The Paxton Carnegie Library’s board of trustees will meet at the library at 5 p.m. March 6 and 7 p.m. April 3, May 1, June 5, July 3, Aug. 7, Sept. 4, 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.
The Saybrook Sons of the American Legion Squad No. 427 will be hosting spaghetti dinners from 5 to 7 p.m. March 1, April 5 and May 3. The dinner includes spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. The meal is all-you-can-eat when dining in. Carryout orders will also be available but are not all-you-can-eat. The cost of the meal is $7.
The Elliott Amvets will hold a mountain oyster fry at noon on the last Saturday of each month — Feb. 23, March 23, April 27 and May 25. Meals cost $10 per person and include mountain oysters, gizzards and livers. For more information, people can call 217-419-0247.
The Foosland Sportmen’s Club will host splatterboard shoots on March 10 and April 14. Each splatterboard shoot starts at 8 a.m., with a cooked-to-order breakfast offered beforehand starting at 6 a.m. After each shoot, there will be an "Annie" tournament starting around 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be available for those staying for the "Annie" tournament. Also, on Jan. 1, a raffle will be conducted at 1 p.m. for a Kimber .45-caliber handgun.
The Elliott Amvets will hold Family Night meals on March 1, April 5 and May 3.
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. Meetings will be held Feb. 15, March 15, on a date to be determined in April and on May 17. 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.
Divorce Care sessions are being held at 6:30 p.m. each Monday at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. Divorce Care is a weekly seminar and support group that will help people heal from the hurt of a divorce or separation. Participants learn practical information and gain hope for the future. For more information, contact 217-784-5702 or visit www.gibsoncitybible.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.
The GriefShare support group is meeting at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Gibson City Bible Church. The church is located at 309 N. Illinois 47 in Gibson City. GriefShare features nationally recognized experts on grief and recovery topics. For more information or to register, call Bonnie at 217-784-5702.
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.
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 Sibley Business & Historical Association will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Sullivant Township Hall. The meeting is open to the public.
The McLean County Barn Keepers will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the FS evergreen building on Hershey Road in Bloomington. The program "Commemorating Century-old Barns: The Barn Keepers Centennial Barn Program" will be presented by Ron Ropp and Bill Kemp. Ropp will elaborate on the purpose of the program and tell a little about the barn which he lives in. Kemp will be talking about barns in McLean County that have received centennial designation with PowerPoint slides. The public is invited to the meeting.
The Arrowsmith American Legion post will host an all-you-can-eat dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the American Legion Hall in Arrowsmith. Served will be chicken, walleye and catfish filet. Children under age 10 eat for free when dining in with an adult. Dine-in orders are all-you-can eat. Carryout orders are also available but are not all-you-can-eat.
The movie "Incredibles 2" will be shown free of charge at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Melvin Community Hall. Attendees are asked to bring a rug or blanket on which to sit.
Rick Flessner of Roberts, a former drummer and singer for The Back Paiges band, will be the guest performer during the Bellflower Country Opry’s next country music show, scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Bellflower Community Center. The cost of admission is $10, with children ages 12 and under entering for free. From 4:30 to 7 p.m., the Bellflower Lions Club will be serving an all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage supper for $6, with children eating for free. For more information or to reserve a seat, people can call 217-898-7493 or 309-722-3497.
Dancing with the Stars, an annual fundraiser sponsored by Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School’s dance team, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the high school in Gibson City. Prior to the show, there will be a soup supper for free-will donations from 5 to 6 p.m. During the show, local celebrities will dance with members of the GCMS dance team. The celebrities are: Jon Clark, a local farmer; Rob Schmitt, chief executive officer of Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services; Dr. Joe Norris, an orthopedic surgeon at Gibson Area Hospital; Ashley Lambert, GCMS athletic trainer; Sam Johnson, GCMS alum and manager at Monical’s Pizza; Ethan Freehill, a GCMS High School junior; Taylor Leake, GCMS High School English teacher; Jeff Reale, GCMS High School agriculture teacher; Nicole McNary, GCMS second-grade teacher; Caity Heap, GCMS High School assistant cheerleading coach and early-childhood teacher; Jeremy Darnell, GCMS school district superintendent; and Tom Stone, GCMS High School art teacher. There will be three awards presented. Judges are Cami Renfrow, Megan Reifsteck and Mary Buchar. The dance team will also perform a couple of dances. The team’s coach is Michelle Schultz, and the assistant is Ann Young.
