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In and Around Park Forest Week of February 4, 2013

  • Written by Rosemary Piser
  • Category: Latest Local News
Children swimming at Park Forest Aqua Center
Thinking spring and summer yet? We are. This is a scene from last June's member's night at the Park Forest Aqua Center. Stay warm! (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—February 4, 2013. Black History Month is observed every February in the United States in order to celebrate the achievements made by black Americans. You’ll find a list of the Black History Month events happening around the south suburban area in the ‘Black History Month’ 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 RJPiserLPH@aol.com with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meetings

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, February 4 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend. Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers) as well as on the Village web site at www.villageofparkforest.com.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions/Advisory Groups will meet the week of February 4:

  • Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group
  • Thursday, February 7 at 1 p.m. – Senior Citizens Advisory Commission
  • Thursday, February 7 at 7 p.m. – Environment Commission

Black History Month

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Celebrate Black History – Saturday, February 9, 16, & 23

The Park Forest Public Library will feature the film series ‘African American First’ on Saturday, February 9, 16 and 23 at 1 p.m. For additional information about these programs, call 708-748-3731 extension 22.

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

‘Crossroads of Freedom’

The theme of GSU’s Black History Month 2013 is ‘Crossroads of Freedom’ marking two important anniversaries in the history of African Americans and the United States – the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Black History Month events at GSU the week of February 4 include:

  • Monday, February 4 from 2 pm. to 4 p.m. in the Hall of Governors – History Through the Arts
  • Monday, February 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 pm. in Engbretson Hall – African American Read-In – Anyone who wishes to read an excerpt from a book, poem or essay by and African American author can contact Professor Rashidah Muhammad at rmuhammad@govst.edu.
  • Tuesday, February 5 from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Hall of Governors – Africana Hip Hop Dance with Riley
  • Tuesday, February 5 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. in Room B2201 – ‘Managing Equal Opportunity and Diversity’ – an open class that will explore civil rights, equal opportunity questions, and diversity. Interested persons should RSVP to Professor David Schumpp at dschumpp@govst.edu
  • Wednesday, February 6 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Engbretson Hall – African American Military Contribution to American Freedom Film Series; ‘The Miracle of Santa Ana’ – this event is sponsored by the Office of Veteran’s Affairs

Unless otherwise noted, all events are presented free of charge and are open to the public.

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

Celebrate Black History Month at PSC

PSC is hosting several events in February in celebration of Black History Month. All events will be held on the college’s main campus.

  • Monday, February 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – The Charles Drew/Heartland Blood Drive will be held in the Atrium. The blood drive is sponsored by the Campus Programming Board.
  • Monday, February 4 from 9:45 a.m. to noon in the Conference Center’s Heritage Room – Visual artist LaShanda Crowe Storm and poet and Yoruba priestess Maria Hamilton Eliza Abegunde will present their collaborative project that can be seen in the exhibition at PSC’s Christopher Art Gallery ‘Selections from Collaborative Vision: the Poetic Dialogue Project.’
  • February 11 through February 15 – Protégé Program is hosting Protégé Club Week – a variety of events for current students will be scheduled, including HIV testing, contests, panel discussions, and a Valentine’s Day musical showcase featuring Essence Allen.
  • Tuesday, February 12 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Pioneer Café – Black History Month Trivia, sponsored by the Campus Programming Board.
  • Tuesday, February 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Atrium – A Taste of Soul Food – skits will be performed. The event is sponsored by the Black Student Union.
  • Monday, February 18 & Tuesday, February 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Atrium – Vendor Fair sponsored by the Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs.
  • Friday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Center Auditorium – The 25th Annual Jazz Fest sponsored by the Music Department. Tickets are available in the Business Office before the concert or at the door on February 22. Tickets are $15 for the general public or $10 for students and senior citizens.
  • Thursday, February 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Conference Center Auditorium – The 9th Annual PSC Idol Contest sponsored by the Black Student Union.

