List of upcoming community events (Feb. 27, 2013)

PIT Crew to host Family Fun Night. Clara Peterson Elementary School’s Parent Involvement Team (PIT Crew) will sponsor Family Fun Night on Thursday, Feb. 28. The event is for local elementary students and their families. As part of the event, participants can visit “Earth’s Wild Ride,” a mobile domed digital theater system. Four shows will be offered: at 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m. “Enter the dome and experience a water canyon ride near an erupting volcano, venture through the Ice Age, see dinosaurs and asteroids!” a news release said. Also available at the event will be constellation crafts, popcorn and science games in gomputer lab. There is free admission.

Tea Party to offer informational meeting. The Iroquois County Tea Party will offer an informational meeting on Agenda 21 and the Common Core State Learning Standards at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Crescent City Community Center. Keynote speakers are Dottie Macqueen and Rich Porter, who are both experienced researchers in the Agenda 21 and the Common Core State Standards. Common Core State Standards are a federal program in which the federal government will define the curricula and the academic standards for each subject taught in the every school setting. According to the Iroquois County Tea Party, “these federal standards will basically eliminate local control of schools and provide unfettered access to curricula by the federal government and by the United Nations eventually.” Also, “the cost for implementing these standards may require a new method of taxation that is more accommodating for federal control of the educational system,” according to the tea party.

Jerky-making contest set for March in Iroquois County. A contest to see who can make the best home-made jerky will be held Sunday, March 3, at the Longbranch Bar in downtown L’Erable in Iroquois County. The fourth annual Buckland “Jerk Off” Deer jerky contest runs from noon to 4 p.m. Free registration begins at noon.  Contestants are asked to bring enough of their own blend of jerky — deer, beef, turkey, goose or any other edible meat — cut into sample-sized pieces.  There were 24 entries and 60 attendees last year.

Peruvian Trio to perform in Cissna Park. The Hathaways Peruvian Trio will perform at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at Creekside Prairie in Cissna Park. Art Up Close, a Central Illinois arts council, is sponsoring the event.  Siblings Kate and James Hathaway will team up with Tom Turino, their former and now recently retired professor of musicology and anthropology at the University of Illinois. The Hathaways are an indie-pop duo originally from Rossville, whose music combines original songwriting with unique Andean folk influences.  The trio will also play traditional music of the Peruvian Andes, incorporating the charango (a 10-string lute), kena (a wooden flute) and guitar. To purchase tickets and make reservations, call Sue Wellman at 815-457-2453 or email Tickets are available at the door, but reservations are appreciated. 

Annex resident to hold book signing. Gibson Area Hospital (GAH) Long-Term Care Annex resident Jani Fraim will hold a special book signing at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in the GAH LTC Annex for her book “Stranger Danger in the GAH Annex living room.” 

UI Extension to hold ag breakfast. The University of Illinois Ford Iroquois Extension Ag Breakfast will start at 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the Ford-Iroquois Extension Office, located at 912 W. Seminary in Onarga. Jean Payne, president of Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, is presenting a program entitled “What is Agriculture Doing to Address Nutrient Issues?” Reservations are required by noon, March 5. Registration is online at or contact the office at 815-268-4051 or in need of a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program may call the office by Feb. 28.

Tim Cavanagh to speak to Gibson Chamber. The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 14, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a cash bar, followed by dinner at 6:30, presentation of the Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year at 7:15 and entertainment beginning at 7:45. Comedian Tim Cavanagh is the featured speaker. He has appeared on Comedy Central, ABC-TV, Showtime, WGN and Comcast, as well as “The Bob & Tom Show,” a nationally syndicated radio show. The meeting is open to chamber members and their guests. “This is a free event for the chamber member and three of their guests. If the chamber member wants to bring more than three guests, they will have to pay $25 per person in advance for the additional guests to attend,” a news release said. Reservations must be made by Friday, March 8, by emailing, calling 784-2495 or mailing Gibson Area Chamber, P.O. Box 294, Gibson City, IL  60936.

Concert to take place in Melvin. Rick Flessner & Friends will perform a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Melvin Community Hall, 108 E. Main St. A guest appearance will also be made by Lauren Wadley. An admission fee will be charged. Children 12 and under enter for free. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, or to order tickets, call Norman or Judy Schall at 388-2853.

Local woman to accept used prom dresses. A Paxton woman is asking people to donate their used prom dresses so they can be rented or sold at a low cost to local teenagers who might otherwise not be able to afford them. The prom-dress collection drive is being organized by Debbie Kafer. It will culminate with the Paxton Prom Dress Event, scheduled for Saturday, March 2, from 2-4 p.m. at the Paxton Market Street Theatre, 120 N. Market St. At the event, all the prom dresses donated will be available for purchase or rental. Fitting rooms will be set up so the dresses can be tried on. All proceeds will be distributed between two local nonprofit organizations: the PBL Area Community Food Pantry and the Tri-County Players theater group. Also, anyone who donates a dress will be given the choice of renting another one free of charge or receiving a gift certificate for a free half-hour massage from Kafer, a licensed massage therapist. Desserts will be served at the event. The desserts will be made by Kafer’s sister, Deanna Shane, owner of Creations by De. To donate a dress in advance of the event, drop off the dress at Kafer’s home at 6 Dawn Avenue in Paxton or call her at 778-9528. “The main purpose of this event is just to get dresses in the hands of girls who don’t have $200 to spend at M2 on dressses,” Kafer said. “It’s basically to help out.”

