In and Around Park Forest Week of August 10, 2015

Fear and Driven at Balmoral Park
Tickets are available for the August 22 fundraiser at Balmoral Park Racetrack benefitting the Park Forest Health Department. (Photo: Balmoral Park)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—August 10, 2015. One of the things I miss about the south suburbs is enjoying an evening with my friends watching the harness racing at Balmoral Park Racetrack. The horse racing is exciting and the buffet is exceptional. On Saturday, August 22, you can have a chance to experience all that Balmoral Park has to offer while helping out the Park Forest Health Department. The Friends of the Park Forest Health Department are hosting a fundraiser at Balmoral from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets include 2 full hours of Balmoral’s Deluxe Buffet and 1 soft drink per person plus a Race Program. Advance tickets are available at the Park Forest Health Department. You’ll find additional information in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

The Park Forest Youth Commission will host its 16h Annual Youth Day on Saturday, August 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Village Green in DownTown Park Forest – Main & Cunningham. Come out and enjoy music, food, games, raffles, vendors and entertainment for those of all ages. You’ll find additional information 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, August 10

The Board of Trustees will hold a Board Meeting on Monday, August 10 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.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site hereand 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 August 10:

  • Tuesday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations
  • Tuesday, August 10 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Wednesday, August 11 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group

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

Center for Performing Arts 20th Season – Tickets Now on Sale

To commemorate 20 years of great entertainment is no small achievement; it is to honor the past and celebrate the future. The Center for Performing Arts’ 2015-16 programming lineup will do just that. The Center will bring back past fan favorites, like improv comedy with Whose Live Anyway? and Salt Creek Ballet’s The Nutcracker; and welcome today’s popular sounds, among them 10-time Grammy award winners Take 6 and three-time Grammy- nominated Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues performing with seven other Chicago blues icons. October showcases comedy, dance and family fun. Join Emmy-nominated Ryan Stiles and other TV comedy stars for some hilarious improvised comedy and song, or bring the family to see the inquisitive, lovable little monkey, Curious George. If you like Alvin Ailey dance, try PHILADANCO! at 45, celebrating Joan Myers Brown and James Brown, pioneers in dance and music. November celebrates The Big Read, as GSU’s Theatre and Performance Studies program presents Ray Bradbury’s science fiction tale, Fahrenheit 451. Governors State University is one of 75 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive a grant to host a Big Read project. Fahrenheit 451 is a gripping story that is at once disturbing and poetic. Bradbury takes the materials of pulp fiction and transforms them into a visionary parable of a society gone awry, in which firemen burn books and the state suppresses learning. Bringing to light the dangers of censorship, Fahrenheit 451 is more relevant today than when Bradbury wrote it. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. A list of Big Read activities and events is available on the Center’s web site.

Concluding November will be Chévere de Chicago, a leading Latin/Jazz band, mixing Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Jazz, Blues, and just about everything else together into an exciting and unique collage of sound. This performance will feature Grammy award-winner Howard Levy and special guest trumpeter Grammy-nominated Victor Garcia (of CALJE Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble) and nine talented band members. Celebrate the holidays in December with Salt Creek Ballet’s The Nutcracker and Take 6.

The second half of the season highlights Chicago-based artists and local actors in a mix of shows including Porchlight theatre’s tribute to the music of Fats Waller in Ain’t Misbehavin, Sweet Home Chicago Blues, baby Broadway Seussical, and Southland Area Theatre Ensemble’s Sondheim on Sondheim. You can even go on an epic journey through Spain when Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater presents A Night of Spanish Dance featuring “Bolero” and “Mil Clavos.” This 40th anniversary tribute for the company highlights Maurice Ravel’s most popular work, The Bolero, and combines flamenco and contemporary dance styles. A sampling of food and wine native to the region will be offered as an add-on ticket.

For Tickets, Dates, Times and Information:

Online: www.CenterTickets.net
By Phone: 708-235-2222
In Person at the Box Office: 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL
Box Office Hours: Monday- Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open to 6 p.m. on Thursdays) & 2 hours prior to all performances.

