List of upcoming community events (March 5, 2014)

Loda church to hold Saturday services
LODA — The Loda United Methodist Church holds an informal and brief worship service on the second Saturday of each month at 6:06 p.m. The relaxed service presents a light sermon with lots of music for those in the community who cannot attend their regular Sunday service, those who do not have a church home, or those who are looking for something a little new and different. The church is located at the corner of Locust and Jackson streets, one block east of U.S. 45, in Loda. For more information, call 386-2237 or email lodaumc@mchsi.com.

Historical Society Museum open Sundays
PAXTON — The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum in downtown Paxton is open on the first Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m.
Regular hours resume April 6, when the museum is open every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 145 S. Market St., behind the City Hall. It is also open by appointment by calling 379-3723 or 379-4111.

Air Force pilot to speak at Chamber dinner March 6
BAYLES LAKE — Tom Johnson, a former Air Force Two pilot and Paxton resident, will be the featured speaker at the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at Lakeview Country Club, 147 E. 200 North Road, rural Loda. Tickets cost $20 and include dinner and drinks. To order tickets, call Kristina at 379-4655 or mail your payment to P.O. Box 75, Paxton, IL 60957.

CLHS to host blood drive
BUCKLEY — Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is hosting an American Red Cross blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in Crusader Hall. Persons who last donated blood on or before Jan. 9 may be eligible to give. To schedule an appointment, call 394-2547. Walk-ins are welcome.

‘Meals for a Healthy Heart’ to be presented in Gibson City
GIBSON CITY — To celebrate American Heart Month in February and to help improve people’s cardiovascular health, the University of Illinois Extension and Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services is offering a free program called “Meals for a Healthy Heart.” The program will be presented Wednesday, March 5, from 2-4 p.m. at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. Workshops will be taught by Leia Kedem, a registered dietitian and UI Extension nutrition and wellness educator. In each session, participants receive recipes, watch cooking demonstrations, taste foods to meet their dietary needs, and learn about proper diet and exercise to better care for their health.  To register, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv or call 815-268-4051.

Gibson City church to host Ash Wednesday service
GIBSON CITY — The American Evangelical Lutheran Church of Gibson City is hosting an Ash Wednesday service March 5 featuring a breakfast and speaker Lisa Volker presenting “On the Way: The Long Walk to Santiago.” For reservations, call 784-4841 by Feb. 26.

Ag breakfast set for Wednesday
ONARGA — The Ford-Iroquois Extension Ag Breakfast is set for 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, at the Ford-Iroquois Extension Office, located at 916 W. Seminary Ave. in Onarga.  “The Grain Market Hangover: How Can We Survive These Prices?” will be presented by Merrill Crowley of Crowley Commodities, a brokerage firm. Crowley has 21 years of agribusiness experience and a degree in AG Economics from Southern Illinois University. Reservations are required by noon Tuesday, March 4. Registration is online at http://tinyurl.com/MarchAgBreakfast or available via phone call to the office at 815-268-4051 or via e-mail at heins@illinois.edu.

Iroquois County Tea Party to show ‘They Come to America’
WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Tea Party’s movie night will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m., at Agape Fellowship Church, located at 425 North St. in Watseka. Admission is free. The featured movie is titled “They Come to America,” a film by Dennis Michael Lynch about the World Trade Center’s collapse on Sept. 11, 2001, and the aftermath.

Woodworth church to host fish fry
MILFORD — St. Paul’s Lutheran School of Woodworth will host a Fish Fry Friday, March 7, at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, located at 108 W. Woodworth Rd. in Milford
Carry-outs will be available in the cafeteria (southeast door) 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.

