Artwork by Mary Ann Trzyna is featured in Tall Grass Arts Association’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ exhibit

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF) — Park Forest’s Tall Grass Arts Association’s current exhibition is ‘A Winter’s Tale’ featuring the paintings, drawings and photographs by six regional. Nearly fifty works fill the gallery walls with images of the season. Through their visions of various cold weather moments the artists remind us how visually exciting and beautiful this time of year is. Additional information about the exhibit can be found in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

The flu and pneumonia season is upon us.  In order to help you and your loved ones prevent getting ill this holiday season, the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus is currently offering flu and pneumonia shots. Ensure that your holidays will be healthy by getting your shots today.  Details can be found in the ‘Healthy Living’ section.

Before heading out to do your holiday shopping, don’t forget to check the ‘Holiday Events & Activities’ section below for information on events aroundtown 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 RJPiserLPH@aol.com 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 RJPiserLPH@aol.com with the details no later than 5 p.m. on Friday.  Thank you.

Village of Park Forest

Village Board Meetings – Monday, December 5

The Village of Park Forest Board is scheduled to meet on Monday, December 5 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 Commission is scheduled to meet the week of December 4:

Tuesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission

The meeting 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/.

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

‘Then Sings My Soul Christmas’ – Tuesday, December 6

A performance of ‘Then Sings My Soul Christmas’ will take place at Freedom Hall on Tuesday, December 6 at 11 a.m. “Then Sings My Soul Christmas” is an inspiring concert of great American music that includes well-known Christmas tunes, popular Broadway favorites, beloved jazz standards, and stunning spirituals.  Join award-winning mezzo-soprano Cheryse McLeod Lewis and (Name of the Choir joining Ms. Lewis on the show) as they share some of the best American music and most famous Christmas songs ever written.  This entertaining show consistently delights audiences of all ages and is a concert that is sure to satisfy the soul and get you into the Christmas spirit! View a video of Cheryse McLeod Lewis. Tickets are $15. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call Freedom Hall at 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.org.

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 4:

Monday, December 5 at 11 a.m. – Sunrise Story Time — Jump start your morning with a series of stories that are sure to get you moving. For ages 12 and under.

Tuesday, December 6 at 2 p.m. – Art Studio — It’s time to create! Materials will be provided. For ages 12 and under.

Tuesday, December 6 at 4 p.m. — Color-Rama! Coloring Circle — Relax a bit and take a load off before starting your homework. Learn different media of art and show your creativity with other teens in our coloring circle!

Tuesday, December 6 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 at 6:30 p.m. – Bath Bomb Party — Come join us for our Bath Bomb Party. Learn how to create a fizzy bath bomb loaded with essential oils and more…Materials provided while supplies last.

Thursday, December 8 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 8 at 3:30 p.m. – Make & Take — Drop in for a special holiday Make & Take to kick off the winter season.

Thursday, December 8 at 4 p.m. – Teen DIY Holiday Craft — The holidays are right around the corner! Create something special to start the holiday season off right!

Friday, December 9 at 12 p.m. – Express Yourself — Explore a variety of arts & craft materials and express your inner artist. We’ll provide the materials, you provide the creativity! So let go, have fun, and Express Yourself!

Friday, December 9 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.

Saturday, December 10 at 10 a.m. – All Day Holiday Crafts — Season Greetings! Get in the holiday spirit with projects that are sure to spice up your holiday décor. For ages 12 and under.

Saturday, December 10 at 1 p.m. – Worm Composting — Learn the many values of composting food items in your own kitchen with this fun-family oriented program hosted by experts from the University of Illinois Extension Service. An hour sure to delight kids and parents alike; no registration required.

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.

For additional information, or to register for an event call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Friends of the Library Meeting – Tuesday, December 6

The Friends of the Library will meet on Tuesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. at the Park Forest Public Library.  Support our mission to open doors to a world of information, education, and recreation.  The event is open to the public.  For additional information, contact Barbara Osuch at 708-748-3731, extension 16 or email Barbara.Osuch@pfpl.org.

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

‘Organic’ – Through December 8

‘Organic,’ featuring works by Karen Ami, Renee Robbins, Allison Svoboda, and Ana Zanic will run through Thursday, December 8 at PSC’s Christopher Art Gallery.  The exhibit is free and open to the public. This exhibit focuses on works in a wide range of media using forms that are organic, shapes and forms that are irregular and based in nature. Additional information can be found in the Gallery Guide. The Christopher Art Gallery Regular Hours are Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and by appointment.  For additional information or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibit phone 708-709-3636 or visit http://prairiestate.edu/christopher-art-gallery.

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.

Adult Coloring

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

Student Recital – Tuesday, December 6

The SSC Student Recital will be held on Tuesday, December 6 at 2 p.m. in SSC’s Kindig Performing Arts Center on the University’s South Holland campus.  The event is free and open to the public although donations to benefit the Music Scholarship Fund are appreciated.  For additional information, call 708-596-200, extension 2316.

