List of upcoming community events (April 10, 2013)

Blood drive Thursday at Paxton church. An American Red Cross blood drive is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Father Paul F. Dinan Parish Hall, 150 N. Maple St., Paxton. The blood drive is sponsored by the St. Mary Catholic Church’s Council of Catholic Women. For an appointment, call Gigi Jarboe at 379-2255. People who last donated blood on or before Feb. 14 may be eligible to donate at the blood drive. Donors are asked to bring photo identification or a Red Cross blood donor card.

Buckley Legion Auxiliary to meet Thursday. The Byron Hickerson Unit 432 of the American Legion Auxiliary will hold its regular monthly meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Legion Hall in Buckley.

Republican women to hold spring dinner. The Iroquois County Republican Women’s Club will hold its annual spring dinner Thursday, April 11, at Celebrations, 209 W. Oak St., Watseka. The event begins with a meet-and-greet from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30. The guest speaker is Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa. There will be a cash bar. Tickets can be purchased at Illiana Backyard Fun in Watseka, Main Street Gifts in Watseka, Inside Out in Gilman and WHPO Radio in Hoopeston.

Diabetes support group sets meeting. A diabetes support group meeting will be held from 7-8 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in the radiology waiting room at Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City. The program is entitled “What You Should Know About Diabetes.” For more information, call Eileen Woolums at 784-4093.

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ auditions approaching. The Country Theatre Workshop north of Cissna Park is holding auditions for its upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, and 10 a.m. Saturday, April 13. Auditions will be held at the Country Theatre Workshop, located on Illinois 49 about 2 miles north of Cissna Park. Adult and teen performers are needed. For more information, visit or email or

Bowl for Kids Sake set for Saturday.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ford County will sponsor Bowl for Kid’s Sake on Saturday, April 13, at Country Tyme  Lanes in Rantoul. Teams can still register by emailing

Hospital to host fundraiser. Gibson Area Hospital will host the GAH Foundation and Auxiliary’s Spring Fundraiser on Friday, April 13. This year’s theme is “The GrAHmmy’s: Decades of Music.” Reservations can be made by calling 784-2600.

‘Barefoot in the Park’ to be shown April 12-14. Side by Side Productions will present Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” on April 12-14 at Fr. Kirk Memorial Hall, 534 N. Wood St., Gibson City.  The dessert performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. “Barefoot in the Park” is one of Simon’s best-known plays and tells the story of newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter.  Paul is a buttoned-down lawyer whose idea of fun is organizing his neckties. Corie, however, is a free spirit who is always ready for a new adventure. As the two adjust to married life in their tiny Greenwich Village apartment, they not only have to adjust to a five-flight climb to their apartment and the hole in their skylight, but also their eccentric upstairs neighbor and Corie’s mother’s occasional visit.  When Corie tries to play matchmaker to her mother and Mr. Velasco plans go from bad to worse. Mike O’Brien of Gibson City plays Paul with Vie Anglin-Jones of Saybrook filling the role of Corie. Mr. Velasco is played by Greg Herriott of Paxton with Anne Newman of Paxton playing Corie’s mother.  Rounding out the cast is Haiden Coates of Gibson City as the telephone repairman. The show is directed by Rich Perkins of Sibley. Tickets for the dessert show may be reserved by calling 260-782-4378.

Thrift store offering bag discount. The Community Thrift Shop of Paxton is hosting a bag sale through Saturday, April 13. Starting Wednesday, April 10, and running through Saturday, patrons can bring in their own bag and save money on purchases. “If you bring your own grocery brown paper bag, the first bag will be free, then every additional bag will be 25 cents, whether you bring your own bag or not,” a news release said. The shop will be closed Wednesday, April 17, so the store can put out the summer items. It will re-open April 18. The shop is located above Hudson Drug & Hallmark Shop in downtown Paxton.

Church to host performances. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will be hosting two 45-minute performances Sunday, April 14. Matthew Moore, a professional actor, director and educator, will present “King David” during the 10 a.m. worship service and “John’s Gospel” at 1:30 p.m.