Groups of 10 or more, students, seniors and patrons who purchase a flex package of four or more shows are eligible for discounts.

The Center for Performing Arts is honored to be supported by generous foundations, agencies, sponsors and individual supporters. Made in Chicago Series is supported by The Chicago Community Trust. PHILADANCO! at 45 is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest Touring Fund. A portion of GSU’s arts programming is made possible by a grant from the

Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. If you would like to donate to the Center for Performing Arts please visit www.CenterTickets.net for details.

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

Midsummer Night Wind Serenades – Wednesday, August 12

On Wednesday, August 12 your cares will float away on the night breezes as our IPO Woodwind Quintet soothes your soul with their exquisite melodies. Clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon and horn combine to bring you an enchanted evening filled with musical delights by Bach, Briccialdi, D’Rivera, Piazzolla and more. Pre-concert activities being at 6 p.m. with the concert starting at 7 p.m. The concert will be held indoors at Ravisloe Country Club’s Great Hall. Chairs will be provided, seating is open. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at: https://secure.ticketsage.net/websales.aspx?u=ipo&pid=292205. For additional information, call 708-481-7774 or visit www.ipomusic.org.

National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

NVAM to Observe Memorial Day 2015 with New Exhibition – Through August 28

The National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) will exhibit The Joe Bonham Project through August 28. The Joe Bonham Project aims to keep the dedication, sacrifices and indomitable spirit of our wounded warriors present and accounted for with more than a hundred drawings and illustrations created during the time spent patients at VA Hospitals throughout the United States. The Joe Bonham Project is named after the central character in Dalton Trumbo’s 1938 novel Johnny Got His Gun. Joe loses all his limbs and his face to an artillery explosion, yet survives only to be eventually ‘warehoused’ beyond human interaction. Featuring artwork created in a variety of media by fifteen combat and civilian artists, The Joe Bonham Project seeks to show the real face of war and its aftermath to the public with images that portray the realities and human consequences of combat. Several of the artists in The Joe Bonham Project are seasoned war artists including Michael Fay, Richard Johnson, Steve Mumford, Kristopher Battles, Victor Juhasz, Roman Genn, and Robert Bates. Other artists, such as Jeffery Fisher, Fred Harper, Jess Ruliffson, Ray Alma, Bill Harris, and Josh Korenblat, have friends and family who have, or are currently serving in the armed forces. Working primarily at in-patient surgical shock-trauma wards, these artists have spent significant amounts of time with some of the most physically battle damaged soldiers, sailors and Marines. Most have endured multiple traumatic amputation injuries and disfiguring facial wounds, and will endure months of operations and challenging physical therapy. With them on this journey back to wholeness are often equally traumatized family members. All have volunteered to be sketched. For additional information, call 312-326-0270 or visit: www.nvam.org.

‘The Things They Carried’ – Permanent Exhibit

The National Veterans Art Museum reopened its permanent exhibit ‘The Things They Carried’ in a brand new gallery space meant to be more immersive for viewers. Inspired by Tim O’Brien’s book ‘The Things They Carried,’ this exhibit serves as a visual companion that illustrates the narrative with fine art and photography from veterans that lived the stories in the novel. Much like the book, the exhibit explores the concept of storytelling and questions how one might share the story of the Vietnam experience. The exhibit takes as its central question “how to tell a true war story” and prompts viewers to consider their personal stories and contemplate how they might share their own narratives. By literally incorporating the essential elements of storytelling: Who, Where, When, and What, ‘The Things They Carried’ begins by chronicling the Vietnam conflict through first-hand visual accounts and descriptions. The exhibit culminates in the re-creation of an authentic Vietnam-era tented shelter to bring viewers into the intimate physical experience of sleeping, living and working in the field during that time. With artworks and objects created and collected by over twenty Vietnam veteran artists, ‘The Things They Carried’ also provides visual interpretations to viewers, illustrating the war by those who were there. This form of pictorial storytelling offers insights into the individual personalities of those who served, where they were in Vietnam both geographically and environmentally, and what the cultural climate of the time looked like. Representations and artifacts come together in ‘The Things They Carried’ to offer an individuated and holistic presentation of the social and historical context of the Vietnam War. With didactic guides and lesson plans that accompany the artwork and artifacts, visitors of all ages can gain a better understanding of “how to tell a true war story” as explored in Tim O’Brien’s book, as well as explore possibilities and benefits of personal storytelling. Featured artists include László Kondor, Dean Sharp, Charles Shobe, William Myles, James McJunkin, John Hosier, Michael Harac, and Arthur Jacobs. The Museum is open Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers free admission year-round. For additional information, call 312-326-0270 or visit: www.nvam.org.