Jazz Combo and Jazz Orchestra Concert – Wednesday, December 7

The SSC Jazz Combo and Jazz Orchestra will perform on Wednesday, December 7 at 7 p.m. in SSC’s Kindig Performing Arts Center on the University’s South Holland campus.   The musicians of SSC’s Jazz Combo and Jazz Orchestra will thrill you with tunes by such jazz legends as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Thad Jones and Dizzy Gillespie.  Both groups are led by Sam Hankins. The event is free and open to the public although donations to benefit the Music Scholarship Fund are appreciated.  For additional information, call 708-596-200, extension 2316.

Student Art Exhibit – Through Thursday, December 3, 2016

The Art & Design Department of SSC is pleased to announce that their Biannual Student Art Exhibit will be on display through Thursday, December 8th. More than 300 original artworks of painting, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, computer graphics, jewelry, and digital art created by SSC student artists will be displayed in the Dorothea Thiel, Photo Four, and the Lee E. Dulgar Galleries. A Pot Luck Reception will be held Thursday December 8th 12:30 p.m. in the Art & Design Department on the 4th Floor. Exhibits are viewable to the public at no charge Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Thiel and Photo Four Galleries are on the 4th floor in the Art & Design hallway, while the Dulgar Gallery is located on the college’s 1st floor. The galleries are closed on weekends and holidays. Please stop by to marvel at the creative spirit exhibited by our students in our galleries. For more information, please call 708-596-2000, ext. 2445 or ext. 2300, or visit www.ssc.edu/art.

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’ – Opens Friday, December 9

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 9, 10, 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, 2016 performance. Donations of all new and gently used children’s books will be accepted at The Drama Group Studio Building in Chicago Heights during “Tech Week” (December 4 – 7, 7:00-9:00pm) and throughout the run of the performances (December 9 – 18, 7:00 – 9:00pm and 1:30 – 4:00pm 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

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

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

Second Annual Inclusive Leadership Conference – Registration Open Through Friday, December 9

GSU is pleased to announce its second annual Inclusive Leadership Conference scheduled for Friday, January 20, 2017. The conference is designed to help GSU’s campus and surrounding community create an understanding and appreciation for multiple identities through self-awareness while encouraging them to be free of misconceptions and prejudices through social justice education. Through interactive workshops and guided group discussions, participants will be able to:  articulate principles of social justice, recognize how their own experiences inform their leadership style and perceptions, understand the importance of diversity in leadership, and identify dynamics of power and privilege when working in groups. This year’s theme, “Stop the Violence: Listen, Learn, Lead!!!”, speaks to how violence impacts multiple identities of diversity and will demonstrate how education can empower participants with knowledge that will help them recognize how their background and skills can play an influential role in ending violence one leader at a time through social change. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Kevin Lamarr James, Director of Services Learning Department of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago. GSU is asking for workshop proposals that are in line with this year’s theme. Workshop submissions are due by December 9, 2016 and may be submitted at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/inclusivegsu. Registration is open until Friday, December 9, 2016. Registration is FREE to GSU students and open to community members and students at other institutions for a $15 fee. Breakfast and lunch will be included. Register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/inclusive2016. For more information call 708-534-4551 or email diversity@govst.edu or visit http://www.govst.edu/Diversity/

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

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.

Green Events

Sauk-Calumet Sierra Club, Matteson

Presentation on Cook County Forest Preserves – Monday, December 5

Due to a scheduling conflict, the December meeting of the Sauk-Calumet Sierra Club Group will be held on Monday, December 5 at 7:15 p.m. at the Frankfort Public Library.  Normally, the meeting is held on the second Monday of the month. Jacquie Ulrich, Special Events Director for the Cook County Forest Preserves, will give a presentation about the new opportunities in the Forest Preserves, such as 5 new tent-camping and cabin-camping sites, plus canoeing, kayaking, and more. Afterwards, the gathering will continue at Durbin’s in Frankfort for discussion and pizza. The Library is at 21119 Pfeiffer Rd. in Frankfort, visible from Rt. 30, about a half mile east of LaGrange Rd.  For questions or better directions to the Library, email Patrick Coffey at pjc1000@comcast.net.

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.

Healthy Living

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

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 gwashington@sertomacentre.org.

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 bevfeldt@gmail.com.

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.

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

‘Then Sings My Soul Christmas’ – Tickets Now on Sale

A performance of ‘Then Sings My Soul Christmas’ will take place at Freedom Hall on Tuesday, December 6 at 11 a.m. “Then Sings My Soul Christmas” is an inspiring concert of great American music that includes well-known Christmas tunes, popular Broadway favorites, beloved jazz standards, and stunning spirituals.  Join award-winning mezzo-soprano Cheryse McLeod Lewis and (Name of the Choir joining Ms. Lewis on the show) as they share some of the best American music and most famous Christmas songs ever written.  This entertaining show consistently delights audiences of all ages and is a concert that is sure to satisfy the soul and get you into the Christmas spirit! View a video of Cheryse McLeod Lewis. Tickets are $15. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call Freedom Hall at 708-747-0580 or visit www.freedomhall.org.