Diabetes event to take place in Champaign. Carle is hosting a free community diabetes event March 5, from 6-8:30 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center, to educate Central Illinois residents who have prediabetes and diabetes.  Type One, Type Two, Type You will be structured similar to educational events hosted annually in larger metropolitan areas – such as Chicago and Indianapolis – featuring exhibitors, national and local diabetes product retailers, an expert panel discussion as well as keynote speaker Jim Turner, a highly regarded actor and television series host who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in high school. Due to limited seating, the public is asked to RSVP by calling (217) 383-3021.

Southern gospel group to perform at Dewey church. Jakes Boys, a local southern gospel singing group, will in concert at 5 p.m. March 3, and a homemade pie auction will take place at the Dewey Community Church, 16 Third St., Dewey. More information can be obtained by calling (217) 897- 6488.

Catholic Women to sponsor blessing. The Ford-Iroquois Council of Catholic Women (CCW) will sponsor its annual Blessing of Soil and Seed Mass at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Immaculate Conception Parish, 224 Secor St., Gilman. Those attending are asked to bring farm or garden seeds and soil to be blessed. Following the mass, the CCW of Immaculate Conception will provide a dessert bar. Celebrant for the mass will be Bishop Conlon. Concelebrants will be Father Vern Arseneau, the CCW Deanery spiritual advisor, and parish spiritual advisors. The Knights of Columbus Council will also participate in the mass.

Tea Party to hold informational meeting. The Iroquois County Tea Party is holding its March informational meeting at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Crescent City Community Center. There is no fee to attend. Steve Beaman from the Steve Beaman Group will be the keynote speaker.  He will speak on the “sequestration” along with the State of the Union Address.

Lutheran School to host fish fry. St. Paul’s Lutheran School of Woodworth will host a fish fry Friday, March 22, at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, 108 W. Woodworth Road, Milford. Carryout orders will be available in the cafeteria starting at 4 p.m. Serving in the gym will begin at 5 p.m. The menu includes fish, cole slaw, baked beans, chips, pie, ice cream and drinks.

Foodservice sanitation manager’s course set. A foodservice sanitation manager’s course will be offered Monday, March 18, and  Wednesday, March 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the ILEAS Training Center, the former Champaign Co Nursing Home, at 1701 E. Main St., Urbana. The exam will be Monday, March 25, from 9-11 a.m. at ILEAS.  Persons needing recertification for their Illinois Department of Public Health certificate may attend the second day, Wednesday, March 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register or for more information, contact Sue Summerville at 684-2435.

Church women to hold rummage sale. The Presbyterian Women of Piper City will hold a rummage sale in the basement of the Presbyterian Church on Margaret Avenue on March 14-16. Sale hours are Thursday, March 14, from 3-6 p.m.;  Friday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Saturday, March 16, opening at 9 a.m. with all items for sale for 50 cents. From 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 16, there will be a sale of $1 per bag for whatever items can be put in a grocery sack. Funds raised are used for supporting local mission projects. Items not sold are sent to World Relief at Fairbury, the Veterans Home at Manteno, the Salvation Army and Harbor House.

Photo opportunity for dogs. Dogs can get their photos taken with the Easter Bunny as part of a fundraiser at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16, to raise money to build a dog park in Paxton. The fundraiser will be held at Designer Dog Salon, 110 S. Market St. “Bring your pups to see that wascally wabbit and donate to help the dog park to raise the money we need to get the fence so we can all enjoy the dog park!” a news release said. For more information, contact Angie Russell, a member of the Paxton Dog Park Committee, at

ExplorACES set for March 8-9 at U of I. The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is giving potential students an opportunity to ExplorACES on Friday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 2,000 students are expected to attend the two-day, student-run event that acquaints prospective and admitted ACES students with the college’s faculty, curriculum and vast selection of student organizations and opportunities. Information will be available on study-abroad programs, potential careers, and how students can apply for nearly $2 million in scholarships. Prospective students will get a glimpse of all the college has to offer with more than 125 exhibits showcasing academics, research and student development. A reception for admitted students will complete Saturday’s activities at the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building.  For more information, visit

Farm Bureau to host breakfast. The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor two Viewpoint Breakfast Meetings.  The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7, beginning at 7:30 a.m., at Happy Days Diner in Roberts. The meetings will begin with breakfast followed by discussion on the topics members wish to talk about.  Viewpoint is the name given to Farm Bureau’s grassroots effort to raise issues and concerns from members.  There is no charge for member to attend and reservations are not needed.

Reunion to take place in June. The Piper City/Ford Central Alumni Reunion will  be held Saturday, June 1, at the old Piper City gym. Dinner will be at 6 p.m., with Ne’s Place of Piper City catering the meal. Honored classes will be those ending in 3’s and 8’s. Letters will be sent to alumni by the end of February. For more information, call Ruth Rice Kurtenbach at 309-728-2263 or email her at

Church to  host food giveaway. St Paul’s Lutheran Church and Eastern Illinois Foodbank are teaming up to distribute a truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank to hungry area families. The distribution will be held at Full Gospel Christian Fellowship, located at 619 S. Railroad Ave. in Paxton from 9-11 a.m. March 16. More information can be obtained by calling Andrea Rundell of Eastern Illinois Foodbank at (217) 328-3663.

Zumba Fitness class held at Cissna Park. There will be a free Zumba Fitness class held at Creekside Community Center in Cissna Park on 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9. This event will be instructed  by licensed Zumba Fitness instructors Cierra Grohler and Amanda Nelson.


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