In and Around Park Forest Week of November 23, 2009

Decorated sign on Ash Street

With just over a month to Chirstmas, one Ash Street resident is looking for Santa, snow or no snow. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– November 23, 2009. This Thursday we will be celebrating Thanksgiving – a time to feel gratitude for all the good things in life that we have been blessed to receive. It also marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Keep in mind that you can reduce your holiday stress by purchasing tickets to upcoming local events or shopping for something unique at one of the many local art galleries. And don’t forget to take some time during this special season to take part in the many holiday events taking place in Park Forest or our neighboring communities.

Send information concerning your community activities or events during the upcoming week by e-mail to Rosemary Piser, Associate Editor, with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

School Holiday Camp – Thanksgiving Break

Gainers Gymnastics, 300 Victory Drive

On Wednesday, November 25 and Friday, November 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. educational, recreational and cultural activities will be provided along with healthy snacks. Gainers Gymnastics provides a safe environment for children when school is not in session. For more information, call Judy or Karon at 708-481-2261.

Holiday Shopping

Rotary Club of Park Forest

Annual Poinsettia Sale

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is selling holiday poinsettias for its annual fund raiser. These plants come in different colors of red, white, pink or marble and sell for $10. For more information on purchasing poinsettias, call Village Hall at 708-748-1129 or 708-283-5603.

Golden Opportunities Fundraising Project

Looking for a unique gift for a friend, family member or co-worker? Golden Opportunities coupon books make a great gift. Golden Opportunities is the only coupon book that offers coupons at favorite local restaurants, movies, groceries, sporting events and much more. Coupons are valid once a month and a single coupon can offer you hundreds of dollars in savings. Customers can receive 50% off and 2 for 1 discounts. Golden Opportunities Books are $25. Proceeds from the sales support the Rotary Club of Park Forest’s Early Act program – a school-wide service club for elementary students from ages 5 to 13. Books can be purchased by calling Jerome Brown at 773-416-1441.

Tall Grass Arts Association’s Annual Holiday Show and Sale

Tall Grass Arts Association’s Mini-Gallery/Gift Shop will run through January 4, 2010. The show features the artworks of Tall Grass artists priced especially for holiday gift giving. Works represent a wide range of styles and media, including jewelry, stained glass, hand-painted silk ties and scarves, blown-glass balls, holiday cards with original photographs or paintings, wax origami decorations, prints, photographs, collages and paintings. The Tall Grass Gallery and Mini-Gallery Gift Shop are located in DownTown Park Forest, adjacent to Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. The Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, through Saturday. For additional information, call 708-439-2424 or visit the Tall Grass website at www.tallgrassarts.org.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main St., Park Forest

Holiday Arts Sale –Through December 19

The 17th Annual Salon Artists Art Sale is taking place through December 19. The event features many artists with pottery, photography and much more. For additional information or daily business hours, call 708-833-5108.

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

Holiday Gifts & Goodies

The Friends of the Library are sponsoring the annual holiday gift and goody sale. Items include: mugs ($6), calendars ($6), mug & calendar combo ($10), mug with choice of coffee, tea, or cocoa ($7), mug & pecan combo ($13), pecans (plan, glazed, cinnamon glazed, dark chocolate, milk chocolate & carmel — $8 per bag). For more information, call 708-748-3731.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights

Annual Exhibit for Art Lovers and Gift Givers – Through December 31

View art form at its finest. An eclectic display of touchable, viewable, wearable, admirable and pleasurable work from more than 30 regional artists. Perfect for gift giving and collecting. Price ranges that appeal to all pocketbooks.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, Noon to 4 p.m. and the second Friday of the month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 708-754-2601.

Share the Holiday Spirit

Village of Park Forest Joy of Giving

Take a gift wish tag from one of the Village Christmas trees on display in the Village Hall lobby, 350 Victory Drive. Bring the tag and an unwrapped, new gift back to Village Hall by December 7.

