The PBL PIT Crew is selling Clara Peterson Elementary School spirit wear and PBL Eastlawn School commemorative shirts. Order forms are available at Clara Peterson and Eastlawn schools or at Signs & Designs in Paxton. Orders must be completed by Nov. 16. For more information, call 217-722-6267. All proceeds go to the playground fund at Clara Peterson.
The Elliott Amvets will hold a mountain oyster fry at noon on the last Saturday of each month — Nov. 24, Dec. 22, 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 Dec. 9, Jan. 1, 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 Dec. 7, Jan. 4, 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 Nov. 16, Dec. 21, Jan. 18, 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.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets every Monday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Kerbside Floral & Tanning, 516 E. Locust St., Chatsworth. Visitors are always welcome, including preteens, teens and adults, both male and female. There is no charge to attend the first meeting. 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. For details, people can call Brenda Hemp at 815-954-8835, visit www.tops.org or call TOPS headquarters at 800-932-8677.
The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum, which features Ford County history, is located behind Paxton City Hall, 145 S. Market St. There is no charge for admission to the museum. For more information or to schedule visits or tours at other times, people can call 217-379-4111 or 217-379-3723.
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.
Yarns and Threads, a group of people who enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and all other sewing crafts, is inviting members of the public to join the group for its meetings held every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. at the Paxton Carnegie Library.
The Republican Women of Ford County will hold their next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at Monical’s Pizza in Paxton. During the meeting, the group will be planning 2019 events and its 2019 meeting calendar.
A mobile food pantry sponsored by Joliet Diocesan Catholic Charities is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 8, at the St. Mary and St. Joseph Parish Center, 150 N. Maple St., Paxton. People wanting to receive food must bring a photo ID, proof of current address (mail) and the number of persons in their family. They should also bring containers for the food. Registration will begin around 10 a.m., and the distribution is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The McLean Co. Barn Keepers will be holding their annual membership meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the FS Evergreen Building, 402 N. Hershey, Bloomington. A short business meeting will be held to elect board members. Also, Maurine Brunsdale, special collections and rare books librarian at Illinois State University, will be presenting a program on "circus barns." Bloomington was the trapeze capital of the world for nearly 100 years. Brunsdale’s illustrated talk will explore the history of the Emerson Street barn, which was built in the mid-1910s by brother-sister act Jennie and Eddie Ward. The program is free and open to the public.
An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Iroquois West High School, 529 E. Second St., Gilman.
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School’s annual Veterans Day ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the school. As in previous years, a slideshow of local veterans and current service members will be shown. People can see the current slideshow at a link on the school district’s Facebook page. If any additions or corrections should be made to the slideshow, people can email firstname.lastname@example.org. The school would prefer to receive digital copies of any pictures, but if necessary hard copies can be dropped off at the elementary school.
The Saybrook American Legion Post No. 427 is serving catfish, chicken or all-you-can-eat walleye from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the Legion Hall in Saybrook. Sides include baked beans, baked potato and coleslaw. People can dine in or take an order to go.
A community craft sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. Available for purchase will be Alpaca socks and clothing, angels and crochet headbands and items, baby items and candles, hair bows and kitchen towels, Avon items, 31 bags, Ursbourne books and Rodan & Fields items. Also, chicken-salad sandwiches, chips and water will be available for purchase for $5 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. by the Friends of the Moyer Library.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Loda Truck and Tractor Pull. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
The Rankin United Methodist Women’s Fall Bazaar will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Berquist Fellowship Hall. Coffee and rolls will be served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and lunch — including soups, sandwiches and desserts — will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Osman Immanuel Lutheran Church will be preparing a benefit soup supper for Kade Nichols on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Osman. Nichols is a sixth-grader at Blue Ridge Intermediate School. He recently had surgery to remove a brain tumor. After an extensive and successful surgery, it was discovered that his motor skills had been affected. He travels to the St. Louis area for therapy. Another surgery was required after his follow-up MRI in August. A free-will offering will be taken at the benefit, with the funds being given to his family to cover expenses for his continued therapy. Thrivent Financial has provided an action team card to buy supplies for the benefit. The menu for the supper will be chili, potato soup, oyster soup, sandwiches, pie and drinks. The meal will be served from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the church’s fellowship hall. Anyone interested in donating can write a check 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.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Gibson City is holding its annual turkey dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Father Kirk Hall, 520 N. Wood St., Gibson City. Carryout orders will be available.