The Melvin United Methodist Church will celebrate its 150th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 17. A worship service will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. Liz Reis preaching. A chicken lunch will follow. The Rev. Joel Catlin will then present "Peter Cartwright: Circuit Rider" at 2 p.m. Reservations for the lunch are requested before Jan. 31 and can be arranged by calling 217-388-2468.
St. John’s Lutheran School’s annual chicken dinner, carnival and auction is set for 3:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at the school, located at 206 E. Main St. in Buckley. The carnival and auction begin at 3:30 p.m., with the chicken dinner served from 4 to 7 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $10 and can be purchased in advance by calling the school at 217-394-2422. The event is a fundraiser for the school.
An American Red Cross blood drive sponsored by the Gibson Area Hospital Auxiliary will be held from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, 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 because the Red Cross sends staff to take care of the donors in a timely manner based on the number of appointments. Persons planning to donate blood who are not on the regular calling list are asked to call Sharon at 217-249-8103 by Wednesday, Feb. 13. People can also schedule their own appointment by visiting redcross.org and downloading the donor app. Donors at the blood drive will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of two $10 gift certificates to the Gibson Area Hospital Gift Shop or one of two $25 Gibson Bucks gift certificates sponsored by the GAH Auxiliary. Donating blood takes about one hour. Donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may donate with an American Red Cross consent form signed by their parent). Donors are eligible to donate if they last donated on or before Dec. 24, 2018. Donors should eat a good meal within four hours of donating.
Semi-retired and retired folks are invited to meet for coffee and conversation from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the parish hall at the American Lutheran Church, 905 E. First St., Gibson City. The guest speaker will be Dr. Jim Meyer, a retired veterinarian and airplane pilot from Gibson City.
The Fisher Free Book Exchange will be open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the Odd Fellows building at the intersection of Sangamon and Third streets in downtown Fisher. The sales table includes selections of fantasy books by Robert Jorden, as well as "Goodkind" and "Harry Potter" books, all hard cover. For more information, people can call 217-897-6544.
In conjunction with preregistration of courses for eighth-graders, a high school orientation meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the commons area at Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School.Eighth-grade students and their parents or guardians are invited to attend. Students and parents will receive information about courses offered at PBL High School, graduation requirements and required courses for college admission. They also will hear about extra-curricular activities and general policies. There will be time for questions and answers. Tours of the high school will also be available. For more information, people can call the high school at 217-379-4331.
The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor a Viewpoint breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Happy Days Diner in Roberts. The meeting begins with breakfast followed by discussion on the topics Farm Bureau members wish to talk about. There is no charge for members to attend, and reservations are not needed.
A euchre party sponsored by Chic Meredith’s Ford County Relay for Life team is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. There is a $10 entry fee. Snacks and water will be provided. To sign up, people can call 217-784-5267 and leave a message with their name and telephone number.
Grooving for a Cure, a karaoke fundraiser supporting the American Cancer Society’s annual Ford County Relay for Life fundraiser, will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at American Legion Post No. 568, located at 203 N. Sangamon Ave. in Gibson City. The event will be emceed by Dan "The Hit Man" Kearfott. There will be raffle baskets, a cash raffle, a cash bar and a 50/50 raffle. There is no cover charge. For more information, people can call Chic Meredith at 217-784-5267.
The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School FFA chapter’s annual auction fundraiser will be Saturday, Feb. 23, at the school. All proceeds raised go to benefit GCMS High School FFA chapter members by providing them with scholarships and allowing them to attend workshops, conferences and conventions. The event will start with lunch at 11 a.m. Silent auction bidding will begin at noon. Live auction bidding will begin at 1 p.m. Individuals or businesses who would like to contribute an auction item or donation are asked to contact Jeff Reale at the high school before Friday, Feb. 15.
A first-aid/CPR/AED certification class will be held Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St., Paxton. The first-aid portion starts at 10:30 a.m., while the CPR and AED portion will begin at 1 p.m. A short break will be provided between the two classes. The cost for first-aid certification is $25. The cost for CPR and AED certification is $25. If enrolling in both certification classes, the total cost is $40. People must register by Monday, Feb. 18, by calling 217-379-4203. Space is limited to the first 15 people. Payment must be received prior to the class.
The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor a Viewpoint breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Farm Bureau building in Gilman. The meeting begins with breakfast followed by discussion on the topics Farm Bureau members wish to talk about. There is no charge for members to attend, and reservations are not needed.