Book fair starts Monday at PBL Jr. High. The Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School library, with the Scholastic Book Fair Co., is sponsoring its “Buy One, Get One” book fair starting Monday, April 15, and running through Friday, April 19. At the book fair, for every item a person buys, he or she gets an item of equal or lesser value free of charge. In addition to regular school hours, the fair will be open extra hours Tuesday, April 16, from 5-7:30 p.m.   For more information, call the school library at 379-9202 or visit

Benefit for baby Emma set for Sunday.  The First Lutheran Church of Paxton will host a benefit lunch and raffle for baby Emma Elsey on Sunday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Full details may be found on the Facebook event page “Fundraiser Lunch for Baby Emma.

Sharpshooters slate archery event. The Ford-Iroquois Sharpshooters will hold an archery event Sunday, April 14, at Crescent City Grade School. Classes will run from 1-2:30 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m.

Crafters, vendors to be at Spring Fling in Saybrook. Crafters and vendors from Saybrook will hold the Bloomin’ Spring Fling Show from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 19, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 20, at the former TruValue Hardware building and Cheneys Grove Township building, both in downtown Saybrook. Twelve local crafters and vendors will have booths displaying homemade jewelry, crocheted items, sock monkeys, American Doll size clothes, framed art work, garden seed stars, Tag Buddy blankets, T-shirt accessories, Vault Jeans, Posh products, and Pampered Chef and Pasta Alley products. In conjunction with the event, the Saybrook Stars and Stripes Celebration Committee will hold a pasta dinner from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the American Legion building in Saybrook. A free-will offering will be accepted to benefit the town’s Fourth of July festivities.

Food give-away to be conducted April 20. A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income area families on Saturday, April 20, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. Ford County residents who meet income-eligibility criteria can receive food. To be eligible, a household must have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, or  a maximum of $3,554 per month for a family of four, $2,943 for a family of three, $2,333 for a family of two and $1,722 for a family of one.

Dog park fundraiser set. As a fundraiser for a proposed dog park at Coady Park in Paxton, the Paxton Dog Park Committee will sponsor its Milkbones for Money Fund Drive-by II on Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, in front of The Animal House, 425 S. Market St. “You can stay in your car and help a local cause for paws at the same time,” a news release said. “Just pull in the driveway to The Animal House, make a donation, receive a milkbone, and follow the drive around to the alley and back onto the street. It’s as easy as that.”

Bellflower Opry to perform concert April 20. The Bellflower Country Opry’s next show will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Bellflower Community Center, 202 Center St. The show features rock-and-roll music from the 1950s and 1960s. Doors open at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets in advance, call 309-722-3497 or 898-7493. Children age 12 and under enter free of charge.

Park district to hold community build. Volunteer help is being sought for the construction of a new playground at Coady Park.  A “community build” is set for Saturday, April 20, and Recreation Director Neal McKenry said the park district needs as many community volunteers as possible to help build the playground that day. The work will start at 8 a.m.  Park board member Steve Sample, who said he was involved in building a similar playground at PBL Eastlawn School, said about 20 to 30 volunteers helped build that playground in a single day.  “You don’t have to have a construction background,” Sample noted. “We just need folks who are willing to get a little dirty and provide a little labor.”  A free lunch will be provided to helpers. Anyone interested is asked to simply show up at the park that day.

CLHS to host luncheon. Christ Lutheran High School will host a pork chop luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at the school, located at 201 W. Lincoln St., Buckley. The menu includes pork chops, cheesy potatoes, corn, cole slaw, fruit salad, applesauce and an assortment of desserts and drinks. A freewill donation will be taken.

Gospel concert to be held April 21 in Loda. Beyond the Ashes, a southern gospel group from Nashville, Tenn., will perform a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at the Loda United Methodist Church, 200 S. Locust St., Loda. A freewill offering will be collected. For more information, call 386-2237 or email

St. John’s Lutheran to host open house April 23.  St. John’s Lutheran Preschool is hosting an open house from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. The event is open to prospective students and their parents, as well as, currently enrolled students and their families.  Morning classes are available for any child who is 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 1, 2013.  Registration packets will be available that evening and in the school office. Parents unable to attend or those who have any questions are asked to call the school office at 394-2422.

CLHS to host trivia night. Christ Lutheran High School will host Trivia Night on Saturday, April 27. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with trivia starting at 7 p.m. Food and prizes will be available. Teams of eight people can register for $80. To register, or for more information, call 394-2547.