More events may be added. For additional information, visit the Student Leadership Center in room 1260 or call 708-7709-3910 or visit www.prairiestate.edu and view the events calendar.

Arts & Entertainment

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

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

  • Monday, February 4 at 10:30 a.m. – Imagine! Create! Participate! -- This program is designed for children ages 3-5 and will include not only a story, but the use of their imaginations. It’s designed to help children develop their creativity while interacting and connecting to other children in the community. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Monday, February 4 at 6:30 p.m. – Jazz on Monday Nights: Stan Kenton -- Kenton was a Pianist, composer and band leader who led an innovative, influential, and often controversial American Jazz Orchestra.
  • Tuesday, February 5 at 10:30 a.m. – Movement & Me -- Come in and enjoy time with your preschooler during this class combining movement with adventure and stories. Exercise is a key to living a healthy lifestyle. In this class parents and caregivers are able to move with their children while having a great time. (Ages 3-5). Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Tuesday, February 5 at 6:30 p.m. – P.J. Story Time -- Wear your pajamas & come join us for stories, crafts & games. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Tuesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. – Winter Reading Craft ‘Share the Warmth’ -- Share the warmth with this Winter Reading craft. All supplies provided by the library.
  • Wednesday, February 6 at 10:30 a.m. -- Art Club (Ages 2 – 5) -- Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Wednesday, February 6 at 1 p.m. – Fine Art Matinee - Eugene Delacroix -- Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) is credited with bridging the gap between the painterly traditions of the Old Masters and the new-wave artists of the French Romantic movement.
  • Wednesday, February 6 at 5 p.m. – Art Club (Grades K – 3) -- Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Wednesday, February 6 at 6 p.m. – Art Club (Grades 4 – 6) -- Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. – Reader’s Theater – Do you love dancing, acting, and singing? Would you like to put on a show for your friends and family to see? Join us every Wednesday for Reader's Theater, where we will bring out the artist in you! Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Thursday, February 7 at 10:30 a.m. – Mother Goose Time -- During this 30-minute session, babies and their parents will share nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs, music and age-appropriate books. For babies ages 2 and under accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Thursday, February 7 at 5 p.m. – LEGO Club -- Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display at the library. For boys and girls in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31. The library is looking for donations of new or used LEGOs. Please contact the library if you would like to help with this project.
  • Friday, February 8 at 3 p.m. – Wii Games -- Meet up with your friends at the Park Forest Public Library for some gaming fun. The library will provide some games — YOU bring a friend. If you have a favorite game, bring it along to teach and share. Join us after school as we take a little time to have some fun! Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 3
  • Saturday, February 8 at 11 a.m. – Art Club (Grades K – 3) -- Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.
  • Saturday, February 8 at 12 p.m. – Art Club (Grades 4 – 6) -- Do you love art? Well this club is for you and all creative kids are welcome. Come on in and join the club where you can discover new books, make wonderful art and meet new friends. Registration required for groups, please call 708-748-3731 ex. 31.

For additional information, please call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org/

Sharing the Warmth – Through February 10

For each new warm item you bring in to the Library to donate, (anything like hats, mittens, slippers, socks, ear muffs, etc.) we will clear $2.00 in Park Forest Library fines. Help us share the warmth this winter, all items will be donated to those in need.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Classical III’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, February 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 17 at 3 p.m., the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra will present ‘Classical III’ at the Ozinga Chapel of Trinity Christian College, 6601 W. College Drive, Palos Heights. David Danzmayr, Music Director, will conduct the orchestra’s performance of ‘Divertimento for Small Orchestra’ byLee Actor; ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35’ by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky featuring Ilya Kaler, Violin; and ‘Symphony No. 92 (Oxford)’ byJoseph Haydn. Tickets are priced at $55, $45 and $35 and can be purchased online at http://www.ipomusic.org.

