In and Around Park Forest Week of December 20, 2010

Three Wise Guys
Dave Rudolf (center) as one of The Three Wise Guys entertain Friday at Freedom Hall. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—December 20, 2010. If you’ve been procrastinating about doing your holiday shopping, time is quickly running out. You can avoid the crowds at the malls, while finding some interesting and affordable gifts at the many local shops in our community. Some great ideas are listed in the ‘Holiday Gift Ideas & Events’ section below. Wishing all of our eNews readers a holiday season filled with love and happiness.

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 Hall Closing

Park Forest Village Hall will be closed on Thursday, December 23 and Friday, December 24 in observance of the Christmas Holiday.

Holiday Gift Ideas & Events

Center For Performing Arts at GSU, 1 University Parkway, University Park

Tickets to The Center in 2011 Make Great Holiday Gifts

Tickets to one of the many events being held at The Center in 2011 make great holiday gifts. Upcoming events include:

  • The Tony award winning revue “Sophisticated Ladies” – Saturday, February 12
  • Dennis DeYoung, The Music of Styx Unplugged — Saturday, February 26
  • Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” – Saturday, March 26

For additional information about these or additional events, or to purchase tickets, call The Center box office at 708-235-2222 or visit www.centertickets.net.

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.

Monkey Mind Art Studio & Gallery, 3 W. Nebraska, Frankfort, IL

First Annual Holly Daze Extravaganza – Through December 21
Monkey Mind Art Studio & Gallery is holding its 1st Annual holly Daze Extravaganza through December 21. Art supply gift packs and gift certificates good towards classes, workshops, art supplies and art are available for holiday gift giving. The Gallery will also be holding special studio events throughout the month featuring artists, classes, teachers and practitioners associated with Monkey Mind. If the Holidays are beginning to Daze you, stop by for a glass of wine, walk around the gallery and let us be a part of your holiday stress relief. For a complete list of events, gallery hours, and coupon to receive an additional 10% off of art supplies, visit: http://www.monkeymindartstudio.com.

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Holiday Sale – Now in Progress
The Park Forest’s Library’s annual holiday sale is now is progress. Items available include bags of pecans for $9; calendars for $6; Friends of the Library Mugs for $6; Pecans & Calendar for $14; Pecans & Mug for $14; and Mug & Calendar for $11. Buy now for a great holiday gift. See Patron Services for a full selection of pecans.

Rich Township Offering Free Bus Service for the Holidays –Through December 23

Rich Township is offering senior citizens and disabled residents free transportation during the holiday season for their shopping needs. Free bus service will be provided for shopping only through Wednesday, December 23. Call 708-748-6727 at least one hour in advance to reserve a ride. In order for the Township to accommodate all of its customers, please limit parcels to only two packages per ride during this very busy season.

Rotary Club of Park Forest

Golden Opportunities

Are you looking for a unique gift for a friend, family member or co-worker? 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 Opportunity 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. The Rotary Club of Park Forest sponsors two clubs at Forest Trail Junior High School in Park Forest. Books can be purchased by calling Jerome Brown at 773-41601441 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main St., Park Forest

20th Annual Holiday Arts Sale – Through December 22

Salon Artists Gallery’s 20th Annual Holiday Arts Sale is now in progress and will continue through Wednesday, December 22. Original one-of-a kind artwork that will make unique gifts, will be available at affordable prices. Jewelry will be 10% off and paintings 20% off. Project Share Food Pantry donations are welcome. Gallery hours are Tues and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from Noon to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-833-5108 or 708-748-3946

Tall Grass Arts Association, 267 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Mini-Gallery/Gift Shop

Why not give a gift for the holidays that is unique, handcrafted and exceptionally high quality? The annual holiday show of gallery artists will feature smaller, more affordable art, perfect for gift-giving such as hand blown glass, stained glass and origami ornaments, jewelry, scarves, pens, prints, paintings, cards, boxes, ceramic casseroles, mugs and much more. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), Park Forest

‘Natural’ Christmas Gift Ideas

For Christmas ideas that give back to nature, TCAS offers a variety of cards that can be sent for the holidays or may also be used for small gifts. Holiday cards featuring birds such as geese and cardinals are available at $4 for a packet of six, including envelopes. Other cards feature six different flowers of nearby Raccoon Grove, taken by former TCAS member Warren Buck. New this year is a set of cards with pictures of Japanese flower arrangements, Ikebana, done by TCAS member Charles Habecker. Birdhouses for Eastern Bluebirds and one for House Wrens at $15 each are also available. All can be purchased by calling Aura Duke at 708-748-6407.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 2901 Western Ave., Park Forest

Christmas Eve Service – Friday, December 24

On Friday, December 24 at 11 p.m., Trinity will host a candlelight service of carols and Holy Communion. All are welcome. For additional information or questions, call Reverend Linda Johnson Seyekulo at 708-747-8388.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights

"Twelfth Month" – Through December 23

Union Street Gallery’s Annual Holiday Exhibit and Sale, "Twelfth Month" is open to the public through Thursday, December 23. Come and experience the exhibit with family and friends, shop the boutiques and find unique, affordable holiday gifts made by local artists. While at Union Street, enjoy free hot chocolate, coffee, and snacks. For additional information or gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.

Arts & Entertainment

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

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

  • Monday, December 20 at 10:30 a.m. – Storytime for children ages 2 and older
  • Monday, December 20 at 3:30 p.m. – Free Homework Helpers
  • Tuesday, December 21 at 3:30 p.m. – Free Homework Helpers
  • Tuesday, December 21 at 7 p.m. – PJ Storytime for children of all ages
  • Wednesday, December 22 at 10:15 a.m. – Lap Sit Story Times for those ages 3 and under
  • Wednesday, December 22 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art for those ages 2 to 4
  • Thursday, December 23 at 10:15 a.m. – Discovery Time
  • Thursday, December 23 at 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.. – ‘Wii Party’ Afternoon

For more information or to register for these events, call the Park Forest Library’s Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731.

