Listen to this article

The Saybrook Sons of the American Legion Squad No. 427 will be hosting spaghetti dinners from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 1, 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.

There will be no Coffee & Conversation event at the American Lutheran Church in Gibson City during January. Coffee & Conversation will resume at the church on Tuesday, Feb. 19, from 9 to 10 a.m. The speaker will be Dr. Jim Meyer, a retired veterinarian and airplane pilot from Gibson City.

The Elliott Amvets will hold a mountain oyster fry at noon on the last Saturday of each month — Jan. 26, 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 Feb. 10, 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 Feb. 1, 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 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

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 will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Gibson City Bible Church starting Feb. 5. 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 Republican Women of Ford County will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Monical’s Pizza in Paxton. The public is welcome to attend the meeting, during which the group will be planning for 2018 events and setting its 2019 meeting calendar.

The Saybrook American Legion post will be serving whole catfish, chicken or all-you-can-eat walleye from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25. The meal includes a choice of the three meats plus three sides. Dine-in and carryout orders will be available.

An expo is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at three locations in downtown Chatsworth — the Central Illinois Connection Center, the American Legion Hall and Bluebird Hall. The expo features businesses from Central Illinois. Attendees can enjoy dozens of creations from area restaurants, browse services for their home and business construction, and see a wide range of agriculture products and services. Donations will go toward children’s activities at the Central Illinois Connection Center.

The Gibson City United Methodist Church, located at 206 E. 10th St. in Gibson City, will host a paint party at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, in the church’s fellowship hall. Casey McCullough, an area high school art teacher, will lead budding artists in creating their own winter-themed masterpieces. There is no age limit for participants. The cost is $10 for children up to age 12 and $20 for people ages 13 and above.  All paint supplies and materials will be provided, and snacks will be served. Advance registration and payment are required. To reserve a spot, people can contact Judy Eckhoff at 217-249-4387 or the church office at 217-784-5452. 

Country Financial and the Illinois Farm Bureau are teaming up to host a series of winter crop meetings for local farmers across Illinois, including one set for Monday, Jan. 28, at Railside Golf Club, 120 W. 19th St., Gibson City. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by breakfast at 8 a.m. and presentations at 8:30 a.m. Speakers will be Doug Yoder, Country Financial crop agency manager; and Brad Clow, Country Financial crop operations manager. The presentations will include 2019 crop insurance and crop claims updates. For more information, people can call Patti Percy at 217-784-8280, Guy Percy at 217-784-8280 or Pete Hornstein at 815-265-4751.

A two-hour seminar for people grieving a spouse’s death will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. 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. Everyone who attends receives a booklet with more than 30 short readings on how to live with grief and eventually rebuild their life. For more information, call Bonnie at 217-784-5702 or email

A free public summit entitled "Marijuana, Youth & Our Community" will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in Kankakee Community College’s Iroquois Room. Seven panelists will be featured: Charmaine Francois-Hays and James Hays, community organizers from California; Gregory Seal Livingston, president and chief executive officer of the Coalition for a New Chicago; Dale Quigley, deputy coordinator of the High-Intensity Drug-Trafficking Areas National Marijuana Initiative based in Colorado; and Dr. Kevin A. Sabet and Luke Niforatos of Smart Approaches to Marijuana located in Washington, D.C. The speakers will share lessons learned in California, Colorado and Washington, D.C., including the impact recreational marijuana has had on youth drug use. Also to speak at the event about the potential impact of marijuana on the Kankakee community are Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe, Coroner Robert Gessner, Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group Director Chris Koerner and local high school students. The event will be free with light refreshments provided. Registration is required before Jan. 23. To reserve a spot, people can email their name, job title and organization to Carole Franke at

The Ford County Courthouse in Paxton will host a "heart health" event from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on National Go Red for Women Day — Friday, Feb. 1. Attendees will receive free heart health information and free blood-pressure screenings by the Ford County Public Health Department and will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Christ Lutheran High School’s annual Taste of Italy Lunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at the school, located at 201 W. Lincoln St. in Buckley. Free-will donations will be accepted for the meal.

A Super Bowl tailgate party will be held starting at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, 107 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. The tailgate party will feature a winner-take-all barbecue cookoff (beef, pork and chicken), an euchre competition, a bags competition and a bowling competition. There is a $5 entry fee for the barbecue cookoff, with all proceeds to be split between the church’s youth group and Kids Church. Attendees of the tailgate party are asked to bring a lawn chair and side dish to share. For more information on the event or competition rules, people can email

The Arrowsmith Christian Church will be holding its annual pancakes and sausage supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the church. The public is invited to the all-you-can-eat supper.

The Purdue University Extension and University of Illinois Extension will sponsor a pasture management workshop on Thursday, Feb. 7, at The Beef House Restaurant, 16501 Indiana State Road 63, Covington, Ind. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. EST (4:30 p.m. CST), and the presenters will begin following a Beef House dinner. The  conference will consist of two presentations — "Management of Edge Habitats" by Ryan Pankau, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator; and "From Overgrazed to a Full Bite" by Dr. Keith Johnson, professor of agronomy at Purdue University. The cost for the program is $20, which includes dinner, payable online or at the door. People are asked to rregister by Jan. 31 by calling 217-333-7672 or visiting

The Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Gibson City will hold Family Night meals on Friday, Feb. 8.

Dancing with the Stars, an annual fundraiser for the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School dance team, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the school.During the show, each member of the dance team will dance on stage with a familiar face in the community. Winners are chosen at the end of the show based on the donations each performance receives from the audience. Immediately prior to the show, there will be a free-will-donation soup dinner from 5 to 6 p.m.

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 event is a fundraiser for the school. Donations of items are being sought for the auction. Also needed are gift certificates, discount coupons and monetary donations in order to buy items and supplies for the event. Non-perishable items for the auction should be dropped off at the school by Monday, Feb. 11. Persons donating perishable items are asked to contact a committee member to make arrangements for pickup. All donations are tax-exempt. For more information on the event or on donating an item, people can contact Kari Stachura at 708-341-6313 or or Salli Ernst at 815-644-2897 or

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 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.

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

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. 

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.