In and Around Park Forest Week of January 27, 2014

Flowers on Birch Street
In the midst of our deepest freeze yet, here’s a shout back to a flower bed on Birch Street. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—January 27, 2014. The Village of Park Forest unveiled its completely new website this week. The new website features a modern look, easier navigation, more options for users to stay informed, and more information and visuals than ever before. Be sure to check it out at: www.villageofparkforest.com.  

As we all know, flu season is here and if you or someone in your family has had the flu this season, you know that it’s more than just a cold but a very serious illness. Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and the community. The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6 months and older gets an influenza vaccine each year. If you have not received a flu shot yet, the Park Forest Health Department is offering free flu shots through February 14. Walk-ins are welcome at the Health Department Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Park Forest Health Department is located in the lower level of Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. For more information, call 708-748-1118.  

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 Meeting – Monday, January 27

The Board of Trustees will not meet on Monday, January 27.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Arts & Entertainment

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

Hair Crownicles and Sugar Funk: Two stories for Women, about Women – Tickets Now on Sale

Chicago-based performers Medina Perine and Penelope Walker will be performing their one-woman shows Hair Crownicles and Sugar Funk at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts for one night only on Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. Explore what it means to be a woman on a quest for balance and acceptance in the hilarious and poignant, HAIR CROWNICLES and SUGAR FUNK. This no holds barred journey blends house music, dance and humor to deliver a message of empowerment that all women can relate to. Join Media Perine on her personal quest to come to terms with her hair amidst peer pressure and social expectations. Then watch Penelope Walker dance her way through life with diabetes and a whole lot of humor, finding a sense of balance through family, fitness and spirituality. Penelope Walker is a Chicago-based actress who has appeared in several shows at the Steppenwolf and the Goodman, including multiple returns in the annual "A Christmas Carol.” Medina Perine is a New Orleans native who is active in Chicago theatre, appearing in ETA, Gorilla Tango Theater, DuSable Museum and MPAACT Theater Company productions. Only 200 audience members will be seated onstage with the performers for this unique and intimate performance. Tickets are $25. Seniors (65+) pay $20. Students pay $10. Discounts are not available online. This event is part of the One More Night series, bringing Chicago artists to the southland and is generously supported by The Chicago Community Trust. Our 2013-2014 Season is sponsored in part by a grant from The Illinois Arts Council, and agency of the State of Illinois. Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts at GSU Center. Patrons who select three 2013-2014 shows are eligible for 15 percent discounts. Patrons who select four or more shows are eligible for 20 percent discounts. (Savings are not available online).

‘Love and Marriage’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Explore the passion, tumult and joy of marriage when ‘Love and Marriage’ is performed on Sunday, February 9 at 4 p.m. Two married couples explore the passions, tumult and ultimate joy of marriage. You’ll be up close and personal as four opera singers deliver arias and songs inspired by romance, jealousy, hate and timeless love. Sample a Café style opera. From your unique vantage point of your table on the stage, you’ll be looking out into the theater as the operatic stories unfold. Viennese pastries and coffee will be offered during this intimate performance on The Center’s stage. Tickets are $35. Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

Lightwire Theater’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ – Tickets Now on Sale

See NBC’s "America’s Got Talent" finalist, Lightwire Theater, bring these beloved tales ‘ The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ into a new and brilliant light through the use of cutting edge technology, poignant choreography and music ranging from classical to jazz to pop. The performance will take place on Sunday, February 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children at and under. Buy tickets online at www.CENTERTICKETS.NET or call the Box Office at 708-235-2222.  The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances.

DePaul University, 1 East Jackson, Chicago

DePaul University Chinese Studies to Hold New Year Gala – Friday, January 31

The annual Chinese New Year gala at DePaul University will be held Jan. 31 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., room 120, on the Lincoln Park Campus. This year’s event, to commemorate the Year of the Horse, is presented by DePaul’s Chinese Studies Program. The tradition brings together students, faculty and the community to honor the holiday with dinner and cultural performances. In the Chinese culture, the horse is a symbol of speed, perseverance, nobility and class, according to Li Jin, an assistant professor and director of the Chinese Studies Program. People born in the Year of the Horse are thought to be smart, perceptive, kind to others and great speakers. The Chinese Studies Program worked with student organizations including DePaul Chinese Students and Scholars Association, DePaul International Student Organization and NiHao DeBao to create a meaningful schedule of events to honor the tradition of Chinese New Year. This year, music and modern dance presentations will be given by some of DePaul’s international students, those learning the Chinese language and faculty. The gala also includes a traditional lion dance, a performance by Jingjing Shi, an award-winning player of the guzheng, a Chinese string instrument, and a kung fu presentation by Bei Dou Kung Fu Chicago. The event is free and open to the public, but online reservations are required. RSVP at http://bit.ly/19LMnwq.

