6, and post-show discussions on November 8 and 12.  

DePaul University Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 East Balbo Drive, Chicago

‘Esperanza Rising’ – Through November 14

The Theatre School at DePaul University will open the 2015-16 Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences series with ‘Esperanza Rising’ by Lynne Alvarez, based on the book by Pam Muñoz Ryan, music by Victor Zupanc, directed by Lisa Portes and with musical direction by Mark Elliott. Based on the award-winning book, ‘Esperanza Rising’ is recommended for ages 8 and up. Esperanza loves fancy dresses, pretty dolls and birthday parties, but when tragedy hits her home in beautiful Mexico, she is forced to flee to the United States where things are very different for her. Facing new challenges, Esperanza learns to take care of herself and her family. In the process, she discovers her own power to create a new home. Complimentary teacher guides for ‘Esperanza Rising’ are available online for educators and interested audience members. These include activities and discussions for before and after the performance, which highlight core learning goals. Themes from this production include: culture, customs and traditions, home, hopes and dreams, immigration, justice, perseverance, prejudice, principles, social studies, society and class. The production will run through November 14 at DePaul’s historic Merle Reskin Theatre. Performances are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. Special Friday performance will occur at 10 a.m. on November 6.  A Sunday performance will be held on November 1 at 2 p.m. There will be no Saturday performance on October 31. The performance on November 1 will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY at 773-325-7975 for more information. The performance on November 7 will be followed by a post-show discussion. Visit the website or call the box office for additional details. Tickets are $10. Subscriptions and group rates (15 or more people) are available. DePaul employees, alumni and college students receive a discount (with ID). Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 312-922-1999. If patrons require wheelchair accessible and/or companion seating or have any other hearing or vision needs, please let the box office agent know when reserving tickets, so that the theatre staff can ensure an excellent visit to the theatre. DePaul’s Merle Reskin Theatre is located at 60 E. Balbo Dr., in Chicago. For information about parking, please contact the box office. The theatre is accessible via CTA busses (3-King Drive, 29-State Street, 146-Michigan/Museums and others), and CTA ‘L’ stops (Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Purple and Pink).

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Franc D’Ambrosio ‘I’ll Be Seeing YOUZ’ – Tuesday, November 3

On Tuesday, November 3 at 11 a.m., Franc D’Ambrosio will bring his world renowned singing voice to Freedom Hall in a tribute to Veterans titled “I’ll Be Seeing YOUZ.”  This show features the lovely and lively tunes made popular during WWII. Franc takes his audience on a nostalgic walk through the popular music of WWII with his rich tenor voice and a patter that is utterly natural and charming.  Franc D’Ambrosio is best known as the “Phantom” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award winning Musical, “The Phantom of the Opera.” Affectionately known as “The Iron Man of The Mask,” Franc was awarded the distinction as the “World’s Longest Running Phantom,” with over 2,300 performances of the lead role, a title he held for nearly a decade. This accomplishment was immortalized in a cemented hand ceremony. He also portrayed Al Pacino’s opera singing son, Anthony Corleone, in The Godfather Part III. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Freedom Hall box office, by phone at 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.org.

Ava Logan with the Southland Jazz Ensemble – Sunday, November 8

Ava Logan with the Southland Jazz Ensemble will perform at Freedom Hall on Sunday, November 8 at 4:00 p.m. Join us for an evening of jazz standards, the music of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, and more! This concert features jazz vocalist Ava Logan backed by the big band sound of the Southland Jazz Ensemble! Ava Logan is an award winning singer-actress. A graduate of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Logan is a veterinarian by day and a jazz singer at night. The classically trained vocalist has performed jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues in the U.S. and abroad including portraying two of her idols, Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson, at the Black Ensemble Theater. Veteran jazz critic and radio voice Neil Tesser wrote that “Ava Logan offers a fresh breath of old-school glamour, bringing sass and swing to the classic jazz singer’s repertoire while retaining the swanky class that this material deserves. Throw in her superb intonation, and her willingness to always serve the song, and you get a most impressive performance.” View a video of Ava Logan with the Southland Jazz Ensemble. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Freedom Hall box office, by phone at 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.org.

