List of upcoming community events (Dec. 4, 2013)

Elliott church to host pancake and sausage supper
ELLIOTT — Pontoppidan Lutheran Church of rural Elliott will host its 45th annual Pancake and Sausage Supper from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. There is a cost for the meal for persons over age 12. During the supper, the women of the church will be sponsoring a bake sale. There will also be a drawing for a quilt. The church is located at 186 N. Ford County Road 1100 East, about a mile east and 2 1/2 miles south of Elliott.

Tea party to present ‘Camp Fema’
WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Tea Party will show the movie “Camp Fema,” by William Lewis and Gary Franchi, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Agape Fellowship Church, 425 W. North St., Watseka. There is no charge for admission, and free popcorn will be served. The movie is rated R, and children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. In the movie, leaders in Washington slowly pass bills that label ordinary Americans as though criminals and potential domestic terrorists for simply questioning the actions of their government; and third-party candidates and their impassioned supporters are listed in secret government reports that call their allegiance into question and brand them as fanatics and extremists.

Legion Auxiliary unit to host Christmas party
BUCKLEY — The Byron Hickerson Unit No. 432 of the American Legion Auxiliary will hold a Christmas party at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the Legion building in Buckley.  There will be no gift exchange. The auxiliary will take up a cash collection to be divided between the veterans’ facilities in Danville and Manteno. Persons planning to attend are asked to call Pam Bristle at 249-2294.

PRIDE in Paxton to host business open house
PAXTON — The annual downtown business open house, organized by PRIDE in Paxton, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 8, at participating businesses. Some local businesses will be featuring holiday entertainment as well as refreshments. Santa Claus will be walking up and down Market Street and will be available to meet children, as well. Sunday’s hours for the open house are noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call Teri Hancock or Rhonda Blackford at 379-4245.

PBL FFA to sponsor blood drive
PAXTON — Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s FFA chapter is sponsoring an American Red Cross blood drive starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the high school. People can call the high school at 379-4331 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.

Disaster preparedness lecture to be offered at UI
CHAMPAIGN — Home and Community Education (HCE) will present the program “Disaster Preparedness for Seniors” at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the University of Illinois Extension Auditorium, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign. Lloyd Weston, Federal Emergency Management Agency community relations specialist, will present the program. To register or receive more information, call 333-7672.

Holiday fair to take place in Paxton
PAXTON — The women of the Paxton United Methodist Church will hold their annual Holiday Fair from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the church, located at 210 W. Center St., Paxton.  The Holiday Fair will feature a country store, kid’s corner, sweets shop and bakery. A chicken and noodle buffet will be served from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  There is a charge for the meal for persons 7 and older.  All proceeds will be used to support the church’s missions, such as Cunningham Children’s Home, Empty Tomb, Goodfellows and the food pantry. For more information, contact the church at 379-3817 or pumpc@paxtonumc.com.

Lions Club to hold Winter Wonderland Dance
LODA — The Loda Lions Club’s annual Winter Wonderland Dance will be held from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Loda Lions Community Center, 108 N. Chestnut St., Loda. The event will include a pasta meal with a salad, plus live musical entertainment by the JMT Trio. Wine will be served. Tickets can be purchased from Ron Gustafson at 714-2571.

Paxton church to hold annual toy drive
PAXTON — The Paxton Church of Christ will hold its annual toy drive from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 7, and donations of toys are being sought in advance.
“We invite anyone who would like to donate a new or used toy for this year’s toy drive,” organizer Kaye Harper said. “We are missing a few items and trying to replace them so that we will have the best toy drive ever. We want to bring smiling faces to those boys and girls who are less fortunate than others this year.”
To arrange a donation, call Harper at 841-0068 or email her at kayecb99@yahoo.com.

Church to host cookie walk
GIBSON CITY — The women of the American Lutheran Church, 905 E. First St. in Gibson City, will be hosting their annual cookie walk from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 7. Cookies are $4 per dozen and $6 per dozen for decorated cookies. Other Christmas items will also be sold.

Santa train to pass through local towns
The Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad Santa Train will pass through a number of area communities on Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8. The train, carrying Santa, will not depart from each town until all of the waiting children get to visit with Santa. The train will make stops on Dec. 7 in Gibson City (8-11 a.m.), Melvin (11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.), Roberts (1:15-2:30 p.m.), Thawville (3-4:30 p.m.) and Gilman (5-7 p.m.). The train will make stops on Dec. 8 in Onarga (8-10 a.m.), Danforth (10:30-11:30 a.m.), Ashkum (noon to 1:30 p.m.) and Clifton/Chebanse (2-5 p.m.).