Martin Luther King Jr. Events Continue This Week

Events to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at DePaul University include:

School for New Learning’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium on Social Action and Social Justice – Monday, January 27
Connie L. Lindsay, executive vice president and global head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Northern Trust, will address “WWKSDT: What Would King Say and Do Today?” The event is sponsored by the School for New Learning Africa Diaspora Committee.
January 27 from 5:30-8 p.m.
Loop Campus
For more information and to RSVP, contact [email protected].

“A Free Man of Color” – Performances January 31 through February 9
A 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist, this absurd play with elements of Restoration comedy features the charismatic womanizer Jacques Cornet, the wealthiest man of color in town. Recommended for mature audiences
Performances will be January 31 through February 9.
The Theatre School, Fullerton Stage (Lincoln Park Campus)

Theatre School at DePaul University to Present ‘Moth’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The Theatre School at DePaul University will present ‘Moth’ as the second production in the Sondra & Denis Healy Theatre at Racine and Fullerton on the Lincoln Park Campus. The Healy Theatre is a 100-seat flexible venue, located on the fourth floor of The Theatre School. Its distinguishing feature is the completely transparent north wall overlooking Fullerton Avenue. Declan Greene’s “Moth,” is directed by Michael Osinksi, an MFA Directing candidate. The production premieres Feb. 14 and runs through Feb. 23. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Previews are on Feb.12 and 13, at 7:30 p.m. About the production: Claryssa and Sebastian are best friends and the class outcasts. One loves witchcraft and emo music; the other has body odor and obsesses about anime. After a night of brutal bullying by their classmates, their friendship is left in shambles, and Sebastian is faced with a task of apocalyptic proportions. It is an exact look into the minds of troubled youth. Recommended for mature audiences. Tickets are $15, preview tickets are $10, and student tickets are $5. Subscriptions and group rates (6 or more people) are available at 312-922-1999. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 312 922-1999 or visiting the online Box Office at www.theatre.depaul.edu. The Theatre School at DePaul University is located at 2350 N. Racine Ave. (at Fullerton).

Drama Group, 330 West 202 Street, Chicago Heights

‘Frost/Nixon’ – Tickets Now on Sale

The Drama Group is proud to be staging the historical dramatically acclaimed play ‘Frost/Nixon’ at the Drama Group Studio Theatre. ‘Frost/Nixon’ is a 2006 British play by screenwriter and dramatist Peter Morgan based on a series of televised interviews that former U.S. President Richard Nixon granted broadcaster David Frost in 1977 about his administration, including his role in the Watergate scandal. It was Tony nominated as Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actor – Frank Langella and Best Director. Performances will be held on: February 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th at 7:30 p.m., and the 9th and 16th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $19 for adults and $18.00 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. Good seats are still available, however, due to brisk advance sales, rather than waiting to purchase at the door, it is recommended to call the Drama Group box office at 708-755-3444 for advance sales. The Drama Group is offering a special student discount to all speech and debate teams on the second Thursday – February 13th; as well as participating in the League of Chicago Theatres’ "Theatre Thursday." Student prices for all the productions are $15.00. On Thursday, February 13, we are also offering a student group rate of $10.00 for 15 students or more.

For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit our Web site at www.dramagroup.org. There is limited handicap seating. Please call the Drama Group box office at 708-755-3444 for details.

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

CALJE – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for the February 22 performance of Chicago Afro-Latin jazz ensemble, CALJE. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. With a global sound and ensemble, CALJE represents Afro-Cuban Jazz as well as music from all of Latin America, delivering a captivating, high-energy groove. This dynamic group continues the legacy of Latin Jazz big band, creating new original and genre-bending works. Guitarist Neal Alger joins CALJE for this show. Tickets are $24 and can be purchased at the box office, on-line at www.freedomhall.org or by phone by calling 708-747-0580. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

‘Close to You – Music of the Carpenters’ – Tickets Now on Sale

Freedom Hall’s Senior Theatre will present ‘Close to You – Music of the Carpenters’ on February 18 at 11 a.m. One of the best vocalists of all time, Karen Carpenter captured a generation with her catchy pop music. The Carpenters’ beautiful, memorable love songs topped the Billboard charts with more than a dozen number one hits. Close to You: The Music of The Carpenters brings these classics back to the stage with spot-on renditions performed by singer Lisa Rock and her six-piece band. Tickets are $13 and can be purchased at the box office, on-line at www.freedomhall.org or by phone by calling 708-747-0580. For additional information, call 708-747-0580.