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

METRO JAZZ VOICES: Four-part Harmony, Love Songs for Valentines – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for the next Senior Series Event, of METRO JAZZ VOICES who will deliver a program of classic standards and love songs from the Great American Songbook to bet you in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. The concert will be held on Tuesday, February 5 at 11 a.m. There will be scat singing, instrumental solos and humor, along with a heavy dose of tight, scintillating harmonies, in the style of ‘Manhattan transfer’ and the ‘Hi-Los.’ Tickets are $10 and can be purchase in-person at the box office, or online at www.freedomhall.org. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

The Rainbow Fish – Tickets Now on Sale

Freedom Hall’s Family Theatre will present ‘The Rainbow Fish’ on Friday, February 15 at p.m. With her lovely coloring and shimmering scales, the Rainbow Fish is used to being the most beautiful creature in the ocean. So when the other fish ask her for some silver scales, she refuses. How can she sacrifice the one thing that makes her so unique? ArtsPower has turned Marcus Pfister’s bestselling book into a delightful and touching musical about the value of sharing true friendship with others. Tickets are $8 and can be purchase in-person at the box office, or online at www.freedomhall.org. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

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

Step Back into the 1950s Valentine’s Day Exhibit at the Park Forest House Museum

Throughout February , the 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard, will be decorated with vintage valentines and decorations. The on-room classroom featured in the Museum will be decorated for a 1950s Valentine’s Day party with crepe paper candy baskets, and construction paper heart-shaped valentine ’mailboxes’ on each desk. Red honeycomb, puffy hearts and vintage valentines are on display throughout the house. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st century and revisit your past in this gem of a museum, just down the street. The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays in December from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or by appointment. The admission is $5 for adults; 12 and under are free. The museum tour is free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Brick. Park Forest related gift ideas are available at the museum and in the online store at www.parkforesthistory.org. Convenient street parking is available in front of the museum. For additional information, call 708-481-4252.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Hearts and Flowers’ the Work of Ann Bonzani – Through February 28

The February exhibit at Salon Artists Gallery will be ‘Hearts and Flowers’ featuring the work of Ann Bonzani. The exhibit will run through February 28. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-833-5108 or 708-703-7806.

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

Rich Township Seniors February Luncheon and Trip – Tickets Now on Sale

On Wednesday, February 13 at 10 a.m., we will depart from the parking lot at the Senior Center and head to Chicago to enjoy a family style lunch at Orso’s Restaurant. After lunch, we will go to the Royal George Theatre for their performance of ‘Bible Bing, an Act of Charity in Two Acts.’ This show is an interactive comedy featuring bible trivia, fun bingo cards, quizzes and wacky prizes. We will return to Park Forest at approximately 5:30 p.m. The cost of the trip is $70 which includes round-trip transportation, lunch and theatre ticket. Please call 708-748-5454 to make your reservation. Payment should be made within 3 days of making your reservation.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Luise Renner Retrospective’ – Through March 31

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

Center for Performing Arts, 1 University Parkway, University Park

 ‘DRUMLine Live’ – Tickets Now on Sale

On Friday, February 15 at 7 p.m., the Center for Performing Arts will present ‘DRUMLine Live,’ an international tour based on the bold beats and ear-grabbing energy of the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition. With choreographed routines and heavy doses of drum riffs, the show incorporates original compositions and soul-infused interpretations of top 40 hits. Tickets are priced at $15 - $58. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call the GSU Center Box Office at 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

‘The Flowering Tree’ – Tickets Now on Sale

‘The Flowering Tree’ will be presented by the Natya Dance Theatre on Saturday, February 16 at 8 p.m. The Natya Dance Theatre is one of the most critically acclaimed and culturally treasured Indian dance companies in the United States. This is an international, multicultural production, exploring timely, cross-cultural concerns about humanity’s relationship to the natural world. Tickets are $30. To purchase tickets or for additional information, call the GSU Center Box Office at 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

