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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.

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s farmers’ market — The Market on Market — is held every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. on the lawn outside the Paxton Carnegie Library, 254 S. Market St., through Sept. 19. Items typically available for purchase include baked goods, fresh vegetables, fresh flower bouquets and locally produced artwork.

The Fisher Free Book Exchange is open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in downtown Fisher. The exchange includes reading material as well as rummage tables. A tip jar is available to help keep the doors open. It is open to the public, and there are no cards to buy or fees to pay. For more information, people can call 217-897-6544.

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. Oct. 2, 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 gcbiblec@gibsoncitybible.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.

The band Gift Shop at the Vatican will be performing from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the Elliott Amvets. Beer will be available for $2, mixed drinks for $3.50 and Jell-O shots for $1.

Friday Nights Under the Lights in Downtown Gibson City — a monthly car cruise — will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20. Organizers are encouraging residents of Gibson City and elsewhere to participate by cruising Sangamon Avenue downtown, or simply parking their vehicles there and showing them off while visiting with friends and neighbors. The city holds the cruise events on the third Friday of each month from May through September. During this month’s cruise, the local American Legion post will be cooking on a grill and serving beer outside; the Ed Day’s Skatepark Committee will be selling Queen of Hearts raffle tickets; The Bayern Stube will be selling bratwurst for $4 and Paulaner Oktoberfest beer for $4 and hold a drawing for a $50 gift certificate; and Christina Tjarks will hold a small business/vendor event that will feature 18 vendors both inside and outside Avenue Salon & Spa at 216 N. Sangamon Ave. Also, there will be a drawing for more than $500; there is no purchase necessary to enter, but every $10 spent with any of the vendors will award another ticket in the drawing.

The movie “How To Train Your Dragon” will be shown free of charge at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the Melvin Community Hall. Attendees are asked to bring a rug or blanket on which to sit.

The village of Forrest’s townwide garage sales are set for 8 to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 21. The sales are sponsored by the Forrest American Legion post.

The eighth annual Paxton Swine ‘N Dine BBQ Contest & Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, in downtown Paxton. The all-day event features a free concert headlined by Nashville recording artist Jerrod Niemann. Opening for Niemann on a stage set up in front of City Hall will be fellow country musician Johnny McGuire starting at 7 p.m. While general admission to the concert is free, party-pit passes can be purchased for $25 at paxtonchamber.com. The festival also features a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, a car show/cruise-in, a cornhole tournament, children’s activities and, of course, the barbecue cookoff that will award cash prizes. Barbecue cookoff entry forms are available at paxtonchamber.com. Festival-goers age 21 and older who obtain the required wrist band for a fee will again be permitted to drink alcohol on Market Street during the festival. There will be a number of beer vendors on hand.

The Clarence Fickwiler and Virgil Rueck Christmas scenes that have long been on display in Melvin each Christmas will be distributed to interested individuals for cash donations on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Melvin Community Hall. There will be a silent auction from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sandwiches, desserts and drinks will be available for donations. Free bingo and a cake walk will be the entertainment for the evening. Bids will be taken in the back of the building, where the Christmas displays will be set up. Bids as low as $1 will be accepted. All proceeds will be divided between the Melvin park and Melvin volunteer firemen. The Christmas scenes will be available for viewing ahead of the event. Anyone interested can visit the Melvin Community Hall any Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 9 and 11 a.m., or people can call Wm. Curtis at 217-249-9826 or Larry Boundy for a private showing.

The Bellflower Country Opry’s next country music show will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Bellflower Community Center. Joining the Bellflower Country Opry band on stage will be guest performers are Ron and Cindy Crawford. The cost of admission is $10, with children ages 12 and under entering for free. There will be a pre-show dinner at 5 p.m. featuring a choice of pulled pork or Italian beef for $6. To make reservations for the show or for more information, peopel can call 217-898-7493.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Stonecold Northern Motorcycle Club’s first annual scholarship ride is set for Saturday, Sept. 21. Signups begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Woodland clubhouse, located at the old bank building in Woodland in Iroquois County. The ride begins at noon. The cost to participate is $15 per person or $20 per couple. All vehicles are welcome. All proceeds will be donated toward a trade school or nursing scholarship for two local high school seniors.

A public open house regarding the first phase of downtown Paxton’s streetscape improvement project is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at City Hall, 145 S. Market St., Paxton.

The Gibson Area Hospital Auxiliary will sponsor an American Red Cross blood drive from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at the First Presbyterian Church, 401 N. Church St., Gibson City. Persons donating blood are asked to bring their blood donor card or photo identification. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Blood donors who are not on the regular calling list are asked to call Sharon at 217-249-8103 or make an appointment at redcrossblood.org by Wednesday, Sept. 18. Blood donors at the blood drive can enter a drawing to win one of two $10 gift certificates for the Gibson Area Hospital Gift Shop or one of two $25 Gibson Bucks gift certificates sponsored by the GAH Auxiliary. Donors must be healthy and at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may donate with an ARC consent form signed by their parent). There is no upper age limit. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and wait at least 56 days between donations. People are eligible to donate blood if they last donated on or before July 29. Donors should eat a good meal within four hours before donating. All blood types are needed, especially types “O” and all “RH negatives.” The blood donations help Gibson Area Hospital on the cost of the blood that is purchased for the hospital’s needs.

The Gibson City Senior Citizens will meet for a free catered dinner at a new location — Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church’s parish hall at 13th and Wood streets in Gibson City — at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. The dinner is for persons over age 55. Attendees can feel free to bring a friend. Parking and a ramp are behind the church. Questions can be directed to 217-784-8125.

The Friends of the Dominy Library’s fall book sale is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Dominy Memorial Library, 201 S. 3rd St., Fairbury. Available for purchase are bestsellers, classics and current novels, children’s books, cookbooks, large-print books, coffee table books, magazines, DVDs and more. For the upcoming holidays, the sale will also feature a collection of Christmas books and craft, hobby and DIY books. Bookscost 50 cents an inch.

The Ladies Aid society of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buckley will have a bake sale/garage sale on Friday, Sept. 27, and Saturday, Sept. 28, at Crusader Hall inside Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley, in conjunction with Buckley’s townwide community garage sales.

The Forrest Wabash Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Attendees can tour the Depot, the Hampsher Hotel and Jerry’s Hat Museum. The festival also features street vendors, live entertainment, kiddie amusements, a car/truck/semi cruise-in and an antique tractor show.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

Hoopeston Area Women Making A Difference’s seventh annual Vendor Fair, featuring more than 45 craft and direct-sales vendors, is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the First Church of God, 1004 E. Orange St., Hoopeston. The entry fee is a free-will donation or a donation of canned goods. Lunch will be available for purchase. Proceeds go to various charities and organizations. For a full list of vendors, people can visit the Hoopeston Area Women Making A DIfference Facebook page.

The movie “Monsters, Inc.” will be shown free of charge during Buckley’s next Movie in the Park event at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Buckley Lake Park. TK’s Cheesesteaks’ food truck will be on hand starting at 4:30 p.m., and the Buckley Lions Club will be selling popcorn. Also, candybars and soda pop and water will be available for purchase.

The first-ever Downtown Paxton Wine Walk is set for 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. The event is being sponsored by the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in its parking lot to help raise funds for a church camp. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop 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, 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 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.

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 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 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 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.