Green Community Connections, 520 Washington Boulevard, Oak Park

‘One Earth Rocks’ Fundraiser – Friday, November 6

Get your Green Groove On at Wire Music Club, 6815 Roosevelt Road, in Berwyn on Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. at a fundraiser for the ‘One Earth Film Fest 2016’ — the Midwest’s premier environmental film festival. There will be sustainable spirits, healthy and scrumptious food sales by Native Foods, incredible auction and raffle items, great live music by acclaimed local group The Redmonds, and a short film preview of One Earth Film Fest 2016. All this for just $40. Come support your environmental film festival —— One Earth Film Fest. Your support will mean another successful year of compelling films that inspire action. Don’t miss it – Reserve your tickets now. Bring your neighbors, co-workers, and friends.

We’re Gearing up for our Best Fest Yet – One Earth Film Fest returns March 4-6, 2016 for its milestone 5th annual event. The Festival requires more than 200 volunteers, collaborates with over 150 partners, and is pleased to officially partner once again with the City of Chicago Department of Sustainability (read the letter of support from Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer). Teams are now forming to help pull off another successful run. Volunteers with specific skills, and a few contract professionals are sought to help with specific roles. Volunteers of all types and skills are sought for the overall Planning Team — helping with film selection & programming, marketing, fundraising, community engagement, events & logistics, our Young Filmmakers Contest, and more. For questions, and to join our fun, change-making team, contact [email protected]rthfilmfest.org.

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

Russian Masters – Tickets Now on Sale

The IPO will perform selections from Russian Masters on Saturday, November 21 at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 South Harlem Avenue, Frankfort. Performances will include: Lera Auerbach ‘Icarus’; Rachmaninoff ‘Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini – Di Wu, Piano’; Tchaikovsky Suite from ‘Swan Lake’; and Stravinsky ‘Firebird Suite.’ Tickets are priced at $55, $45, and $35. In addition, IPO has and introductory offer where “we pick the seats” and will seat you in the best seats available and hold your tickets at will call for pick up before the concert. These tickets are priced at $25. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-481-7774 or visit www.ipomusic.org.

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

‘Tactical Formations: Collective Practice in the Veteran Art Movement’ – Through January 30

The NVAM will feature its newest exhibit, Tactical Formations: Collective Practice in the Veteran Art Movement through January 30. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Tactical Formations takes the basic military strategy of organizing troops into units to carry out tactical missions during combat and applies it to the practice of forming and operating art collectives in order to achieve socially grounded goals through artistic production. The exhibit explores three art collectives: The Vietnam Veterans Arts Group (VVAG), The Dirty Canteen, and the NVAM Teen Council. The VVAG first formed in 1981 when a group of Vietnam veterans began making artwork as an artistic response to their experiences of war. The VVAG was unique in launching the first exhibition composed exclusively of artwork made by combat veterans. The Dirty Canteen collective formed in 2013, and includes veterans from the Gulf War, Kosovo, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, who strive to create and maintain open dialogues about past and current military engagements. Finally, the NVAM Teen Council represents a growing group of high school students who create artwork while developing skills in leadership and museum practices in collaboration with veteran artists. These three groups represent NVAM’s foundation, its growing population of post-Gulf War veterans, and its future leaders and artists. For additional information, call 312-326-0270 or visit: www.nvam.org.  

Park Forest House Museum, 227 Monee Road

Step Into a 1950s Halloween – Through November 7

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is now decorated with vintage Halloween decorations which will be on display through November 7. The House Museum is now located at 227 Monee Road (in St. Mary’s Catholic Church). Display items include a collection of Gurley Halloween candles, die-cut decorations, and a boxed costume with mask. The Museum is open Wednesday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Group tours can be given by appointment. Admission donation is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under are free with an adult. For additional information or to schedule a group tour call Mike Gans at 708-305-3308 or Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252 or visit www.parkforesthistory.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following event is scheduled the week of November 1:

  • Monday, November 2 at 11 a.m. – Sunrise Story Time — Jump start your morning with a series of stories that are sure to get you moving. Ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, November 2 at 4:30 p.m. — kids’ zone Science Club: Game Your Way to Mars! — Game your way to Mars! Jois us as we explore ways to launch/land a rocket on Mars with experiments provided by the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago. We’ll also learn how to survive on Mars and even build a model rover that could explore Mars’ surface! Sign up Today! Registration is required, Grades 3rd-5th.
  • Monday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m. – Kids’ Movie Night: ‘Tomorrowland’ — Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
  • Tuesday, November 3 at 7 p.m. –Pajama Story Time — Share special moments with your child through stories, crafts, and more. Wear your pj’s and wind down from a busy day. Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, November 4 at 11 a.m. — Baby Time — Story time for infants to 35 months of age with an adult. This story time is designed to engage children through movement, music, stories, and more.
  • Wednesday, November 4 at 4 p.m. – Color Me Happy Circle — Our new circle is the perfect way to step back from the stress of everyday life and enjoy some relaxation! All supplies will be provided.
  • Thursday, November 5 at 22 a.m. — Toddler Art — Bring your imagination, creativity, and throw on some old clothes to bring out your inner Picasso through art projects and more… Some projects may involve paint. Ages 3-5.
  • Thursday, November 5 at 3:30 p.m. – Art in the Afternoon — Unleash your inner artist. Drop in to create an amazing project using different tools and techniques with oil pastels. Ages 12 and under.
  • Thursday, November 5 at 6 p.m. – Teen Advisory Board — We want YOU to join our new Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and help plan and design this new space for Park Forest/Olympia Fields teens. Ask for an application in patron services.
  • Friday, November 6 — ALL DAY — Diary of a Wimpy Kid Day — All Day enjoy everything Wimpy Kid! Join us as we celebrate Book 10 of the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School. Enjoy making crafts and drawing comics. You might even catch a glimpse of one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies on the Kids’ Zone television.
  • Sunday, November 7 at 2 p.m. – Giving Thanks Service Project — Join us for a Special Thanksgiving project for the Kids Who Care organization. Make a difference by creating fall/harvest and Thanksgiving Day projects. All projects and cards made will be delivered to the Kids Who Care on November 16th.

For additional information or to register for an event call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Potpourri of Lectures – Thursday, November 5

The Potpourri of Lectures will be held on Thursday, November 5 at 10:30 p.m. in the Library’s Ringering Room. This week’s topic is “Problems of Land Acquisition in India” with Dr. Sayoni Bose. For additional information call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

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

2015 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Jazz Festival – Saturday, November 14

PSC is hosting the 2015 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Jazz Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, November 14, in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium, located on the college’s main campus in Chicago Heights. The event is an annual festival of jazz bands and combos from schools in the conference, who will perform and be rated by a panel of jazz clinicians. Schools represented include College of Lake County, Elgin Community College, McHenry County College, Moraine Valley Community College, Morton College, Oakton Community College, PSC, and Waubonsee Community College. The morning opens with the college performances and jazz workshops. Afterwards, there will be a judges’ performance and awards ceremony. Among the clinicians who will be featured in the afternoon performance are Diane Ellis on saxophone, Coco Elysses on drums, Sam Hankins on trumpet and Marlene Rosenberg on bass. For more information, contact PSC Professor Valerie Nicholson at 708-709-3742 or [email protected].

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Stillness’ — Six Contemporary Artists of Still Life – Through November 7

‘Stillness’ featuring the still life work of six contemporary artists will run through November 7. The exhibit is free and open to the public. This large exhibit of more than 70 works by regional artists Maureen Andrews, Michael Chelich, RexAnne Coad, Julie Dekker, Kathleen Farrell, and Mary Ann Trzyna illustrates their dedication to portraying objects in a representational style, from extremely realistic to expressive interpretations.  All six artists have made long-term commitments to creating still life images, and have had their work exhibited and awarded honors in numerous regional, national and international shows. They also have been commissioned for many projects in the worlds of business, science, health, education, and government. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Information Session on Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Degree Program – Wednesday, November 4

GSU’s undergraduate degree program in Criminal Justice plans to offer this program at Harper College starting spring 2016. The information session at Harper College will take place on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine, IL in room X250 between the hours of 5p.m. and 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public. GSU representatives will be present to answer questions about the program. For more information, contact Nancy Kaczmarczyk at 708-235-3983 or [email protected]  If you are interested in obtaining more information about the program, please visit: www.govst.edu/cas.

Master of Occupational Therapy Degree Program Information Session – Wednesday, November 4

GSU’s Department of Occupational Therapy will host an information session for the Master of Occupational Therapy degree program Wednesday, November 4 from 5-6 p.m., in Room G 157 at University’s campus in University Park.  Attendees are encouraged to bring unofficial copies of transcripts. For more information, contact Patricia Kalvelage at [email protected].

Undergraduate Open House – Thursday, November 12

GSU will host an undergraduate Open House Thursday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information on admission requirements, financial aid, campus life and student housing, as well as specific undergraduate programs will be available for prospective students and their parents. Students will also be able to meet with Governors State faculty, academic advisors and financial aid counselors. For more information or to RSVP, contact the Office of Admissions at 708-534-4490 or [email protected]  To register for Open House, go to www.govst.edu/openhouse.

