In and Around Park Forest Week of December 14, 2009


Quality Classic Health & Fitness Center members (left to right) Jane Mattio, Judy Sopiarz, Diane Cash and Kathy Murphy chat during the gym’s Member Appreciation event Saturday. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– December 14, 2009. Hard to believe that Holiday Season is right around the corner. No need to travel far in this cold, snowy weather to find the perfect gift. Instead, check out some of the unique items being offered locally.

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

Park Forest Historical Society, 400 Lakewood Blvd.

Park Forest Hall of Fame Nominations – Nomination Deadline December 15

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

Village of Park Forest Meetings

Park Forest Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Village Commissions will meet the week of December 14:

  • Plan Commission – Tuesday, December 15 at 7:00 p.m. Please note that the Plan Commission’s second monthly meeting is held on an as needed basis. Please call Village Hall at 708-748-1129 to verify that the meeting will take place.

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

Holiday Shopping

New Community Church, 245 Monee Rd., Park Forest

Christmas Store — December 19

On Saturday, December 19 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., bring your family to a Christmas party with crafts, cookie walks, refreshments and gifts (at a minimum cost). There will be something for everyone. For more information and to register, call 708-481-1305.

Rotary Club of Park Forest

Annual Poinsettia Sale

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

Golden Opportunities Fundraising Project

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

Tall Grass Arts Association’s Annual Holiday Show and Sale

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

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main St., Park Forest

Holiday Arts Sale –Through December 19

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

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Holiday Gifts & Goodies

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

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights

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

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

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

Share the Holiday Spirit

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

The Museum “Decks the Halls” with original 1950s holiday decorations. This year, the Museum is premiering a donated Black Forest Green metallic tree, pre-decorated with glass ball ornaments. On display are Gurley candles, Rosbro plastic ornaments, period greeting cards, Christmas stockings, and Christmas books from the 1950s. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of our modern holidays to relive Christmas Past. 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.

Hallelujah Temple, 1 Dogwood St., Park Forest

Christmas Dramatic Musical – December 18 & 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Holidays are celebrated through Hallelujah Temple’s Annual Christmas Play. All are welcome. For more information, call 708-503-6536.

Healthy Living

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

Cook County Department of Public Health Prepares to Distribute H1N1 Vaccine

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

Babies, Teens and Adults Immunization Clinics

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

Blood Pressure Screening

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

Arts and Entertainment

Park Forest Idols Competition – Ticket Now on Sale

Tickets are now available for the first annual Park Forest Idols competition to be held at Freedom Hall, on January 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 if purchased in advance of the event and $10 at the door. All proceeds will be donated to the Illinois Theatre Center and Tall Grass Arts Association. Thirteen Park Forest residents have been selected as finalists for this competition. Judges for the final competition include: Mayor John Ostenbug, Village Trustee Mae Brandon, State Representative William Davis and three-time Grammy Winner, Gospel Singer, Darrius Brooks. Call Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621 or email [email protected] to purchase tickets.

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

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

  1. Saturday, December 19 at 1 p.m. – Winter Reading Program kicks-off. Looking for something to do this winter? Try Winter Reading. Prizes awarded for reading 4, 8 and 12 books and grand prize awarded to the top 3 readers. For more information, call 708-748-3731.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Way, Park Forest

Archy and Mehitabel – Through December 20

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

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

Tall Grass Arts Association, 467 Artists Way, Park Forest

“The Sacred, the Spiritual and the Sensual” – Through January 11

The Tall Grass Arts Association will host an exhibit entitled “The Sacred, the Spiritual and the Sensual” through January 11, 2010. The exhibit features the works of Javier Chavira, Harry Sudman and Sergio Gomez. An opening reception will be held on Friday, December 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The gallery is open to the public, free of charge. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit the website at www.tallgrassarts.org.

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

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” – December 19

On Saturday, December 19 at 11 a.m., treat your family to this delightful new musical version of the treasured story. Tickets range in price from $15.50 to $10.50. For more information, 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

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

“As Time Goes By” – Through December 17

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

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

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Way, Park Forest

Harris Bank Holiday Concert – December 19 and 20

On Saturday, December 19 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, December 20 at 3 p.m., the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra presents its annual crowd pleaser Holiday Concert conducted by Carmon DeLeone. The concert is an event for the whole family. Get into the spirit of the season in style and song with the orchestra, guest choruses and soloists.

The December 19 concert will be held at Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Ave., Frankfort. The December 20 concert will be held at Lincoln-Way East Performing Arts Center, 201 Colorado Ave. Frankfort. Tickets range in price from $50 to $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-481-7774 or visit www.ipomusic.org.

Educational Lectures

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road

Junior Ecologist Club

On Saturday, December 19 from 10 a.m. to noon, children ages 11 – 15 can discover the woods in a new way and join naturalists to explore the woods and track seasonal changes. Fee is $5. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

“Wellness vs. Illness”

“Wellness vs. Illness” is a new workshop to be offered at GSU that will teach the definition of stress, its danger to physical and mental health, and ways to control it. GSU’s Student Life Department & School of Extended Learning are sponsoring this special class on stress management which is open to the community, students, faculty and staff and may be taken for one credit hour or as a non-credit workshop. The class will meet on Saturdays, January 15, 23, 30 and February 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at GSU. The cost is $75 for non-credit registration. GSU tuition and fees for one credit hour apply for credit registration. For more information, call 708-235-7382.

Greening of Park Forest

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

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

Safe Disposal Program – Bio-waste

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

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

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

Go Green with a Free Tote Bag

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

This & That

Rainbow Café

Monthly Meeting – December 19

The Rainbow Café is an opportunity for single or partnered gays, lesbians, bisexuals or other sexual minorities, and their allies, over age 18 to meet one another and socialize in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Those attending are encouraged to bring some non-alcoholic drinks and a dessert or snack to pass, or bring a financial donation. However, neither is mandatory.

The Rainbow Café is held from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Unitarian-Universalist Community Church, 70 Sycamore Dr. For more information, call 708-481-5539 and connect to the Rainbow extension.

Good Neighbor Business of the Year Awards

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

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

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

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

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

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