List of upcoming community events (April 16, 2013)

Healthcare program to be held at Gibson City library. A program for healthcare professionals entitled “It’s in Every One of Us” will be held Wednesday, April 17, at the Moyer District Library in Gibson City. The program, sponsored by Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services, is offered at two different times: 7:30-9 a.m. and 3:30-5 p.m. The speaker is Faith Roberts, a nurse of 33 years who is currently coordinator of the Community Parish Nurse Program at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. She speaks across the U.S. and Canada on topics close to every healthcare professional’s heart. She has spoken numerous times at all three Mayo clinics and has given more than 1,800 presentations on the state, national and international level.  There is a fee for the public to attend. To register, contact Eileen Woolums at 784-4093 or eileen_woolums@gibsonhospital.org.

Rules of the Road course offered in 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, April 18, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St. The purpose of the course is to help participants pass the Illinois driver’s license renewal examination. The course prepares applicants for the general written and road exams, while also providing information on the vision screening.

Crafters, vendors to be at Spring Fling in Saybrook. Crafters and vendors from Saybrook will hold the Bloomin’ Spring Fling Show from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 19, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 20, at the former TruValue Hardware building and Cheneys Grove Township building, both in downtown Saybrook. Twelve local crafters and vendors will have booths displaying homemade jewelry, crocheted items, sock monkeys, American Doll size clothes, framed art work, garden seed stars, Tag Buddy blankets, T-shirt accessories, Vault Jeans, Posh products, and Pampered Chef and Pasta Alley products. In conjunction with the event, the Saybrook Stars and Stripes Celebration Committee will hold a pasta dinner from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the American Legion building in Saybrook. A free-will offering will be accepted to benefit the town’s Fourth of July festivities.

GOP women’s clubs set conference in Champaign. The Illinois Federation of Republican Women is holding its spring conference, “It’s Time — Republican Women,” featuring Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman as the keynote speaker. There are 44 Illinois Federation of Republican Women clubs in Illinois, and six — from Vermilion, Crawford, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon and McLean counties — are hosting this event April 19-20 at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center in Champaign. In addition to Garman, M. Carol Pope and Lisa Holder White, both judges on the Fourth District Appellate Court, will also be in attendance.
The conference is open to the public. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. April 19 and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20. Registration on April 19 is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a social and the official opening at 6:30 p.m. The “Redcoats” musical group from North Ridge Middle School in Danville will perform at 6:35 p.m. followed by dinner and the keynote address by Garman at 8 p.m. and ends with a hospitality event from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. For more information or to register, call Pat Fee at 630-740-7415 or email to pat.f@ifrw.org.

Food give-away to be conducted April 20. A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income area families on Saturday, April 20, 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 $3,554 per month for a family of four, $2,943 for a family of three, $2,333 for a family of two and $1,722 for a family of one.

Dog park fundraiser set. As a fundraiser for a proposed dog park at Coady Park in Paxton, the Paxton Dog Park Committee will sponsor its Milkbones for Money Fund Drive-by II on Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, in front of The Animal House, 425 S. Market St. “You can stay in your car and help a local cause for paws at the same time,” a news release said. “Just pull in the driveway to The Animal House, make a donation, receive a milkbone, and follow the drive around to the alley and back onto the street. It’s as easy as that.”

Bellflower Opry to perform concert April 20. The Bellflower Country Opry’s next show will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Bellflower Community Center, 202 Center St. The show features rock-and-roll music from the 1950s and 1960s. Doors open at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets in advance, call 309-722-3497 or 898-7493. Children age 12 and under enter free of charge.

Park district to hold community build. Volunteer help is being sought for the construction of a new playground at Coady Park.  A “community build” is set for Saturday, April 20, and Recreation Director Neal McKenry said the park district needs as many community volunteers as possible to help build the playground that day. The work will start at 8 a.m.  Park board member Steve Sample, who said he was involved in building a similar playground at PBL Eastlawn School, said about 20 to 30 volunteers helped build that playground in a single day.  “You don’t have to have a construction background,” Sample noted. “We just need folks who are willing to get a little dirty and provide a little labor.”  A free lunch will be provided to helpers. Anyone interested is asked to simply show up at the park that day.

Community sale set in Thawville. The annual Thawville Community Sale is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, in downtown Thawville.
As part of the sale, the Iroquois-Ford Fire Protection District will offer Bossy Bingo. The cow will be unleashed at 3 p.m. There are 100 spaces available, with each space having three chances of winning. For more information, call Joel Moore at 202-6361, Gary Fuoss at 249-0950 or Andy Hildenbrand at 815-471-4554.

