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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New "Pit Stop" Teen Center at the Tinley Park-Park District a Place for Teens to Hang Out


New "Pit Stop" Teen Center at the Tinley Park-Park District a Place for Teens to Hang Out

Tinley Park, Illinois: A brand new place just for teens was the final step in completing the Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center addition. "The Pit Stop" Teen Drop-in Center has a brand new look post-construction, as the new room in the bottom level of the Rec Center is now open and ready to welcome new teens in grade 6-12 to come hang out with their friends. Hours for The Pit Stop are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. and Fridays from 4-9 p.m.

               A Rec Center membership or daily drop-in fee is required for entry. A free, public open house will be held on Saturday, January 11 from 12-2 p.m. so parents and their children can come see all the new center has to offer, which includes: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, pool, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, carpetball, lounge area with big screen TV, study/gaming area with homework help if needed, rotating climbing wall, Eye Play system with games displayed on the ground, light up T-Wall, and Exer-Gaming Bikes.

               Parents, have no fear as The Pit Stop is fully staffed and monitored at all times. There are also special events scheduled every month, like a movie night the first Friday of every month, and tournaments and competitions will also be planned for participants.

               The public open house will also serve as the new center's Grand Opening, and even parents with children that will begin middle school in the next few years are encouraged to come check out the new teen center for when their child is at the appropriate age to utilize the teen drop-in center.


About the Tinley Park-Park District

               The Tinley Park-Park District maintains over 420 acres of park lands and recreation facilities including its state-of-the-art Bettenhausen Recreation Center, Tinley Fitness – a full-service fitness center – and 40 community park locations. The Tinley Park-Park District was established in 1967.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Silver Cross Offers Health Education Classes in January


Silver Cross Offers Health Education Classes in January
New Lenox, IL (Dec. 19, 2013)— Silver Cross Hospital provides an AHA Healthcare Provider CPR Class for LPNs, RNs, Paramedics, EMTs, and CNAs. This class teaches one and two person, infant, child and adult CPR as well as rescue from choking. The class will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Cost is $65 and includes American Heart Association certification. Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or visit www.silvercross.org to register.

Causes & Non-Surgical Treatment of Back Pain
Dr. Andrew Hendrix, medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross , will explain the common causes of low back pain and provide options on how to feel better without surgery Monday, Jan. 20.  This free program will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox.  Register to attend at www.silvercross.org
 or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Modern Diagnosis & Treatment of Stroke
Do you know where to go if your loved one suffers a stroke?  Join Dr. Richard Burgess, neurointerventional radiologist and stroke neurologist with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, on Tuesday, Jan. 14 to learn about the latest minimally invasive techniques now available at 24/7 Silver Cross Hospital to treat strokes.  This free program will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Hospital’s conference center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A., New Lenox. Participants will receive a complimentary Stroke Awareness Kit.  Register to attend at www.silvercross.org/neuro
 or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Obesity & Your Health: Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?
Looking to lose weight? Join Drs. Christopher Joyce
 and Brian Lahmann, experienced gastric bypass surgeons with Bariatric & Minimally Invasive (BMI) Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, for a free informational session about Obesity & Your Health: Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You? The program is held on Wednesdays at 5:45 p.m. (including New Year’s Day) at BMI Surgery, Silver Cross Hospital Pavilion A, Suite 260, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Participants will learn about the advantages and risks of traditional and laparoscopic bariatric weight loss surgery, including the REALIZE™ and Lap-Band gastric band systems, find out who is a candidate for the procedure, and hear from area patients about their experiences. Silver Cross has been named as Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. Register to attend this free informational session online at www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Pain In The Neck
Did you have a back injury at home or at your job? Are you suffering from neck pain, pain and numbness in your shoulders, arms, hands, or have trouble with your balance and coordination? You could be living with a Disc Herniation or Cervical Spinal Stenosis. Dr. Kris Siemionow, spine surgeon, will discuss the causes, diagnosis and treatment options to alleviate the narrowing of the spinal canal in your neck on Thursday, Jan. 30.  This free program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox.  Please bring your imaging MRI and CT Scan CDs if you would like them reviewed. Register to attend at www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a new 289-bed acute care hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox and 8 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).  Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.

Monday, December 23, 2013

9TH ANNUAL POLAR ADVENTURE DAYS OFFER FAMILIES THREE DAYS OF WINTER FUN AT NORTHERLY ISLAND



The Chicago Park District presents the ninth annual Polar Adventure Days from 12 - 4 p.m. on three Saturdays, Dec. 7, Jan. 25 and Feb. 22, at Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Dr., on the Museum Campus.  The program is admission free.  Click here to watch a video. 
 