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

‘Superior Donuts’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Superior Donuts,’ a comedy-drama about facing your demons and the redemptive power of friendship. Performances will be held on February 15 – 24. When a loner hippie and Chicago donut shop owner meets a young charismatic black teenager full of dreams and bright ideas, the writing is on the wall that things are going to change – watch this combust into a reawakening, salvation, and a love of life found. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays are at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are priced at $19 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for students with I.D. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-755-3444 or visit www.dramagroup.org.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘Upgrade & Breakdown’ – Through February 16

‘Upgrade & Breakdown’ featuring the works of Josh Bindewald and Christopher Cannon will run through February 16. The exhibit features printmaking and mixed media art that addresses humankind’s propensity to upgrade and break down the world around us. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For gallery hours and additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

‘Urban Myths’ – Through February 16

‘Urban Myths’ featuring art by the internationally recognized printmaker Michael Goro will run through February 16. Goro’s solo exhibit will present twenty-five of his intensely detailed, large-scale intaglio prints, as well as several images from preparatory stages of his printmaking process. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For gallery hours and additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

IN WAR Series – Through Memorial Day 2013

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

WTTW-Channel 11 Chicago, 5400 N. Saint Louis Avenue, Chicago

‘Reflections on Fatherhood,’ a Production of Governors State University Faculty, Students – Debuts Monday, February 11

Compelling stories about fathers and families are at the heart of a televised conversation between two award winning journalists, created by faculty and students at Governors State University and making its broadcast debut on WTTW Channel 11 on Monday, February 11 at 3:30 p.m. ‘Reflections on Fatherhood’ was inspired by “Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood,” by John W. Fountain, a nationally renowned journalist, professor, and author. Veteran television journalist Robert Jordan, of WGN-TV, hosts the program. A special screening and discussion of the program is planned at Governors State on Father’s Day, June 15.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

GSU to Host Forum for Second Congressional District Candidates – Thursday, February 7

GSU will host a forum for candidates seeking the vacant Congressional seat in Illinois’ Second District. The forum, in GSU’s Center for Performing Arts, takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 7. During the forum, candidates will be asked how they can best serve the residents of the Second District, which includes sections of Chicago’s south side and parts of southern Cook County, areas in Will County and all of Kankakee County. Mike Flannery, Political Editor for WFLD Fox 32, will moderate the forum which is free and open to the public. In presenting the forum, GSU is partnering with the League of Women Voters chapters in Homewood-Flossmoor, Dolton-Harvey-Riverdale, and the Park Forest area. Seventeen Democrats and five Republicans have filed to run for the Second District seat. The primary election takes place February 26 with a special election for the seat to follow on April 9.

Veterans Writing Group at GSU

GSU invites veterans to join a new Veterans Writing Group, where they will discover or re-discover the craft of narrative writing in a small, supportive group environment. Veterans will enhance and learn new skills and share camaraderie with other vets in a six-week workshop. Groups are now forming. There is no charge for participation in the Veterans Writing Group. To register, contact Robin Thompson, University Lecturer and Coordinator of the program, at 708-534-4581 or e-mail rthompson@govst.edu.

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 lzeigler@prairiestate.edu.

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skill classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit http://www.onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

Top U.S. Universities

Choosing what college or university to attend can be a very daunting experience. With educational costs continually increasing, it’s more important than ever to choose a university that meets your specific educational needs. At http://www.topschools.com/, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Healthy Living

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

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

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

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

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

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

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

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

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

Green Events

Park Forest Environment Commission

2013 Park Forest Community Garden Project Meeting – Saturday, February 16

The Park Forest Environment Commission invites you to attend a meeting on the 2013 Community Garden Project on Saturday, February 16 at 10:30 a.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. As was the case in 2012, Park Forest will offer gardening groups the opportunity to use Village-owned lots for purposes of gardening. Gardeners from the 2012 season will discuss lessons learned from their experience. We will also discuss the new composting project and fund raising activities to help generate additional revenue for the project and a proposal to utilize the land from the site of the old Wildwood School for a large community garden in 2014. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, please call Rosemary Piser at 708-747-1991.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest

 ‘Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh’ – Wednesday, February 6

On Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m., TCAS will present ‘Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh.’ This documentary will be introduced by Marianne Hahn, President of the Friends of the Kankakee. The program will take place at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Field Trip to Bartel Grassland – Saturday, February 9

On Saturday, February 9 at 4 p.m., come to the parking lot at Central and Flossmoor to see Short-eared Owls, and perhaps Northern Harriers.   Dress for cold windy weather, even if it is not so cold and windy at your house. For additional information, call Dick Riner at 708-720-5693.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

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.

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

‘Plugged In’ Dedication Ceremony – Thursday, February 7 -- Registration Required

A Dedication Ceremony to showcase the new electric vehicle charging stations at PSC will be held on Thursday, February 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Christopher Art Gallery located on PSC’s main campus. This is a special event to highlight this initiative as well as others taking place on campus as part of PSC’s strategic sustainability plan. Attendees will watch an electric vehicle charging demonstration and be able to view the Chevy Volt. Representatives from Phillips Chevrolet will provide information on current year incentives and rebates. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by January 30 to Allesandra Cairo, Sustainability Coordinator at acairo@prairiestate.edu.

Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted Street, Chicago

‘Peace in Permaculture’ a Talk by Warren Brush – Limited Seating – Registration Required

On Sunday, February 10 beginning at 5:30 p.m., join international permaculture teacher, mentor, and storyteller Warren Brush, for an inspiring evening of stories and images that will take you on a journey into his extensive peach-nurturing work through the worldwide permaculture movement that brings sustainable and equitable living to people and communities in America, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. The event will take place at the Hull House Museum. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Since space is limited, seating at the door is subject to availability. For additional information or to register in advance via PAYPAL, visit: http://amma.org/groups/north-america/ma-center-chicago/events/peace-permaculture-talk-warren-brush.

Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

‘Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh’ – Screening February 26

The documentary film ‘Everglades of the North’ will be screening on Tuesday, February 25 at 6 p.m. at the Field Museum of Natural History. The Grand Kankakee Marsh or ‘everglades of the North’ was one of the largest wetlands in North America. With interlocking wetlands, prairies, savannas and woodlands it was home to some of the highest concentrations of wildlife on the planet. Following the screening, Doug Stotz of the Field Museum will moderate a discussion by a panel of experts on the Kankakee Region, including:

  • John Rogner, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
  • Jim Sweeney, Friends of the Kankakee,
  • Marianne Hahn, Friends of the Kankakee, and
  • Jeff Manes, Producer/Writer.

The event is free and open to the public. Please enter the Museum at the West door. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Paid parking is available at Soldier Field for approximately $19. Public transit is recommended. For additional information, e-mail ehasle@fieldmuseum.org.

This & That

League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area, Park Forest

SCOPE’s Chris Slowik to Discuss School Funding Issues – Wednesday, February 13

Chris Slowik, organizational director for SCOPE, will discuss school funding issues on Wednesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. This is part of a series of meetings that the League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area will hold to meet with experts in order to study the issues impacting state and federal policy. SCOPE is a coalition of 60 public school districts in South Suburban and Will Counties. The mission of SCOPE is to provide leadership and organization to coordinate support from the legislature so that children in the south suburban region will be educated to meet the challenges of the future. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call Barbara Moore at 708-481-5251.

Candidate Forum – Sunday, February 17

The League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area and the Park Forest Committee for Non-Partisan Government will co-sponsor a candidate forum on Sunday, February 17 at 1 p.m. in the Board Room of Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Candidates running for Village Trustee positions and Library Board Trustee positions will be invited to speak to the public. The Forum will begin at 1 p.m. with the Village Trustee candidates speaking first for about 90 minutes. There are ten candidates for Village Trustee. Following that session, Library Board Trustee candidates will speak for about 1 hour. There are seven candidates for Library Board Trustee. Community members are encouraged to attend.

