List of upcoming community events (Feb. 28, 2018)

Fisher Odd Fellows Lodge No. 704 meets at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Odd Fellow Hall, located at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in downtown Fisher. Oddfellowship is a service organization dedicated to the betterment of mankind. Anyone interested in membership information may call 217-897-6544 or stop in at the Free Book Exchange, where pamphlets are available.

Celebrate Recovery sessions are being held at 6:15 p.m. on Thursdays at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, 925 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. Food and fellowship will be offered from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., followed by worship from 6:45 to 7 p.m., a lesson from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and “open share” groups from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Childcare is available. For more information, call 217-784-8673.

Celebrate Recovery sessions are being held at 6 p.m. on Mondays at The Upper Room Bible Church, 455 W. Orleans St., Paxton. Food and fellowship will be offered from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by worship from 6:30 to 6:45 p.m., a lesson from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. and “open share” groups from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. Childcare is available. For more information, call 217-379-4189.

Yarns and Threads, a group of people who enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and all other sewing crafts, is inviting members of the public to join the group for its meetings held every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. at the Paxton Carnegie Library.

Little Achievers Academy Preschool will hold registration for the 2018-19 school year from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at the American Lutheran Church in Gibson City. To register for Little Achievers, a student must be 3 years old and toilet-trained by Sept. 1. Pre-kindergarten students must be 4 years old and toilet-trained by Sept. 1. The registration fee is $25 and will guarantee a student a spot in the fall. Parents may bring their students to register on March 1 and meet teachers, check out the classroom and ask any questions they may have. Parents who are unable to attend are asked to contact Kari DeFries at 217-784-4456 to set up another time. For more information, people can visit Facebook at “Little Achievers Academy Preschool.”

The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor a Viewpoint breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. Friday, March 2, at the Happy Days Diner in Roberts. Breakfast will be followed by a discussion on topics members wish to talk about. Viewpoint is the name given to the Farm Bureau’s grassroots effort to raise issues and concerns from members.  There is no charge for members to attend, and reservations are not needed.

The Saybrook Sons of the American Legion Squad No. 427 will be hosting a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the Saybrook Legion Hall. The cost is $7. Dinner includes spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. Dine-in orders are all-you-can-eat. Carryout orders are also available but are not all-you-can-eat.

The Arrowsmith American Legion post will be hosting an all-you-can-eat chicken, walleye and catfish filet dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the Arrowsmith American Legion Hall. Children age 10 and under eat for free when dining in with an adult. Carryout orders will also be available but are not all-you-can-eat.

The Elliott Amvets will serve a chicken and fish meal from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, with two sides, including a choice of potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans or apple sauce. Chicken nuggets kids’ meals will also be available.

The Iroquois County Democratic Central Committee will hold its Spring New Day/New Deal Dinner on Saturday, March 3, at Town and Country, 35 E. Jones St., Milford. The dinner honors the 85th anniversary of the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and all of the progressive policies that he enabled, as well as the new progressive policies addressing the concerns of the people offered by the modern progressive wing of the Democratic party. The keynote speaker will be Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. Colleen Callahan, director of USDA Rural Development and radio celebrity, will be the master of ceremonies. Local candidates and congressional candidates will be attending and speaking at the event, as well. Food will be provided by Road Kill Caterers. The cost of admission is $15, with sponsorship levels of $50 and $100. For tickets and more information, visit www.iroquoisdemocrats.com or mail a check to P.O. Box 86, Watseka, IL 60970.

The Neverly Brothers will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Melvin Community Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the Melvin Youth selling vegetable and beef soup, egg salad, sandwiches, drinks and homemade pies. Tickets cost $10 and can be reserved by calling 217-388-2853.

The Delta Dash 5K will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School, 700 W. Orleans St., Paxton, as a fundraiser for students’ upcoming community service trip to the Mississippi Delta. While in the Mississippi Delta, students will be helping work to build a home for Habitat for Humanity. Race participants who register online by Feb. 21 receive a race T-shirt. Registration can also be completed in person on the day of the race.  Donations to help fund the trip will also be collected on the day of the race. Prizes will be awarded for top finishers and top donors.

The Gibson City Lions Club will hold an all-you-can-eat Pancake Day fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sunday, March 4, in the cafeteria at Gibson City Elementary School. Served will be regular and blueberry pancakes with whole hog sausage and biscuits and gravy. Tickets cost $7, with kids ages 6-12 eating for $4.50 and kids age 5 and under eating for free.

The Fisher Free Book Exchange and Rummage Sale will be open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in Fisher. A surgical procedure is scheduled for March 19, and the book exchange will not be open that day.  The next Book Day will be April 2.

