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Rick Flessner & Friends will perform a concert with guest star Lauren Marie Wadley at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Melvin Community Hall, 108 E. Main St. Food will be sold by the Community Hall Committee. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, including the cost for admission, call Judy Schall at 388-2853.
The Bankesters will return to Gibson City’s North Park for an evening of gospel and bluegrass music and family entertainment on Friday, Aug. 17. Food will be available starting at 5:30 p.m., and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. A free-will donation will be accepted. The North Park is located at the corner of Church and 13th streets in Gibson City. In the event of adverse weather, the concert will be moved to the Gibson City Bible Church. For more information, call the church at 784-5702 or visit www.gibsoncitybible.org.
The annual Rock for the Clock street dance is set for 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, in downtown Roberts. The street dance is a fundraiser for the village.
PRIDE in Paxton’s next Music Under the Stars concert at Pells Park, scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, will feature the Prairie Dogs. The concert is free and open to the public. The Loda Lions Club will be serving hotdogs, popcorn and drinks for donations.
The Country Theatre Workshop’s production of “Cash On Delivery” runs Aug. 2-4 and Aug. 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 5 and Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 815-457-2626.
The Swedish Heritage Society will once again celebrate its history with Swedish Heritage Day on Saturday, Aug. 25. The event was rescheduled from Aug. 11. It starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. at Majestic Park in downtown Paxton. The day will include music, arts, crafters and Allen Meyer’s kettle corn. The Ford County Historical Society’s water tower museum will also be open, as well as the Illinois Central Railroad Historical Society museum. Area violin students will also be performing Swedish, country and classical music starting at 11 a.m. Those attending are advised to bring lawn chairs.
The PBL Booster Club’s annual Pork Chop Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, in the PBL Junior High School commons area, with a volleyball scrimmage beginning at 5 p.m. and a football scrimmage beginning at 7 p.m. All fall high school athletic teams and the marching band will be introduced at the event.
Cissna Park’s 125th annual Old Settlers Reunion is set for Aug. 16, 17, and 18 in the village park. Sponsored by American Legion Post 527 since 1946, the three-day festival will feature numerous “major” and “kiddie” rides. Special wrist-band rates will be in effect Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday afternoon and evening, when unlimited rides will be offered for $20. Also, three programs of free entertainment will be presented on the outdoor stage in the park. At 7 p.m. Thursday, the Old Settlers Talent Show returns, featuring a variety of acts from throughout the area. The talent show is being organized by Kathy Findlay. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Behold will perform gospel music. The group is from the Milford area. Saturday’s entertainment at 8 p.m. will feature country music by Missy Vail. The Illinois Country Music Associatoin has named her Entertainer of the Year. Free dances will be held at the Legion Home on Thursday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and on Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The bingo stand in the park will be open for players Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday afternoon and evening.The Old Settlers Parade will begin promptly at noon Saturday. It will form at the corner of Third and Blaine streets and travel the closed portion of Illinois 49 along the east side of the park. The Kiddie Tractor Pull, under the supervision of Fred Bauer, will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday on Illinois 49 east of the park.The FFA Alumni Lawn Mower Races will be Saturday, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Call Jeff Clifton at 815-471-4708 for more information. The Legion Auxiliary’s annual BBQ Pork Supper will be held Saturday in the Legion Home with serving from 4:30 until 7:30 p.m. The Legion’s lunch stand in the park pavilion will be serving throughout the celebration. Firemen’s pork chops will be served on Friday night only. Heading the list of the Legion’s prizes this year is a 2012 Dodge Journey or $20,000 cash which will be awarded Saturday night. Winner of the Journey does not have to be present to claim the prize. Five cash prizes ($100 if present, $50 if not present) will be awarded Thursday night, and five more cash prizes ($200 if present, $100 if not present) will be given away Friday night. A large number of school and community organizations will also be in the park in fund raising efforts for their various purposes.
A reception honoring first responders from Iroquois County will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau facility in Gilman. The Iroquois County Republican Women and Gilman Healthcare are sponsoring the event, which will include an appearance by State Treasurer Dan Rutherford. A video of first responders in action will be shown. Following the event, there will be a processional down U.S. 45 through Onarga, Buckley and Loda and into Paxton. The procession leaves Gilman at about 6 p.m. Iroquois County Sheriff Derek Hagen and various fire departments will lead the procession to the Ford County line where they will be met by Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran, who will lead the group into Paxton. People would like to pay their respect to the victims of 9/11 and Iroquois and Ford counties’ first responders are asked to line the streets along U.S. 45 for the procession.
