In and Around Park Forest Week of December 21, 2009

Park Forest Boy Scouts

Trustee Gary Kopycinski (left) met with a local Boy Scout Troop last week. Pictured, beginning second from left, are Kyle Stoginski, Deandre Johnson, Scoutmaster Greg Robertson, Antonio Smith, Divario Jackson, Josh Metoyer, Luke Hering, Assistant Scoutmaster Matt Stoginski, Committee Member Bill Brazzale and Kevin Pharr. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– December 21, 2009. In his poem “Let Every Day Be Christmas,” Norman Wesley Brooks so eloquently states that:

“Christmas is forever, not for just one day. For loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is the good you do yourself…”

During this final week of preparations before the holiday begins, please don’t forget to remember those that are less fortunate. Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps sponsored charity that collects toys for needy children in the community, is still in need of donations. You can make a donation of a new, unwrapped toy at Toys R Us, 5501 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, or visit the Toys for Tots web site at: http://chicago-il.toysfortots.org to find other drop-off locations or to make a monetary donation.

Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season.

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.

Village Hall Closing

Park Forest Village Hall will be closed on Thursday and Friday, December 24 and 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday.

School Holiday Camp

Grainers Gymnastics, 300 Victory Drive, Park Forest

From December 21 through December 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., educational, recreational and cultural activities will be provided along with healthy snacks. Grainers Gymnastics will provide a safe environment for children when school is not in session. For more information, call Judy or Karen at 708-481-2261.

Holiday Shopping

Garden Club of Park Forest

“A Gardner’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.

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.

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 (plain, 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

Faith United Protestant Church, 10 Hemlock, Park Forest

The Living Nativity

Starting Tuesday, December 22 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. view the living Nativity through the east window of the church with sound piped outside. This event will continue December 23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and December 24 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 708-747-1330.

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.

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

  • Wednesday, December 23 from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Holiday Movie Marathon. Too hectic at home? Relax at the library with “Elf,” “Frosty,” and “The Christmas Story.” All ages are welcome.
  • Saturday, December 26 at 1 p.m. – Board Game Bonanza. Come and play board games all afternoon.

For more information on these activities, call 708-748-3731.

Please Note: The library will be closed on Thursday and Friday, December 24 and 25 in observance of the Christmas Holiday.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Way, Park Forest

“Crumbs From the Table of Joy” – Tickets Now on Sale

From the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (“Ruined”) comes the tale of a recently widowed Black man who moves with his two teenaged daughters from Florida to Brooklyn in the turbulent 1950s. The New York Post described this unique theatre piece this way: “Imagine a pairing between Tennessee Williams and Lorraine Hansberry – a glass menagerie in the sun…a small window into the past – and this almost voyeuristic view is worth attention.” The play will run from January 29 through February 14.

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

“Die Fledermaus” – Tickets Now on Sale

On Sunday, January 17 at 4 p.m. one of opera’s greatest hits by Johann Strauss, Jr. will be performed. Die Fledermaus is set in romantic Vienna and filled with champagne, frivolity, mistaken identities and a grand ball. Tickets range in price from $46 to $26. A pre-show dining event will take place at Scrementi’s located in Steger at a cost of $25 per person. For more information, call 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

Educational Lectures

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

AARP Safe Driving Program

The next AARP Safe Driving Class will be held on January 5, 2010 at Village Hall. The course qualifies seniors for a discount on the liability portion of their car insurance. The discount is good for three years, but you must contact your insurance company. The fee for the class is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. Payment by check ONLY, must be brought to class, along with your AARP membership card. Call the Rich Township Senior Center at 708-748-5454, or Brenda Walker at the Park Forest Health Department at 708-748-1118 to make your reservation.

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, Center for Performing Arts, Governors State University, Illinois Theatre Center, Union Street Gallery, and Park Forest Historical Society Web sites.