In and Around Park Forest Week of April 26, 2010

Jon Asamoah and family

Jon Asamoah (right) celebrates with Uncle Josh, mom Jeri, and dad Sam (seated) Saturday. Jon, a Rich East graduate and Ash Street Cooperative resident, was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. (Story to follow. Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– April 26, 2010. The Park Forest’s Farmers Market will begin its 37th year on Saturday, May 1. The Farmers Market will be held each Saturday through October from 7 a.m. until noon, rain or shine.  Fresh garden plants and produce, bakery goods, gourmet cheeses, herbs and eggs will be available for sale. Local businesses will also be on hand with a variety of artwork, garden ornaments, candles and more. Meet your friends at the Farmers Market for breakfast or lunch and shop locally.

During the Farmers Market, local civic groups can give demonstrations, hold fundraisers or other events at no charge but must register in advance. For more information, call 708-748-1118 or visit www.pfhealth.net.

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 Meetings

Village Board Meeting

The Village Board is scheduled to meet on Monday, April 26 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend. Village 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

Park Forest Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Village Commission will meet this week:

  • Cable Communications Commission – Wednesday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m.

All meetings are held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Arts and Entertainment

Park Forest Community Relations

2nd Annual Mother & Daughter’s Brunch & Play – Tickets On Sale Now

On Saturday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring your mother, daughter or some girlfriends to the 2nd Annual Mother & Daughter’s Brunch and see the exhilarating, family-oriented stage play, "Dear Mama." The event will be held at Rich East High School, 300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest. Tickets are $15 per person. Tickets can be purchased on-line or by phone (with a nominal service fee added) at www.myeasytix.com or call 877-840-0457. You can also purchase tickets in-person at the Village of Park Forest Community Relations Department, 350 Victory Drive, 2nd floor. For additional information on the event, call Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Way, Park Forest

"No Way to Treat a Lady" – Through May 2

This slightly twisted musical comedy is based on the best-selling novel (and hit film) about a publicity seeking actor-turned-serial killer who’s a master of disguises, and the hapless NYPD detective who hunts him down. It’s a devilish blend of humor, romance and murder.
Performances are Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM.  Tickets are priced at $21 on Fri. & Sat., $19 at all other times.  There is a $1 discount for students and seniors (65+). The Illinois Theatre Center is located in Downtown Park Forest at 371 Artists Walk (off Indianwood Blvd., adjacent to Village Hall).  For tickets, call 708-481-3510.

Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock, Park Forest

"I’m Getting Murdered in the Morning" – Saturday & Sunday, May 1, 2

Attend a murder mystery dinner theater event set at the wedding reception of a well-known local couple. Be the first to solve this hilarious ‘who-dun-it.’ Plan to attend this enjoyable dinner theatrical event on Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, May 2 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 708-747-1330.

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

Whose Live Anyway? – Friday, April 30

On Friday, April 30 at 8 p.m., get ready for 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff B. Davis leave their audiences gasping with the very witty scenes they invent, right before your eyes. More fun that the hit TV Show, Whose Line is it Anyway? Tickets are $56, $49, and $45. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

Patchwork — The Little House Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder – Saturday, May 1

Born in 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled across America’s rolling plains in the back of a covered wagon. The Wilders created patchwork quilts that would later help inspire her time-honored books. Laura’s quilts still exist today, and their patterns recall her beloved family and their adventures as they crossed the wild and often perilous frontier. Join the Ingalls in this adventure (authorized by the Laura Ingalls Estate) on Saturday, May 1 at 11 a.m. as they face the hardships and triumphs of the wondrous new land, with sometimes only their faith and the love of family to sustain them. Tickets are $15.50 and $10.50. Birthday Party Packages are also available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

Jukebox Musical Theatre Summer Camp for Kids

The Center for Performing Arts at GSU welcomes Emerald City Theatre Chicago to present its annual summer musical theatre camp for kids in the Chicago Southland from June 21 to June 25. Jukebox Musical Theatre Summer Camp culminates with a special performance recital on Friday, June 25 at 7 p.m. at the Center.

