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VFW Family Night meals will be offered each month starting Friday, Jan. 10, at the VFW post in Gibson City. Chicken and fish dinners with sides will be served starting at 5 p.m. each night. Dine-in and carryout orders are available.

The Elliott Amvets are holding an all-you-can-eat mountain oyster fry from noon to 4 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month.

The Saybrook American Legion Post #427 will host a chicken and fish fry on Jan. 10, Jan.  24, Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 13 and March 27. The menu includes chicken, whole catfish, all-you-can-eat walleye, baked potato, baked beans, cole slaw and a drink. Serving starts at 4:30 p.m. and continues until 6:30.

The Saybrook Sons of the American Legion will host a spaghetti supper from 5 to 7 p.m. on the first Friday of each month through April at the Saybrook American Legion Hall. The cost for the meal is $7. Served will be spaghetti, garlic bread and salad.

A Senior Fit exercise program is available at the Paxton Church of Christ, 400 W. Ottawa Road, every Monday morning at 9. The program is especially designed to help seniors with strength and balance for daily living. The low-impact exercises can all be done while sitting in a chair. All area seniors are invited to attend.

The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will host splatterboard shooting events on Feb. 9 and March 8. Breakfast, cooked to order, starts at 6 a.m., with the splatterboard shoot starting at 8. An Annie tournament begins around 10 a.m. The events are open to the public. For more information, people can visit

The Corn Belt Shrine Club, based in Gibson City, will be serving ribeye steak sandwiches with chips and a drink for $9 each from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays at Jay’s Place at 115 N. Sangamon Ave. in downtown Gibson City. Also, each evening the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School Booster Club will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets.

The Elliott Amvets will hold Family Night meals on the first Friday of each month: Feb. 7, March 6, April 3 and May 1. The meal includes fish and chicken plus two sides for $10. Also available for purchase are $1 sodas, $2 beers and $4.50 mixed drinks.

Cheney’s Grove Township Library in Saybrook is open from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 2 to 5 p.m. each Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday.

The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum is closed until Saturday, April 18, but visits or tours of the museum may still be scheduled by calling 217-379-4111 or 217-722-2227.  

The PBL Area Community Food Pantry is open from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays at 785 S. Railroad Ave. in Paxton. The food pantry serves residents of the Paxton, Buckley and Loda communities.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m. each Monday at the United Methodist Church, 219 S. Margaret St., Piper City.  Visitors are always welcome to attend — including preteens, teens and adults, both male and female. Their first meeting is free. TOPS is a nonprofit, weight-loss support and wellness education organization with thousands of associate chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Members learn about nutrition, portion control, food planning, exercise, motivation and more at the weekly meetings.   For details, people can call Brenda Hemp at 815-954-8835, visit or call TOPS headquarters at 800-932-8677.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meets from 9 to 11 a.m. on the third Friday of each month at the Paxton Church of the Nazarene, 302 W. State St., Paxton. Each meeting includes breakfast, crafts and discussion on relevant topics, with childcare provided. The group is open to mothers of all experience levels. Annual dues cost $31.95. To register, people can visit and type in code “KSIZ.” For more information, people can contact Julie Foster at 618-304-4092.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 5 to 6 p.m. each Monday at the United Methodist Church, located at 219 S. Margaret St. in Piper City. The public is welcome to come and visit; the first meeting is free. TOPS is a nonprofit weight-loss support, education and wellness organization. For more information, people can call Brenda Hemp at 815-954-8835, visit or call TOPS headquarters at 800-932-8677.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 5 to 6:30 p.m. each Monday at the First Lutheran Church, located at 301 S. College St. in Paxton. The public is welcome to come and visit; the first meeting is free. TOPS is a nonprofit weight-loss support, education and wellness organization. For details, people can call Virginia Lafray at 815-668-1728 or visit

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, 107 S. Sangamon Ave., 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.