A special event entitled “Remembrance Day” is being held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Paxton firehouse to remember all victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and to honor first responders of Ford County. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford will be the special guest speaker. The event is being sponsored by the Ford County Republicans, the Paxton Fire Protection District and the Knights of Columbus.
The 63rd annual Secretary of State Antique Vehicle Show will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, on Springfield’s southwest side at Prairie Crossing, 4200 Conestoga Drive. The show features not only some of the finest antique vehicles in Illinois but also sports cars, motorcycles, trucks, recreational vehciles, hot rods and tractors.
The Sibley Burr Oaks Area Tractor Drive for Relay For Life is visiting nursing homes in the area on Saturday, Aug. 18. Tractors will be visiting the nursing homes in Gibson City and Paxton for residents to see the tractors and speak with the drivers. The tractors will leave from the Sand Trap in Gibson City with a stop in Elliott at the Amvets for lunch, then continue to Paxton. They will return to the Sand Trap for supper after the completion of their trip. The trip is in memory and honor of loved ones and survivors of cancer. There will be a 50/50 drawing, $1 per ticket or six for $5. For more information contact Russell Tjarks at 745-2377 or 249-2377.
An open house celebrating the retirement of Sibley’s longtime postmaster, Betty Ford, is scheduled for 2-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Sullivant Township Hall in Sibley. Ford is retiring July 31 after 33 years of working in the postal service. Her co-workers are hosting the open house in her honor. Refreshments will be provided.
FUNDRAISERS & BENEFITS
A golf-cart poker run, entitled “Sibley Fights ALS in Honor of Nancy Adkins,” is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11. People must be 21 or older to participate. They do not have to have a golf cart to enter, as lawnmowers, bicycles and wheelchairs are also welcome to participate. Signups will be taken at Becky’s Lake Bar prior to the start of the poker run at 1 p.m. There will be “redneck games” at each stop, as well as penny raffles. The poker run ends at Tim and Laura Peeler’s home on Ohio Street. Food will be provided at its conclusion. For more information, call Cathy Farmer at 745-2647, Myra Stephens at 745-2613 or Charlene Metz at 898-7693.
The eighth annual Knight for Christ Benefit Auction will be held Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Holiday Inn Grand Ballroom in Urbana. The auction is a fundraiser for Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley. Festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a silent auction followed by a dinner and a live auction. Items range from gift certificates, trips and unique items to household items and tools. To view some of the items that will be auctioned, visit www.christlutheranbuckley.com and click on “Fundraisers/auction.” Dinner will feature salad, beef medallion, chicken breast, sides of potatoes and vegetables, complimented with dessert. All proceeds will benefit Christian education at Christ Lutheran High School. Reservations can be made by calling Christ Lutheran High School at 394-2547.
A benefit for Alex Faulkner, an 8-year-old from Paxton who has been fighting Rhabdomayosarcoma cancer since he was 6, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11, at Shooky’s bar in downtown Paxton. Tom Meents will be bringing his monster truck downtown from 12:30 to about 5 p.m. to let kids take pictures with him. The Upper Cut Salon will be giving haircuts from noon to 5 for donations. A silent auction will also be held at Shooky’s during the event. Donations of items are requested and can be dropped off at Shooky’s, 103 N. Market St. There will also be a 50/50 drawing and a band performing. A poker run will also be part of the event. It leaves Shooky’s at noon and will return at 6 p.m. Proceeds will help cover Faulkner’s medical expenses, and a portion will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Faulkner went into remission for a short time, but the cancer showed back up in June. He is currently out of the hospital at home taking treatment.
A series of fundraisers are planned to help defray travel costs for Paxton resident Garet Waterstradt to compete at the Loule World Cup in Portugal from Sept. 5-10 as a USA Gymnastics National Team member. The fundraisers will include a garage sale at 211 W. Orleans St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Another fundraiser on Aug. 11 will be a “Cutathon,” held from 1-4 p.m. at Leading Edge, 143 S. Market St. The third fundraiser is a silent auction set for 6-9 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Tin Pan, 125 S. Market St. Weston Henry will also be there singing and playing his guitar. All proceeds from each event will go to Waterstradt’s travel expenses.
The Vineyard Church of Paxton is offering free haircuts for Paxton-Buckley-Loda students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the church, located at 152 N. Market St., Paxton. For appointments, call Sandie Evans at 377-5061.
A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to area families in need on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47. The distribution will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. It is open to Ford County residents who meet income eligibility criteria. To be eligible, a household must have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, or approximately $3,554 per month for a family of four.