Frair Johnpaul Cafiero, a Franciscan priest of the Sacred Heart of Chicago/St. Louis, will present “Our Lenten Journey as Instruments of Peace: Reflections on the Peace Prayer” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4; Monday, March 5; and Tuesday, March 6, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Paxton. Topics to be explored include being “instruments of peace” in a war-torn world, faith and doubt, happiness versus joy, depression and surrender, death and new life. Cafiero is a former police officer who has worked as a counselor and chaplain at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago. He has lectured, preached and conducted pilgrimages throughout the U.S. and internationally. His storytelling and humor bring to life the message of Jesus’ words.

A Meet the Candidates Forum for the two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Ford County treasurer — Kasi Schwarz and Krisha Shoemaker — will be held Tuesday, March 6, at Railside Golf Club, 120 W. 19th St., Gibson City. The forum, which is being sponsored by the Ford County Republican Central Committee, begins at 6 p.m. Starting at 5 p.m., light appetizers and drinks will be served. For more information, people can contact Ford County Republican Party Chairman Chase McCall at 217-898-3842.

VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville will be hosting a Hiring Fair for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in the Social Activities Room in Building 104 at 1900 E. Main St., Danville. Attendees are asked to bring an updated resume and two forms of identification. Interviews will be conducted during the hiring fair.

The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet is set for Thursday, March 8, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City.  The guest speaker will be Brian Barnhart, perhaps better known as “The Voice of the Illini.” Barnhart serves as the voice of the Fighting Illini Radio Network, providing play-by-play coverage of University of Illinois football and men’s basketball games. The event begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a social time, followed by a catered dinner at 6:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the chamber will recognize its 2017 Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year, along with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The event is free to attend for chamber members and their guests. Each member receives two tickets. Additional tickets may be purchased for $25 each, with advance registration required. Reservations are requested by Friday, Feb. 16. To reserve a seat, people can email Jackie Rusk at jackie.rusk@gapho.org or send reservations via mail to: Gibson Area Chamber, P.O. Box 294, Gibson City, IL 60936.

The Saybrook American Legion Post 427 will be serving whole catfish, all-you-can-eat walleye and chicken from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 9. Attendees will have their choice of one of the three meats, along with baked potato, baked beans, coleslaw, relishes and a drink. People can eat in or take an order to go.

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School’s chorus department will present the musical “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at 7 p.m. Friday, March 9, and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10, in the school’s gymnasium.
“Beauty and the Beast” is based on the Academy Award-winning Disney animated film and includes all the characters and  songs from the film, in addition to new songs written for the Broadway show. The GCMS production is under the direction of Amanda Broaddus. Choreography is by Ann Spangler. Pit band direction is by Krysti Brucker and Kyle Renchen.
The GCMS cast includes: Brooke Wilfong, Jeremy Steidinger, Nate Schutte, Liam Killian, Garrett Frashier, Gabby Dammkoehler, Ethan Freehill, Caleb Rogers, Shannon Spangler, Chase Pondel, Bailey Salyards, Alec Johnson, Estelle Keigher, Sydney Funk, Megan Moody, Hattie Parsons, Clay Bane, Cameron Cail, Emma McGuire, Rylan Davis, Katie Kamman, Ethan Garard, Katie Johnson, Susan Harmet, Alex Killian, Allie Davis, Brodie Doman, Jordan Phifer, Emily Clinton, Tyler Ricks, Jalen Cail, Jacey Goin, Hailey Rutledge, Remi Astronomo, Marcus Baillie, Jesse Swanson, Haley Brown, Emma Swanson, Sierra Ward, Sam Groover, Ashlyn Allemand, Caleb Dunham, Kelsee Cliff, Taylor Dueringer, Cloe Lupton, Graham Voelker, Matt Hunt and Haven Hathaway.
Reserved ticket sales begin Feb. 21. For reserved tickets, people can call 784-4292. Reserved seats cost $7 each.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) will hold a free clinic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 9, at the Moyer District Library in Gibson City to help residents save potentially hundreds of dollars a year on their utility bills.
Consumers should bring their gas, electric and phone bills for a free, one-on-one consultation with a CUB expert, who will search for ways to lower their utility costs.
The library is located at 618 S. Sangamon  Ave.
Other free clinics will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at the Watseka Public Library, 201 S. Fourth St.; and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, March 19, at the Hoopeston Public Library, 110 N. Fourth St.
CUB will give consumers information on: how to spot unnecessary charges on natural gas, electric and phone bills; energy efficiency programs and rebates that can help people cut their utility bills; programs such as Peak Time Rewards and Power Smart Pricing that could save consumers money; utility rates and making the right choices in the energy market; and CUB services, including its toll-free Consumer Hotline (800-669-5556).
Attendees should bring their utility bills so a CUB expert can analyze them.
To register for at least one of the events, people can call state Rep. Tom Bennett’s office at 815-432-0106 or visit www.ilhousegop.org/cub_energy_events_bennett.

The Hoopeston Save The Lorraine Theatre is hosting John Tibbs, a Christian music entertainer, at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at the Lorraine Theatre. The show is a fundraiser toward the continuing renovation of the 97-year-old theater. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at the door. All seating is general seating.

