Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF) — The Grande Prairie Singers, directed by Jo Rodenburg, will open its 40th season of sharing its passion for singing with its annual ‘Winterlude’ concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, December 11 at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Matteson. This family friendly holiday show features a musical celebration of the season with songs ranging from fifteenth century English songs to contemporary carols. Additional information about the event can be found in the “Holiday Events & Activities’ section.
Don’t forget before heading out to do your holiday shopping be sure to check the ‘Holiday Events & Activities’ section below for information on places around town where to can find unique holiday gifts as well as events that will be sure to get you in a festive mood. And if your church, club or organization is holding a special holiday event, please pass along the information to me at [email protected] so we can help spread the word!
If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in the community that you would like published, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details no later than 5 p.m. on Friday. Thank you.
Village of Park Forest
Village Board Meetings – Monday, December 12
The Village of Park Forest Board is scheduled to meet on Monday, December 12 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend. Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers).
To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site here and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.
Village Commissions & Advisory Boards
The following Park Forest Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of December 11:
- Tuesday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations
- Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
- Wednesday, December 14, at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group
- Thursday, December 15 at 7 p.m. – Housing Authority
The meetings will be held at Park Forest Village Hall and residents are encouraged to attend.
Arts & Entertainment
Calumet Heritage Partnership, Chicago
‘Calumet’s Industrial Heritage: Works by Kathy Los-Rathburn and Matthew Kaplan,’ – Through December 18
The Calumet Heritage Partnership will continue its 2016 Calumet Heritage Event Series with an encore show at South Shore Arts’ Crown Point Gallery featuring two local artists who capture the complex beauty and nature of the region’s industrial landscape in watercolor paintings and photographs. Called ‘Calumet’s Industrial Heritage: Works by Kathy Los-Rathburn and Matthew Kaplan,’ the exhibit is a collaboration between the Calumet Heritage Partnership and South Shore Arts and runs through December 18th. The Crown Point Gallery is located at 123 North Main Street in Crown Point, Indiana. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information, call the Gallery at 219-663-0200.
DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton, Chicago
International Art Exhibition ‘On Space and Place’ – Through December 18
For the first time, viewers of the ART21 or “Art in the Twenty-First Century” television series will be able to see work by artists featured in the new season at the DePaul Art Museum on the Lincoln Park Campus of DePaul University. The exhibition will provide a multi-layered opportunity to learn about the artists on PBS stations, including Chicago’s WTTW-Channel 11, then experience the work in person. The DePaul Art Museum collaborated with the Peabody Award-winning documentary series ART21 to exhibit the 16 artists featured in the show’s eighth season. The exhibition, “On Space and Place: Contemporary Art from Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Vancouver,” curated by Widholm, will run through December 18 at the DePaul Art Museum. The featured artists, chosen by ART21 curator Wesley Miller, are grouped by their unique and revealing relationships to the places where they live, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Vancouver, to showcase their cities as vibrant and diverse centers for art.
16 innovative artists from 4 dynamic cities:
- Chicago artists: Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Barbara Kasten, Chris Ware
- Mexico City artists: Natalia Almada, Minerva Cuevas, Damián Ortega, Pedro Reyes
- Los Angeles artists: Edgar Arceneaux, Liz Larner, Tala Madani, Diana Thater
- Vancouver artists: Stan Douglas, Brian Jungen, Liz Magor, Jeff Wall
To view a trailer and learn more about ART21 and television dates visit http://www.pbs.org/art21/. The DePaul Art Museum is located just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop. The museum hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more on the DePaul Art Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu/.
National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM), 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago
Vonnegut’s Odyssey’ – Through May 6
The NVAM’s exhibit, ‘Vonnegut’s Odyssey,’ explores connections between the timeless and universal story of veterans’ return from combat through the artwork of World War II veteran and famed author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Vonnegut’s selected artwork will be on view at NVAM through May 6, 2017. Exhibit curator and Iraq veteran Ash Kyrie notes, “The experience of returning home and processing the effects of war is something that is shared by all veterans, from the time of Homer’s The Odyssey, through Vonnegut’s experiences in Dresden, and continuing on today. Exhibiting the artwork of Vonnegut as an illustration of the post-war experience and as a creative processing tool for the artist highlights the process of the return and the complexity of the veteran experience.” Vonnegut enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and was deployed to fight overseas in Europe during WWII. He was later captured at the Battle of the Bulge and served as a Prisoner of War until 1945 when he returned to the U.S. and was awarded the Purple Heart. These experiences largely shaped his creative endeavors including his well-known published literature and his body of artwork. From WWII through Vietnam and beyond, Vonnegut was an active voice in American culture and society—openly discussing war and its effects publicly. After establishing himself as an important American author during the late 1960’s with the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Vonnegut later became recognized for his drawings that often accompanied his writings. These drawings vary in subject matter from his Purple Heart to his illustrious Asterisk. Building on these drawings, Vonnegut worked with printer Joe Petro III to create a prolific catalog of artwork. Presented together, these artworks reflect the connections between Vonnegut’s return home from World War II and Homer’s epic of Odysseus’s return home after the Trojan War. For additional information about the National Veterans Art Museum or the exhibit, visit www.nvam.org, or call 312-326-0270.
Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard
The following events are scheduled at the Park Forest Library the week of December 11:
- Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. – Adult Craft Circle — Out and about doing your holiday shopping, take some time for yourself. Drop in to the library to create a special craft that will be sure to bring joy to the holiday season. All materials provided while supplies last.
- Monday, December 12 at 11 a.m. – Holiday Story Time — Join us for special Season Readings of popular and traditional holiday stories.
- Monday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. – Family Movie Night – ‘Finding Dory’ rated PG
- Tuesday, December 13 at 2 p.m. – Art Studio — It’s time to create! Materials will be provided. For ages 12 and under.
- Tuesday, December 13 at 4 p.m. – Teen DYI: Clay Ornaments Part 1 — Get ready to get your hand messy! Create one-of-a-kind holiday ornaments using nothing but clay! Don’t forget to come back on December 14th to decorate your special piece.
- Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m. — Pajama Story Time — Share special moments with your child through stories, crafts, and more. Wear your pj’s and wind down from a busy day. For ages 12 and under.
- Wednesday, December 14 at 11 a.m. – Lap Sit Story Time — Babies and their parents or caregivers are invited to read, sing and grow in this weekly story time. This program is geared toward babies 0 – 36 months with an accompanying adult. This is the perfect time for families to bond with their child/children.
- Wednesday, December 14 at 3:30 p.m. — Art Extreme — We’re taking art to the EXTREME! Explore a wide range of art through painting, drawing, building and more! Art has never been this fun. You don’t want to miss out. For ages 12 and under.
- Wednesday, December 14 at 4 p.m. – Color Me Happy Circle — Our coloring circle is the perfect way to step back from the stress of everyday life and enjoy some relaxation! All supplies will be provided.
- Wednesday, December 14 at 4 p.m. – Teen DYI: Clay Ornaments Part 2 — Get ready to get your hand messy! Come by and decorate the one-of-a-kind holiday ornament created on December 13th.
- Wednesday, December 14 at 6:30 p.m. – Movie Night for Adults – ‘Florence Foster Jenkins.’ In the 1940s, New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins dreams of becoming a great opera singer. Unfortunately, her ambition far exceeds her talent. The voice Florence hears in her head is beautiful, but to everyone else it is quite lousy. Her husband St. Clair goes to extreme lengths to make sure his wife never finds out how awful she truly is. When Florence announces her plans for a concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair soon realizes that he’s facing his greatest challenge yet
- Thursday, December 15 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art — Bring your imagination, creativity, and throw on some old clothes to bring out your inner Picasso through art projects and more… Some projects may involve paint. Ages 3-5.
- Thursday, December 15 at 3:30 p.m. – Color Me Happy Circle (for kids) — Travel to a world of relaxation for kids. Lose yourself in patterns, curved flowers or even runaway stems. Color yourself Happy in our kids’ coloring circle. For ages 12 and under.
- Friday, December 16 at 3 p.m. – Fun Friday Game Day — T.G.I.F! Join the fun with WII U! Bring a friend or makes new ones! For ages 12 and under.
- Friday, December 16 at 3 p.m. – Teen Game Day — Show off your competitive side with your friends! From board games to video games, there will be plenty of fun! Are you up for the challenge?
- Saturday, December 17 at 1 p.m. — kids’ zone Winter Wonderland! — Join us as we celebrate winter! We’re making ornaments, winter pillows and more!
- Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. – DIY Holiday Gift — Still looking for a gift to surprise someone special? Look no further. We’re creating something thoughtful that is sure to warm anyone’s heart. For ages 12 and under.
For additional information, or to register for an event call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.
Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest
Thursday Game Days
Come join us at the Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, in DownTown Park Forest every Thursday morning at 10 a.m. to play games with old friends and new friends. We have a few games on hand, Trivial Pursuit, Racko, Pente, Chess, Pictionary, High Hand and Rummikub. If none of these suit your taste, feel free to bring in your favorites. Come join in the fun. This is a new program, so please help to spread the word.
On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday morning of each month at 10 a.m., come to the Senior Center to participate in the new Adult Coloring Group. The Center has supplies and several types of mediums to color with. For additional information, call 708-748-5454.
South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 State Street, South Holland
String Orchestra and Chamber String Ensemble Concert – Monday, December 12
On Monday, December 12 at 7 p.m., the String Orchestra and Chamber String Ensemble Concert will take place. SSC’s newest musical group will perform works by Johannes Brahms, Leroy Anderson, Felix Mendelsohn, Paul Desmond and Antonio Vivaldi. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 708-596-200, extension 2316.
Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest
‘A Winter’s Tale’ – Through January 7
Tall Grass Arts Association in DownTown Park Forest, will exhibit ‘A Winter’s Tale’ through Saturday, January 7. The exhibit is free and open to the public. ‘A Winter’s Tale’ is an exhibit of paintings, drawings and photographs by regional artists Graydon Cafarella, Chuck Michaels, Stuart Pearson, Richard Schmidt, Mary Ann Trzyna and Marikay Peter Witlock. Nearly fifty works by these well-known, highly respected, and award-winning artists will fill the gallery walls with images of the season – the pristine and transformed landscapes of frozen lakes and ice-encased trees; blurred suns glowing through snow-heavy skies; barns, bridges and homes half-hidden beneath wind-blown drifts – the special places of winter’s days and nights that have touched the artists. Through their visions of various cold weather moments they remind us how visually exciting and beautiful this time of year is. Curators for ‘A Winter’s Tale’ are Claudia Craemer and Deborah Craemer. Tall Grass Arts Association is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.
The Drama Group, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights
‘Alabama Story’ – Through Sunday, December 18
The Drama Group is pleased to present the riveting drama, ‘Alabama Story’, directed by Suzanne Ashlock. Performances will be held at The Drama Group Studio Theatre on December 15, 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on December 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. A gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message stirs the passions of a segregationist senator and a no-nonsense state librarian in 1959 Montgomery, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Inspired by true events, Alabama Story puts political foes, star-crossed childhood friends, and one feisty children’s author on the same page to conjure a Deep South of the Imagination. ‘Alabama Story’ was a finalist in the 2014 National Playwrights Conference of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. Tickets are $20 for adults; $19 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. Good seats are still available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online here. As a Community Outreach Program, The Drama Group will be collecting children’s books from our audience members by offering a ticket incentive – buy one ticket and receive one ticket free with the donation of a new or gently used children’s book – for the Thursday, December 15 performance. Donations of all new and gently used children’s books will be accepted at The Drama Group Studio Building in Chicago Heights throughout the run of the performances (December 9 – 18, 7:00 – 9:00 pm and 1:30 – 4:00 pm on Sundays) All Children’s books collected will be distributed to participating Elementary Schools in the surrounding communities. For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit the Web site at www.dramagroup.org.
Educational Lectures & Opportunities
Alderman Joe Moore, Chicago
“Know Your Rights Workshop” – Sunday, December 11
With the election of Donald Trump as our next president, our neighbors who are immigrants are understandably very concerned about their future in our nation. It is imperative that they, and everyone who is concerned about them, are fully aware of their constitutional rights and what to do if they are confronted by government authorities. If you are an immigrant, or simply a concerned citizen, plan to attend Chicago Alderman Joe Moore’s “Know Your Rights Workshop.” The workshop is taking place this Sunday, December 11th, 2:00 p.m., at the St. Jerome’s Church Parish Center, 1709 W. Lunt (at Paulina). Experts from organizations that represent and advocate for immigrants in our nation will be on hand to provide you information on your rights and respond to your questions, including:
- Fred Tsao, Senior Policy Counsel, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Mr. Tsao will provide the latest information on immigrant rights and explain an action plan that ICIRR created for them.
- Norman White, Hate Crime Victim Advocate, City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations. Mr. White will talk about what constitutes a hate crime and discrimination against the immigrant community and how to file a complaint with the Human Relations Commission.
- Daysi Funes, Executive Director, Centro Romero. Ms. Funes will share the legal services her organization offers and provide an immigrants rights attorney to answer your legal questions.
The workshop will offer simultaneous translation of the meeting in English and Spanish. Alderman Moore is proud to have as host for this workshop the following elected officials and community organizations: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Heather Steans, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, and Northside Community Resources (NCR). Additional informational workshops to other immigrant communities in the upcoming weeks. For additional information about this Workshop, call Alderman Moore’s office at 773-338-5796 or email [email protected]
Park Forest Police Department, 200 Lakewood Boulevard
Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship – Applications Due by Friday, December 23
The Park Forest Police Department has announced plans to award a scholarship to an area teen in the name of Officer Timothy Jones. The Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior residing in Park Forest with a grade point average of at least 2.75 who exhibits strong character. The recipient must also declare criminal justice as their college major and be enrolled in courses in the 2017-18 school year at an accredited college or university. Jones was critically wounded in the line of duty in March of 2016 and continues to rehabilitate from his injuries. The 24-year-old officer, though relatively new to the force in December of 2015, won over the Park Forest community who voted him winner of the Park Forest Police Department’s No Shave November for Charity Competition. The contest allows members of the Park Forest Police Department, typically required to remain clean-shaven, to wear facial hair during the month of November in exchange for donating to cancer research. At the end of the month, members of the department take pictures to be judged by the community in determining best beard. The competition, previously held only during the month of November, was extended this year through December to allow more time for donations to flow in from officers and from the community. The funds received will be used to award the Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship with additional dollars going toward cancer research. The scholarship application deadline is Dec. 23, 2016. For complete details on the Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship, visit villageofparkforest.com/police/jonesscholarship
Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights
PSC Trustee Candidacy Petitions – Now Available
Candidacy petitions for three, six-year, non-compensated terms and one, two-year unexpired, non-compensated term on the Prairie State College (PSC) Board of Trustees are now available. The petition packages can be picked up from the President’s Office, located in room 2270 on PSC’s main campus at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights. The election will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. The vacant positions are for those of Christopher Baikauskas, Brunetta Hill-Corley, Wendell Mosby and Marc Wiley, whose terms expire in April 2017. In order to qualify, a candidate must be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the United States, have resided in Illinois Community College District 515 for at least one year, be a registered voter, and have petition signatures from a minimum of 50 registered voters who live in the district. Petitions with the required number of signatures will be accepted in the PSC President’s Office by the secretary of Community College District 515, or a designated representative, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 through Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Petitions also will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. A Statement of Candidacy and optional Loyalty Oath also must be filed at that time. Additionally, a Statement of Economic Interests must be filed with the county clerk of the candidate’s residence. The resulting receipt must then be filed with the secretary of Community College District 515 or a designated representative no later than Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Persons elected on April 4 will be seated at the April Board of Trustees meeting. For more information, contact Patricia Trost, administrative director, president’s office and board of trustees at 708-709-3637.