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

Passion and the Stars – Tickets Now on Sale

On Saturday, February 14 at 8 pm. at the Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 Harlem Ave., Frankfort, the IPO will perform a classic piece of musical Americana, a modern interpretation of Galileo’s first treatise on stars, and one of the great musical masterworks of all time, all in one concert! David Danzmayr, will conduct the IPO featuring Trevor O’Riordan, Principal Clarinet in the performance of Golijov – Sidereus, Copland – Clarinet Concerto, and Tchaikovsky – Symphony Nr. 6 "Pathetique." Tickets are $35, $45, and $55 and can be purchased online at http://www.ipomusic.org. For additional information, call 708-481-7774.

National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM), 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

Espirit de Corps Exhibition – Through August 1, 2014

NVAM is celebrating its first anniversary in its Milwaukee Avenue location with its art exhibition, Esprit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience. Esprit de Corps features art by nine veterans of Vietnam, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror. The NVAM will be free and open to the public through August 1, 2014. Esprit de Corps is sponsored by Omicron, Bank of America and Paratech Incorporated. Drawing on breakthroughs in using art to assist with reintegration of veterans and for therapeutic expression, Esprit de Corps traces the process and roles of therapeutic art from the act of initial perception through expression of experience to an ultimate communal sharing and understanding of the real impact of war. Featured artists include Joseph Fornelli, Jerry Frech, Jonathan Hancock, Peter Sullivan, Benjamin Suarez, Thomas Gilbertson, Theodore Gostas, Richard Williams and Erica Slone. High resolution images of work in the show are available through the NVAM’s Dropbox. For additional information and hours, visit the museum’s website at www.nvam.org

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Library Board Vacancy

A position on the Park Forest Library Board of Trustees is now vacant until the next election, which will be held in April 2015. The vacancy can be filled until that time by appointment by the Park Forest Library Board. Click here for full details.

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, January 27 at 12 p.m. — Friends Book Discussion: "Her Fearful Symmetry" — Discuss "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger. Books will be available at Patron Services one month in advance. The club will continue to meet the fourth Monday of the month.
  • Monday, January 27 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Café — This laid-back space was created for teens to share and create with each other.
  • Monday, January 27 at 4 p.m. – Ductigami — Learn to use duct tape to make crafts.
  • Tuesday, January 28 at 10:30 a.m. – LIBRARY CLOSED DUE TO EXTREME COLD!
  • Wednesday, January 29 at 10:30 a.m. – Masters of Art — Children will have the opportunity to listen to a story and complete an art project related to the story.
  • Thursday, January 30 at 3:30 p.m. –Tech Thursday — Learn to make websites, android apps, and iPhone apps.
  • Thursday, January 30 at 5 p.m. – Let’s Go LEGO — Play and learn with LEGOs at the Park Forest Public Library! The creations the children make will be on display in kids’ zone.
  • Friday, January 31 at 1 p.m. — Senior Travelogue – Topic: Russia.
  • Friday, January 31 at 3 p.m. – Friday Funday — Join us for an assortment of after-school activities!
  • Saturday, February 1 at 11 a.m. – Year of the Horse — Join us for Chinese New Year stories and celebrations.
  • Saturday, February 1 at 12:30 p.m. — Saturday Movie Matinee: His Gal Friday — A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. Starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

For additional information or to register for certain events, please call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org/

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Step Back Into a 1950s Valentine’s Day at the Park Forest House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is decorated in February with vintage valentines and decorations in the exhibit “Step Back Into a 1950s Valentine’s Day.” The classroom, representing Park Forest’s first school, is decorated for a 1950s Valentine’s Day party with crepe paper candy baskets and construction paper heart-shaped valentine “mailboxes” on each desk. Red honeycomb, puffy hearts and vintage valentines are on display throughout the house. The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, is open Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the museum can also be open for groups by appointment, at other times. Donation is $5 for adults; children 12 and under free with an adult. Scout and school tours are priced individually. For details, to arrange a special group tour, or to volunteer, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website, www.parkforesthistory.org, or call Jane Nicoll, 708-481-4252.

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.