CLHS to host luncheon. Christ Lutheran High School will host a pork chop luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at the school, located at 201 W. Lincoln St., Buckley. The menu includes pork chops, cheesy potatoes, corn, cole slaw, fruit salad, applesauce and an assortment of desserts and drinks. A freewill donation will be taken.

Gospel concert to be held April 21 in Loda. Beyond the Ashes, a southern gospel group from Nashville, Tenn., will perform a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at the Loda United Methodist Church, 200 S. Locust St., Loda. A freewill offering will be collected. For more information, call 386-2237 or email lodaumc@mchsi.com.

St. John’s Lutheran to host open house April 23.  St. John’s Lutheran Preschool is hosting an open house from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. The event is open to prospective students and their parents, as well as, currently enrolled students and their families.  Morning classes are available for any child who is 3 or 4 years old by Sept. 1, 2013.  Registration packets will be available that evening and in the school office. Parents unable to attend or those who have any questions are asked to call the school office at 394-2422.

CLHS to host trivia night. Christ Lutheran High School will host Trivia Night on Saturday, April 27. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with trivia starting at 7 p.m. Food and prizes will be available. Teams of eight people can register for $80. To register, or for more information, call 394-2547.

Buckley Garage Sale Days scheduled. Buckley Garage Sale Days is scheduled for Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27. A sign-up sheet is available at the Buckley State Bank for those interested in having their garage sales included on maps promoting the event. The maps will be available at various locations that weekend. Residents must sign up by Tuesday, April 23, to be included on the map.

Tour of Ten-Mile Grove offered. A tour of Ten-Mile Grove west of Paxton will be offered to the public Saturday, April 27, starting at 1:30 p.m.  Bob Reber will lead the tour and discuss the ecological prehistory and history that led to the development of the grove along with the role played by European settlers. Native flora and fauna will be identified and discussed, as well. The last weekend in April is usually the start of the spring wildflower season in the grove. The grove contains several species not common in this area. The tour is limited to the first 25 participants who register. To register, call Reber at 379-2459 or email him at rjreber@illinois.edu. The tour is sponsored by the Paxton Foundation and Friends of Ten-Mile Grove. Participants are asked to meet in the parking area at the Howard Thomas Memorial Nature Preserve on the south side of Illinois 9.

Twins Convention set for April 27-28. The Illinois Twins Convention is set for April 27-28 in Rockford. East Central Illinois is home to several twins, including state presidents Jevonne and Stephone McDonald, both from Champaign, Darlene Starkey of Paxton and her twin, Kathy Wilken of Gifford; Jane Stalter of Gifford and Jean Polson of rural Paxton; and Larry and Gary Helfrich of Thomasboro. The two-day event will feature a number of activities, including bowling, pizza, the convention at the Discovery Center in Rockford and judging for oldest, youngest, most alike and most unalike twins. Judging will take place April 28 after a luncheon. Reservations are required by April 16 for the April 28 luncheon. No tickets will be sold at the door. Call Micki Bratton at 202-1788 to make reservations. Call Starkey at 202-8242 with questions.

Craft fair to take place Sunday. The second annual Spring Craft and Vendor Fair is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St., Paxton. Vendors include: Scentsy, Avon, Thirty-One, Kitcheneez, It Works!, Norwex, Do you Bake, Pure Romance, Stampin’ Up, Perfectly Imperfect, Grace Adele, Pampered Chef, South Hill Designs, Perfectly Posh, Mager Image Photography, and Sunless Goddess.

Food give-away set in Paxton for May 18. A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income area families on Saturday, May 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Full Gospel Christian Fellowship, 619 S. Railroad Ave., Paxton. 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 $3,554 per month for a family of four, $2,943 for a family of three, $2,333 for a family of two and $1,722 for a family of one.

Chamber dinner set for May 22. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon, scheduled for noon Wednesday, May 22, will feature a presentation by Craig Loschen of Flipswitch Consulting and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser. The catered lunch will be made and served by the Paxton Woman’s Club. The luncheon is open to the public. Persons interested in attending are asked to mail a check for $8 per person and the names of the people attending to the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 75, Paxton, IL 60957. Reservations and payment must be made by Friday, May 17.