Park Forest Baseball

Registration for 2013 Season – Now on Progress

Registration for the 2013 season of Park Forest Baseball is now in progress. This program is open to both boys and girls from age 4 through 14. The registration will be at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive on the following Saturdays:

  • Saturday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 23 from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday, March 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Complete details about registration can be found at www.ParkForestBaseball.org or call Alan or Mary Kay Joens at 708-503-1944.

Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock St., Park Forest

Free Java Tuesdays

All are invited to Faith United Protestant Church for FREE Java Tuesdays. Visitors are asked to go to the Indianwood Boulevard side entrance between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. for free curbside service or to come and sit a bit. The event will continue each Tuesday as a form of outreach to the community throughout the summer and fall. For more information, call 708-747-1330.

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

Friday Fish Fry – Friday, February 8

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, February 8 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

Garden Club of Park Forest

"A Gardener's Cookbook"

To celebrate their 55th anniversary, the Park Forest Garden Club offers this cookbook filled with memories, gardening tips, flowery sayings and of course recipes. Makes a great gift. All proceeds go to the club and are used toward community contributions. Cookbooks are $9 and are available at the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department, 350 Victory Drive. Call 708-748-2005 for additional information.

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

Get Your Taxes Done for Free at PSC

PSC in conjunction with the Center for Economic Progress (CEP) is offering opportunities for individuals and families meeting certain criteria to get their taxes done for free. The tax assistance will be available beginning January 26 through April 13. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free assistance is available to individuals with incomes less than $25,000; for families with income level less than $50,000. The service is offered on a first come, first serve basis. To ensure the process goes smoothly, bring the following information: all W-2s and 1099s (if any), social security cards of Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) for all family members; valid photo ID; copy of last year’s tax return (if available); bank account number and routing number for direct deposit of your refund; property tax bill; and the amount spent on college expenses. Other options offered during the tax preparation session include free help filing an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) claim, open a bank or savings account to deposit your refund, or obtain a prepaid debit card for your refund. If you have any questions, call 888-827-8511.

Rotary Club of Park Forest

The Rotary Club of Park Forest urges you to purchase a Golden Opportunities 2012 book to help support its youth activities. Books are only $25 and are now available for purchase at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Blvd.

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

"Operation Hero Miles" collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit www.FisherHouse.org.

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager's Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Greening of Park Forest

Sertoma Centre, Inc., 4343 W. 123rd St., Alsip

Recycle Unused Wheelchairs

If you have a used motorized wheelchair that you no longer need and would like to help a person with a disability, the Sertoma Centre will accept your donation. Contact Melanie Jones at 708-730-6206 for additional information.

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein's NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the "Recycling" icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Safe Disposal Program – Bio-waste

The Park Forest Health Department and Environment Commission have partnered to provide information on the proper disposal of bio-waste such as used syringes or lancets (medical sharps). Begin by purchasing a Sharps container to dispose of your medical sharps for $10 at the Park Forest Health Department. Return the filled container to the Park Forest Health Department and purchase a new container. Call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118 for more information.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Sources: Park Forest Winter-Spring 2013 Recreation Programs & More Brochure, Park Forest ‘Discover’ magazine, Rich Township Report, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Center for Performing Arts, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Monkey Mind Art Studio, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.

Park Forest Clubs and Organizations

Please Note: eNews Park Forest, Inc. is an independent media company and is not affiliated with the Village of Park Forest in any way.

Historical Society
Park Forest Historical Society

Health Department

Nurses Plus

Freedom Hall

Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theater

Tall Grass

Tall Grass Arts Association

Kiwanis

Kiwanis of Park Forest

Nurses Club

Park Forest Nurses Club

Baseball

Park Forest Baseball