‘Start Something that Matters’ A Summit to Make a Difference – Friday, November 20

Making a difference can begin locally and result in broader positive results. GSU is celebrating the determination of local people to have a global impact at the ‘Start Something that Matters’ Summit on Friday, November 20, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., in Engbretson Hall. Presentations by local experts whose efforts have made a positive impact in the lives of others will be featured. The keynote address, “The Heart of the Matter,” will be given by Thea Polancic, founder and executive director of the Chicago Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., and advocate for the power of business as a force for good. Also at the event, Harry Rhodes, executive director and co-founder of Growing Home, Chicago’s leading organic agriculture social enterprise focused on empowering people and communities, will present “Sustainability and Social Justice: Social Enterprise, Transitional Jobs and Community Development.” Additional speakers include David Deeds of Governors State University presenting “Combating Human Trafficking” and Shaniqua Jones also of GSU presenting “Implementing Restorative Justice.” The summit is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, go to http://opus.govst.edu/onebookone/2015/Fall. This event is held in conjunction with International Education Week and Restorative Justice Week and as part of Governors State University’s One Book One University activities centered on the book ‘Start Something that Matters’ by Blake Mycoskie. This event is sponsored by a grant from the GSU Intellectual Life Committee.

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 educationalcosts 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.

Green Events

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – November 4

Wednesday Morning Walkers can enjoy the early morning and late summer’s floral delights on these leisurely (or brisk – take your choice) trail walks. The group walks on Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Trails can be wet or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. Age 13 through adult are invited. Registration is required two days before you walk the first time. For additional information or to register, call 815-727-8700.

Junior Ecologist Club – Saturday, November 7

The Thorn Creek Junior Ecologist Club will meet on Saturday, November 7 from noon to 3 p.m. The club offers monthly fun-filled nature activities for young people age 9 to 12. They will explore the different trees and their habitats in Thorn Creek Woods. Young people should be prepared to get muddy, dress for the weather, wear boots and long pants, and bring a water bottle and insect repellent. The program is free but registration is required by Thursday, November 5. For additional information or to register, call 815-727-8700 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods’ Annual Meeting – Sunday November 8

The Friends of Thorn Creek Woods’ Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, November 8 at 1 p.m. Join other nature lovers for a fall hike, a program on the Will county Geologic Mapping project and refreshments. New supporters can find out what makes Thorn Creek unique. The event is open to the public. Registration is required by Thursday, November 5. For additional information or to register, call 815-727-8700 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Story of the Landscape Hike – Registration Required by Thursday, November 12

The Story of the Landscape Hike will be held on Saturday, November 14 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Thorn Creek Woods. In 1957, May Theilgaard Watts, naturalist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois wrote the enchanting book “Reading the Landscape”. She wrote “there is good reading on the land… The records are written in the forests, in fence rows, in gardens, in tree rings.” Join us on this fall hike to read the landscape of Thorn Creek Woods. The event is free and open to those of all ages. Registration required by Thursday, November 12. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Thorn Creek Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Friends’ volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways: staff the nature center on weekends; trail work; displays; leading hikes; special events; cleaning; pruning; artwork; music; research; and so on. Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day. Members receive a quarterly newsletter. Annual membership in Friends is $10. For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

Thorn Creek Nature Center is housed in a historic building, originally Immanuel Lutheran Church of Matteson, Illinois built in 1862, and later Village Bible Church of Park Forest. A gothic frame country church, its notable architectural features include curved ceiling, tongue-and-groove paneling and a raised pulpit. Its current attractions are displays of the preserve’s flora and fauna, a bird feeder viewing area, Eugene E. Schwartz reference library and an expanded children’s section. The Nature Center is open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Trails are open daily year-round, dawn to dusk. For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Healthy Living

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

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

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

Sertoma Centre’s Mental Health Services facility is offering community mental health seminars, free of charge to community groups, schools, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, and other community groups at their location in Matteson or facility. Education Programs will include: Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) which increases public awareness of suicide and improves one’s ability to identify and refer those at risk for suicide. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education course that helps participants identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance disorders. Also included is Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Anxiety/Depression Screenings. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. To arrange a free educational opportunity for your club, group, workplace, organization, or church, call Gia Washington at 708-748-1951, Ext. 418 or email at [email protected].