Park Forest Historical Society, 141 Forest Boulevard

Park Forest House Museum – Moving to New Location

The Park Forest House Museum is now closed while moving from its current location at, 141 Forest Boulevard to 227 Monee Road. It is anticipated that the re-opening date will be announced soon. For additional information, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website, www.parkforesthistory.org, or call Jane Nicoll, 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following event is scheduled the week of August 10:

  • Monday, August 10 at 11 a.m. — Sunrise Story Adventure — Jump start your morning with a series of stories that are sure to get you moving. Ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, August 10 at 3:30 p.m. — Art in the Afternoon — Unleash your inner artist. Drop in to create an amazing project of your own. Ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. – Monday Movie Night: ‘Home’ — Oh, an alien on the run from his own people, lands on Earth and makes friends with the adventurous Tip, who is on a quest of her own.
  • Monday, August 10 at 8 p.m. – Ravinia Tickets — Come to the Info Zone desk to inquire about tickets to today’s Ravinia show taking place at the Martin Theatre.
  • Tuesday, August 11 at 8 p.m. — Ravinia Tickets — Come to the Info Zone desk to inquire about tickets to today’s Ravinia show taking place at the Martin Theatre.
  • Wednesday, August 12 at 2 p.m. — Back to School Safety with the Park Forest Police Department — It’s back to school time! Drop in for some helpful tips on how to keep children safe during the school year. Stories, crafts and more. Ages 12 and under.
  • Thursday, August 13 at 8 p.m. — Ravinia Tickets — Come to the Info Zone desk to inquire about tickets to today’s Ravinia show taking place at the Martin Theatre.
  • Friday, August 14 at 2 p.m. — A Summer to Remember — An afternoon designing projects created in memory of the best summer ever! Come out and share favorite moments from your summer vacation.
  • Saturday, August 15 at 2 p.m. — Back to School Make & Take — Are you ready for school? Not sure how to decorate that boring locker? Check out some cool ideas we have that are sure to inspire you. Create locker décor or design something special for yourself.

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

Park Forest Health Department 350 Victory Drive

Fundraiser at Balmoral Park Racetrack – Tickets Now on Sale

The Friends of the Park Forest Health Department will be hosting a fundraiser at Balmoral Park Racetrack, 26534 S. Dixie Highway, Crete, on Saturday, August 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Racing starts at 7:10 p.m. – come prepared to win and have fun while supporting the ongoing services of Nurses Plus. The evening includes 2 full hours of Balmoral’s Deluxe Buffet and 1 soft drink per person plus a Race Program. Advance tickets are $40 for those 11 years and older and $20 for those 5 to 10 years of age. Tickets on the night of the event will be an additional $5 per ticket. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Park Forest Health Department which is located in the lower level of Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. If you cannot attend the event but would like to make a donation, please make your check to ‘Friends of the Park Forest Health Department.’ For additional information, call 708-748-1118.