Spring 2017 Registration – Now in Progress
Registration for the spring 2017 semester at PSC is now open. Students are encouraged to register early as classes will fill quickly. PSC offers convenient, flexible scheduling options for credit courses, including 16, 14, 12 and eight-week courses. Classes are offered days, evenings, weekends and online to accommodate busy schedules. Non-credit courses include a variety of single-day and multiple-session offerings that begin throughout the semester. The 16-week courses begin Tuesday, Jan. 17, 14-week courses begin Monday, Jan. 30, and. The 12-week courses begin Friday, Feb. 10. All 16-, 14- and 12-week courses end Thursday, May 11, and offer the same course material and credit hours. The shorter the number of weeks, the longer the class period. PSC also offers two eight-week course options. The first eight-week courses begin Tuesday, Jan. 17 and end Friday, March 10. Second eight-week courses begin Monday, March 20 and end Thursday, May 11. The eight-week courses typically are fewer credit hours. Many of the college certificate programs offer eight-week courses, allowing students to fit two courses in one semester and to make progress towards that certificate. Both credit and non-credit courses are listed in the spring class schedule, available on the PSC main campus in Chicago Heights. The schedule also is available at area public libraries and online at www.prairiestate.edu. To register for credit courses, new students must complete an enrollment application in person or online. Current students can register in person or log into WebAdvisor. Enrollment Services is open Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students can register for non-credit courses online or in person. To register online via Instant Enrollment, go to prairiestate.edu and follow the directions to choose How To Enroll under continuing education courses. Another option is to complete the registration form available in the back of the printed course schedule. Students also can register for non-credit courses in person at the Matteson Area Center, located at 4821 Southwick Drive in Matteson, or in the Enrollment Services Office on the PSC main campus. The Matteson Area Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about registering for courses at PSC, visit prairiestate.edu or call 708-709-3500.
South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 State Street, South Holland
Seeking Tutors & Participants for Adult Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program
SSC is seeking tutors and participants for the Adult Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program. The program is structured to train volunteers to become one-on-one tutors for adults in need of basic literacy skills. Instruction in basic literacy includes the development of phonetic reading skills combined with communication skills. SSC is encouraging residents to take this opportunity to volunteer as a tutor or encourage someone you know to take advantage of the free program. New Year new Beginnings! There will be new tutor training sessions taking place at the Main Campus on January 17th, 19th, 24th and the 26th of 2016. The tutor training is an 18-hour program that culminates with literacy training certification. Once certified, the tutors will go out to visit their adult learners at locations in or near their neighborhoods. Tutoring sites have already been established at the following locations: Acorn Public Library, Oak Forest; Glenwood-Lynwood Library; Harvey Public Library; Phoenix Public Library; Calumet City Public Library; Grande Prairie Library, Hazel Crest; Homewood Public Library; South Holland Public Library; South Suburban College Library, Main Campus; Oak Forest Center Library, Oak Forest; Lansing Public Library; Dolton Public Library; Riverdale Public Library; Markham Public Library and Midlothian Public Library. Tutoring is scheduled by the availability of the tutors and the learners, and the availability of space and hours of the tutoring sites. Illiteracy is an issue that can be debilitating in so many ways for adults who never received the proper instruction. Adults who are unable to read have a much more difficult time with many daily activities that others may take for granted, along with a clear disadvantage in today’s competitive job market. SSC’s Office of Adult Education administers the Adult Volunteer Literacy Tutoring Program in addition to High School Equivalency (HSE), English as a Second Language (ESL), and Adult Basic Education (ABE). Tutors will receive free professional development services throughout this program. Successful tutors are also eligible for letters of support or recommendation for jobs, scholarships, educational opportunities, and more. These opportunities are made possible by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library (ISL), a division of the Office of Secretary of State, using state funds designated for literacy. If you would like to register for volunteer tutor training class, or if you know someone who could benefit from tutoring services, please contact Raylynn Stokes, Literacy Coach of the Adult Volunteer Literacy Program, at 708-596-2000, ext. 2558, or email [email protected].