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

Faculty Show ‘Convergence’ – Through January 30

PSC is hosting ‘Convergence,’ a faculty show, through January 30 in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the college’s main campus. The exhibit features PSC Associate Professor and Fine Arts Coordinator Paul Rinaldi’s sabbatical works. Also exhibited will be works from PSC Associate Professor Lou Shields, PSC Assistant Professor Rebecca Slagle, and PSC Adjunct Instructors George Kassal, Jeff Stevenson, Valerie Taglieri, and Tim Vitek. The exhibit will include paintings, drawings, works in encaustic, and photography. A closing reception with the artists will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, January 30 in the gallery. Both the reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits also can be made by appointment. For more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-3636.

Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Photo Exhibit on Southeast Ohio’s Post-industrial Landscape – Opens February 6

An exhibition by award-winning photo essayist Matt Eich, who tells the story through his photographs of an Ohio community abandoned by major industry, will be open to the public February 6 through May 10 in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. Featuring images of southeastern Ohio from 2006-12, Carry Me Ohio is a catalog of working-class issues and people who were forced to adapt after industry, including mining for coal, salt and clay and the cutting of timber, left the region approximately 40 years ago. One of the nation’s most promising young documentary photographers, Eich began taking pictures in southeast Ohio while he was a photojournalism student at Ohio State University. He has worked as a freelancer for GQ, Esquire, Mother Jones, Time, Fader, Harper’s and National Geographic, among others. A resident of Norfolk, Va., Eich will discuss his work on Carry Me Ohio at the exhibit’s opening reception being held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 6. Free and open to the public, Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery has hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery or call 312-341-6458.

Salon Artists Gallery, 249 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Cold Snap’ Exhibit – Through January 31

Come out and see out wonderful pieces of art from pottery, paintings and jewelry in the ‘Cold Snap’ exhibit. These items will all express winter cold. The exhibit will run through January 31. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-833-5108.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Ethnic Expressions’ Exhibit – Through March 1

Tall Grass Gallery is currently featuring an exhibit entitled "Ethnic Expressions." The invited artists were challenged to submit works of art that define their heritage and explain how their culture, heritage and ethnicity inform and influence their art. The exhibit is curated by Cousandra Armstrong and Janice Pratt. The participating artists are: Terry Boykin, Sandra Bridges, David Caballero, Keith David Conner, Esperanza Gama, Jean Lewis, Mathias Muleme, Fritz Millevoix, Donna Radcliffe, Angela Redmond, Max Sansing, Janet Sheard, Dr. Yemonja Smalls, and Grant White. The exhibit will run through March 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information please visit the Tall Grass website at www.tallgrassarts.org, or call the Gallery at 708-748-3377.

Union Street Gallery, 527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

Earth and Sky Exhibit – Through February 8

USG’s landscape exhibit, Earth and Sky, is the first in a proposed series that will bring together a small, rotating group of the Gallery’s Studio Artists, Guild Artists, and artists from outside the Gallery’s family. The exhibit runs through February 8. The six artists of earth and sky have long been inspired by nature, and dedicated to creating substantial bodies of images of woods, prairies and fields, mountains, lakes and streams, individual plant forms and long sky vistas. Through drawings, paintings and photographs, they interpret and convey the cumulative power of land and sky existing together; the conversation between them; light filtering through petals; shadows falling across rocks; alternating patterns of branches and clouds; colors bouncing around from mountain to water; with all the other factors of weather or crops or winding roads mixed in. Exhibiting artists are: Eve Jensen, Oscar Linares, Chuck Michaels, Stuart Pearson, Richard Schmidt and Marikay Peter Witlock.  The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-754-2601.

FUSED – Through February 8

USG presents an exhibit of encaustic art from the members of FUSED Chicago, a Midwest encaustic artists group, including 32 works of art by 21 different artists. The exhibit runs through February 8. FUSED Chicago is an organization of Midwest artists who share an interest in encaustic, a method of making art using pigmented wax fused to a surface by heat. The encaustic works on exhibit in FUSED at Union Street Gallery are contemporary pieces that highlight various ways encaustic medium is used in art today. The exhibit is full of beautiful fluid abstractions, lush texture, rich layering, and clever compositions that really play up the medium. There are also sculptural pieces on exhibit that use encaustic to enhance their exterior surface. FUSED displays a dynamic, engaging and visually exciting body of work that serves to enhance the educational nature of the exhibit by stimulating the viewer. Exhibiting artists: Dan Addington, Susan Cahill, Cat Crotchett, Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Shelley Gilchrist, Kari Hall, Carol Hamilton, Brad Hook, Nikkole Huss, Katsy Johnson, Mary Krebs Smyth, Laura LaRue, Jenny Learner, Ahavani Mullen, April Nomellini, VA. de Pintor, Julia Ris, Linda Sorkin Eisenberg, Michele Thrane, Kathleen Waterloo, Donna Zarbin-Byrne.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.  For additional information, call 708-754-2601.