Another food give-away in Gibson City. A truckload of food from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be distributed to low-income area families on Saturday, June 15, 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 $3,554 per month for a family of four, $2,943 for a family of three, $2,333 for a family of two and $1,722 for a family of one.

Piper/Ford Central alumni to gather in June. The Piper City/Ford Central Alumni Reunion will  be held Saturday, June 1, at the old Piper City gym. Dinner will be at 6 p.m., with Ne’s Place of Piper City catering the meal. Honored classes will be those ending in 3’s and 8’s. Letters will be sent to alumni by the end of February. For more information, call Ruth Rice Kurtenbach at 309-728-2263 or email her at kurten@frontiernet.net.

Dustin Lynch to perform at Ford County Fair. Nashville recording artist Dustin Lynch headlines this year’s Ford County Fair with a concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25. The concert also features the band Brushfire.  The fair runs from June 23-29 at the fairgrounds in Melvin. Lynch’s self-titled first CD debuted Aug. 21, 2012. Two hits, “Cowboys and Angels” and “She Cranks My Tractor,” have already hit the charts. Lynch will be touring with Keith Urban and Little Big Town starting in July. “We are excited to bring a concert of this level to the fair,” said fair board member Scott Harden. “Finding an artist who would perform at the fair has been a goal of ours for a few years. We just had to find the right act. We think  Dustin Lynch and Brushfire are a perfect mix for the fair.” Tickets for the concert are on sale through the Ford County Fair’s website, www.fordcountyfair.org, and through the fair’s Facebook page.  The concert will be in an open venue. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs if desired. The concert is being sponsored by Birkey’s Case IH, DuPont/Pioneer, Heritage FS and Patrick May Enterprises/May Electric. For more information, email fordcofair@hotmail.com.

Arbor Day observance set for Friday. Paxton’s annual Arbor Day observance is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Friday, April 26, on the courthouse lawn at the intersection of State and Taft streets. As part of the observance, Mayor Bill Ingold will dedicate a newly planted swamp white oak in honor of Bob Martensen, who retired this year from a lengthy career as the city’s attorney and the Paxton Park District’s attorney. Members of Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s FFA chapter will also talk about the history of Arbor Day and provide information about the tree being dedicated. The observance typically lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. The swamp white oak is a  medium-sized Missouri native oak that grows to 50-70 feet tall with a broad rounded crown. It is particularly noted for its large-toothed/lobed, bicolor leaves that are shiny dark green above and white to silver green beneath. Leaves turn yellow to reddish purple in fall. Mature trees have distinctive, scaly-ridged, gray-brown bark. The long-lived, easy-to-grow shade tree thrives in acidic soils ranging from moist/swampy to well-drained.

Former Paxton teacher to hold book signing for memoir. Long-time former Paxton teacher Arcelia Watson of Savoy has written a memoir, and she will do a book signing at Barnes and Noble book store on Saturday, April 27, beginning at 1 p.m. The store is at 65 E. Marketview St., Champaign.
Her book, “With Love: My Memoir,” describes her life as she dealt with problems in her family. She talks about struggles with alcoholism, codependency, divorce and Alzheimer’s disease. Watson has donated a copy to the Paxton Carnegie Library. Watson retired from the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district in 2009 after teaching 54 years in public schools. She taught at East Lynn the first seven years of her career, but the vast majority of the time she spent in classrooms in Paxton. Watson moved to Savoy in 2009. She has traveled extensively in the U.S. and across the world and has spent many years ushering at the Assembly Hall.
Her book can be purchased online at barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

Local author to hold book signing Saturday. Author Hea Gin Lee Burton of Urbana, formerly of Paxton, will hold a meet-and-greet and book signing at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 20, for her recently published autobiographical novel, “The Girl with a Lotus in Her Hair: A Korean War Bride’s Story of Courage, Love and Survival.” The event will be held at Hudson Drug & Hallmark Shop, 108 N. Market St., Paxton. Born into an educator and landowner’s family during the Japanese Occupation, Burton was a young girl who survived as a prisoner of war during the Korean Conflict and learned to live through the hard times. Her story tells of danger, isolation, loneliness, love, rejection, and the worst of all wars — family members caught up in the drug culture.