Camp is six hours a day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The weeklong camp costs $230, which includes materials, a camp t-shirt, and four tickets to the final performance. The Center is currently accepting registration for children ages 8 to 15. To register a camper, or for more information, call Burt Dikelsky, The Center’s Executive Director at 708-235-2238.

Southland Area Theatre Ensemble (SLATE) at GSU

Auditions for "The Wedding Singer" – May 16 & May 18

SLATE at GSU will be holding auditions for this summer’s musical production of "The Wedding Singer" on Sunday, May 16 starting at noon, and Tuesday, May 18, starting at 5 p.m., in Sherman Recital Hall at GSU. Persons wishing to audition should visit the SLATE website at www.slatetheatre.org to download the audition form and view character descriptions and casting requirements. Those auditioning should prepare a one minute vocal selection that best demonstrates their vocal range from either a pop-rock musical such as "The Wedding Singer," "Footloose," "Tommy," "Rent," or a 1980s pop, rock, or power ballad. They should bring sheet music – singing a cappella will not be permitted – and comfortable clothes and shoes for a dance audition.

Auditions are by appointment only. Interested persons can make appointments by calling the audition hotline at 708-235-2824. In addition, visit the SLATE website to fill out the audition and conflict sheets to turn in when you arrive for auditions. Auditions will last at least 2 hours to allow completion of both the vocal and dance segments. Callbacks are scheduled for Sunday, May 23 and are by invitation only.

Park Forest Historical Society

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

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is decorated for a 1950s Easter through April. There is a set of hand-painted blown eggs brought back from World War II Japan. 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.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights, IL

Pairs Exhibit – Through May 14

This new exhibit will focus on pairs of works by each artist that relate very closely to one another, through subject, style, size or color. The works will be hung as partners, inviting comparison and study of the similarities and differences, transformations and growth that developed as the artists pursued an idea or concept. Artists in the exhibit will present drawings, paintings, photographs, sculpture, and missed media pieces in this lively and wide-ranging exploration of subjects and styles. Gallery hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m., and the second Friday of each month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 708-754-2601.

Union Street Fine Art Fundraiser

Union Street Gallery has received a generous donation of a piece of art by award winning artist Eve Jensen entitled ‘Meditation in Flight.’ The piece will be raffled off with proceeds to benefit the Gallery. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each. The raffle will be held on Friday, May 14 at 8:45 p.m. during the closing reception for the Pairs Exhibit. The lucky winner will get to take the piece home that night. To purchase a raffle ticket, visit the gallery or call 708-754-2601.

‘Creativity Not Just for Artists’ Workshop – Registration Required

On Saturday, May 8 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Union Street Gallery Education Room, Coach Jeff Stevenson will conduct a workshop that will focus on a broad definition of creativity as it applies to any life pursuit. Specific strategies will be presented to give participants tools to find their own creative spirit no matter what the occupation or task at hand. Group exercises will energize and open avenues to new thinking about your own creativity and how to nurture creativity in those around you. Space is limited. To register, call 708-754-2601 or e-mail [email protected].

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Rich East High School, 300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest

Community Classes – Saturday, May 1

As part of its receiving a $232,000 School Improvement Grant from the Illinois State Board of Education, Rich East High School is sponsoring a series of classes that will be open to all Park Forest residents, including Rich East students. The next series of classes will be held on Saturday, May 1 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Classes in the following areas will be available:

  • Computer Proficiency,
  • Careers that Work,
  • Yoga, Line Dancing Boot Camp,
  • Weight Training,
  • Culinary Arts/Soul Kitchen,
  • Chorus (Join the Rich East Community Choir), and
  • Reading.

Lunch will be served and daycare provided. For more information, call 708-679-6100 weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

Free Computer Workshops Through April

GSU’s Library is offering free computer workshops to members of the community, students, staff, and faculty. Workshop topics include blogging, PowerPoint Basic, APA style formatting, plagiarism detection, and several workshops on genealogy. The workshops will take place through April and are open to the public. Advance registration is recommended but not required. For more information and a complete schedule of workshops, visit www.govst.edu/library or call 708-235-7514.

