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What’s Going On for Feb. 28, 2013

Updated: April 1, 2013 7:16AM



Here is a look at what’s going on in the Southland.

News includes Chicago Heights and Matteson.

CHICAGO HEIGHTS

Making a difference in children’s lives

The 22nd annual Strong Children-Strong Communities conference has an array of topics for parents, child care providers and educators or anyone interested in making a difference in the lives of children.

The event will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights.

The conference is hosted by Good Shepherd Center, a nonprofit agency serving individuals with and without disabilities and their families since 1963.

Officials said the event is one of the largest bilingual conferences in the Chicago area, featuring many individual workshops in both English and Spanish.

Attendees can choose from a variety of individual workshops as well as a keynote speaker.

Workshop topics include anger management for children, challenging behaviors, storytelling, siblings with autism, health and diabetes, dual language learners, literacy, math, and Internet safety.

Keynote speaker Dr. Benton Johnson II will present “The Good Samaritan: Connecting with Children in Poverty.”

Johnson has an extensive background in counseling in community-based settings with a focus on children.

Many people now are faced with the challenges associated with children and families in everyday life.

This workshop can help caregivers and teachers build a better future for children by understanding poverty in young children and the roadblocks caregivers or teachers face.

Johnson also will share personal stories to help find the tools of connecting with children in poverty.

In 2012 more than 325 people attended the Strong Children-Strong Communities Conference.

“This is a great place to showcase your business’s services in the exhibit area for $125 a table or $90 for nonprofit organizations,” officials said.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for as low as $250 as a tax-deductible donation, and sponsors receive publicity at the event and in all Good Shepherd Center publications.

Registration for both exhibits and workshop sponsors: gscenter.org or June Fidanza at (708) 335-0020, Ext. 16 for exhibits and Cheryl Assise at (708) 335-0020, Ext. 20 for sponsorships.

Registration to attend the conference is $35 per person and includes a box lunch with a choice of turkey, ham and turkey or veggie wraps, a drink and chips.

Advanced registration is required. No walk-ins will be accepted. Registration: gscenter.org or (708) 335-0020, Ext. 15.

Early intervention trainings hours and continuing education unit or continuing professional development unit credits will be available that day.

Polar Plungers sought for lake jump

People can support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into the waters of Manteno Lake in Manteno at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The funds raised from the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge will benefit Special Olympics Illinois South Cook-Will/Area 7.

Based in Chicago Heights, the agency serves Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities in south Cook County and all of Will County.

All Polar Plungers are required to collect a minimum of $75 in donations. Check-in will begin at noon.

An after-plunge party will follow at the Manteno Sportsmen’s Club, 851 Main St., Manteno.

Lunch is free for plungers and $7.50 for others. Information: soill.org.

People are encouraged to come in costume and to form teams. Each team member also must raise the minimum of $75 in donations. All team members’ individual fundraising totals will be merged to form a combined team total.

Statewide, teams are placed into divisions based on size and are awarded prizes for the most money raised.

Each plunger receives an official Polar Plunge sweat shirt.

There are also incentive items for raising more money with grand prizes, including a four-night trip for two adults to Cancun, Mexico, with accommodations at Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula, courtesy of Apple Vacations.

For every $500 a Plunger raises, he or she will get an entry into the drawing for this grand prize.

Plungers can register at plungeillinois.com and also create their own fundraising page, or they can register by contacting Patty Welsh at (708) 756-4201.

Last-minute Plungers are welcome to register the morning of the Plunge.

The statewide presenting Polar Plunge sponsor is GEICO.

Manteno Plunge sponsors are include WKAN-AM (1320), WXNU-FM (106.5), WYKT-FM (105.5), Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is billed as the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois.

This intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics.

Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the Summer Games in Normal in June.

Special Olympics Illinois is a year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics programs are now in more than 170 countries with 4 million athletes.­

MATTESON

A free seminar for seniors

Registration is open for Athletico Physical Therapy’s free senior education and safety seminar set for noon Friday at the Matteson Community Center, 20642 Matteson Ave.

In conjunction with the Matteson Police Department, this educational event will provide local seniors tips on maximizing physician visits, demonstrations on preventing falls, and tools to prevent identity theft.

Space is limited. Registration: (708) 441-4500.

Athletico Physical Therapy is billed as a leading provider of physical and occupational therapy in the greater Chicago area.

Information on this event, more about how physical therapy can help alleviate pain and scheduling a free 30-minute injury screening are available at athletico.com.

Staff reports



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