PBL to host holiday concerts
PAXTON — The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district’s annual holiday concerts will be held throughout the day on Sunday, Dec. 8, in the gymnasium at the high school in Paxton. The concerts are open to the public. Performances will be held at the following times: 2 p.m. (kindergarten and first grade), 3 p.m. (second and third grades), 4 p.m. (fourth and fifth grades), 5 p.m. (sixth through eighth grades) and 7:30 p.m. (ninth through 12th grades).

State Street Mall to host open house
PAXTON — The State Street Mall’s annual Holiday Open House is set for 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. The event will feature live music by Hillary Kaye-Valentine, Rebecca Grosser and the PBL Madrigals, along with complimentary horse and carriage rides to and from the Dogtown area southeast of Paxton. Also, there will be refreshments available, drawings and free giveaways. There will also be complimentary chair massages and fun holiday craft projects for children. Pictures with Santa will be available from 1-3 p.m. There will also be a bake sale. The State Street Mall is located at 201 E. State St. in Paxton.

CLHS to offer Christmas dinner
BUCKLEY — Christ Lutheran High School is hosting a Christmas feast from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Sponsored by the school’s Secret Service, the dinner will include turkey, ham, potatoes, green-bean casserole, corn, salads and desserts. Delivery is available in Buckley by calling 781-1348. There is no cost to attend, but donations will be accepted. All proceeds will be donated to Christ Lutheran High School, to buy Christmas gifts for needy families in Buckley, and to support the needs of St. John’s Lutheran Church at Schwer following a recent fire at the church.

Church to host nativity pageant
THOMASBORO — Peace Lutheran Church of Thomasboro will celebrate Christ’s birth through the performance of a live, outdoor nativity pageant from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the church, 200 W. Arnold St., Thomasboro. There will be free food, drinks and children’s activities inside the church.

PBL High School to host Madrigal Dinners
PAXTON — Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s annual Madrigal Dinners are set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, and Thursday, Dec. 12, at First Lutheran Church in Paxton.

PRIDE in Paxton to host firehouse cookoff contest
PAXTON — PRIDE in Paxton’s annual Firehouse Cookoff Contest will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the Paxton firehouse on North Market Street.The public is invited to submit their favorite recipes to be judged by local firemen. The theme this year is “All-American dish or dessert.” Entries should be at the firehouse by 5:45 p.m. and be placed in disposable containers. For more information, call Rhonda Blackford at 379-4245.

Breakfast with Santa to be offered at Civic Center
PAXTON — The Paxton Park District will host a Breakfast with Santa event from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Paxton Civic Center. Santa will be there to take pictures with children, and activities and goodies will also be available.  A breakfast of eggs, sausage and fruit salad will be available for free.

‘Nuncrackers’ to be performed in Gibson City
GIBSON CITY — The ACT Theater Company is presenting “Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Father Kirk Hall, 534 N. Wood St., Gibson City. The show is set in the basement of Mount Saint Helen’s Conventand School.  The sisters there are preparing to televise the school’s annual Christmas program. Students from the school join the fun as a cooking show, home shopping network and a ballet combine together for a night of songs, dance and lots of laughs.  The cast features: Amanda Broaddus, Darrin Brown, Haley Brown, Heidi Brown, Shelbie Butler, Anne Cunningham, Andrea Dunahee, Kennedy Fanson, Sydney Funk, Haven Hathaway, Ashley Hyatt, Katie Kamman, Dan Kearfott, Jordan Kerber, Alex Killian,  Liam Killian, Megan Moody, Ann Spangler, Shannon Spangler, Brian Steidinger, Jeremy Steidinger, and Brooke Wilfong.   The show is under the direction of Ann Spangler. Tickets can be purchased by calling 641-3000. Seating is limited. For additional information, visit the ACT Theatre Company-Gibson City fan site on Facebook or www. acttheatreco.org.

Bellflower Area Christmas Cantata set for Dec. 14
BELLFLOWER — The Bellflower Area Christmas Cantata is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Bellflower Community  Center. Sponsored by the Bellflower United Methodist Church, several area singers will perform under the direction of Norm DeGraff to bring the good news of Christmas through music and song. The evening of music will include audience singing of Christmas carols, solos by area musicians, and the feature of the evening, the choir presentation of “Mary, Did You Know?” The event concludes with Christmas fellowship and refreshments. There is no admission charge or donation requested.