Holiday Mail for Heroes – Through December 7

The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes, Inc. have joined forces to invite the public to ‘send a touch of home’ to U.S. service members and veterans across the country and abroad through the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. Now in its third year, the program provides Americans with the opportunity to extend holiday greetings and thanks to service members and veterans. The public can participate in the campaign by sending holiday cards with personal messages to a special post office box through Monday, December 7. Holiday cards should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.

Please be sure to affix adequate postage. For reasons of processing and safety, participants are asked to refrain from sending “care packages,” monetary gifts, using glitter or including any inserts with the cards. For more information and card requirements, please visit www.redcross.org/holidaymail.

Healthy Living

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

Cook County Department of Public Health Prepares to Distribute H1N1 Vaccine

The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) officials are preparing a multifaceted approach to distribute the H1N1 influenza vaccine in suburban Cook County. The first shipment of the H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive at CCDPH in the coming days and they will begin distributing the vaccine throughout suburban Cook County as soon as it is available. However the situation remains fluid because the exact arrival time and quantity of vaccine from the CDC is unknown.
Residents are encouraged to contact the CCDPH for updated information at www.cookcountypublichealth.org or by e-mail: [email protected]. You can also call the CCDPH Flue Hotline at 708-742-2828 or the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118 for updates.

Babies, Teens and Adults Immunization Clinics

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

Blood Pressure Screening

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

Arts and Entertainment

Holiday Magic Festival at Brookfield Zoo – Registration Deadline November 30

On Saturday, December 5 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., visit Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic Festival. The Zoo will be transformed with nearly one million twinkling lights in dazzling displays and illuminating the walkways. Featuring Santa Claus, ice sculptures, animals, carolers and storytellers. Fee is $20 for those ages 3 – 12 and $25 for those 13 and older. Fee includes school bus transportation and admission to the Zoo. Ages 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The bus will depart and return at Freedom Hall. Registration deadline is November 30.

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

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

  • Monday, November 23 at 10:45 a.m. – Morning Story Times for children ages 3 to 6;
  • Tuesday, November 24 at 7 p.m. – Pajama Storytime for Children;
  • Wednesday, November 25 at 11:45 a.m. – Toddler Art for children ages 2 – 4;
  • Saturday, November 28 at 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. –– Thanksgiving crafts. To register, call 708-748-3731, extension 20.

Note: The Library will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving Day Holiday.

For more information, call 708-748-3731, extension 20.

Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theatre, 410 Lakewood Boulevard

“A White Christmas” – Tickets Now on Sale

On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 11 a.m. as part of its Senior Series, “A White Christmas” will be performed. Inspired by the classic film “White Christmas,” this spectacular holiday concert will take you on a musical journey from a World War II performance for the troops, to the glamour of a Florida nightclub and finally, the charm and simple beauty of a New England town. Complete with lavish costumes, original arrangements, comedy and plenty of sentiment, the classically trained vocalists prove that Christmas is a season to warm the heart and enrich the soul. Tickets are $8. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-747-0580 or visit: www.freedomhall.org.

Windham Hill Winter Solstice Concert – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, December 12 at 8 p.m., enjoy the talents of Barbara Higbie and Samite as they illuminate your winter evening with cool rhythms of the snow covered north, the vibrant winters of Africa, and the awe inspiring beauty of the sky with this multi-media musical performance. Tickets are $25.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-747-0580 or visit: www.freedomhall.org.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Way, Park Forest

Archy and Mehitabel – Tickets Now on Sale

Archy, a cockroach with the soul of a poet, types by diving head first onto the keys, so he can’t use the shift key to make capital letters. Mehitabel is a free-spirited alley cat who’s unlucky in love. Archy would like her to settle down and be a respectable house cat, but Mehitabel refuses to change her ways. Their adventures come to the stage accompanied by a lively, jazzy musical score. It’s a holiday treat for the whole family. The play opens on December 4 and runs through December 20.

Tickets range from $19 – $21. There is a $1 discount for students and senior citizens at all performances. For more information, call 708-481-3510.