GriefShare support group meetings will be held at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday starting Feb. 4. GriefShare features nationally recognized experts on grief and recovery topics. Session topics include “Is This Normal?,” “The Challenges of Grief,” “Grief and Your Relationships,” “Why?” and “Guilt and Anger.” For more information or to register, people can call Bonnie at 217-784-5702.

Yarns and Threads, a group of people who enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and all other sewing crafts, meets  on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. at the Paxton Carnegie Library, 254 S. Market St., Paxton.

A benefit for Lyle Adkins, who is currently on the liver transplant list through Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Roberts Gym on Weldon Street in Roberts. Dinner will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. for a donation of $10 per plate for adults and $5 per plate for children. Donations for the meal also cover the night’s entertainment. Attendees have the option to reserve a table seating up to eight people for $200. A silent auction will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., and 50/50 drawings will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. A live auction begins at 7 p.m. At 9 p.m., winners of raffle drawings and the silent auction will be announced. For more information about the event, to reserve a table at the event or to donate toward the event, people can email or call or send a text to 217-680-1382. Adkins was diagnosed in June 2017 with NASH (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), which is the second-leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S.  He has been in and out of the hospital consistently since the beginning of 2019 and as of August has been out of work. The benefit will help to ease some of the financial burdens associated with the liver transplant process and beyond.

The Arrowsmith American Legion post will host a fried chicken and walleye dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at the Legion Hall in Arrowsmith. The meal is all-you-can-eat when dining in. Children ages 10 and under eat for free when dining in with an adult. Carryout orders are also available but are not all-you-can-eat. The cost of the meal is $10.

The Piper City Public Library will host a presentation on pollinator planning from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. Nancy Stamm will be providing the program through the Ford-Iroquois unit of the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners. Attendees will learn about the inclusion of pollinators in their gardening plans. For more information, people can call the library at 815-686-9234.

The movie “The Lion King” will be shown free of charge at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at the Melvin Community Hall. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or rug on which to sit. Chairs are also available.

The Ladies Aid society of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buckley will have a chili and oyster soup luncheon from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, in the cafeteria of St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley. Sandwiches, homemade pie and cake will be served.

Loss of a Spouse — a seminar for people grieving a spouse’s death — will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Gibson City Bible Church. The cost to attend is $5. The seminar features a video with advice from counselors, pastors and widowed men and women, followed by a small-group sharing time. Attendees will learn what to expect in the days ahead, how to handle loneliness, what to do with their spouse’s belongings, and how to find the strength to go on. Attendees receive a booklet with more than 30 short readings on how to live with grief and eventually rebuild their life. For more information, people can call the church at 217-784-5702 or email

St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley will host its annual chicken dinner, auction and carnival on Sunday, Feb. 16. The carnival and auction begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the chicken dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $10. Dine-in and carryout orders will be available. The school is located at 206 Main St. For more information, people can call the school’s office at 217-394-2422.

A Winter Wine Down event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, to raise funds for Gibson City’s sesquicentennial to be celebrated in 2021. Annual fundraising events from 2016 to 2019 have recognized some of Gibson City’s pioneers, notable citizens and businesses. For the 2020 event, the city wants to promote its current businesses and celebrate the end of winter with a fun event. Attendees will visit their favorite Gibson City businesses and discover some new shops along the way. Participating businesses are asked provide wine or non-alcoholic beverages and a bite-sized snack. Tickets will cost $20 each and will be sold prior to the event and on the day of the event. On the day of the event, tickets will be taken by committee members outside the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce office, where wrist bands, cards and wine glasses will be issued. Cards will list the participating businesses with a space provided for a store representative to initial prior to the attendee being served. Card holders must also have the event’s wine glass and wrist band to be served. The suggested beverage serving is 1 ounce. An average bottle of wine is 25 ounces. The goal is to sell 200 tickets (approximately seven to eight bottles of wine per business). Card holders will be asked to keep their purchase receipts from participating businesses, and for every $10 spent they will receive an entry for a prize drawing. All of the money earned during the event will go toward the sesquicentennial celebration.