Registration for Spring 2017 Semester – Now in Progress
Open Registration for the Spring 2017 Semester at SSC is in progress. Spring classes begin Monday, January 17, at the college’s Main Campus and Oak Forest Center. The deadline to submit an application for financial aid for the Spring semester at SSC is January 3, 2017. Apply online at www.ssc.edu to begin the enrollment process. New students will receive an SSC email account and a “My SSC” Username & Password via email which will allow access to the online schedule and class registration. The “My SSC” portal also allows students 24-hour access during college closed periods. Current and prospective students are encouraged to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov using institution code 001769. Students who wish to use financial aid as payment for fall classes must have an official high school or GED transcript on file. Official transcripts must have a school seal and graduation date on them. Transcripts can be hand-delivered to the Admissions Office or mailed to: Office of Admissions (15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473). If a transcript is hand-delivered it must be in the original sealed, unopened envelope. Contact the Office of Admissions at 708-210-5718 for enrollment information. SSC’s Main Campus is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois.
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.
Thorn Creek Audubon Society, Park Forest
Nature Education Programs at Thorn Creek Nature Center
Calling all schools, home school groups, day cares, preschools, youth, adult and family groups! Nature Education Programs are offered at Thorn Creek Nature Center throughout the year where your group can discover the plants and animals of Thorn Creek Woods. These Nature Education Programs are sponsored by the Thorn Creek Audubon Society. The Audubon Society and the Thorn Creek Nature Center announce their new Partnership for Programming to further the Society’s environmental education mission and give valuable assistance to Thorn Creek Nature Center in providing nature programming for groups of area children and adults. Some of the nature education programs offered this year include Birding by Sight and Sound, Creek Walk (the world of aquatic insects and metamorphosis), Trees Big and Small (identification by leaves and bark), Insects (what makes an insect unique), the Web of Life (interdependence of producers, consumers, predators and decomposers), Soils Hike (how soil fuels and supports life), and Night Hikes. On the Fall Color Hike learn why leaves change colors and what trees do to prepare for the long months of winter. Discover clues to wild animals’ identities and behavior by trails and trails in Wild Animal Tracks. Make your own track replica. On Vixen’s Trek you are the fox following your daily routines on Thorn Creek trails. Or visit the Historic Farm in the woods to explore an early 1900’s woodland farm. Groups can also arrange for a naturalist to come to your location for programs such as Wild Animal Tracks, Web of Life, Woodland Wildflowers, Soils, History of Thorn Creek Woods, and the like. The new partnership has already collaborated in sponsoring three programs: the Learn 70 Birds by Spring class, which runs from January through March; the Great Backyard Bird Count Open House that was held in February; and the Build a Gourd Birdhouse sessions to be held in March. For information about Thorn Creek Audubon Society membership, events and projects: Thorn Creek Audubon Society, P. O. Box 895, Park Forest, Il 60466, or www.thorncreekaudubonsociety.org.
Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest
Wednesday Morning Walkers
Discover the wonders of spring in a weekly morning walk. Wednesday Morning Walkers meet every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and is free for ages 13 years to adult. Walkers new to the program must register two days before they first hike. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6360.
Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’
Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Thorn Creek Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Friends’ volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways: staff the nature center on weekends; trail work; displays; leading hikes; special events; cleaning; pruning; artwork; music; research; and so on. Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day. Members receive a quarterly newsletter. Annual membership in Friends is $10. For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.
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 or visit www.tcwoods.org.
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 are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html
Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus, 350 Victory Drive
Flu & Pneumonia Shots – Now Available
Flu shots are available now at the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus. The cost is $30 for adults, $20 for those 18 years and under, and free for Medicare Part B recipients (must bring copy of card). Pneumonia shots are also available for $80. No appointment is necessary. Shots are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus, located in the lower level of Village Hall.
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.
Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip
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].
Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest
Yoga Classes by Karen Nielsen – Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays
Yoga classes by Karen Nielsen are available at UUCC on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. No reservations needed. Drop-in fee is $10 per class and the 6th one is free. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.
Buddhist Meditation – Saturdays
Learn to enjoy the simple and straight-forward practice of meditation. Please join us for sitting and walking meditation in the Zen and Theravadan Buddhist traditions. This is an on-going event led by Steve McCabe and Beverly Feldt will be held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at UUCC. There is no cost but a free will offering is most appreciated (proceeds go to UUCC). For additional information contact Steve McCabe at 708-465-3116 or Beverly Feldt at [email protected].
Holiday Events & Activities
Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Chicago
Annual Safe Shopping Guide – Now Available
Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s 2016 Safe Shopping Guide includes detailed descriptions and photographs of children’s products recalled in the last year – from popular children’s toys and games that pose choking hazards to children’s furniture and playsets that pose entrapment or falling risks. Since January, there have been 84 recalls of children’s products by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This easy-to-use resource can help families avoid recalled products on the second-hand market and items that may already be in their homes. This year, some of the products parents should watch out for include baby rattles that can break and cause a choking hazard, toys and jewelry with excessive levels of lead, hoverboards that can overheat and catch on fire and infant carriers that can detach from the adult. Consumers can view and download the 2016 Safe Shopping Guide at Madigan’s website. For more information about product recalls, contact Madigan’s Recall Hotline at 1-888-414-7678. Parents and caregivers can also receive recall alerts directly by signing up at recalls.gov.
