List of upcoming community events (Oct. 28, 2015)

Taste of Home Cooking School headed to Champaign on Thursday
CHAMPAIGN — The Taste of Home Cooking School, sponsored by The News-Gazette, will take place Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign. Taste of Home cooking specialist Karen Davis will be at the show to share her home cooking tips and tricks while demonstrating step-by-step recipes for the season’s best dishes.  Attendees experience exciting recipe demonstrations using ingredients that are easily found at the local grocery store. The dishes are submitted by home cooks across the country.  “From experienced home chefs to beginners learning their way around the kitchen, the Taste of Home Cooking School offers something for everyone, putting a fresh spin on old favorites and adding new and delicious recipes to your seasonal repertoire,” Davis said.  Attendees will receive a gift bag including the Taste of Home Cooking School magazine. The magazine includes recipes featured during the program, along with many more, as well as coupons and other goodies from participating national food companies. Some attendees will go home with a door prize or one of the recipes created on stage that night.  Tickets are on sale for $15 for general admission and $49.50 for VIP admission. Visit and click on “Cooking School” for complete ticket information and show highlights, or call Jackie Martin at 217-351-5275.

Beaverville church to host costume contest Oct. 30
BEAVERVILLE — St. Mary Catholic Church in Beaverville is hosting a carnival and costume contest from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at its parish hall, located next to the church. A free-will donation will allow children to access to the family-friendly carnival games, haunted house tour, hayride and costume contest. The costume contest will start at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Also, from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, the haunted house only is available for a good-will donation.  All proceeds will go toward St Mary’s children and community programs.

Craft bazaar set for Oct. 31
PAXTON — A fall craft bazaar is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at St. Mary/St. Joseph Parish Hall, 150 N. Maple St., Paxton. The event, sponsored by the St. Joseph Catholic Churchs’ Council of Catholic Women, will feature vendors and crafters selling their products. Coffee, breakfast and lunch will be available to those attending. There is no admission charge. For more information, or to sign up as a vendor or crafter, call Rosanne at 386-9405.

Hallelujah Party returns to Gibson City
GIBSON CITY — Children through the fifth grade are invited to the Gibson City Bible Church’s Hallelujah Party on Saturday, Oct. 31. A free meal will be served beginning at 5:30 p.m. until all food is gone. Games and activities will be available from 6:30 to 7:30. A special program for the children will conclude the evening, from 7:30 to 8. Activities include: a maze, games, crafts, face painting, bounce house, cake walk and trunk-or-treat. Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian. Children should not wear evil or scary costumes. For more information, contact the church by phone at 217-784-5702 or by email at

Trunk N Treat celebration set in Rantoul
RANTOUL — First Baptist Church of Rantoul will host its 13th annual Trunk N Treat celebration from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Children and parents are invited to enjoy a festive, positive and safe alternate to traditional Halloween activities. The event will take place in the church parking lot. In case of rain, it will be held inside the main building. People can come in costume, play games (from a decorated car/truck trunk), win prizes and have free food.   The church is located at 401 Glenwood Drive.

Brunch slated for Sunday in Watseka
WATSEKA — The annual Iroquois Memorial Hospice Brunch will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, in the cafeteria of Watseka Community High School, 138 Belmont Ave., Watseka. The menu includes biscuits and gravy, rolls, egg casserole, fruit, coffee and juice. During the brunch, a silent auction will be held, featuring baskets donated by local businesses, community members and Iroquois Memorial Hospital departments. Proceeds from the event benefit the Iroquois Memorial Hospice memorial fund, which helps finance patients’ needs and services that are not covered by other resources, such as Medicare or insurance.  Iroquois Memorial Hospice is a nonprofit hospice affiliated with Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka that serves Iroquois, Ford, Livingston, Vermilion and Kankakee counties. For more information, call 815-432-0185.

Sibley Legion Auxiliary to meet Tuesday
SIBLEY — The Sibley American Legion Auxiliary will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Sullivant Township Hall in Sibley. This will be the only meeting of the auxiliary in 2015. The next meeting will be a family potluck at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016.

Cooking class to be held Tuesday
GIBSON CITY — A cooking class entitled “Cooking for All Ages” will be offered from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Community Services Building, 209 E. 8th St., Gibson City. In the free, 90-minute workshop, children ages 7 and older will work with an adult and prepare a dish. The adult/youth pair will practice knife skills, work as a team to create a healthy dinner, learn the four steps to kitchen and food safety, and learn how to create a healthy plate. To register, contact Stephanie Herges at 784-4076. The deadline to register is Friday, Oct. 30.

Choral rehearsals begin soon for ‘Messiah’
GIBSON CITY — Singers in high school and older are invited to be part of the Gibson Area Music Foundation’s annual presentation of Handel’s “Messiah.” Regular rehearsals are held Monday evenings, beginning Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Additional rehearsals are Nov. 9, 16 and 23, with a final dress rehearsal Nov. 30. Regular rehearsals will be at the First Presbyterian Church of Gibson City, located at the corner of Church and 11th streets.  With an outstanding showing in 2014, organizers especially encourage sopranos and bass singers to return, plus newcomers are always welcome.  High school students who participate are eligible for summer music camp scholarships awarded annually by the foundation. Participants are asked to arrive a few minutes before 7 p.m. each week for check-in, if possible. Vocal scores will be provided at no cost.  The annual public performance will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Gibson City Bible Church on Gibson City’s west edge, off of Illinois Route 47. Willie Summerville of Urbana will again direct the chorus, soloists, pianist and strings.  For more information, contact Gibson Area Music Foundation Co-Chairman Bill Ogg at 217-784-4480.