“Barefoot in the Park” to be shown in late April. The Tri-County Players is sponsoring the Side by Side production of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” for one weekend only, April 26-28, at the Market Street Theatre in downtown Paxton. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter have just moved into their new apartment, a much too expensive sixth floor walk-up with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does. Paul just doesn’t understand Corie, as she sees it. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. He’s too staid, too boring and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous, running “barefoot in the park” would be a start.
One of Simon’s best-known plays, this hilarious comedy features area actors Mike O’Brien, Gibson City, as Paul and Vie Anglin-Jones, Saybrook, filling the role of Corie.  Mr. Velasco is played by Greg Herriott, Loda with Anne Newman, Paxton playing Corie’s mother.  Rounding out the cast is Haiden Coates, Gibson City, as the telephone repairman.  The show is directed by Rich Perkins, Sibley.
Tickets for the show may be reserved by calling 379-7028.

“Beauty and the Beast” to be presented in Hoopeston. The Artistic Repertory Theatre is presenting “Beauty and the Beast” at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the Hoopeston Area High School auditorium, located on Illinois 9 about one mile east of Illinois 1. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated Disney feature, the musical features 51 cast members from Hoopeston, Cissna Park, Watseka, Rossville, Milford, Champaign and Boswell, Ind. For more information or to order tickets in advance, call 283-6553 or visit www.artcommunitytheatre.org.

St. John’s Lutheran to offer informaitonal meeting. St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley is offering an informational meeting for prospective kindergarten students and their parents for the 2013-14 school year.  “This is a great opportunity for parents and students to see the classroom and meet Mrs. Sturm, the current kindergarten teacher,” a news release said.  The meeting will take place from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30,  in the kindergarten room at St. John’s Lutheran School,  For more information, call the school office at 394-2422.

Republican women to hold spring luncheon. The Ford County Republican Women’s Club will hold its first Spring Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at Lakeview Country Club at Bayles Lake, rural Loda. The program will be “Everything is Coming Up Flowers.” There is a cost to attend, and attendees may reserve seats by calling Gwen Ennen at 379-4935 by April 27.

Clean-Up Day scheduled for Saturday in Sibley. The village of Sibley’s Clean-Up Day is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 18. Residents are asked to bring items for disposal to the east side of the uptown park. There is a $9 fee per tire for tire disposal.  Not accepted are oil, wet paint, yard waste and consumer electronics.
For more information, call Jim Kearney at 745-1027.

University Language Acedemy to offer summer camps. The University Language Academy for Children will offer summer camps for  children ages 4-11 at the Children’s Research Center, 51 E. Gerty Drive,  Champaign. The camps run five days a week through June and July. Registration is requested by May 31. For more information, visit www.languageacademy.illinois.edu/ or email sip-ulac@illinois.edu.

Car show to take place in June. The annual Rockin’ and Roddin’ car show, sponsored by Hot Rods & Hooligans Motor Club, is scheduled for 2-10 p.m. Saturday, June 15, in downtown Rantoul. The event will feature food, music and a street dance, as well as a special giveaway from The Pawn Shop. Trophies will be awarded to the top 20 cars, bikes, etc. Special awards will be given for semis and imports. Judging starts at 6 p.m. The awards presentation is at 8 p.m.

Harley-Davidson raffle set for June. Tickets are being sold early this year for the Paxton Fire Protection District’s 11th annual Harley-Davidson raffle, scheduled for Saturday, June 8. Tickets can be purchased for $100 from any Paxton firefighter. Four-hundred tickets are being sold. Being raffled this year is a 2013 Harley-Davidson Street Glide, valued at $20,000. The winner of the raffle will have the choice of accepting either the motorcycle or $10,000 in cash. Tickets cover one entry into the raffle, along with admission to the event and food and drinks for two people. The event will be held at the firehouse on North Market Street. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and drawings for the motorcycle and other cash prizes will be held from 5-8 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided. The raffle is the fire department’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds will be used to help pay for the department’s ladder truck. For more information, call Chief Denny Kingren at 202-6398 or 379-3331.

Rantoul class reunion set for August. A 40-year combined class reunion for the Rantoul High School classes of 1973 and 1974 is being planned for Aug. 9-10. An informal get-together will take place at the Rantoul Knights of Columbus Hall on the evening of Friday, Aug. 9. A night of entertainment will be held at Eastland Suites in Urbana on Saturday, Aug. 10.  Hotel rooms may be reserved by calling Eastland Suites at 367-8331. Ask for the RTHS Class of 1973-74 Reunion block. Send contact information to rths197374@yahoo.com. 

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