Center on Halsted, 3546 North Halsted, Chicago
‘By Women For Women: Glitter Glam Comedy Jam’ – Saturday, December 17
The Center on Halsted’s Women’s Action Committee will host ‘By Women For Women: Glitter Glam Comedy Jam’ on Saturday, December 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This glamorous evening will be filled with comedy, celebration and community. The event will be hosted by Tamale Sepp featuring comedian Mimi Gonzalez with jams from DJ Gemini Jones and Jazz with Lakeside Pride. Holiday Market featuring the perfect gifts for sale from community artists. Admission includes 2 drink tickets, eclectic food tasting stations and champagne toast. Community Leader awards will be presented to She100 and Renauda Riddle. Tickets are: $50.00 in advance or $60.00 at door. There are also VIP tickets available for $75 which includes Open Bar and guaranteed seating upfront within the first 2 rows of the theater. Purchase your tickets here. Say you’re attending on facebook. For additional information, visit: http://www.centeronhalsted.org. Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood.
Grande Prairie Singers, 266 Somonauk, Park Forest
‘Winterlude’ Concert – Sunday, December 11
The Grande Prairie Singers, directed by Jo Rodenburg, opens its 40th season of sharing its passion for singing with its annual ‘Winterlude’ concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, December 11 in St. Lawrence O’Toole Church, 4101 St. Lawrence Avenue, Matteson. This family friendly holiday show features a musical celebration of the season with songs ranging from fifteenth century English songs to contemporary carols. The Singers, inducted into the Park Forest Hall of Fames this past April, is the oldest musical group in the south suburbs will be joined by the delightful and talented Grande Prairie Children’s Choir directed by Oksana Rodak. ‘Winterlude’ is the first of three yearly concerts by the Singers. On Saturday, March 12, 2012, “Hoorah for Handel!” a choral salute to his genius will be presented at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6850 W. 159th St, Tinley Park. The final concert, May 21, 2017, ‘Moses to Max: Jewish Music from the Sinai to Carnegie Deli’ will highlight the compositions of Max Janowski, the longtime musical director of KAM Temple in Chicago and Beth Sholom in Park Forest. It will take place at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Matteson. Season subscription tickets are $40. Single concert tickets are $15; $20 at the door or $10 for students with an ID. Tickets may be ordered online at www.grandeprairiechoral.org or by phone at 708-481-8684.
Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest
‘Winter Wonderland’ Holiday Concert – Saturday, December 17
The IPO will perform a ‘Winter Wonderland’ holiday concert on Saturday, December 17 at 3 p.m. at the Lincoln-Way West Performing Arts Center, 21701 Gouger Road, in New Lenox. Guest Conductor Francesco Miliato makes his debut with the IPO for a very family-friendly event. Maestro will lead the orchestra in familiar favorites from ‘The Nutcracker,’ featuring dancers from Ballet 5:8, along with Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ from “The Four Seasons” and other seasonal classics. In the second half, the orchestra will bring the music from the beloved children’s book and movie, ‘The Polar Express,” to life. Special guests also include the Grande Prairie Singers and the Grande Prairie Children’s Chorus. The afternoon is sure to fill all kids and kids at heart with plenty of holiday spirit. Tickets are $55 for adults and just $5 for children. For additional information or to purchase tickets online visit: www.ipomusic.org or call 708.481.7774.
Park Forest Historical Society
Step Back into a 1950s Christmas – Through January 4
“Step Back into a 1950s Christmas,” exhibit will be on display at the 1950s Park Forest House Museum, 227 Monee Road (in St. Mary’s Catholic Church), open Wednesday and Saturday through January 4 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., or by appointment, if possible. Vintage decorations are on display in every room. A Black Forest green metal tree is decorated in Mid-Twentieth Century ornaments, and stands on a rotating pedestal which plays Christmas carols. The stockings are all hung with care; toys and gifts are under the tree. Period wrapping paper and cards, dolls, toys and games, and even Howdy Doody will take you back to the Holidays of your childhood, or to be shared with other family members and friends. The museum will also have some Vintage Hanukkah decorations on display. Call Jane Nicoll, Museum Director, at 708-481-4252 to confirm opening on December 24 and December 31, or in case of extreme bad weather. 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 around the corner. Admission/donation is $5.00 for adults; 12 and under free with a paying adult. The museum tour is free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Brick. Several Park Forest related gift ideas are available at the museum and in the online store at www.parkforesthistory.org. Parking is in the small lot by the flagpole. Knock on the door next to the museum sign.
Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard
Adult Craft Circle – Sunday December 11
On Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. take some time for yourself and drop in to the Library to create a special craft that will be sure to bring joy to the holiday season. All materials provided while supplies last.
Holiday Story Time – Monday, December 12
On Monday, December 12 at 11 a.m. join us for special Season Readings of popular and traditional holiday stories.