The Osman Immanuel Lutheran Church will be preparing a benefit soup supper for Tammy Warren of Farmer City from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10, in the church’s fellowship hall. Warren, who is underdoing continued treatment for bladder cancer, is a teacher’s aide in the Blue Ridge school district. The menu includes chili, oyster soup, potato soup, sandwiches, desserts, pie and drinks. A free-will offering will be taken. Persons interested in donating are asked to make a check payable to Immanuel Lutheran Church of Osman and mail it to: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 942 Grape Ave.,  Fisher IL 61843. The church is located between Mansfield and Bellflower.

The Paxton Community Nursery School will be holding registration for the 2018-19 school year from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 12, at the preschool at 601 S. Fall St., Paxton. 
Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Teacher Pam Sanders and Teacher’s Aid Melissa Atkins will be available to speak with parents during the registration event. 
To register, a child must be 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 1. Schedules and information packets will be available at registration. The fee to register is $25.
For more information, call 217-379-9697.

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Coffee & Connections event from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, at the Country Thyme Tea Room in Paxton.

The Men’s Breakfast Group of the Gibson City United Methodist Church is inviting all firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians serving the Gibson City area to a chili and oyster soup dinner that will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in the lower level of the church, located at 206 E. 10th St., Gibson City. All the men of the church are also invited to the dinner, which will honor emergency responders for their service.

The movie “Wonder” will be shown for free of charge at 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, at the Melvin Community Hall. The movie has a message that will appeal to people of all ages. Attendees are asked to bring a rug or blanket if they plan to sit on the floor; otherwise, chairs are available.

Veteran dirt late model racer Kevin Weaver will be holding a “Racing Party/Cash Bash” fundraiser from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Kruse Center, 207 N. Lawrence St., Gibson City. The fundraiser will feature tickets sold for a cash bash that will award $2,000 as the top prize, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third. Many other monetary prizes will be drawn throughout the ticket number elimination process, as well.  In addition, each ticket sold includes a furnished meal and drinks during the drawings (one ticket covers two people), and there will also be an auction of racing and/or other items, raffles and 50/50 drawings. A local DJ service will also be on hand for music throughout the night. For more information, people can contact Paige Weaver at 217-781-0537.

The Sibley Senior Citizens will meet at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the parish hall at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sibley. Members are advised that the regular meeting location at the Sullivant Township Hall is changed due to the election that day. Persons attending are asked to bring a dish to share and their own table service.

The Forrest American Legion post will host a pancakes/sausage/eggs breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Forrest American Legion Hall. The cost of the meal is $7, with children ages 6-12 eating for $4 and children ages 5 and under eating for free. There will be meat for sale during the event.

The Gibson City Rotary Club’s annual Rotary Ball is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, at The Sand Trap in Gibson City. The event — a fundraiser for the club — will feature live music, dancing, games and prizes, a live auction and raffles. The Libido Funk Circus of Chicago will provide musical entertainment. The event begins with a meal served from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., followed by music from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.  Tickets are available from all Rotarians, by contacting Janna Friday at the Bank of Gibson City or by contacting club president Susie Tongate at susietongate@hotmail.com or 309-825-0311. A ticket purchased in advance for $25 covers event entry, the meal and an entry in the $500 cash raffle. Tickets purchased at the door for $25 cover event entry and the meal only. Tickets purchased at the door for $15 cover event entry only.

Authors Kris Condi and Bill Milan will be coming to the Paxton Carnegie Library, 254 S. Market St., Paxton, at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24. During their visit, they will give a presentation and hold a question-and-answer session about publishing and writing novels. Condi is the author of “N is for Noah,” while Milan is the author of “Sunshine.”

Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will host a Trivia Night event on Saturday, March 24. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with trivia starting at 7 p.m. Teams of eight people can register for an $80 fee. There will be food and prizes. For more information or to register, call 217-394-2547.

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting is set for Monday, April 16, at Engelbrecht Farm in rural Paxton.

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Business After Hours event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at Accolade Healthcare in Paxton.

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s next Lunch ‘N Learn event is set for noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at Hope Vineyard Church in downtown Paxton. The speaker will be Matthew Jones, who will talk about cybersecurity and how people can protect their business. Lunch will be provided.

The annual Ford County Lincoln Day Dinner is set for Wednesday, May 9, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. The keynote speaker will be former Illinois governor Jim Edgar. Ticket distribution will begin soon.

The Paxton-Buckley-Loda jazz band will perform a free concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 20, in the pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton as part of the annual Music Under the Stars concert series sponsored by PRIDE in Paxton.

The Prairie Dogs will perform a free concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 24, in the pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton as part of the annual Music Under the Stars concert series sponsored by PRIDE in Paxton.

The Back Paiges will perform a free concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 29, in the pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton as part of the annual Music Under the Stars concert series sponsored by PRIDE in Paxton.

Prairie City will perform a free concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, in the pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton as part of the annual Music Under the Stars concert series sponsored by PRIDE in Paxton.

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