List of upcoming community events (Feb. 6, 2013)

Synthetic drugs to be focus of presentation to PTA.  An informational presentation about synthetic cannabis and prescription drugs being abused by Ford County youth will be part of the next GCMS PTA meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12.   The PTA will conduct its regular monthly meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.  At 7 p.m. Ellen Maxey from the Ford County Probation Department will present information regarding the abuse of synthetic cannabis, better known as “Spice,” and prescription drugs by children and youth. Her message is one of awareness and education for parents.    “If we wait to talk about this  stuff until our kids are middle school and high school age, we have waited too long,” Maxey said. The meeting will be held in the media center at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School in Gibson City. Childcare will be provided.   For more information, contact Cathy at walker-steidinger.cathy@gcmsk12.org.

High school orientation to be offered Feb. 20. In conjunction with pre-registration of courses for all eighth-graders in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district, a high school orientation meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the PBL High School and Junior High commons area.   All eighth-grade students and their parents or guardians are invited to attend. Students and parents will receive information about courses offered at PBL, graduation requirements, and required courses for college admissions.  They also will hear about extra-curricular activities and general policies.  There will be time for questions and answers.   Tours of the building will also be available. For more information, call 379-4331.

Topinka to speak to Republicans. Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka will be the featured speaker at the Ford County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City.  Topinka , who served as state treasurer from 1995 to 2007, was the first woman elected to the post and was the first to serve three consecutive terms in the office. The evening kicks off with a reception and social hour at 5:15 p.m., followed by dinner at 6.  For information about ticket prices or to make a reservation, contact Tom Bennett at 784-8540 or tmbennett@mchsi.com. 

Splatterboard ham and turkey shoot at Foosland. The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will hold a splatterboard ham and turkey shoot Sunday, Feb. 10. Breakfast starts at 6 a.m., with the shoot starting at 8. The club is located five miles south of Gibson City on Illinois 47. Entry fees apply. Raffles and special events will also be held for women and children.

Food giveaway to be offered Feb. 16. The Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s foodmobile program will stop by Gibson City to give away food to eligible families on Saturday, Feb. 16. The food distribution will be held at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Ford County residents who meet income eligibility criteria can receive free food. To be eligible, a household must have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level — or $3,554 per month for a family of four, $2,943 for a family of three, $2,333 for a family of two or $1,722 for a family of one.

‘Drinking Habits’ to be performed in February in Paxton. The Tri-County Players theater company will present “Drinking Habits” at the Market Street Theatre in Paxton on Feb. 14-17 and Feb. 22-24.  A special Valentine’s Day dinner theater, catered by the Tin Pan, will be offered at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14. A beer and wine cash bar will also be available. Tickets can be purchased for the dinner theater in advance of the show by calling 379-7028. Show times — except for on Valentine’s Day — are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings (Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23) and 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoons (Feb. 17 and 24). Tickets for all shows can be purchased at the door or by leaving a message at 379-7028. The Market Street Theatre is located at 120 N. Market St., Paxton. Directed by Tammy Belanger, the show’s cast members include “sisters” Deb Kafer, Sherry Janowski, Pam Herriott and Shannon Satterlee; “father” Tony Lee; “reporters” Lindsey Wurl and Brandon Roberts; and “groundskeeper” Trent Groves.

Bellflower Opry to perform Feb. 16. The Bellflower Country Opry will present its next show on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Bellflower Community Center, 202 Center St. The show will feature special guest Kyle Ripsch. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by the show at 7.  The Bellflower Lions Club will be serving an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage supper that evening in the Bellflower Community Center cafeteria.  Serving will be from 4-6 p.m. To reserve a seat for the show, call 309-722-3497 or 898-7493.

Ash Wednesday breakfast set at Gibson City church. The American Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gibson City is offering an Ash Wednesday breakfast, followed by a program, on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the church. The continential breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by the program at 9. Melanie Warfield will be speaking and showing slides of her and her husband’s trip to Uganda to help their children, Robb and Sheila Warfield, and grandchildren with their mission work. For reservations, call 784-4841 by Monday, Feb. 10.