The Council of Catholic Women at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Loda will hold a bazaar featuring vendors and crafts on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Father Paul F. Dinan Parish Center, 150 N. Maple St., Paxton. Vendors and crafters are still being sought for the event. For more information or to reserve a table, call 815-388-8525.
St. John’s Ladies Aid of Buckley will have an ice cream social on Sunday, Aug. 19, in the lunchroom at St. John’s Lutheran School, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Served will be hot beef sandwiches, ham sandwiches, open-face cheese sandwiches and homemade cakes and pies.
The Paxton City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at City Hall, 145 S. Market St. The meeting is open to the public.
The Gibson City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, and at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, at City Hall, 101 E. Eighth St., Gibson City. The meeting is open to the public.
The Ford County Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, in the basemetn of the Ford County jail in Paxton. The meeting is open to the public.
The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, in the board room at 307 N. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. The meeting is open to the public.
The Paxton Park Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St. The meeting is open to the public.
The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the unit office in PBL Junior High School in Paxton. The meeting is open to the public.
The Loda Village Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Village Hall on Washington Street. The meeting is open to the public.
The Loda Sanitary District Board of Trustees will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, at the Loda Fire Protection District firehouse. During the meeting, the board plans to adopt its annual tax levy ordinance.
The Ford County Republican Central Committee invites the public to attend its next meeting on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8:30 until 11 a.m. at the County Kettle restaurant in Gibson City.
The Iroquois County Tea Party has scheduled its Save the Nation Rally for 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, in rural St. Anne in northern Iroquois County. The location of the event is 3031 N. Illinois 1, St. Anne. Signs will be posted. Speakers include Dan Proft, WLS commentator; John Tillman, chief executive officer of the Illinois Policy Institute; Bruno Behrend, of the For the Good of Illinois & Heartland Institute; David Lombardo, of Safer USA. The rally will also include activities for children, including pony rides, face painting, games and balloons. There will also be music and a food tent.
The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor a Viewpoint Breakfast Meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Happy Days Diner in Roberts. The meeting will begin with breakfast followed by discussion on the topics members wish to talk about. Dan Schaefer, director of nutrient stewardship for the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, will also speak at the meeting. He manages the “Keep it for the Crop by 2025” nutrient stewardship program and works directly with ag retailers and growers to educate, implement and record progress toward the implementation of nutrient stewardship. There is no charge for members to attend. Reservations are not needed. For more information, call 800-424-0756.
The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon is scheduled for noon Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the American Legion building on East Pells Street in Paxton. The speaker will be Dan Schuering, the city of Paxton’s tax increment financing attorney. Lunch will be served by the Paxton Woman’s Club. The luncheon is open to the public. Reservations are due Aug. 10. For more information, including costs, call 379-4655.
A diabetes support group meeting will be held from 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, in the waiting room at Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City. The topic of discussion is “Diabetes Mellitus: A Pharmacist’s Perspective.” Speakers are pharmacists Kelsey Zebarth and Mike Sandsmark. For more information, call Eileen Woolums at 784-2344.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office is offering a “Rules of the Road” review course from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St. The free course is designed to help drivers pass the Illinois driver’s license renewal exam. The course prepares applicants for the general written and road exams and also provides information on the vision screening.
Cindy and Kirby Pringle, owners of Dogtown Artworks in Tuscola, present “A Butterfly Extravaganza” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Paxton Carnegie Library, 254 S. Market St. Cindy Pringle, the former Cindy Rose, is a native of Paxton and a graduate of Paxton High School and the University of Illinois. “The Butterfly Extravaganza” features two of the Pringles’ recently completed projects, a multimedia presentation, with music and voiceover, of their new book, “The Butterfly That Would Not Fly.” The photo book features the couple’s “dog people” characters, Earl and Pearl Barker, as they try to help a monarch butterfly overcome its fear of heights. Background music was provided by Bruce Parker of London, Ontario, Canada; the Strings Attached bluegrass band of Douglas County, Ill., and Don Thode of Tuscola, a member of the band. The second part of the evening will be a documentary, filmed and edited by the Pringles. “The Plight of the Monarch Butterfly” is about the declining population of the monarch butterfly and how it is tied to loss of habitat — especially milkweed. The documentary includes rare footage of a monarch hatching from the egg, the caterpillar forming its chrysalis and the butterfly coming out of the chrysalis. The documentary includes classical music by Will DeSelms of Roseville, Ill. “The Plight of the Monarch Butterfly” is the Pringles’ first documentary effort.