Tri-County Players to present March play
PAXTON — The Tri-County Players theater company will present “The Kids Left. The Dog Died. Now What?” on March 7-9 and March 14-16 at the Market Street Theatre, 120 N. Market St., Paxton.  The musical comedy takes a heartfelt look at the day-to-day concerns of the over-50 “empty-nester” crowd, including everything from widowhood and AARP, dating to divorce, plastic surgery and grand-parenting. The play, by Carole Caplan-Lonner, salutes people facing a host of midlife crises.  The production is directed by Tammy Belanger and features veteran cast members Suzanne Alt, Tammy Belanger, Greg and Pam Herriott, and Tom and Sherry Janowski. New to Tri-County Players is Phil Duling of Paxton. Chuck Belanger provides musical direction and leads the pit band. A dinner theater catered by the Tin Pan will be offered at 6 p.m. Friday, March 7.  Show times are otherwise at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday afternoons.  For reservations, call 379-7028 or visit www.marketstreettheatre.com. Credit card payments are accepted through the website.

Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation Auction rescheduled for March 8
WOODWORTH — The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation Auction has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 8, at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth. Proceeds from the auction, which is sponsored by the Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation, will pay the program fee for more than 700 4-H club members and Cloverbuds. Money raised will also provide scholarships for club members looking to attend various state leadership trainings, workshops and camping experiences. A complimentary pork burger meal and silent auction will begin at 4 p.m. with a live auction to follow at 5 p.m.  Auction items are still being accepted at the Ford-Iroquois Extension Office, 916 W. Seminary Ave., Onarga, or by calling 815-268-4051. The auction sale bill can be found at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/iroquois4h/.

UI, Iowa State Extensions to host forest stewardship conference
SINSINAWA, Wis. — The University of Illinois Extension and Iowa State University Extension are hosting the 2014 Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference on Saturday, March 8, at the Sinsinawa Mound Center in Sinsinawa, Wis.  This is the 20th year for the forestry conference, which annually draws over 500 woodland landowners and tree enthusiasts from Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The forestry conference will feature over 21 presentations covering a wide range of forestry, wildlife, and natural resources topics.  Forestry and forest management topics to be presented include invasive species management, prescribed fire, timber sales and marketing, tree felling and pruning, crop-tree management, forest management plans, forest pest management, and tree identification.  Participants can also learn about wildlife management and issues regarding forest interior birds and forest herpetology. Other topics of interest to be presented this year include: wood heating appliances, growing hazelnuts, Internet-based forestry resources, and aquaponics. The Sinsinawa Mound Center is located on 585 County Road Z, Sinsinawa, Wisc. Directions can be found at http://www.sinsinawa.org/directions_map.html.  More information about the Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference can also be found by visiting www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry. The deadline to register is midnight on Feb. 28. Advance registration is required.  Participation is limited to the first 550 paid registrations, so early registration is encouraged and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. No walk-in registrations on the day of the conference will be allowed.  Registration is available at http://extension.illinois.edu/go/forestconference.

UI Extension to offer gardening workshop and spring festival
DANVILLE — Vermilion County Master Gardeners will hold their annual Garden Day Workshop and Spring Festival from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 8. The event is located at the Crossroads Christian Church at 3613 N. Vermilion St. in Danville. The program is open to the public, but pre-registration is required for the workshop and lunch.  Pre-registration is available by calling the Vermilion County Extension office at 442-8615 or online at the University of IL Extension website: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/.  More information on U of I Extension programs in Champaign, Ford-Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties can be found at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/index.html or via phone in Champaign County at 333-7672, Ford-Iroquois County at 815-268-4051 or Vermilion County at 422-8615.

Lecture on vascular disease offered March 11
URBANA — A lecture on vascular disease will be held Tuesday, March 11 at Presencce Covenant Medical Center in Urbana. Doors will open at 5 p.m. There is also a presentation available at the Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville. Both upcoming events are free to attend and registration is required. Sign-ups are available at 877-737-4636 to sign up today.

Focus group meeting to be held at community action agency
PAXTON — The public is invited to a focus group meeting of the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency, to be held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at Monical’s Pizza, 500 W. Ottawa Road, Paxton. The meeting is being held to discuss the agency and its community strengths and challenges as part of a Community Assessment being done within its service area of Paxton. The Community Assessment includes the collection and analysis of demographic data about low-income children and families, services for those families and changes in key factors that impact the lives of the families the ECICAA serves.