Polar Adventure Days offer families the opportunity to explore Northerly Island and come face-to-face with live animals, engage in winter activities, and create nature-inspired crafts.  Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather as events take place both outdoors and inside the visitor center.
 
The following features and activities will be available at Polar Adventure Days:
 
·         Various live animals will be on site to discover, such as birds of prey from Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation and coyotes from Big Run Wolf Ranch.
 
·         Dog sledding demonstrations with huskies of Free Spirit Siberian Rescue.
 
·         Live entertainment from The Dreamtree Shakers from Old Town School of Folk Music.
 
·         Arts and craft tables led by different organization each month for making nature-inspired creations.  December features Imagine Art; January features the Art Institute of Chicago; and February features the National Mexican Museum of Art.
 
·         Toddler zone that features outdoor “ice fishing.”
 
·         REI winter activity station.
 
·         Free snowshoe rental for exploration of the island if there is enough snow.
 
·         Free hot cocoa to the first 500 participants.
 
Please call to confirm scheduled activities for Polar Adventure Days as activities are subject to change.  For more information, call 312-742-PLAY (7529).
 
Limited parking is available for $3, cash only, during Polar Adventure Days.  Directions by car to Northerly Island:
 
Take Lake Shore Drive north or south to the 18th Street/Museum Campus exit.  Follow Museum Campus Drive toward Adler Planetarium.  Turn right on Linn White Drive.  Go past the Charter One Pavilion (on left) and the Burnham Harbor Yacht Club (on right).  The visitor center and free parking are on the left.
 
Northerly Island is also accessible by public transportation:
 
Take the #146 bus, exit at Linn White Drive and walk south to the visitor center.

Polar Adventure Days is sponsored by Bright Start College Savings, a 529 savings plan created and administered by the State of Illinois.  It allows families to save money for children’s future education without paying taxes on any earnings.  Learn more and enroll at www.brightstartsavings.com.

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For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,200 acres of parkland, 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 10 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling 312/742.PLAY.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Family Celebrations: Ring in 2014 together


Family Celebrations
Ring in 2014 together


By Lauren Bell

Are you trying to find something to do this New Years Eve as an entire family? Look no further! Here are some great local events that take place  during the day so everyone can enjoy ringing in 2014 together.

Family New Year’s Eve Party is from 4 to 8 p.m. December 31 at Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 W. 147th St., Oak Forest. A traditional Irish New Year’s celebration, the event features a buffet-style dinner, and a countdown at 5 p.m. to coincide with Ireland’s official midnight countdown. Tickets are $26 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger and free for children 3 and younger. Reservations are required in advance by calling (708) 687-9323.

The New Year’s Skate Party is at the Oak Lawn Park District Ice Arena, 9320 S. Kenton Ave, in Oak Lawn is 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on December 31. Noisemakers and party hats will help cheer in 2014 with a grand countdown as balloons drop over the ice at noon. Arrive early to ensure admission. Admission is $8 and $3 for skate rental. For adults not skating the cost is $1. For more information, call (708) 857-5173 or visit www.olparks.com.

The New Year’s Eve Day Celebration is at the Park District Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Road, Homewood, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. December 31. The event is planned so the entire family can be awake to usher in the New Year with horns, hats and balloons as the ball drops at the stroke of noon! The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, call (708) 206-3393 or visit www.village.homewood.il.us

After-Noon Year Celebration is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. December 31 at the Channahon Park District’s Skateland Recreation Center, 25334 W. Eames St. All ages can enjoy a party that includes skating, games and a balloon drop (at 2:30 p.m.).  The event is $3 for residents and $4 for nonresidents registering ahead of time, and $5 for both residents and nonresidents at the door. For more information, contact the Channahon Park District at (815) 467-7275. 

ZooLights is at the Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, until 9 p.m. December 31. Families will receive hats and noisemakers. For more information, call (312) 742-2000 or visit www.lpzoo.com

Bubble Bash 2013 is from 9 a.m. to noon at DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 North Washington St., Naperville. Three floors of bubble fun will provide activity and discovery around every turn.  Guests will party in style, popping their way down a celebrity carpet of bubble wrap before posing for a special commemorative take-home photo. The countdown to ring in the New Year will be at noon. The cost is $20 for members before Dec. 7th, $25 after Dec. 7th. The cost is $25 for non-members before Dec. 7th, $30 after Dec. 7th. Cost is per person. For more information, visit www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org or call (630) 637-8000.

Zoo Years Eve is at the Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. December 31. In the Holly Jolly Theater there will be live DJ music, games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8:00 p.m. At the Hamill Family Play Zoo you can make your own noisemaker. The event is free with admission. For more information, call (708) 688-8400 or visit www.brookfieldzoo.org 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Psychiatrist's 8 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress


 Psychiatrist's 8 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress
          Provided by Global Medical Education
It’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but the holiday season is also one of the most stressful times of the year.  But with a little planning and by following some important steps, the holidays can truly be enjoyable for all.