Roosevelt University Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Golden Age of Photography at the Chicago Reader – Through August 28

For more than 30 years, the Chicago Reader was a trailblazer and signature example of the kind of creative freedom in both photography and design that alternative weekly newspapers all over the country came to embrace and showcase. Now, in a new exhibit that runs through Aug. 28 at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, the public can experience what the golden age of photography and design once was like at one of the nation’s leading alternative weeklies, the Chicago Reader. Featuring 80 black-and-white photographs taken between 1971 and 2004 by more than a dozen photographers who were freelancers for the Chicago Reader during its golden age, the exhibit is the largest group photo show ever presented at Gage. More than just a photo exhibit, Chicago Reader in Black & White features famous layouts from the alternative weekly including “Faces of AIDS,” which was an in-depth, four-page look at AIDS hospice care in Chicago at the height of the AIDS crisis. A short documentary with the views of 14 former freelance Chicago Reader photographers also is part of the exhibit. The exhibit is the final installation in Gage Gallery’s yearlong Above the Fold: 10 Decades of Chicago Photojournalism series that is sponsored by Roosevelt’s College of Arts and Sciences and made possible by the generosity of donor Susan Rubnitz. Free and open to the public, Gage Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For information, call 312-341-6458 or visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Autumn’s Soft Breezes’ – Annual Gallery Artists Exhibit – Through September 20

‘Autumn’s Soft Breezes,’ Tall Grass Artists Gallery’s annual artists’ exhibit will run through Sunday, September 20. All juried Tall Grass Artists are invited, annually, to participate in an exhibit that, although it has a name, does not require adherence to a theme or specific material. It does require, however, that artists exhibit a work not previously exhibited in the gallery. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org

Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘The Urban Box Project’ – Through September 5

USG will host ‘The Urban Box Project’ which will run through September 5 at the Gallery. A reception will be held on Saturday, August 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Luis Sahagun, a Chicago Heights based artist along with two Bloom Township high school students will be creating street interventions, paintings, and sculptures entirely made out of materials excavated from Chicago Heights. In addition, a site-specific installation will be created with debris and objects collected from the city. The community is encouraged to visit and experience this LIVE process every THURSDAY in August. The final exhibition will contain a collection of Luis’ artwork, visual documentations of the street interventions performed by the TUBP and independent sculptures created from the collected rubble. You may find in-progress pictures of this project on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under #theurbanboxproject. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

‘Art as Artifact’ Exhibit – Through September 5

USG will present ‘Art as Artifact’ through September 5 at the Gallery. A reception will be held on Saturday, August 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. This vibrant exhibit will present contemporary art within a visual context that enables the audience to examine the work through an ethnographic lens. Paintings, Sculptures, and Installations in the exhibit are made from both organic materials that derive from nature and inorganic modern-day materials such as plexi-glass, plastics, and metals. The exhibition consists of 17 visual artists that represent the states of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

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.

Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163, 20 South Orchard Drive, Park Forest

2015-16 Registration Schedule – Registration Now in Progress

Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 will conduct registration for the 2015-2016 school year for new and returning students through August 11 at 21st Century School, 240 S. Orchard Drive, Park Forest, on Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, and on Thursdays, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Computers will be available during these registration hours so that registration may be completed online. Computers also are available at the Park Forest and Chicago Heights Public Libraries. Online registration is available at www.sd163.com for returning students beginning June 23. Kindergarten and sixth grade students must provide proof of residency and a current physical. Proofs of residency and physicals can be brought to the walk-in registration or the open registration on August 12. Students that have not registered by August 11 must attend registration on August 12 at Mohawk School, 301 Mohawk, Park Forest, 9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 8 pm. All students who register before August 1 will receive a $10 discount on registration fees. Registration fees are $50, activity fees are $20 and field trip fees are $10.