Community Cookbook –Recipes Needed

Do you have a family recipe that you would like to share with others in Park Forest?  The Park Forest Library is accepting your recipes for inclusion in a community cookbook through January 29. Drop off your favorite recipe at the Adult Services desk. For more information or questions about this project, call 708-748-3731.

Library Closure

The Park Forest Library will be closed on Friday, December 24 and Saturday, December 25 in observance of the Christmas Holiday. The Library will reopen on Monday, December 27 at 10 a.m. For additional information or questions, please call 708-748-3731 or visit: www.pfpl.org.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 267 Artists Walk, Park Forest

"Presents – Small Works for the Holidays" – Through January 16

"Presents – Small Works for the Holidays," featuring media and work not seen in the gallery before runs until Sunday, January 16, 2011. The event if free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Park Forest Recreation & Parks Department

Sports Trip: Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, January 8, 2011, the revamped Chicago Bulls featuring All-Star Derrick Rose and newly-acquired Carlos Boozer will square off against the Big 3 (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Pau Pierce) and the future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal in a matchup to determine Eastern Conference supremacy. Seating to this premium game is limited. Children under 13 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets are $63 and include round-trip school bus transportation. The bus will leave from Village Hall at 5:15 p.m. and return at approximately 10:30 p.m. For additional information, or questions, call Kevin Adams at 708-748-2005 or e-mail [email protected].

Untouchable Tour and Lunch Senior Trip – Registration Deadline Tuesday, January 18

On Wednesday, January 26, 2011, you can spend the day with us as we journey into the past and cruise the city in search of the old hoodlum haunts, brothels, gambling dens, and sites of gangland shootouts on Chicago’s Untouchable Tour. The day will star with some authentic Italian food at Connie’s Restaurant for a family-style meal including salad, pasta, chicken and dessert. You will then have a comfortable ride on our motor coach while the gangster guide presents an accurate account of the activities going on in Chicago during the 1920’s and 30’s and ride by the sites of Chicago land where Al Capone, Bugs Moran and John Dillinger lived, worked or met their demise. Fee is $54 and includes round-trip coach bus, lunch and tour. The bus will depart from Freedom Hall at 10 a.m. and return at approximately 4 p.m. Register by Tuesday, January 18 at the Recreation & Parks Department at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive in person, or by phone with a credit card at 708-748-2005. For additional information or questions, call 708-748-2005.

Rich Township Senior Chorus

Singers Needed

The Rich Township Senior Chorus is looking for people who love to sing. Any senior resident living in the south suburbs is welcome to join. The chorus performs twice a month for senior facilities throughout the south suburbs. For additional information about joining the chorus, call 708-748-5454.

CAUTION – Featuring Songs of the Grateful Dead

Harte’s Saloon – Thursday, December 23

CAUTION will be playing every Thursday night at Harte’s Saloon, 9858 S. Artesian. If you are a fan of the Grateful Dead, Phish and great musical jams, check out this band. For more information, call Harte’s Saloon at 708-424-2618.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Infant & Toddler Childcare Now Available

GSU’s Family Development Center (FDC) has opened an Illinois State licensed childcare facility for infants, toddlers, and two year olds. The little ones are cared for in specially equipped classrooms of eight children, each staffed with two teachers. The infant and toddler childcare center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. FDC staff have been extensively and specially trained to care for young children. Licensure required extensive review by the State. The FDC also offers full and half day pre-kindergarten, three or five days a week, and childcare for three to five year olds and before and after school childcare for five to twelve year olds. Several special grants are available to assist eligible families with infant, toddler childcare costs. Discounts are also offered for GSU students and staff. For additional information or to register your child, call 708-235-7300.

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 2 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.

Green Events

University of Illinois at Chicago

“Wild Things” A Chicago Wilderness Conference for People and Nature – Register Now

Early registration is now being accepted for the “Wild Things’ Wilderness Conference which will be held on March 5, 2011 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This day-long conference will bring together the region’s best experts, most dedicated volunteers and anyone interested in nature. There will be technical presentations and interactive workshops of interest for everyone from beginners to experts. Topics include habitat management, advocacy, wildlife conservation, education, art, culture, history, backyard and neighborhood ecology. Register early through January 30 for only $28 at www.habitatproject.org. For questions or additional information, call 847-328-3910, extension 21 or email [email protected].

Healthy Living

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

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch

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.

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

Walk-In Flu & Pneumonia Clinic

On Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. flu and pneumonia immunizations will be available while supplies last. For fee information or questions, call the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118.

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.

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 programs 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

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.

Celebration Ministries, 424 Indianwood, Park Forest

C4 Underground Youth Gathering – Every Tuesday & Thursday

Youths in grades 6 and up are welcome to join us every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for fun and games, group discussion and a variety of activities. For more information, call Celebration Ministries at 708-748-1995.

Roots and Wings, 215 Nashua St., Park Forest

Current Events Topic Group – Every Monday

Join us every Monday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. as we gather to talk about God, us, the world and how they all work together. Roots and Wings is located behind Celebration Ministries. For more information, contact Celebration Ministries at 708-748-1995.

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.

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.

Sources: Park Forest 2010 Autumn Recreation Programs & More; Park Forest Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Recreation Programs & More; Rich Township Report; Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Center for Performing Arts, South Suburban Family Shelter, Park Forest Historical Society, Illinois Theatre Center, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Freedom Hall Nathan Manilow Theatre, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Rotary Club of Park Forest, Union Street Gallery, Monkey Mind Art Studio & Gallery, CAUTION, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.