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

Holiday Hop – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, December 5 at 8 p.m., it’s a rockin’, smooth and soulful holiday to remember with three great ‘50s and 60’s chart-topping groups performing under one roof. Enjoy a non-stop sing along song list with favorites like The Great Pretender, Only You, My Girl, Charlie Brown, Yakety Yak, Please Mr. Postman, a few holiday surprises and more. Tickets range in price from $32 – $52. For more information, 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

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

“As Time Goes By” – Through December 17

“As Time Goes By” is currently showing at PSC’s Christopher Art Gallery. Seven artists of the Mythopian Artists’ Group are featured in this exhibit. The artists work with an array of media including oil and acrylic paintings and drawings, hand made prints, and digital art. Naomi Maurer, arts writer and curator, called the work, ‘imaginative and beautifully executed.”

Hours for the Christopher Art Gallery are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Visits can also be made by appointment. For more information about the exhibit or to schedule an appointment for a visit, contact the PSC Foundation at 708-709-3636.

Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard (Corner of Forest & Fir)

Relive your childhood memories or show your children/grandchildren what it was like to live in the ‘good old days’ by visiting the Park Forest House Museum. The Museum is open on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Group tours are by appointment. Call 708-748-3731.

Marian Catholic High School, 700 Ashland Ave., Chicago Heights

Holiday Madrigal Dinner – December 11 & 12

Marian Catholic High School’s Fine Arts Department will feature its seventh annual Holiday Madrigal Dinner on December 11 – 12 in the Marian Band Room. The kickoff to the holiday season will include beautiful music, moving storytelling, Court entertainers and delicious food and drink. Tickets are prices at $25 which includes entertainment, full dinner and a copy of the Marian Catholic Madrigal Singers CD. Tickets generally sell out in advance. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Marian Choral Director Michelle Howissen at 708-756-9442.

Scholarships Available

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

Scholarships for Secondary Education Majors

The Teacher Quality Enhancement Recruitment (TQE-R) grant at GSU is offering scholarships from $500 to $3,000 to students entering the university’s secondary education programs in biology, chemistry, English, or math. This is a renewable scholarship until Fall 2010 so students may reapply for the scholarship in subsequent terms. Applications for Winter 2010 must be submitted by December 1, 2009. Scholarship requirements and applications are available at www.govst.edu/tqe.

Park Forest Historical Society, 400 Lakewood Blvd.

Park Forest Hall of Fame Nominations

Know a person who has made a substantial, beneficial, and consistent contribution to the life and well-being of Park Forest over a considerable span of time? Why not nominate them for possible induction into the Park Forest Hall of Fame? Nominees may now live elsewhere or be deceased. Individuals or couples may be nominated. Inductees will be chosen from among the eligible nominees by the Park Forest Historical Society and announced publicly early in 2010. To nominate someone, complete a nomination form found on the Historical Society’s website: http://www.parkforesthistory.org/. Nominations must be received by December 15, 2009.

Good Neighbor Business of the Year Awards

Know a local business person who goes above and beyond what their job asks them to do? State Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) is now accepting nominations for his newly-created Good Neighbor Business of the Year Awards. Nominations must be received by January 31, 2010. For more information on the Award, or to obtain a nomination form, call 708-672-0200.

Greening of Park Forest

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.

Go Green with a Free Tote Bag

The Village of Park Forest encourages residents to visit Village Hall to pick up an environmentally friendly canvas bag that can be used for your day-to-day shopping needs. These bags are free while supplies last with only two expectations: 1) that residents have a valid email address so that future environmentally conscious concepts can be shared by the Village’s Environment Commission; and 2) that bags are limited to one per household. For more information on this program, visit the Village Manager’s Office on the second floor of Village Hall of call 708-748-1129.

This & That

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.

Sources: Village of Park Forest Weekly Manager’s Report, 2009 Autumn Recreation Programs, Park Forest Fall/Winter 2009 Calendar of Events, Rotary Club of Park Forest, Park Forest Library, Tall Grass Arts Association, Center for Performing Arts, Prairie Sate College, Governors State University, Illinois Theatre Center, Union Street Gallery, and Park Forest Historical Society websites.