PBL High School to host Winter Sports Awards Night
PAXTON — Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s annual Winter Sports Awards Night will be held Tuesday, March 11. At 5:30 p.m., refreshments will be served in the commons area, followed by the presentation of awards to student-athletes starting at 6 p.m.

American Legion Auxiliary group to meet March 13
BUCKLEY — Members of the Byron Hickerson Unit 432 of the American Legion Auxiliary will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 13, at the Legion building in Buckley.

Program presented at Piper City Historical Society
PIPER CITY — Johnny Gallahue III of Piper City will present a program about steam engines during the Piper City Historical Society’s next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13, at the Piper City Community Building on West Peoria Street in Piper City. Gallahue became interested in the history and uses of steam engines as a child. His father, J.P. Gallahue of Piper City, and his grandfather, the late Lloyd “Bones” Dehm of Chatsworth, always took him to the annual steam engine show held each August and September in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The program is open to the public, and there is no charge to attend.

Diabetes support group scheduled for March 13
GIBSON CITY — A diabetes support group meeting is scheduled for 7-8 p.m. Thursday, March 13, in the radiology waiting room at Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City. The program, entitled “Happy Feet!,” will be presented by Sheree Stachura, director of the hospital’s Advanced Wound Healing Clinic. Stachura will provide tips and information on basic foot care and orthotics.

Rummage sale to take place in Piper City church
PIPER CITY — The Presbyterian Women of Piper City will hold their annual rummage sale Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15, in the basement of the Presbyterian Church on Margaret Avenue in Piper City. Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 14 and 9 to 11 a.m. March 15. From 11 a.m. to noon March 15, people can pay $1 to fill as many items as possible in a grocery sack. Proceeds will be used to support local mission projects. Items not sold are sent to World Relief at Fairbury, the veterans home in Manteno, the Salvation Army and Harbor House.

UI’s ExplorACES to hold event March 14-15
URBANA — ExplorACES at the University of Illinois, a student-run event, will take place March 14 and 15, spotlighting opportunities in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). Prospective and admitted students can learn more about ACES faculty, academic offerings, and the myriad of student organizations. More than 125 exhibits showcase academics, research, and student development. Students can also find out more about study-abroad programs, how to apply for nearly $2 million in scholarships, and where a degree in ACES may lead in the job market. More than 2,000 students are expected to attend ExplorACES from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 14, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15. A reception for admitted students at the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building will complete Saturday’s events. Free parking and a free shuttle service to the ACES campus are provided at parking lot E-14, just west of the Assembly Hall.

Iroquois County Republican Women to host bingo event
WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Republican Women’s Club will host a Longaberger Basket Bingo event from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at the Elks lodge in Watseka.  The cost is $20 for 10 games, and additional cards for $5 each and can be purchased at the door. Persons must be 18 to participate. The event is a fundraiser for the club’s scholarship program. For tickets, call Jamie Mowrey at 217-552-6062 or Tera Bivins at 703-989-5999.

UI Extension to host gardening seminar March 20
ONARGA — University of Illinois Extension and Home and Community Education (HCE) will be offering “Garden Smarter, Not Harder” on Thursday, March 20. This program will be held at 10 a.m. at the Ford-Iroquois County Office, located at 916 Seminary Ave. in Onarga. In the “Garden Smarter, Not Harder” program, Sandy Mason, UI Extension horticulture educator, will discuss different ways to garden and provide some simple ideas to make gardening more enjoyable for everyone of any age.  Registration and more information is available by contacting the Ford-Iroquois Extension office at 815-268-0163.

Quilt display to take place in Kankakee
KANKAKEE — The Kankakee Quiltmakers’ quilted textile display is open to the public from today through March 20 at the Kankakee County Museum, 801 S. Eighth Ave., Kankakee.  The display features handmade and quilted coats, jackets, vests, bags, purses and aprons. Refreshments will be served.

Beekeeping courses to be held in March 22
FAIRMOUNT — Long Lane Honey Bee Farms will hold its spring one-day beekeeping courses starting March 22 and April 12.
More information is available at www.HoneyBeesOnline.com or via phone at 427-2678.

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