Help Repair Union Street Gallery Silent Auction – Running Through February 8

Auction ends at 4 p.m. Saturday February 8th, 2014. Winning bids will be notified Wednesday February 12th. This silent auction includes original artwork by Karen DeWitt, Mary Bookwalter, and Marlene Galagher. Bids start as low as $20. All proceeds will benefit Union Street Gallery, a not-for-profit art center, and go toward much needed building repairs. USG currently has over $60,000 in building repairs.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Senior Trip to Jacob Henry Mansion Lunch and Show – February 5

The first Senior Trip of 2014 will be to the Jacob Henry Mansion on February 5. The Birdhaven Greenhouse and Conservatory at Pilcher Park is our first stop, followed by a tour, lunch and a show at the Jacob Henry mansion. Enjoy a meal in one of the 40 rooms that feature old world fixtures and Victorian charm. Each guest will be treated to a glass of champagne with their lunch and the chocolate fountain for dessert. The entertainment for the day is Nick Willet, who performs the most loved songs from the 50’s through 70’s. This is an all-inclusive trip with a fee of $94 per person. The bus will depart at 9:15 a.m. from Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive and return at approximately 3:45 p.m. You can register at the Recreation and Parks Department at Village Hall in-person or on the phone with a credit card by calling 708-748-2005. Please mention Program Number 148780-1 (Rectrac) when you register.

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Education Job and Internship Fair – Registration in Progress

The Office of Career Services at GSU sponsoring a career fair for people interested in employment and internship opportunities in education and related fields on Thursday, February 20. The career fair will be open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Hall of Governors. Current students, alumni, and community members are invited to attend. Potential employers are also invited to register as participants. This is an opportunity to match job and internship positions with qualified personnel. This event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call 708-235-3974.

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].

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

Welding Open House – Tuesday, January 28

SSC is hosting a Ribbon Cutting and Open House for their new Welding Lab on Tuesday, January 28th from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Room L-275 on their Main Campus in South Holland. The public is invited to join SSC for light refreshments and learn more about the exciting new welding opportunities, and see the lab with eight state-of-the-art welding stations and welding simulator. College faculty and staff will be on hand to answer questions about welding classes and related programs. The event schedule is as follows:
• 3:00 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting
• 3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Open House
• 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Welding Class Observation
SSC was one of seventeen recipients of the first round of TAA funding from the Department of Labor through the Illinois Green Economy Network. This grant funded the new lab and welding simulator. Please email [email protected] or call 708-225-6004 to RSVP.

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.

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 Class – Registration in Progress

Mental Health First Aid Training is scheduled for Saturday March 1, 2014 from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm at Sertoma Centre (Mental Health Services) 4331 W. Lincoln Highway – Suite A in Matteson, IL. "Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders." – MHFA USA. Sertoma Centre’s Community Education Department provides free mental health education and prevention programming to community members and professionals. Trainings have been provided to high school students, college students, residence life staff of colleges/universities, university police officers, church congregations/staff, and the staff of social service agencies. Sertoma Centre is committed to educating the community about mental illness and reducing the stigma that often surrounds such topics. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. Registration is easy just go to http://March1MHFA.eventbrite.com or contact Derek Harris via email ([email protected]) or phone 708-748-1951 extension 419. CEUs are available. Inquire in advance for more information. To learn more about Sertoma Centre, please visit www.sertomacentre.org.

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].

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – January 29

Follow the Forest’s winter changes, enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or muddy so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderate. Group will meet each Wednesday through January 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and is open to those ages 11 through adult. There is no fee involved. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, DC

Information on Health Insurance & the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Visit healthcare.gov for information about Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act. The following paper applications are available to print out: Individual Short Form, Individual without Financial Assistance, and the Family Form.

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.

Green Events

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

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.

This & That

Park Forest American Legion Post 1198, 1631 Western Ave., Chicago Heights

Friday Fish Fry

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, January 31 beginning at 6 p.m. Carry outs are available. For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

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.

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: eNews Park Forest, Park Forest Historical Society, Village of Park Forest, Governors State University, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, National Veterans Art Museum, Center for Performing Arts, Freedom Hall, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Theatre Center, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Union Street Gallery, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, and Tall Grass Arts Association websites.