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 – Tickets Now on Sale

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

The Park Forest Historical Society invites you to step back into a 1950s Christmas at the Park Forest House Museum located at 227 Monee Road. The Museum will be decorated for the holidays through January 4 and is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free with an adult. Purchase a brick from the old Park Forest Marshall Field’s Building and your Museum tour is free. There is also other Park Forest-related gifts for sale. For additional information, visit www.parkforesthistory.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

Make & Take – Thursday, December 8

On Thursday, December 8 at 3:30 p.m. drop into the Library for a special holiday Make & Take to kick off the winter season.

Teen DIY Holiday Craft – Thursday, December 8

On Thursday, December 8 at 4 p.m. create something special to start the holiday season off right!

All Day Holiday Crafts – Saturday, December 10

On Saturday, December 10 beginning at 10 a.m. the Library will have All Day Holiday Crafts. Get in the holiday spirit with projects that are sure to spice up your holiday décor. For ages 12 and under.

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 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

Holiday Concert – Friday, December 9

On Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m., SSC will host a Holiday Concert in the Kindig Performing Arts Center on the University’s South Holland campus.  Join the good cheer as the SSC Voices, PAC Rats Theatre Company, and Symphonic Band will present their annual Holiday Card to the Community. The event is free and open to the public although donations to benefit the Music Scholarship Fund are appreciated.  For additional information, call 708-596-200, extension 2316.

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 foundation@ssc.edu.

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

Woodland Carols – Saturday, December 10

Start your holiday season off right by giving to others during “Woodland Carols” on Saturday, December 10 from noon to 2 p.m. at Thorn Creek Nature Center.   Savor homemade soups while listening to holiday music by popular area performers.   The event is an annual holiday food drive for the Rich Township Food Pantry.  You won’t want to miss this!  Woodland Carols will feature performers Bittersweet Christmas Band, Anna Stange and Ingrid Krizan.  Register now for the “Woodland Carols” program.  Cost for program is $10 per person, or one bag of groceries per person.   Bittersweet Christmas Band presents a potpourri of music that represents every possible perspective on the holiday season from the reverent to the ridiculous. Two-to-four-part harmonies and masterful instrumentation on guitar, banjo, mountain dulcimer, hand drum and other percussion instruments make the Bittersweet Christmas Band an act not to be missed! Margaret Nelson is a songwriter and vocalist whose crystal clear tones make the holiday music come to life. Phil Cooper is well known for his beautiful arrangements of traditional ballads and tunes. His exceptional guitar playing provides the perfect melodic setting for each song this band performs. Susan Urban, a well-respected song writer and “wise” woman, provides both lead and harmony vocals as well as solid rhythm guitar back-up. Add Kate Early’s strong harmonies and sense of humor, and you have a band that has a great time making music. Bittersweet Christmas Band has released three recordings: “Dance In the Dark of the Year”, “Yuletide Magic” and “Glad and Golden Hours.” Ingrid Krizan, Thorn Creek naturalist by day and concert cellist by night, weaves nature narratives into musical renditions fitting to the season. Her offerings strive to underline the relevant connections between life, nature, and art music. Anna Stange, a favorite performer for Woodland Carols, excels as a singer, song-writer, peace activist, quilter and gardener. Join Anna as she brings her subtly quiet yet on-target sense of humor and humanity back to our stage once again. Anna will close out the concert by leading our seasonal sing-along. The Pantry, located on Governors Highway, regularly feeds over 750 low-income families from the ten surrounding communities in Rich Township.   All donations from Woodland Carols will help to feed these local families during the holiday season. Last year’s event provided bags of groceries and $380 in donations to the Food Pantry.  Donation items can be dropped off at the nature center during open hours, Friday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m.   Acceptable items are:  non-perishable food items (including boxed, canned and dry foods) especially cereals and peanut butter; personal care items for men and women, especially toothpaste, deodorants and razors; ziplock quart and gallon size bags; baby formula; and disposable diapers (adult and infant). Items will be accepted through Saturday, December 10.   For more information about Woodland Carols or to register, please contact Thorn Creek Nature Center at 708-747-6320 or email thorn_creek@att.net.

‘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 thorn_creek@att.net.

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.

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 mdelord@vopf.com 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 diane-hodges@comcast.net or Barbara Moore at 708-481-5251.

Park Forest Toastmaster Club

‘Toast to the Community’ Event – Tuesday, December 6

The Park Forest Toastmasters Club will host a ‘Toast to the Community’ event on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard in Park Forest. The event is open to the public.  Refreshments will be served. The Park Forest Toastmasters Club meets on the first and fourth Tuesday of each month. For additional information, visit:  http://parkforesttoastmasters.toastmastersclubs.org/. Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization currently has more than 260,000 members in over 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Since its founding in October 1924, the organization has helped more than 4 million men and women give presentations with poise and confidence.

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 gsanon@prairiestate.edu.

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.

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