Ford County Conversation on Aging to be held Dec. 19 in Paxton
PAXTON — The East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging will host a Ford County Conversation on Aging and Independent Living on Thursday, Dec. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 763 E. Pells St., Paxton. The agency is convening a series of County Conversations on Aging and Independent Living in 16 counties from October through February to prepare for the next Area Plan for Fiscal Years 2015-17. The Area Plan is a blueprint for the development and coordination of community-based services for senior citizens and their families.    County Conversations are open to the public. Pre-registration is not required. ECIAAA encourages older adults, persons with disabilities, family members, peers, volunteers, professionals, public officials, community organizations, and public and private funders to participate. During the County Conversations participants will have the opportunity to: share their life experiences, needs, expectations, and preferences; share their experience using services and supports for independent living in their community; identify unmet needs and barriers to independent living in their community; and recommend ways to improve services and supports for aging and independent living. The ECIAAA advisory council, corporate board and staff will consider input from the County Conversations in developing the Area Plan. Summaries of the County Conversations will be posted at www.eciaaa.org.  For information contact Mike O’Donnell at modonnell@eciaaa.org or call 800-888-4456.

Food giveaway scheduled for Dec. 14 in Gibson City
GIBSON CITY — A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income area families on Saturday, Dec. 14, 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 $3,631 per month for a family of four, $3,011 for a family of three, $2,391 for a family of two and $1,771 for a family of one.

Judge to speak to Ford County GOP on Dec. 14
MELVIN — The public is invited to hear Appellate Judge Lisa Holder White speak at the monthly Ford County Republican Central Committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the St. Peter Free Lutheran Church, 100 E. Third St., Melvin. A business meeting will follow. White served as an associate and circuit judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit and was then assigned by Justice Rita Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court to the Illinois Appellate Court’s Fourth District.  She is running to be elected to the appellate court.  For more information, contact Ford County GOP Chairman Tom Bennett at 784-8540 or tmbennett@mchsi.com.

Republicans hosting Lincoln Day Dinner on Feb. 20
GIBSON CITY — The Ford County Republican Party is hosting a Lincoln Day Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. The keynote speaker will be Tom Cross, Republican candidate for state treasurer. A reception begins at 5:15 p.m., with the dinner beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase. For more information, contact Ford County GOP Chairman Tom Bennett at 784-8540 or tmbennett@mchsi.com.

GCMS Financial Aid Awareness Night set for Jan. 8
GIBSON CITY — Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School will host a Financial Aid Awareness and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aud) Completion Night on Wednesday, Jan. 8. The presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the high school’s media center. All interested parents and students are encouraged to attend. The featured speaker will be Pam Lytel, assistant director of financial aid at Parkland College in Champaign. Her presentation will cover the financial aid process used at all post-secondary institutions. Information for students and parents will include the various types of financial aid, including FAFSA, plus scholarships, grants, loans, student work programs and military programs. Patrick Wildman, a representative of ISACorps, will also be in attendance to assist parents and students with filing the FAFSA forms. Students and their parents are asked to bring with them: student and parent Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, records of parent and student 2013 earnings, current bank statements, current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock/bond and other investments, and untaxed income records such as worker’s compensation, child support or veterans benefits. For more information, call the high school’s guidance office at 784-4292.

Loda to host Christmas parade Dec. 13
LODA — The village of Loda’s first annual Lighted Christmas Parade is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, in Loda. There is no entry fee. Those interested in having an entry in the parade are asked to call Sandy Zalaker at 379-1442.

Holiday Extravaganza slated in Melvin for Dec. 14
MELVIN — A Five Alarm Holiday Extravaganza will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Melvin Community Building. There will be 13 crafters and vendors, including Pink Zebra, Tutus and Bows, Paparazzi Jewelry, Tastefully Simple, Perfectly Posh, Avon and Scentsy. Chili, hot dogs and baked goods will be available for purchase. There will also be a silent auction and raffle. Proceeds benefit the Melvin fire department.

Rules of Road course offered
PAXTON — A free Rules of the Road review course is being offered by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St., Paxton. The purpose of the course is to help participants pass the Illinois driver’s license renewal examination.

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