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

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

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

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

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

Yoga Classes by Karen Nielsen – Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays

Yoga classes by Karen Nielsen are available at UUCC on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. No reservations needed. Drop-in fee is $10 per class and the 6th one is free. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Qigong with Jim Kobus – Most Thursdays

UUCC will host Qigong with Jim Kobus on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the church. This class will usually meet on Thursdays but there may be exceptions, so if you are interested in attending, please send an email to Jim Kobus at [email protected] so he can notify you when class will NOT be held. There is a suggested donation of $5 per class. Please bring your own water. It is recommended that you eat dinner after class, not before. For additional information, please call 708-799-1925 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Buddhist Meditation – Saturdays

Learn to enjoy the simple and straight-forward practice of meditation. Please join us for sitting and walking meditation in the Zen and Theravadan Buddhist traditions. This is an on-going event led by Steve McCabe and Beverly Feldt will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at UUCC. There is no cost but a free will offering is most appreciated (proceeds go to UUCC). For additional information contact Steve McCabe at 708-465-3116 or Beverly Feldt at [email protected].

Holiday Events

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

Annual Fall Shopping Extravaganza – Thursday, November 19

Get an early start on your holiday shopping at the Governors State University Annual Fall Vendor and Craft Fair. Shoppers can beat the Black Friday crowds and shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, arts and crafts, and unique creations on Thursday, November 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Hall of Governors on the university’s main campus. The Fall Vendor Fair event is free and open to the public. Parking is free and refreshments are available for purchase. The fair is sponsored by the GSU Civil Service Senate. Interested vendors and crafters are encouraged to participate. Space is limited. For more information or to register, call 708-235-7559 or email [email protected].

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Annual Food Drive for Rich Township Food Pantry – Donations Accepted Through December 12

Thorn Creek Nature Center is hosting its annual holiday food drive for the Rich Township Food Pantry. Beginning now through Saturday, December 11, donation items can be dropped off at the Nature Center during open hours (Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.). Acceptable items are: non-perishable food items (including boxed, canned and dry foods) especially cereals and peanut butter; personal care items for men and women, especially toothpaste, deodorants and razors; ziplock quart and gallon size bags, baby formula, and disposable diapers (adult and infant). For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

This & That

Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus, 350 Victory Drive

Community Survey Initiative – Take Online Survey NOW

The Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus and the Health Impact Collaborative of Cook County are currently conducting an important community survey initiative. Cook County residents over the age of 18 are asked to complete this important survey to better understand the health and social issues that are affecting the community. Click below to access the survey. Click to complete the survey online now!

St. Irenaeus Church, 78 Cherry Street, Park Forest

A Faith Response to Homicide: Vigil for Peace – Wednesday, November 4

The distant echo of gun fire has roared its thunderous blast in our community. The weeping of Rachel for her children is now our weeping. As an expression of solidarity and peace-seeking, the faith communities of Park Forest are gathering to pray for peace in our village, our nation and our world. The event will take place at St. Irenaeus Church on Wednesday, November 4, at 7 p.m. for a vigil, and as an ongoing commitment, the first Wednesday of each month to join our hearts, our hands, and our voices for peace. See you there!

State Representative Anthony DeLuca – 195 W. Joe Orr Road, Suite 201, Chicago Heights

Pathway to Building Trades Apprenticeship Information Fair – Monday, November 2

State Representatives Anthony DeLuca and Kate Cloonen, State Senator Toi Hutchinson, the Kankakee Building Trades and Illinois AFL-CIO will host the Pathway to Building Trades Apprenticeship Informational Fair on Monday, November 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kankakee Valley Park District RecCenter, 150 North Indiana Avenue. Entry into a building trades apprenticeship can lead to a promising career in the construction industry. Learn how to apply and prepare for this opportunity. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call Rep. DeLuca’s district office at 708-754-7900.

Intense Self Defense for Women Program – Saturday, November 7

State Representative Anthony DeLuca will host the Intense Self Defense for Women Program Saturday, November 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Rich East High School Gymnasium, 300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest. The event is free and open to those of all ages. Participants will learn how to protect themselves by learning hands-on self defense. Bring a friend to be your partner during practice exercises. Space for the event is limited. For additional information or to register for the event, call Rep. DeLuca’s district office at 708-754-7900.

Annual Wheel Chair Basketball Game – Thursday, November 12

The Annual Wheel Chair Basketball Game will be held on Thursday, November 12 at the Lincolnway Special Recreation Center, 1900 Heather Glen Drive, New Lenox. The game will feature the Rolling Falcons playing against local Illinois State Representatives. This educational yet fun event brings attention to the importance of special recreation programs while being entertaining. Everyone who has attended has enjoyed themselves and keep returning year after year. Come out for this free evening, learn how special recreation programs benefit your community and cheer on the team. For additional information, call Representative DeLuca’s district office at 708-754-7900.