Dr. Prakash Masand MD is president of Global Medical Education, and a former Consulting professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

His tips for reducing holiday stress:

·    Schedule some alone timeThe holidays can be a chaotic time with friends and family and it’s ok to schedule some alone time.  Ask your spouse to watch the kids for an hour and go to the spa, or go hit a bucket of golf balls.  Seeking some solitude is both healthy and necessary to reduce stress.

·    Don’t procrastinateThere’s so much to do: buying presents, cooking, decorating and more.  Saving it all for the last minute will raise your stress.  Start a few weeks ahead of time and do a little at a time. Making a list from most important to least important will also help you manage your activities better.

·    Eliminate financial stressors Every parent wants to buy that perfect holiday gift for their child, but big ticket items can take a toll on your wallet and your stress level.  Make a budget when it comes to holiday shopping and stick to it.

·    Expect things to go wrongYour son may hate his Christmas gift; your daughter might get sick; you may overcook the ham. The point is things will go wrong.  Appreciate the season for the time spent with loved ones and create new memories, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

·    Holidays are not the time to resolve family conflicts - Many individuals use the family holidays to try to resolve long standing conflicts with family members often with disastrous consequences, particularly when alcohol is involved. Leave addressing those issues to a later time in a one-to-one conversation.

·    Let others helpDon’t feel like you have to be the hero of the holiday season.  Ask each person to bring a dish to dinner, make decorating a family activity where the kids help out, and consider a grab bag gift exchange where each person buys only one gift to alleviate the stress of having to get something for everyone.

·    Don’t forget about you People get so caught up in the holidays that they forget to take care of themselves.  Don’t skip meals, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water and stick to your exercise routine.

·   Stay on your medication and keep scheduled doctor’s appointments - If you’re under the care of a psychiatrist or other mental health professional for anxiety or depression, make sure and keep your doctor’s appointments this time of year and don’t taper medication until after the New Year if your doctor recommends it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

ILLUMINATION: TREE LIGHTS AT THE MORTON ARBORETUM BRIGHTENS THE HOLIDAY SEASON


ILLUMINATION: TREE LIGHTS AT THE MORTON ARBORETUM BRIGHTENS THE HOLIDAY SEASON

- From a date night to a family excursion, Illumination offers a way for everyone to 
see trees in a different light this season -

Image provided by Morton Arboreteum



Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum opened on November 22 and is lighting up the night this season. Perfect for a date night or a family outing, visitors to Illumination will see the Arboretum’s trees transformed with dazzling projections, trees that respond to touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. 

Along the Illumination path, visitors experience interactive elements such as Hug a Tree, where you can hug a tree to make it change color; Tree Harmony, where trees react and change colors based on the harmonies sung to them; and Personalitrees, an interactive element that allows you to see yourself illuminated onto a grove of conifers. Illumination was designed in partnership with leading lighting design firm Lightswitch. 

Visitors can enjoy an array of snacks for sale including s’mores and warm up fingers and toes at fire pits along the one mile path. 

“People of all ages have enjoyed Illumination since it opened,” said Sue Wagner, Vice President of Education and Information Services at The Morton Arboretum. “It’s great for a date night, as well as a fun holiday event for friends, families, neighbors or business associates.”


Event Dates and Ticket Prices

Illumination is open through January 4. The event opens each night at 4:30 p.m. with the last entry at 8:30 p.m. Illumination will be closed December 16, 24 and 25.

Event tickets are on sale at mortonarb.org/illumination, and advance purchase is encouraged. Tickets for the day of are only available on-site. General admission ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children 2 to 17 years old. For Arboretum members, prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children 2 to 17 years old. The event is free for children under 2. Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather as this is an outdoor experience.

For the most up-to-date information about Illumination, please visit www.mortonarb.org/illumination.


About The Morton Arboretum 
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Smart Santas Safely Deck the Halls


Smart Santas Safely Deck the Halls
Silver Cross Offers Tips To Safely Decorate for the Holidays




Transforming a home into a glittery winter wonderland is a Christmas tradition for many families. As loved ones trim the tree and hang their stockings with care, it is important to remember to keep safety in the forefront when decking the halls.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), during the past few years, more than 13,000 people were treated in emergency rooms nationwide from injuries related to holiday decorations.

“The last thing anyone wants while decorating their home for the holidays is to end up in the emergency room hurt,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., emergency medicine physician at the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen. “To avoid hidden decorating dangers, people just need to practice a common sense approach by taking necessary safety precautions. Although if they find themselves seriously injured from a fall or burn, seek medical attention quickly.”

