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 Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8, Jan. 1, 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 www.fooslandsportsmensclub.com.
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: Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6, Jan. 3, 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 open each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum, which specializes in Ford County history, is located at 135 S. Market St. behind Paxton City Hall. There is no charge for admission to the museum. For more information or to schedule visits at other times, people can call 217-379-4111 or 217-722-2227.
Loda Township Library board meetings will be held at 5 p.m. in the library’s main reading room on Nov. 18 in 2019 and on Jan. 21 and March 16 in 2020. For more information, people can call the library at 386-2783.
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.
A potluck dinner for persons over age 55 is held on the fourth Thursday of each month through October in Gibson City. It is held in the Senior Center at the South Park. Chicken and a cold drink are provided. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and their own dinnerware.
The Paxton Carnegie Library’s board of trustees will meet at the library at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.
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 www.tops.org 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 www.mops.org 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 6:30 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 www.tops.org.
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.
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.
The fall sessions of DivorceCare will be held at 6:30 p.m. each Monday through Dec. 16 at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. DivorceCare is a weekly seminar and support group that helps people heal from the hurt of a separation or divorce. Participants learn practical information and gain hope for the future. For more information, people can call 217-784-5702 or visit www.divorcecare.com or www.gibsoncitybible.org.
A GriefShare support group meeting and seminar is held at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. GriefShare features nationally recognized experts on grief and recovery topics. Seminar sessions 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 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Rules of the Road review course will be held 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Oct. 11, at the Telecare building at 215 E. Third St., Gibson City.
Rick & Friends will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Melvin Community Hall. The cost of admission is $10 for persons age 12 and older. Food — including hamburger sloppy Joe sandwiches, chips, drinks and homemade pies — will be sold by the Melvin Woman’s Club starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information, people can call Norman Schall at 217-388-2853.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Boy Scouts Troop No. 32 in Paxton. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
The Gibson City community is being invited to attend an event at the future site of the Ed Day Memorial Skateboard Park at the city’s West Park, featuring inflatables, Crowridge Farm ice cream and other activities, on Sunday, Oct. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. Members of the committee organizing fundraising efforts for the skatepark will be there to answer questions or accept suggestions from the community. Attendees are asked to bring aluminum cans to be donated toward the committee’s can drive fundraiser.
A Youth Fall Fest is being held at the Paxton Church of Christ, 400 W. Ottawa Road, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16. There will be a wiener roast, a pumpkin craft and games, as well as a Bible lesson. Elementary children and junior high school youth are invited to participate.
The movie “The Secret Life of Pets II” will be shown free of charge at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Melvin Community Hall. Attendees are advised to bring a blanket or rug on which to sit. Chairs will be available.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Lake Iroquois Association Women’s Club. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
The Fisher Free Book Exchange, located at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in Fisher, will be open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21. Available, free of charge, are hundreds of books. For more information, people can call 217-897-6544.
Gibson City’s annual Fright Night event is set for Tuesday, Oct. 22, featuring trick-or-treating, a costume contest and pumpkin decorating contest. Judging for the contests begins at 6 p.m., and contestants are asked to arrive at 5:30 p.m. There will be four age divisions in the costume contest (0-3, 4-6, 7-10 and 11-14) and two age divisions in the pumpkin decorating contest (0-5 and 6-11).
A program about butterfly gardens will be offered from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Piper City Public Library. The program will be provided by Donna Siders through the Ford-Iroquois unit of the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners program. The public is welcome to attend. For more information, people can call the library at 815-686-9234.