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

Registration for Fall 2015 Classes – Classes Begin August 11

Registration for fall 2015 is open at PSC. Credit courses begin Tuesday, Aug. 11. Non-credit courses include a variety of single-day and multiple-session offerings that begin throughout the fall. Both credit and non-credit courses are listed in the fall class schedule, available on the PSC main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights. The schedule also is available at area public libraries and online at www.prairiestate.edu/enroll. To register for credit courses, new students must complete an enrollment application in person at the college or online at prairiestate.edu/start. Beginning Friday, May 22, and through Friday, Aug. 7, Enrollment Services is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the college is closed on Fridays. Beginning Monday, Aug. 10, Enrollment Services will resume regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Current students can register for credit courses online or in person. Students can register for non-credit courses online or in person. To register online via Instant Enrollment, go to prairiestate.edu and select “How to Register for Non-Credit Courses” from the A-Z Index. Another option is to complete the registration form available online at prairiestate.edu/noncredit or in the back of the printed course schedule. Students also can register for non-credit courses in person at the Matteson Area Center (MAC), located at 4821 Southwick Drive in Matteson, or in the Enrollment Services Office on the PSC main campus. Beginning Friday, May 22, and through Friday Aug. 7, the MAC is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Beginning Monday, Aug. 11, the MAC will resume regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. For more information about registering for courses, visit www.prairiestate.edu or call 708-709-3500.

2nd Annual Mental Health Conference – Registration Now in Progress

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart will be the keynote presenter during the PSC Second Annual Mental Health Conference, “Changing Perspectives and Altering Perceptions: Understanding Mental Health.” The event is scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, September 17, in the Conference Center of the college’s main campus in Chicago Heights. The annual conference is focused on reducing the stigma of mental health disorders, and includes Dart’s keynote presentation, a general session, and choice of 10 breakout sessions, a panel discussion and an exhibitor expo. Dart’s presentation will be “From Washington to Chicago Heights: Root, Effects, and Solutions for the Criminalization of Mental Illness.” Breakout sessions will include topics “Understanding Mental Illness and Homelessness;” “Empowering the African American Client: Demystifying Mental Health;” “Transgender Health and Wellness: Providing Quality, Informed, Compassionate Care;” “Working with Soldiers and Veterans: Getting Soldiers to Talk About Their Pain;” “Foundations for Mental Health: Social and Emotional Learning in the Schools;” and “Care of the Mind, Body and Spirit.” During the panel discussion, “Journey Part 2: Supporting My Family Member,” attendees will hear personal experiences from parents who are assisting a loved one with managing their mental illness and recovery process. There is a $99 registration fee. Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available for an additional $20. For more information, call 708-709-7957. Conference and registration details also are available at www.prairiestate.edu/mentalhealthconference. The registration deadline is Thursday, September 10. Event partners include The Catholic Charities, Ingalls Behavioral Health Services, Grand Prairie Services, National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) South Suburbs of Chicago, and Sertoma Center. Exhibitor opportunities still are available. For more information, call 708-709-7799.

Roosevelt University, 430 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Requesting Public Comments – Due by September 12

In preparation for an upcoming comprehensive accreditation evaluation from its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, Roosevelt University seeks comments from the public on substantive matters related to its quality as an institution and its academic programs. Roosevelt will host a visit team from the Higher Learning Commission on October 12 and 13, 2015. The visit team will review Roosevelt’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation in addition to comments from the public. The public is invited to submit comments regarding Roosevelt to:

Public Comment on Roosevelt University
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

Comments can also be sent to the Commission’s web site at: http://www.ncahlc.org/HLC-Institutions/third-party-comment.html. Comments must be in writing, signed and received by the Higher Learning Commission by September 12, 2015.

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

Basic Nursing Assistant Classes – Begin August 10

SSC’s non-credit Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program (CNA) is running a daytime cohort session from August 10th through October 1st at the Oak Forest Center. Successful completion of this non-credit course is required in order to become eligible to take the State of Illinois Nursing Assistant Certification Examination–SSC offers more contact hours for training than traditional CNA programs along with an additional free refresher course prior to this critical certification exam. Instruction includes basic nursing skills through lecture, campus laboratory and supervised clinical experiences at a long-term health care facility. The classes meet at the Oak Forest Center on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. with lab and clinical instruction rotating on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. or 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., respectively. Each individual who successfully passes the certification exam will then be placed on the State Registry for Health Care Workers. Students must submit a health physical, proof of health insurance or signed release of liability waiver, and completion of a fingerprint criminal history record. The total cost of the program is $1,299.99 which includes tuition, textbook/workbook, stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, gait belt and the cost of the state competency exam upon successful completion of the course. (Financial Aid cannot cover the cost of this program, nor the physical and background check.) There will also be another round of fall sessions running in both the daytime and evening from October 19th through December 10th. Please call 708-596-2000, ext. 2497 or email [email protected] for more information. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois.