A Veterans Day ceremony will be held at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School on Monday, Nov. 12. Students from PBL Eastlawn School and Clara Peterson Elementary School will be transported by school bus to the high school for the event. A program for elementary school students will begin at 8:45 a.m., and the high school/junior high program will begin at 10 a.m. The public is invited to the high school/junior high program beginning at 10 a.m.
"GriefShare: Surviving the Holidays" — a seminar for people facing the holidays after a loved one’s death — will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. The seminar features practical suggestions and reassurance through video interviews with counselors, grief experts and other people who have experienced the holidays after their loved one’s death. Topics to be discussed include dealing with hard-hitting emotions, what to do about traditions, how to survive social events and where to find comfort and strength. Those who attend will receive a survival guide filled with tips, encouraging words, journaling ideas and exercises for daily help through the holiday season. For more information, people can call the church at 217-784-5702.
Students in junior high school or high school who are interested in pursuing a career in agriculture are invited to attend the seventh annual Agriculture Career Night being held by the University of Illinois Extension and the Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Building in Gilman. From 5 to 6 p.m., participants will have the opportunity to speak with agriculture departments from colleges across the state. A formal program will begin at 6 p.m. with a panel of local agribusiness men and women speaking on the agriculture careers they hold. Attendees will learn about the duties of various agricultural careers, schooling and training needed and courses they can focus on in school to help prepare for one of these careers. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, people can call the UI Extension office at 815-268-4051.
An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the fire station at 301 S. Chicago St. in Milford.
The Sibley Senior Citizens will meet at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Sullivant Township Hall for their final potluck lunch of the year. Fried chicken will be supplied, and other dishes will be shared. All Sibley-area veterans and their spouses are invited to be the honored guests.
A Coffee & Connections event sponsored by the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Accolade Healthcare, 450 E. Fulton St., Paxton.
The developers of the Ford Ridge Wind Farm near Gibson City and Sibley will hold a "vendor informational open house" from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Kruse Center, 207 N. Lawrence St., Gibson City. At the open house, people will be able to meet the team working locally on the wind farm as well as construction management staff who will be on hand to answer questions about future opportunities. To learn more, people can visit www.fordridgewind.com/calendar.
The Ford County Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Water Tower Museum located behind Paxton City Hall, 135 S. Market St. The subject of the meeting is "repurposed buildings." The meeting is open to the public, and there is no charge to attend. For more information, people can call 217-379-3723 or 217-379-4111.
The Arrowsmith American Legion post will hold a fried chicken, walley and catfish fillet supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. The meal is all-you-can-eat when dining in. Carryout orders are also available but are not all-you-can-eat. Children under age 10 eat for free when dining in with a parent.
Bingo will be played at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 407 W. Pells St., Paxton. Food will be served starting at 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by Edward Jones.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Future Business Leaders of America. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
Gibson City’s 24th annual Lighted Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce, is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, with the parade’s theme being "An Old-Fashioned Christmas." Entries in the parade will line up at County Market on Gibson City’s south side starting at 5 p.m. 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. Registration forms for parade entries are available from Mayor Dan Dickey, who is spearheading the organization of this year’s parade, by contacting him at email@example.com. It is requested that completed registration forms be returned to Dickey by Wednesday, Nov. 14, if possible; however, entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. on the day of the event at County Market. The entry that is named the overall winner will receive $300 in Gibson Bucks gift certificates. The overall winner will not be eligible to win individual categories, the winners of which will be awarded $75 in Gibson Bucks. Entries should have lights of some kind and a sign designating the business or owner of the float. Signs will be supplied for all rental entries. Each entry is responsible for supplying electricity for their float. It is requested that no Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus be with any entry. This is to ensure that children are not confused with there being more than one Santa and Mrs. Clause. Not allowed are walking entries. Also, no candy or giveaway items may be thrown from a float or vehicle in the parade. Food and craft vendors are also being sought for the parade. Anyone interested in becoming a food or craft vendor is asked to register by Nov. 2. However, last-minute vendor signups may be permitted on the night of the parade. It is requested that each vendor be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 17. For more information about registering a parade entry or becoming a food or craft vendor during the parade, people can contact Dickey at 217-781-1905 or Susie Tongate at 309-825-0311.