Vacation Education at GSU

Vacation Education at GSU provides a unique opportunity for current GSU students, college students home for the summer, and those wishing to learn more and add to their qualifications. The courses offered during this special summer program vary in subject and content from trauma and addictions to the Illinois Writing Project and from history of rock and roll to healthcare and politics. Vacation Education courses run from June 1 through July 15. All four colleges of GUS – Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Services, Business and Public Administration, and Education – have scheduled courses during Vacation Education. Between one and three credit hours are offered per course. Students do not need to be previously enrolled in GSU. These courses can be taken on a non-degree seeking basis. Prerequisites are dependent on the courses. For more information, call 708-534-4567 or visit www.govst.edu/vacationeducation.

AARP Safe Driving Program – Tuesday, May 4

The AARP Safe Driving Classes will be held on Tuesday, May 4 at 9 a.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. The course qualifies seniors for a discount on the liability portion of their car insurance. The discount is good for three years, but you must contact your insurance company. The fee for the class is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. Payment by check ONLY, must be brought to class, along with your AARP membership card. Call the Rich Township Senior Center at 708-748-5454 or Brenda Walker at the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118 to make your reservation.

Holiday Star Theater Scholarship Program for Arts and Media Majors – Application Deadline May 17

The Holiday Star Theater, 340 Main St., Park Forest, is offering $12,500 in scholarships for the Fall 2010 semester to local high school and college students who plan to or are currently majoring in film production, theater management, performing arts or related fields at a local Chicago-area college or university. Applicants will be evaluated based on a variety of factors including GPA, level of community involvement and other outstanding factors with preference given to residents of Park Forest and its surrounding communities. Additional information and the application form can be downloaded at www.theholidaystartheater.net/scholarship.pdf. Applications must be submitted no later than May 17, 2010.

Shop Locally

Park Forest Spring Savings Coupons

Spring savings coupons were recently mailed to all Park Forest residents. Participating merchants include: Lifetime Automotive Repair, Quality Classic Health & Fitness Center, The Image of Inc. Barber Shop, Superior Cabinet & Window, Shrimp Max, Freedom Hall, and Last Minute Printing & Copy Center. Remember to support our local Park Forest merchants. If you did not receive coupons in the mail, pick some up at Village Hall.

Holiday Star Theater, 340 Main St., Park Forest

Free Movie Every Monday for Seniors

Every Monday at 1 p.m., Seniors can attend a free movie at the Holiday Star Theater. Afternoon tea will be served following the movie. Call 708-283-9096 for each week’s scheduled movie.

Free Popcorn Tuesdays

If you love popcorn, bring your own popcorn bowl to the Holiday Star Theater any Tuesday and they will fill it up for you with a drink purchase. For information on ticket prices and/or movie times, call 708-283-9096.

Take Your Mom to a Movie for Mother’s Day

Looking for something to do with mom for Mother’s Day? The Holiday Star Theater will be showing a special Tyler Perry movie set that weekend. Mom’s will be admitted for free and given popcorn and a drink. Tickets MUST be reserved in advance by e-mail at [email protected] or sign-up at the theater. For more information, call the Holiday Star Theater office at 708-283-9098.

Doomsday Zombie Fest 2010

The Holiday Star Theater will be hosting Doomsday Zombie Fest 2010. The goal is to break the current Guinness World Record for the most Zombies gathered at a single location. Starting Friday, October 22 at 5 p.m., the Holiday Star Theater will be showing Zombie Movies for 72 straight hours on huge outdoor screens. Zombies are encouraged to bring their tents and camp out.

On Saturday, October 23, the attempt to beat the World Record will take place. Bring your best Zombie costume, make-up and props. There will be prizes, contests, ‘Zombie Walk,’ vendors, and on-site make-up artists.

This event is free and open to the public however, the Holiday Star Theater requests that you bring a non-perishable food or household item for charity.  Additional information about the event can be found at http://doomsdayzombiefest.com/.

