In and Around Park Forest Week of December 17, 2012

December dawn on Ash Street
A December dawn on Ash Street. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—December 17, 2012. A candlelight vigil to remember the children and adults who were tragically killed on Friday morning in Sandy Hook, Connecticut will be held on Wednesday, December 19 at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. The community is invited to attend. Please bring your children and grandchildren and light a candle against the evil in this world.

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 of Park Forest

Village Board Meeting – Monday, December 17

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, December 17 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. 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: MtgArchive and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commission will meet the week of December 17:

  • Thursday, December 20 at 6 p.m. –Youth Commission

Holiday Activities & Events

Village of Park Forest

Shop Locally This Holiday Season

When you are doing your holiday shopping this season, please remember that there are lots of unique gifts that can be found right here in Park Forest. Before you head ‘out of town’ to do your shopping, first check out the local businesses listed in the 2012/2013 Park Forest Business Resource Guide. You can review the Guide online at: Park Forest Business Resource Guide.

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

Peter Mayer ‘Stars and Promises’ – Saturday, December 22

On Saturday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. ‘Stars and Promises’ will embark on its twelfth year of celebrating Christmas in story and song. It’s theme for 2012 is ‘The Light of Christmas.’ ‘Stars and Promises’ has become a yearly tradition for many, returning to hear songs such as “Sing Joy,” “junkman’s Christmas,” and “Christmas Overture,” along with other favorites. Peter is joined by a group of superb musicians that include R. Scott Bryan, Mar Torlina, Mark Holland, Chris Walters, and Maggie Estes, plus state of the art production. Truly a night of inspiring music that will lift your spirit for the Holiday Season. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased online at www.freedomhall.org, by phone at 708-747-0580 or in-person at the Box Office.

Park Forest Historical Society, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Step Back into a 1950s Christmas at the Park Forest House Museum

‘Step Back into a 1950s Christmas,’ exhibit will be on display at the 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard. Period decorations are on display in every room. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st century holidays to revisit the holidays of 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 special admission/donation for December is $3 for adults; 12 and under are free. The museum tour is free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Brick. Several other 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

Annual Holiday Art Sale – Through December 22

Looking for that ‘unique’ gift? Salon Artists Gallery Annual Holiday Art Sale is featuring painting, jewelry, woodwork, photography, hand-blown glass and multi-media works by numerous artists. Take 20% off all purchases of more than $30. The Gallery is conveniently located in DownTown Park Forest. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-833-5108 or 708-703-7806.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Warm Coats Create Warm Hearts

With the cold weather upon us, Sertoma Centre wants to make sure that the more than 725 individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness that it serves will have adequate winter outerwear. In addition, Sertoma will be supplying food baskets for some of their consumers and their families who need extra assistance at this time of year. Holiday donations will be used to cover these costs. If you would like to help, please contact Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications at 708-730-6205 or send your check today to Sertoma Centre, Inc. Foundation, Attention: Coat/Food Drive, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip IL 60803.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘An Artful Presence’ Annual Holiday Show – Through January 13

Tall Grass Arts Associations Annual Holiday Show ‘An Artful Presence’ features affordable art perfect for holiday gift giving. The Holiday Show will continue through January 13, 2013. For additional information or gallery hours, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest

TCAS Christmas Cards on Sale

Once again the TCAS will be offering original Christmas cards in a variety of designs. Samples of the cars will be on display and a few will be for sale at the TCAS programs on November 7 and December 6 at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. Cards may be ordered at the programs or by calling Aura Duke at 708-748-6407. All cards are in bright Christmas colors and sell for $7 for a set of 12. Envelopes are included. Card sales help support TCAS grants and other environmental projects.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

‘Prairie Chapel’ Limited Edition Print – Sales Benefit Thorn Creek Nature Center

Inspired by the Thorn Creek Nature Center, ‘Prairie Chapel,’ is an original graphite drawing by Marikay Peter Witlock. Through a generous donation by the artists, the ‘Prairie Chapel’ print is available, with a donation to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods of $75 or more. 100% of donated dollars will benefit Thorn Creek Nature Preserve. The ‘Prairie Chapel’ print is a limited edition of 300 signed and numbered prints, with image size of 13” x 17” and finished size of 18” x 21.” For additional information, call 708-747-6320. To view a framed ‘Prairie Chapel’ print, visit Thorn Creek Nature Center Friday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

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

‘Twelfth Month’ Annual Exhibit & Art Sale – Through December 22

Union Street Gallery will open the doors to ‘Twelfth Month,’ its annual exhibit and sale of fine, decorative, and functional art that will run through December 22. Over 30 talented local and regional artists have been invited to exhibit a wide variety of art and fine crafts. Art exhibiting includes paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, glass art, and found object art. An array of smaller works of art and crafts will be for sale as well, such as hand-made cards, jewelry, pottery, scarves, blown glass, ornaments and more. Many of the pieces on exhibit are affordable and are perfect for unique gifts. For gallery hours and additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org/

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, December 17 – All Day. Drop-in Holiday Craft. Stop by the kids’ zone and get ready for the holidays with a special craft.
  • Tuesday, December 18 — All Day. Drop-in Holiday Craft. Stop by the kids’ zone and get ready for the holidays with a special craft.
  • Wednesday, December 19 – All Day. Drop-in Holiday Craft. Stop by the kids’ zone and get ready for the holidays with a special craft.
  • Thursday, December 20 — All Day. Drop-in Holiday Craft. Stop by the kids’ zone and get ready for the holidays with a special craft.
  • Friday, December 21 – All Day. All Day. Drop-in Holiday Craft. Stop by the kids’ zone and get ready for the holidays with a special craft.
  • Friday, December 14 at 3 p.m. – Wii Game Day. 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! Grades K-8.

