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VFW Family Night meals are offered each month 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.  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. 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 selling ribeye steak sandwiches with chips and a drink 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.

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.

The Loda American Legion post will host a fish/chicken fry from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the Legion Hall in Loda. The all-you-can-eat meal includes fish/chicken, livers, gizzards, french fries, cole slaw, baked beans, green beans, potato salad and tarter sauce. Children age 8 and under eat for free. The fish is pollack.

The Arrowsmith American Legion post will host a chicken and noodles and deep-fried pork chop dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at the American Legion Hall in Arrowsmith. The meal is all-you-can-eat when dining in. Children age 10 and under eat for free when dining in with an adult. Carryout orders will be available but are not all-you-can-eat.

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 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

Christ Lutheran High School, located at 201 W. Lincoln St. in Buckley, will host an open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the school, tour the building and meet its faculty and staff. Applications for enrollment for the 2020-21 school year are being accepted. For more information, people can call the school at 217-394-2547.

The Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School FFA chapter’s 32nd annual Farm Toy Show is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the high school in Paxton. In addition to featuring numerous vendors selling farm toys, the event includes a silent auction, door prizes, a pedal tractor pull event at noon, a concession stand and lunch available for purchase. There will also be farm toy displays, with trophies awarded for best of show and best display. Prior to the event, 100 one-sixteenth-scale models of a Minneapolis Moline U Gas tractor will be sold by the FFA chapter for $65 apiece, plus $15 for postage and handling. The highly detailed model tractors — which feature rubber tires and metal rims — will be shipped after Feb. 14. Order forms are available by calling Jim Biggs at 217-822-1160. For more information about the event, people can also contact Biggs.

The Iroquois County Soil & Water Conservation District will hold its annual meeting Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Watseka Service Center in Watseka. Donuts and coffee will be served at 8:30 a.m. After breakfast, there will be a short business meeting followed by the election of three directors. Tickets for the meal can be purchased in advance only at the Iroquois County SWCD office. People can stop by the office or call 815-432-3946, Ext. 3, to make reservations.

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. 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 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.