Schaefer to discuss impacts of fertilizer additions
ONARGA — Dan Schaefer, director of nutrient stewardship for the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, will present the program “Utilizing Site-specific Technologies” during the next Ford-Iroquois Extension Ag Breakfast, scheduled for 7 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the University of Illinois Extensionoffice at 916 W. Seminary Ave. in Onarga. Schaefer will discuss the use of site-specific technologies to improve farm profitability, minimize environmental impact and optimize harvest yield. Schaefer has worked on many on-farm trials using fertilizer rate controllers and combine yield monitors, which show promising results. He will also talk about developing a nitrogen response curve for the farm. Schaefer is a certified professional agronomist and certified crop adviser. In January 2012, after 31 years in the retail agricultural supply business, Schaefer joined the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 815-268-4051 by noon Tuesday, Nov. 3, or by visiting There is no fee to attend, and breakfast is provided.

College planning workshop to be held
BUCKLEY — Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is offering a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at Christ Lutheran High School to help answer questions about how to plan financially for a college education. Denise Kosik, a financial associate for Prairieland Associates, will be in attendance to discuss projected future college costs, tax-advantaged ways to save for college, the basics of financial aid, and ways to fill the college funding gap. A representative of Parkland College in Champaign will also be on hand to answer questions about financial aid. The school is located at 201 W. Lincoln St., Buckley. Refreshments will be served.

Arts/crafts show set in Champaign
CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois Heartland Decorative Artists will present the 36th annual Chris Cringle Arts & Crafts Show from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Fluid Events Center, 601 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign. The show features more than 85 vendors with handcrafted items. There is an admission fee for persons over age 12. For more information, visit or

Hunter’s Lunch to be hosted Nov. 7
PENFIELD — The Penfield-Gifford American Legion’s Hunter’s Lunch is set for Saturday,  Nov. 7, at the Penfield Legion Hall in Penfield. Serving will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Served will be oyster stew, chili, hot dogs, barbecue and homemade pie. Items are priced individually.

Fall breakfast slated for Nov. 7
CISSNA PARK — The Sons of the American Legion Post No. 527 of Cissna Park will host its annual fall breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Cissna Park American Legion post. An all-you-can-eat menu of biscuits and gravy, sausage patties, scrambled eggs, coffee, orange juice and milk will be served. The cost is $8 for persons over age 12 and $4 for children 12 and under. Carryout orders will be available.

Food bank to distribute food to families in Gibson City
GIBSON CITY — A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income Ford County families from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Gibson Area Food Pantry, located across from Gibson Area Hospital at 1117 N. Melvin St. in 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 $3,739 per month for a family of four, $3,097 for a family of three, $2,456 for a family of two and $1,815 for a family of one. Those attending are asked to bring bags or boxes to transport food.

Museum to present Artisan Faire
KANKAKEE — The Kankakee County Museum will present the Artisan Faire, a juried fine arts and fine crafts show and sale featuring one-of-a-kind creations, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, at the museum, located at 801 S. 8th Ave., Kankakee. There is no admission charge, and a gourmet lunch will be available from Cream of the Crop. For more information, call 815-932-5279 or visit

GCMS to hold Veterans Day celebration
GIBSON CITY — The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district’s annual Veterans Day celebration will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, in the gym of GCMS High School. The community is invited to attend the ceremony, which will include a keynote presentation and performances by the University of Illinois drill team, GCMS High School band and chorus, and GCMS Elementary School students. Veterans are invited to a breakfast and social starting at 8:15 a.m. in the high school’s library. Railside Golf Club in Gibson City will provide golf cart services for those who might have difficulty walking from their car to the gym. Those who wish to have their items displayed at the celebration should mark them clearly with their name on the back in tape and drop them off at the high school office. Display items can also be sent with students in all three buildings, but they should be brought to the building’s main office. All items need to be dropped off by Nov. 7. If you have a photograph of a family member who has not been included in the Veterans Day celebration’s slide show that you would like to include, email it to Walker Willis at by Nov. 7. Those with general questions may contact KiLee Lidwell-McFerren at 784-4278 or mcferren.kilee@gcmsk12.

PBL plans Veterans Day observances
PAXTON — The Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 and the Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School band will present two Veterans Day observances for the community on Wednesday, Nov. 11, in the high school’s gym. The program will include the presentation of the colors by local veterans, a POW/MIA table ceremony, the recognition of veterans, and the telling of the legend of the four Navy chaplains aboard the USS Dorchester during World War II. The first observance is at 10 a.m. Besides the public, also in attendance will be students in grades six through 12.  An observance will also be held at 8:45 a.m. in the gym for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Blood drive set for Nov. 12
PAXTON — An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Paxton Church of Christ, located across from Hardee’s on Illinois 9. To make an appointment to donate blood at the event, call Mary Werner at 379-2261 or visit the American Red Cross website.

Blue Christmas service nearing
PAXTON — Hope Vineyard Church in Paxton will host a Blue Christmas service at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15. The Blue Christmas service is designed to help bring healing and comfort to those who struggle, mourn, and feel alone during the holidays. The brief service is for everyone, regardless of church background–or lack of it. All are welcome. “Holidays are supposed to be merry and bright. But that’s not always true for people around us,” said Hope Vineyard pastor Jimm Wood. “For some, Thanksgiving and Christmas can be difficult times due to the loss of a loved one, unemployment, health concerns, or financial insecurity. It’s important to be able to acknowledge our grief and ask God to help us through dark times.”

Lighted Christmas Parade set for Nov. 21
GIBSON CITY — The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce’s 21st annual Lighted Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, Nov. 21.


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