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.

Greening of Park Forest

B3 Bottles, Park Forest

The United Sates leads in consuming bottled water, drinking 26 billion liters a year (that’s only one, 8 ounce glass per day). It is estimated that Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour with 86% of the plastic bottles used never getting recycled. B3 Bottles, a local Park Forest business, has a solution to this problem. B3’s stainless steel bottles can be filled with Park Forest’s award winning water or other hot/cold beverages of your choice, and then cleaned and re-used for a lifetime. To learn more about B3 Bottles and pricing information, call Laura Fitzgerald at 708-748-0934.

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.

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.

Healthy Living

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – April 28

On Wednesday, April 28 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., those ages 11 – adult can enjoy light exercise as you meander through Thorn Creek Woods. Experience the arrival of spring first-hand as you walk the 1.5 mile loop with a naturalist. Trails can be wet or muddy so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderate. The Walkers will meet each Wednesday through June 16 and there is a fee of $2 per week. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

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

Senior Ladies’ Brunch with Women’s Health Screening

The Park Forest Health Department in collaboration with Rich Township is sponsoring a brunch and health screening event. This free event is open to Rich Township women age 65 and older and will be held on Thursday, May 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive (lower level). Health screening tests include:

  • PAP test
  • Lipid (Cholesterol) profile and glucose (fast 9 – 12 hours)
  • Urinalysis
  • Hemoglobin (anemia test)
  • Stool Occult Blood Screening with instruction kit
  • Breast exam
  • Height/Weight
  • Blood Pressure

Appointments are limited. To schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118.

H1N1 Vaccine Available at Park Forest Health Department

The Park Forest Health Department has a limited supply of H1N1 vaccines available. H1N1 vaccines will be given by appointment only on Mondays and Fridays while supplies last. The fee for the vaccine is $15 and must be paid in cash at the time the vaccine is given. Medicare primary is accepted and Medicaid accepted for those 6 months through 18 years of age. No Managed Care enrollees accepted.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 708-481-1118. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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.

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

Free Counseling Services Available

Today, individuals and families face economic and social pressures as well as communication difficulties that frequently disrupt family unity and the ability to cope. Counseling is one of the most important tools for understanding and coping. Free, individual, family and vocational counseling is available through GSU’s Division of Psychology and Counseling as part of its training program for advanced graduate counseling students. Faculty members, who are also licensed counselors, supervise the sessions. Counseling sessions are conducted on campus in total confidentiality. For more information, call 708-534-4545 or visit www.govst.edu/counselinglab.

This & That

Matteson, Homewood, Chicago Southland Chambers of Commerce

Mother’s Day Silent Auction White Elephant Sale, Wednesday, April 28

On Wednesday, April 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Joint Chambers of Commerce will hold a huge Mother’s Day Silent Auction White Elephant Sale at Dining on the Green, 349 Main Street in DownTown Park Forest. Many great items will be available, so come early to get the best selection. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call the Matteson Area Chamber of Commerce at 708-747-6000.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp – Pre-Registration Required

CenterPoint at GSU is hosting its semiannual, award winning Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration beginning at 7:45 a.m. Seating is limited to 100 participants and pre-registration is required.

The Veterans Entrepreneurial Boot Camp is offered at no cost to veterans. Families and business partners of those serving in the military may attend for $25. The event is co-sponsored by Phoenix Business Solutions, Accion Chicago, GSU, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The day features presentations and seminars from industry professionals, opportunities for free one-on-one counseling, lunch with a panel of ex-military business owners who share their entrepreneurial journey, and access to CenterPoint’s numerous entrepreneurial services and resources.

For additional information or to register, call 708-534-4929 or visit www.centerpointgsu.com.

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:  Park Forest 2010/Spring/Summer Calendar of Events, Park Forest Winter/Spring 2010 Recreation Programs & More,   Village of Park Forest, Center for Performing Arts, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Freedom Hall, Tall Grass Arts Association, Union Street Gallery, Park Forest Rotary Club, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, and Holiday Star Theater websites.