Teen DYI: Clay Ornaments – Tuesday & Wednesday, December 13 & 14
On Tuesday, December 13 at 4 p.m. and Wednesday, December 14 at 4 p.m. the Teen DYI project will be to make clay ornaments. Part 1 of the process is on Tuesday with the project being completed on Wednesday. Get ready to get your hand messy! Create one-of-a-kind holiday ornaments using nothing but clay!
Kids’ Zone Winter Wonderland – Saturday, December 17
On Saturday, December 17 at 1 p.m. kids’ can join us as we celebrate winter! We’re making ornaments, winter pillows and more!
DIY Holiday Gift – Sunday, December 18
On Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. join us for DIY Holiday Gifts. Still looking for a gift to surprise someone special? Look no further. We’re creating something thoughtful that is sure to warm anyone’s heart. For ages 12 and under.
Holiday Pecans – Now on Sale
The Park Forest Public Library will once again be selling holiday pecans for $10 per bag. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Library. Supplies are limited so stop by and pick some up today before they are gone.
Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest
Affordable Art Holiday Sale – Through December 31
The Salon Artists Gallery in DownTown Park Forest will present their Annual Affordable Art Holiday Sale is now running thru December 31. You will find art gifts to fulfill all your giving needs at this unique sale. The Gallery will be open for your shopping pleasure on Tuesdays from 10am until 4pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays from Noon until 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. For more information please contact Pat Moore at 708-833-5108 or Bev Szaton at 708-703-7806. Visit our website at http://www.salonartistsgallery.com.
South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 State Street, South Holland
Give the Gift of Scholarship this Holiday Season
The South Suburban College Foundation (SSCF) is seeking year-end gifts from those who wish to help make a difference in the lives of local college students in need of financial assistance. The SSCF Scholarship Donor Drive will continue through the end of the year, providing both a charitable gift opportunity and tax-deduction for all donors. The SSCF support provides scholarship assistance each year to many students who otherwise would be unlikely to begin or complete their college education. One-hundred percent (100%) of Donor Drive donations benefit scholarship and student assistance funds. Whether in support of a high school graduate, an unemployed resident looking for a career change, or a single parent pursuing their college degree for the first time, the SSCF offers scholarship assistance to all students in need. Helping students achieve their college dream can give them the tools to improve their lives and their communities. All scholarship contributions to the SSCF are 100% tax-deductible (TIN: 23-7191738). The SSCF staff works cooperatively with individuals and organizations to develop a donor plan of any level. New scholarships can also be established with a $750 donation. The SSCF has set a fundraising goal of $200,000 for Fiscal Year 2016-17 to support student success. Donations may be made online at www.ssc.edu/foundation. For more information, please contact the Foundation Office at 708-596-2000, ext. 2463 or [email protected].
Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest
The Great Gift Gallery – Through January 7
Tall Grass Arts Association will hold The Great Gift Gallery, featuring fine art and crafts for the holidays will be held through Saturday, January 7. The Great Gift Gallery is open to the public. A collection of high-quality and affordable gifts by several regional artists, the show will provide a wonderful range of original art and crafts for the home, apparel, and gift-giving. Artists include: Terry Boykin, Nick Galette, Jan Podbielski, Carey Primeau, Sylvester Robinson, Julena Rupais, Flynn Sochon and Susan Wade. Curator for the Great Gift Gallery is Janet Muchnik. Tall Grass Arts Association is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.
Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest
‘Prairie Chapel’ Print – Makes Perfect Holiday Gift
The perfect winter gift giving present for art lovers and for nature lovers is now available. Inspired by the Thorn Creek Nature Center, “Prairie Chapel”, is an original graphite drawing by local artist Marikay Peter Witlock. Through a generous donation by the artist, 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 Woods 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”. It is printed on acid free 80 lb. paper. Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization. Donations to Friends, over the value of the Prairie Chapel print (valued at $75) are tax-deductible. To view a framed “Prairie Chapel” print, visit Thorn Creek Nature Center Friday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information about “Prairie Chapel” or to register for Woodland Carols, please contact Thorn Creek Nature Center at 708-747-6320 or email [email protected].
Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights
2016 Handmade Market – Through December 17
USC will host its 2016 Handmade Market through Saturday, December 17. The Market is open to the public. You will find something for everyone this holiday thanks to the talents of Pam Eberlin, Dorita Fuller, Madeline Henry, Alexis Moulds, Melvina Stemley, Suzanne Dreher, Anitra Frazier, Aline Keith, Joe McIlhaney, Pat Moore to name a few. For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit www.unionstreetgallery.org.
Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest
Rainbow Café to Screen ‘Make the Yuletide Gay’ – Friday, December 16
The Rainbow Café will screen the movie ‘Make the Yuletide Gay’ on Friday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. The Rainbow Café is located at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Park Forest. Having to spend Christmas apart was always going to be difficult for new boyfriends Nathan and Gunn. After all, Nathan has to spend the festive season with his distant, cold Mum and Dad and Gunn is going to have to go right back in the closet to survive the holidays with his wacky parents. But when Nathan surprises everyone by turning up unannounced on the doorstep Gunn is forced to juggle his desperate charade whilst curbing the couple’s ever-growing desire to be in each other’s arms. It soon becomes clear that he is going to have to make a tough call – come out of that Christmas closet or spend this vacation a virgin! A worldwide festival hit with a heart of gold and filled with bright, witty dialogue, ‘Make the Yuletide Gay’ is one holiday treat you will want to savor. The Rainbow Café is a social event that provides a safe and welcoming environment for single or partnered gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults and their allies, by creating a space where they are able to socialize outside of the usual bars. The Café is open every 3rd Friday of the month from 6:30-10:30 pm. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.
Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive
Shop Locally This Holiday Season
The hustle and bustle of the holidays are upon us. To enjoy your holidays to the fullest by cutting down on the stress, long store lines and parking problems that come with this time of the year, shop locally. While Park Forest may not have many ‘big name’ retailers, there are plenty of shops where you can find a unique gift for that someone special. And the Village has made it very easy to locate these vendors through its annual comprehensive Shopping and Service Guide. You can Download the Guide that has active links to local business websites. Copies are also available in Village Hall Lobby, 350 Victory Drive or contact Monica DeLord at 708-283-5617 or [email protected] to obtain a copy.
This & That
League of Women Voters – Park Forest Area
Discussion on Cook County Criminal Justice System – Saturday, December 17
Please join The League of Women Voters – Park Forest Area on Saturday, December 17th at 10:30 a.m. at the Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, for the monthly meeting. The program is free and open to the public. The speaker, Janice Goldberg, Co-Chair of the Cook County League of Women Voters Criminal Justice Interest Group, will discuss the finding of the CCLWV’s study of the Cook County Criminal Justice System. The Criminal Justice group was initiated after a 2014 report from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, which focused on the inequities of the pre-trial system. Ms. Goldberg will discuss the group’s findings, recommendations for improvements and their commitment for the future. They plan to follow up with observations and interviews to monitor progress on the study’s recommendations. A native of West Rogers Park in Chicago, Jan Goldberg attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she majored in Teaching of Secondary Social Studies. She earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies at Northeastern University. She has been involved with the League of Women Voters since the 1990’s, becoming more actively involved since retirement and was nominated by her local League to act as liaison to the Cook County League Board. We hope that you will join us for this meeting, which promises to be informative. This presentation will close out the fall series of topics that reflect our ongoing commitment to quality of life issues and that inform others of our mission of educating and advocacy. For more information you may contact Diane Hodges at [email protected] or Barbara Moore at 708-481-5251.
Prairie State College (PSC), 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights
Donations to the Manteno Veterans Home — Through December 15
The College is conducting the seventh annual supply collection for the male and female veterans living at the Manteno Veterans Home through Dec. 15. All donations can be dropped off in the Student Veterans Center. The home needs t-shirts, underwear, socks, toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and other toiletry items. These are the items that the veterans are not supplied by the Veterans Administration. If the veteran does not have family that brings these items, they are forced to do without or recycle what they have. For more information on the annual veterans supply collection or information about the services PSC offers to veterans, contact Georges Sanon, coordinator, student veterans’ center, at 708-709-3567 or [email protected].
South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 South State Street, South Holland
Two-Day Baseball Catching Camp – Registration Now in Progress
SSC Head Baseball Coach Steve Ruzich will be directing a two-day Catching Camp on Monday, December 26th and Tuesday, December 27th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Coach Ruzich has directed youth camps for the past 30 years and has taught baseball skills at many other baseball camps throughout the state. This clinic will provide catching instruction in the areas of blocking, calling a game, pick offs, pop throwing times, stance and footwork, drills for practice, pop ups, handling pitchers, and conditioning. In addition to Ruzich’s instruction, Bulldog baseball players will be on hand to help and develop skills. The players’ enthusiasm and expertise always adds to the camp’s success. The Catching Camp is open to boys ages 8-18. All players should bring their glove and gear. All participants should wear baseball or sweat pants and gym shoes, and boys must wear cups. Coach Ruzich was an All-American catcher at the College of St. Francis. He graduated in 1985 and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox. Coach Ruzich had a short stint as a pro catcher before coming to SSC as Head Baseball Coach in 1987, where he has compiled a winning record of 1069-640. The cost of the Catching Camp is $100, and checks should be made payable to SSC Bulldog Baseball. Enrollment is limited, so early registration is suggested. For more information contact Coach Ruzich at 708-225-5843.
Vendors Needed for SSC Annual Women’s Conference
SSC is planning their Annual Women’s Conference and is seeking interested vendors who would like to promote their business. The conference is for women of all ages and is designed to help women discover how they may enhance, explore, and enrich their lives both personally and professionally. Over 200 women participated at last year’s conference and their positive responses rated the Women’s Conference a huge success. The 2017 Chicago Women’s conference will be Friday March 17, 2017. We are currently accepting applications for exhibitors for this year’s conference. To request an application please email [email protected] or contact Gervaise Edwards at 708-596-2000, ext. 6032.
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