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.

Pancake breakfast slated in Chatsworth. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Chatsworth is offering a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 9, as a fundraiser to support a mission trip to Tennessee this summer. The menu includes pancakes, fried and scrambled eggs, sausage links, orange juice, milk and coffee. Children under age  5 eat free of charge. The church is located at 105 Sixth St.

Diabetes support group to meet Feb. 7. A diabetes support group meeting is scheduled for 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, in the radiology waiting room at Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City. The program, “Diabetes and Skin Care,” will be presented by Sheree Stachura of the Gibson Area Hospital Wound Clinic. For more information, call Eileen Woolums at 784-4093.

Rotary club to offer beach-themed dance. The Gibson City Rotary Club will offer a beach-themed dance on Saturday, Feb. 16, as a fundraiser to help provide park equipment for children of all abilities. The event will be held at The Kruse Center, 207 N. Lawrence Ave., Gibson City. It will feature live music by the band Tailgate. Doors open at 7 p.m., followed by music and dancing from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Snacks will be provided, and there is a cash bar. The event will also include 50/50 raffles and basket raffles.  Also, there will be an event featuring “local celebrities” called “Gibson City’s Got Talent ... Or do they?” Throughout the night, bids will be accepted for each celebrity, and the celebrity garnishing the most bids will entertain the crowd by singing a Beach Boys song.  The money raised from  the bids during this  event will be added to the rest of the evening’s fundraising.  The celebraties participating are Scott Davis, owner of Choose 2 Change Fitness; Anthony Galindo, GCMS school district superintendent; Josh Johnson, an employee of Gibson Area Hospital; and Veronica Kirkpatrick, a teacher at GCMS High School. Tickets are available for purchase from any Gibson City Rotary Club member and at the Bank of Gibson City, Moyer District Library, Ryt-Way Industries, The Fashion Shop and Front and Center Gallery. For more information, call Susie Tongate at 784-5672.

Tri-Point offering pork chop dinner on Feb. 8. Tri-Point High School’s FFA chapter is offering its annual pork chop dinner in conjunction with the boys’ basketball Senior Night. The dinner will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, in the school’s commons area. The menu will include a half-pound butterfly pork chop, baked potato, applesauce, green beans, dinner roll and ice cream or sherbet.  Tickets are available from any Tri-Point FFA member and cost $7 in advance or $8 at the door. Carryout orders are also available.

Winter Beach Party at Eastlawn. PBL Eastlawn School’s Parent Involvement Team (PIT Crew) is sponsoring its annual Winter Beach Party at the school on Friday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m.  A number of games and activities will be available for students to enjoy, and concessions will be available for purchase.

Rube Goldberg Contraption Open House set. Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School’s annual Rube Goldberg Contraption Open House will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7.

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 www.exploraces.org.

SWCD banquet on Feb. 25.  The Iroquois County Soil & Water Conservation District board’s annual meeting and awards banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth.  The program will be presented by Laurel Ross, who has served since 2004 as urban conservation director for the Field Museum’s Division of Environment, Culture and Conservation. A roast beef dinner will be served. For more information or to order tickets, call the Iroquois County SWCD office in Watseka at 815-432-6055, ext. 3.

Auditions offered for May show in Rantoul. The Rantoul Theatre Group will hold an open group-audition for its May play, “Alibis,”  at 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Grissom Hall Theatre. Director Tina Killeen and Assistant Director Karen Hughes are seeking five   female and four male actors ages 25 and over for the roles. The play will be performed on May 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19. No preparations are necessary.  Readings will be from the script. The play, by author Peter Kennedy, is a comedy-mystery. For more information, visit www.rtgonline.org, email the director at tina@rtgonline.org, or call the theatre at 892-1121.

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