For additional information or to register for programs, please call 708-748-3731.

Library Closures – December 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27

The Park Forest Public Library will be closed on December 23, 24 and 25 for the Christmas holiday.
The building will remain closed on December 26 and 27 for emergency building repairs. Books and AV materials may be returned to the book drop located on the south side of the building or the book drop located in front of the Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. The Library will re-open on Friday, December 28 at 10 a.m.

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.

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.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

2nd Annual Union Street Gallery Members Exhibit – Through December 22

The 2nd Annual Union Street Gallery Members Exhibit runs through December 22. This much anticipated annual exhibit features select works by Union Street Gallery’s Artist Members. Art exhibiting includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and mixed media. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For gallery hours and additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org/

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Knowledge Exchange Classes at GSU – Registration Begins Monday, December 17

Never stop learning could be the mantra of the students in The Knowledge Exchange, sponsored by GSU. Classes are offered for adults on a wide range of topics. Registration for winter classes begins on December 17. Classes begin on January 18 and are held Fridays, from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Course offerings include history classes focusing on the ancient empires and the wives of Henry VIII, cinema studies of stage plays turned into movies, and investigations into the Great Decisions of recent international affairs and life in the Soviet Union in the twenties and thirties. The Knowledge Exchange is a continuation of the former Adult Learning Exchange (T.A.L.E.) with the same focus – to continue to offer unique and diverse non-credited courses at a reasonable price ($73.00 per class, $28 for an additional class). Classes are designed for participants aged 55 years and over and provide a relaxed and friendly environment, open to shared learning, and the free exchange of opinions and ideas. Classes are peer-led by a community of dedicated volunteers including GSU faculty and many former Exchange students. For additional information or to register, call Suzanne Patterson at 708-534-4393.

The Literacy Zone Reading Tutoring Available at GSU

GSU’s Graduate Program in Reading is sponsoring The Literacy Zone, a reading tutorial program for students in grades six through twelve, on Tuesday, from January 29 through April 23 from 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The Literacy Zone is a 12-week, one-to-one program that pairs students experiencing reading problems with teachers who have the skills to help them. Students meet on the GSU campus with certified, experienced teachers enrolled in the Master of Arts Reading Program at GSU. Enrollment is limited and based on the number of tutors available. Students will be accepted in the order in which the completed application and registration fee are received. There is a $70 registration fee, which may be adjustable. Snacks are provided at each session. Transportation is not provided. For additional information, call Dr. Cathy Toll at 708-534-4122 or e-mail [email protected].

New Classes Take Center Stage at GSU

GSU is offering two new and exciting classes that take students out of the books and onto the stage. “Performing Culture and Identity: and “Chicagoland Theatre” are open to both undergraduate and graduate students as well as degree and non-degree seeking students. Classes begin in January. Students in “Chicagoland Theatre” will experience the great theatre produced throughout the Chicago region—attending productions at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts and at theatres in downtown Chicago. Productions will feature a variety of performance styles and themes. This course literally raises the curtain on theatre production and performance.

The class meets on Thursdays from 7:30 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. In “Performing Culture and Identity,” students will investigate diverse perspectives of culture and identify through the theories and practices of performance. Participants must be willing to tap into their creativity, curiosity, and willingness to perform. The class meets on Mondays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. Registration for classes continues through January 26. The Spring 2013 semester begins January 22.

For additional information, call Dr. Patrick Santoro at 708-235-2842 or e-mail [email protected].

Veterans Writing Groups at GSU

GSU is inviting veterans to join a new Veterans Writing Group, where they will discover the craft of narrative writing in a small, supportive group environment. Groups will meet for six-week workshops beginning in January to learn new skills and share camaraderie with other vets. There is no charge for participation in the Veterans Writing Group. To register, contact Robin Thompson at 708-534-4581 or e-mail [email protected].

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 [email protected].

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.

Green Events

Park Forest Environment Commission

‘Composting’ Educational Forum – Save the Date

The Park Forest Environment Commission invites you to attend an educational forum on ‘Composting’ to be held on Saturday, January 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard. Kate Bradley, Master Gardener, composter and traveling chef from the University of Illinois Extension Service will discuss how composting is nature’s way of recycling and is the key to healthy soil and a healthy environment. Participants will learn how to turn their fruit, vegetable and yard trimmings into a dark, crumbly, sweet-smelling soil conditioner. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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.

This & That

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

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, December 21

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, December 21 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.

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

Good As New Thrift Store – Seeking Donations

The Sertoma Centre’s Good As New Thrift Store, 4331 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, is seeking donations of gently used furniture and other household items in good condition. Proceeds from the sale of items at the Thrift Store go directly to supporting the 14 programs offered by Sertoma Centre. The store also serves as a training program for consumers at Sertoma to allow them to gain experience and transition into permanent retail jobs. The Thrift Store will pick up furniture donations within the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago free of charge. To make an arrangement to make a tax deductible donation of furniture to Good As News, call 708-481-5627. For additional information, to schedule a tour, volunteer or to make a donation, please call Amy Chmura at 708-730-6206 or e-mail [email protected].

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 2012 Autumn 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.