The Friends of the Dominy Library will present "Bees, Beekeeping and Pollination" at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Dominy Memorial Library, 201 S. 3rd St., Fairbury. The program features guest speaker Cindy Kinate of Fairbury Healthy Harvest Farms. Kinate is also a member of the Central Illinois Beekeepers Association and is a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. From Beeswax to sticky sweet honey, attendees will learn the benefits of bees in the environment and what people can do to help bees thrive. There is no cost to attend, and refreshments will be served.
Little Achievers Academy Preschool is accepting student registration for the 2019-20 school year and will host an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at the American Lutheran Church in Gibson City so that parents and prospective students may meet the teachers, check out the classroom and ask any questions they may have. To register for preschool, a student must be 3 years old and toilet-trained by Sept. 1. Pre-kindergarten students must be 4 years old and toilet-trained by Sept. 1. The registration fee is $30 and will guarantee a child a spot in the fall. Parents who are unable to attend the open house but would like to set up another time are asked to contact Kari DeFries at 217-784-4456.
The American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 150 will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 5, at the American Legion building on East Pells Street. The meeting location will remain the same until further notice. The building was sold recently, and the American Legion post’s commander is looking for another place to hold the meetings.
The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet and meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 7, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. The event begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a social time, followed by a catered dinner at 6:30. At 7 p.m., the chamber will recognize the 2018 Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year, along with the Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Drummer Creek Catering will be catering the meal. Providing the entertainment for the evening will be comedian Drew Hastings, a favorite on "The Bob & Tom Show" who has made appearances on Comedy Central and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and now is the mayor of Hillsboro, Ohio. The event is free for chamber members (each membership receives two tickets) and is also open to the public. Tickets may be purchased for $20 each with advance registration required. Registration is accepted through Friday, Feb. 15, and can be arranged by emailing email@example.com.
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School’s chorus department will present the musical "Guys and Dolls" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in the school’s gymnasium. Set in New York City, "Guys and Dolls" follows small-time gamblers Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson through their troubles with the law and with love. The original Broadway production ran for 1,200 performances and won the Tony Award for best musical. It has had several Broadway and London revivals, as well as a 1955 film adaptation which starred Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. The GCMS production is under the direction of Amanda Broaddus. Choreography is by Ann Spangler. Pit band direction is by Krysti Brucker and Kyle Renchen. The music and lyrics are by Frank Loesser. Reserved tickets will go on sale in mid-February.
The University of Illinois Extension’s Vermilion County Garden Day Workshop and Spring Festival will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Danville Area Community College. The event will feature speakers, gardening vendors, a hot lunch, a silent auction, raffle baskets and door prizes. The registration fee is $25. Speakers and topics include Amanda Krabbe ("Designing a Downsized Garden"), Mary Ann Metz ("Hydrangeas 101"), JoEllen Sharp ("Deer Can Cost You a Lot of Doe") and Ryan Pankau ("Invasives: What Every Gardener Should Know"). Breaks will occur for lunch and for time to shop the gardening vendors and participate in the silent auction. Master Gardeners who attend will receive four continuing education hours. For those who cannot commit to a whole day, the Spring Festival is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at no charge. To register or for more information, people can call the UI Extension office at 217-442-8615. People can also register at go.illinois.edu/gardenday.
Students at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School who are attending a community service trip over their spring break to the Mississippi Delta are hosting a Delta Dash 5K race from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at the school in Paxton. Proceeds will be used to help offset costs of the trip. To register for the race, people can visit pbldeltadash.eventbrite.com. People who register by Friday, March 1, receive a race T-shirt. After registering, people are asked to email Emily Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org to request their desired shirt size. Registration will also be available on the day of the race, but no T-shirts will be given out. Donations toward the students’ trip will also be collected on the day of the event. There will be prizes awarded for top finishers and top donors. For more information, people can visit www.eventbrite.com/e/delta-dash-5k-tickets-55415791123.
The Gibson City Rotary Club’s annual Rotary Ball is set for Friday, April 12, at The Sand Trap, 120 E. 1st St., Gibson City. A meal catered by Drummer Creek Catering will be served from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with music performed by the Libido Funk Circus from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Tickets cost $25 each with the meal included or $15 each without the meal included. The theme of the Rotary Ball will be baseball, since the Major League Baseball season will just then be getting under way. Attendees are asked to wear their favorite baseball T-shirt. Tickets are available from Rotary Club members. Persons who buy tickets before April 12 will have their names entered into a drawing for a chance to win $500.
Iroquois County adults with criminal records have the opportunity for a fresh start. Second Chance Saturday, an expungement/sealing summit, is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, at Kankakee Community College’s South Extension Center.