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.

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.

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 Rich Township Senior Café 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 10 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

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].

Green Events

Park Forest Environment Commission

Backyard Fruits – Saturday, August 15

Park Forest’s Sustainable Saturdays for gardeners continues on Saturday, August 15 with a workshop on Backyard Fruits at 9:30 a.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. The free lecture series is presented by the Village of Park Forest in collaboration with the Park Forest Environment Commission, Thorn Creek Nature Center and the University of Illinois Extension. For additional information, call 708-748-1112.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society

‘Hummingbirds Up Close’ Program – Saturday, August 14

The Forest Preserve District of Will County in cooperation with Thorn Creek Audubon Society will host the ‘Hummingbirds Up Close’ program on Saturday, August 15 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be held at Audubon’s new program venue in Plum Creek Nature Center (Goodenow Grove), 27064 S. Dutton Road, Beecher. Participants will be enlightened about hummingbirds and you will see them at close range. “Hummers” will be captured and banded by an Illinois licensed avian ecologist. Registration is required in advance of the program. To register, please call 708-946-2216. For additional information, visit www.ReconnectwithNature.org.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers

Come walk the trails with Wednesday Morning Walkers every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Follow the forest’s seasonal changes, enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on two miles of Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or icy or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. This weekly program is free and open to those 13 years of age and older. Registration is required two days before your first walk. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6320.

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.

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.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Park Forest Famers’ Market – Every Saturday Through October

The Park Forest Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. The Market hosts 22 full spaces with a variety of fresh flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery goods, herbs and dairy products, food and entertainment. Local businesses are also on hand at the Market selling artwork, garden ornaments, jewelry and more. The Park Forest Farmers’ Market accepts EBT/Link, WIC, and Senior Nutrition Coupons. The Park Forest Farmers’ Market is located in the parking lot closest to 271 Lakewood Blvd, at the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Cunningham Drive, just across from the Park Forest Police Department.

This & That

Park Forest Youth Commission

16th Annual Youth Day – Saturday, August 15

The Park Forest Youth Commission will presents its 16h Annual Youth Day on Saturday, August 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will take place on the Village Green in DownTown Park Forest – Main & Cunningham. Come out and enjoy music, food, games, raffles, vendors and entertainment for those of all ages. New to this year’s event will be 3 on 3 basketball; a basketball skills challenge and flag football. There will also be a school supply giveaway while quantities last. For additional information Click to download the flyer! or call Kevin Adams at 708-748-2005.

St. Irenaeus Church, 78 Cherry St., Park Forest

Summer Lunch Program – Through August 14

St. Irenaeus Church will be providing free healthy and nutritious lunches this summer. Meals will be available through August 14 on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. The Summer Lunch Program is for all children 18 and under. Please join us in room 8 of the Religious Education Center or call the parish office at 708-748-6891 with any questions.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Village-wide Garage Sale – Registration Now in Progress

Do you have items in your home you no longer need that could become someone else’s treasures? Do you love a good deal and enjoy a great garage sale or flea market? Park Forest’s Village-wide Garage Sale brings together buyers from near and far for one large garage sale, and the entire community is the garage! Over 145 homes participated in 2014. This year’s Garage Sale will be held on September 18 through 20. Set-up your garage sale at your home during one of Park Forest’s busiest weekends and capitalize on thousands of out-of- towners visiting for the Park Forest Art Fair on September 19 and 20. Registration is now in progress. Additional information is available at www.villageofparkforest.com/garagesale or by calling Village Hall at 708–748-1112.