The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation has announced plans for the ninth annual Ford-Iroquois 4-H Auction, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18, at St Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth. A complementary pork burger meal will begin at 1:30 p.m. The live auction begins at 2 p.m. Proceeds from the auction are used to cover participation fees totaling more than $14,000 for 4-H’ers in Ford and Iroquois counties. Any additional funds raised will support Ford and Iroquois counties’ 4-H program in general, covering the cost of project manuals, awards, scholarships and other items as needed. All proceeds will be used for the benefit of 4-H’ers in the two counties. As in past years, this auction will offer a wide variety of items for sale — from seed corn to tea rings, and craft items to tools.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. For more information or to donate toward the auction, people can contact Sharleen Finegan at 815-383-9891. The event will be held at 108 W. Woodworth Road in Milford.
Retired and semi-retired folks are invited to meet for coffee and conversation from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the American Lutheran Church, 905 E. First St., Gibson City. The guest speaker will be Judy Jepsen-Popel and Marilyn Ames, who will be talking about the history of Ford County.
An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at the Paxton Church of Christ, 400 W. Ottawa Road, Paxton.
The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Loda American Legion post. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.
PRIDE in Paxton’s annual tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, 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. 24, in downtown Paxton. "We are inviting all members of our armed forces, businesses, marching units, bands, Christian and civic units, floats, antique vehicles, new cars, farm machinery, individuals and families to enter and participate in this year’s parade," a news release from PRIDE said. Line-up for the parade — which will have the theme "Christmas Express in Downtown Paxton" — 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. All entries should be decoated in some manner. No Santa Claus figurines should be on floats, so as not to confuse small children. Judges will choose the best parade entries in the areas of "best of show," "theme-oriented" and "most unusual/unique." Paxton-based WPXN-Radio will broadcast the parade live and announce entries. For more information, call Teri Hancock at 217-379-4245.
The Sibley Business & Historical Association will showcase the 2018 restoration project of the business area on Sciota Street with a "Night on the Town" event from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Sullivant Township Hall. Merrybeth Carriage Farm, Champaign, will be present to offer free rides around town with a horse and carriage. "4 to Go," a women’s barbershop quartet, will provide musical entertainment in the businesses open for the event. Free hot cider, coffee or hot chocolate and cookies will be available to enjoy on the rides. Many older pictures of the life in Sibley will be on display. This will be a great time to purchase ornaments sponsored by the Sibley Business & Historical Association from the past, including the 2018 Sibley Lake ornament for $5 each. Also available will be the "Sibley Farm Families Book" and the book on "More of the Story of Burr Oaks and Sibley" for $20 each. This is a free public event. For more information, people can contact Neva Rohrer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-745-2243.
The second annual Jinglebell Junction will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Wesbein United Methodist Church, 113 N. Main St., Saybrook. "This is a special shopping experience for children who wish to purchase inexpensive gifts for their families and friends," a news release said. "There will be a bake sale and craft items available for the adults who wish to shop, also. There will be a free lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. consisting of a barbecue sandwich, chips, cookie and a drink. Meals will last until the food is gone. Santa will be present to hand out treats to the children. If you want pictures taken with Santa, bring your own camera and we will be glad to take it for you."
An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the American Legion post at 124 S. Second St. in Cissna Park.
An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School.