The Tri-County Players will present the comedy “Kitchen Witches,” by Caroline Smith, on Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 1-3 at the Market Street Theatre in downtown Paxton. Shows times are 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost $12 and can be reserved by calling 217-379-7028; walk-ins are always welcome. Isobel Lomax (portrayed by Sherry Janowski) and Dolly Biddle (Sherilyn McIntyre) are two “mature” cable-access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for 30 years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other. When circumstances put them together on a TV show called “The Kitchen Witches,” the insults are flung harder than the food. Dolly’s long-suffering TV-producer/director son, Stephen Biddle (Brandon Irish), Don the stage manager (Tom Janowski) and Rob the stage hand (Michael Soltis) try to keep them on track, but as long as Dolly’s dressing room is one inch closer to the set than Isobel’s, it’s a losing battle, and the show becomes a ratings smash as Dolly and Isobel top both Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer. The show is directed by Tammy Belanger.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Paxton Masonic Lodge. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
The Paxton Park District’s annual Halloween Parade is scheduled for 4 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, on Market Street in downtown Paxton. Participating children and their parents are asked to line up at the corner of Market and Orleans streets before the parade begins, making its way north of Market Street to the firehouse. At the firehouse, goodie bags will be given to the kids. Children can then trick-or-treat at participating businesses along Market Street.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the GAB Women’s Group. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
The Osman Immanuel Lutheran Church will be holding a benefit soup supper as a fundraiser for Megan Thompson of Monticello from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the church’s fellowship hall. Thompson has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at age 32. The cancer has spread to her liver and bones, and her last treatment regimen failed, so she is presently looking for experimental treatments. The menu for the supper will include chili, oyster soup, potato soup, sandwiches, desserts, pie and drinks. A free-will offering will be taken. People interested in donating toward the benefit 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 IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Toys for Tots program. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Gibson City Masonic Lodge. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation’s 10th annual Ford-Iroquois 4-H Auction will be held Sunday, Nov. 17, at St Paul’s Lutheran School, 108 W. Woodworth Road, Milford. A complementary pork-burger meal will begin at 1:30 p.m., and the live auction begins at 2 p.m. In 2008, the State 4-H Office mandated a $20 participation fee to join 4-H. The foundation felt this would be a hardship on families; therefore, the auction was created. The proceeds from the auction are used to cover participation fees totaling more than $13,000 for all 4-H’ers in Ford and Iroquois counties. Any additional funds raised support Ford and Iroquois counties’ 4-H programs in general, covering the cost of project manuals, awards, camp and high school senior scholarships and other items as needed. As in past years, the auction will offer a wide variety of items for sale — from seed corn to tea rings, craft items to tools, golf for four with a cart and even weekend getaways. Items for sale are donated by local businesses, individuals and 4-H clubs. Sale items will be posted on the “Ford & Iroquois Counties 4-H” Facebook page. To make a donation to the auction or for more information, people can ccontact Nita Dubble at 815-867-6037 or Sharleen Finegan at 815-383-9891. Monetary donations can be sent to: Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation, P.O. Box 163, Onarga, IL 60955. Please note “4-H auction” on the check.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Missions R Us. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
Gibson City’s 25th annual Lighted Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce, is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, with the theme “silver bells.” Entries in the parade will line up at two locations on the city’s south side starting at 5 p.m. — pre-lit floats in the parking lot of GAH Elite and custom floats in the parking lot of County Market. The parade will step off at 6:30 p.m. and head west on Illinois 9 before turning north onto Sangamon Avenue and heading downtown until 10th Street, when entries may pull off at any time after that. Events downtown begin at 4 p.m. There will be fire pits set up downtown. Also, the city’s new downtown speaker system will be in place to broadcast organizations and churches taking turns doing caroling downtown from 4 to 6:30 p.m., as well as announce the parade’s entries as they move through the business district. Santa will also be visiting with children at Hood’s Ace Hardware downtown.
PRIDE in Paxton’s annual tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at the intersection of Market and State streets in downtown Paxton. During the event, Paxton’s Christmas tree will be lit for the holidays. Also, the Paxton Park District’s holiday prince and princess will be announced. The Hope Vineyard Church will be hosting the event and will be providing hot chocolate and cookies. There will be a story time held at the downtown church after the tree is lit.
PRIDE in Paxton’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, in downtown Paxton. Line-up for the parade begins at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Taft and Orleans streets. The parade will move east on Orleans Street before turning onto Market Street. It ends at the intersection of Market and Pine streets. Paxton-based WPXN-Radio will broadcast the parade live and announce entries. For more information, call Teri Hancock at 217-379-4245.
Paxton’s annual bag sale/Christmas open house weekend is set for Friday, Dec. 6, through Monday, Dec. 9, at participating businesses. More than 1,500 bags, featuring coupons and marketing materials for local businesses, will be printed and distributed locally during the course of the city’s Christmas parade and at local businesses.