Buckley Garage Sale Days scheduled. Buckley Garage Sale Days is scheduled for Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27. A sign-up sheet is available at the Buckley State Bank for those interested in having their garage sales included on maps promoting the event. The maps will be available at various locations that weekend. Residents must sign up by Tuesday, April 23, to be included on the map.

Tour of Ten-Mile Grove offered. A tour of Ten-Mile Grove west of Paxton will be offered to the public Saturday, April 27, starting at 1:30 p.m.  Bob Reber will lead the tour and discuss the ecological prehistory and history that led to the development of the grove along with the role played by European settlers. Native flora and fauna will be identified and discussed, as well. The last weekend in April is usually the start of the spring wildflower season in the grove. The grove contains several species not common in this area. The tour is limited to the first 25 participants who register. To register, call Reber at 379-2459 or email him at The tour is sponsored by the Paxton Foundation and Friends of Ten-Mile Grove. Participants are asked to meet in the parking area at the Howard Thomas Memorial Nature Preserve on the south side of Illinois 9.

Twins Convention set for April 27-28. The Illinois Twins Convention is set for April 27-28 in Rockford. East Central Illinois is home to several twins, including state presidents Jevonne and Stephone McDonald, both from Champaign, Darlene Starkey of Paxton and her twin, Kathy Wilken of Gifford; Jane Stalter of Gifford and Jean Polson of rural Paxton; and Larry and Gary Helfrich of Thomasboro. The two-day event will feature a number of activities, including bowling, pizza, the convention at the Discovery Center in Rockford and judging for oldest, youngest, most alike and most unalike twins. Judging will take place April 28 after a luncheon. Reservations are required by April 16 for the April 28 luncheon. No tickets will be sold at the door. Call Micki Bratton at 202-1788 to make reservations. Call Starkey at 202-8242 with questions.

Food give-away set in Paxton for May 18. A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income area families on Saturday, May 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Full Gospel Christian Fellowship, 619 S. Railroad Ave., Paxton. Ford County residents who meet income-eligibility criteria can receive food. To be eligible, a household must have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, or  a maximum of $3,554 per month for a family of four, $2,943 for a family of three, $2,333 for a family of two and $1,722 for a family of one.

Chamber dinner set for May 22. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon, scheduled for noon Wednesday, May 22, will feature a presentation by Craig Loschen of Flipswitch Consulting and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser. The catered lunch will be made and served by the Paxton Woman’s Club. The luncheon is open to the public. Persons interested in attending are asked to mail a check for $8 per person and the names of the people attending to the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 75, Paxton, IL 60957. Reservations and payment must be made by Friday, May 17.

Another food give-away in Gibson City. A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income area families on Saturday, June 15, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. Ford County residents who meet income-eligibility criteria can receive food. To be eligible, a household must have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, or  a maximum of $3,554 per month for a family of four, $2,943 for a family of three, $2,333 for a family of two and $1,722 for a family of one.

Piper/Ford Central alumni to gather 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

Dustin Lynch to perform at Ford County Fair. Nashville recording artist Dustin Lynch headlines this year’s Ford County Fair with a concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25. The concert also features the band Brushfire.  The fair runs from June 23-29 at the fairgrounds in Melvin. Lynch’s self-titled first CD debuted Aug. 21, 2012. Two hits, “Cowboys and Angels” and “She Cranks My Tractor,” have already hit the charts. Lynch will be touring with Keith Urban and Little Big Town starting in July. “We are excited to bring a concert of this level to the fair,” said fair board member Scott Harden. “Finding an artist who would perform at the fair has been a goal of ours for a few years. We just had to find the right act. We think  Dustin Lynch and Brushfire are a perfect mix for the fair.” Tickets for the concert are on sale through the Ford County Fair’s website,, and through the fair’s Facebook page.  The concert will be in an open venue. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs if desired. The concert is being sponsored by Birkey’s Case IH, DuPont/Pioneer, Heritage FS and Patrick May Enterprises/May Electric. For more information, email

Festival of Quilts set April 12-13. For the ninth consecutive year, Cunningham Children’s Home will host the Festival of Quilts on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Spiritual Life Center on the campus of Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana. The Festival includes a quilt exhibit featuring dozens of hand-quilted and machine-quilted pieces. The show will include contemporary designs as well as antique quilts, some of which are family heirlooms on loan for the show.


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