Further, these U.S. CPSC guidelines can help keep the holiday season safe for all:

Trees
Many artificial trees are fire resistant and have a statement specifying this protection.

A fresh tree stays green longer and is less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. Remember:
•   A fresh tree is green.
•   Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, do not break.
•   The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin.
•   When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows that tree is too dry.
•   To maintain freshness, place tree away from fireplaces. Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Keep the stand filled with water while the tree is indoors.

“Snow”
Artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled. To avoid injury, follow directions.

Lights
Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for cracked sockets, frayed wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.

Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

Turn off all lights on all decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.

Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and any person touching a branch could be electrocuted! To avoid this danger, use colored spotlights above or beside a tree, never fastened onto it!

Keep “bubbling” lights away from children. These lights with their bright colors and bubbling movement can tempt curious children to break candle-shaped glass, which can cut, and attempt to drink liquid, which contains a hazardous chemical.

Candles
Never use lighted candles on a tree and keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.

Trimmings
Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles or plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
In homes with small children, take special care to:
•   Avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
•   Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food. Pieces could be swallowed.    

Fires
Before lighting any fire, remove all decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that flue is open. Keep a screen before the fireplace all the time a fire is burning.

Emergency Care Nearby
Even with the utmost caution, Christmas-related injuries can still occur.  It is good to know peace of mind is just minutes away at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center located at 143rd and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen.  Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Center is staffed with Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. For more information, call (708) 364-6004.

Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center offering MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 300-7076.  There are also several primary and specialty physician offices and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit www.silvercross.org.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a new 289-bed acute care hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox and 8 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).  Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dolphin Calves Born at Brookfield Zoo Continue to Do Well




Dolphin Calves Born at Brookfield Zoo 
Continue to Do Well


Tapeko and her 8-week-old male calf-1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Tapeko, a 31-year-old bottlenose dolphin, and her 8-week-old calf at Brookfield Zoo. The calf was born on October 16 at the zoo’s Seven Seas exhibit. Photos provided by the Chicago Zoological Society.
Brookfield, Ill.—Chicago Zoological Society animal care specialists continue to be cautiously optimistic with the progress of two male dolphin calves born at Brookfield Zoo: a 6-week-old dolphin calf that marine mammal staff has been handrearing around the clock since his birth and an 8-week-old calf, the fifth to be raised by Tapeko, his 31-year-old mother.
“We are pleased with the progress the handreared calf has made during his first six weeks of life,” said Jennifer Langan, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, associate veterinarian for the Society. “However, he still remains in guarded condition as he has several milestones he needs to achieve over the next few months before we would consider his situation less critical, including eating solid fish on his own, being introduced to the other members of the dolphin group, and finally becoming independent.”
The calf being handreared was born to Spree, 11, on October 28. Spree, an inexperienced mother, was not providing adequate maternal care. At that time, Chicago Zoological Society’s Animal Programs staff made the decision to intervene to provide necessary neonatal care.
 “The health and welfare of the animals in our care is our highest priority here at Brookfield Zoo,” said Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal collection and care for the Society. “Caring for this calf has been a zoo-wide effort involving the collaboration of several departments to provide him with around-the-clock observation, care, and support.”
The calf has been gaining weight and appears to be thriving due to the tremendous dedication of a team of staff from the Marine Mammal, Veterinary Services, Life Support, and Animal Nutrition Departments. Within the marine mammal community, there have been only a few documented cases of a newborn dolphin calf being handreared.
Since his birth, the unnamed calf has spent the majority of his time in a “nursery” pool set up specifically for a newborn dolphin’s needs. “A member of the marine mammal staff has been in the pool with the calf 24 hour a day providing him with the necessary support, including feeding him, conducting important behavioral observations, taking breath rates, and documenting his growth and weight measurements. All of this data assists us in making decisions regarding his constant care,” said Rita Stacey, marine mammal curator, who added “everyone in the zoo family is pulling for this little guy.”
Although the calf is receiving a dolphin milk formula, during his first week of life he received his mother’s milk, which contains vital nutrients and antibodies for his health and immunity. Because of the relationship between the dolphins and their trainers, Spree voluntarily allowed staff to collect milk from her.
Additionally, the 8-week-old calf born on October 16 to Tapeko continues to do very well. Marine mammal staff monitored him around the clock for the first 30 days of his life, which is the most critical period. During this time, staff used EthoTrak, an electronic behavior-monitoring program that was developed by a team of Chicago Zoological Society computer programmers and biologists and is now used by other zoos around the country. Marine mammal staff recorded nursing bouts, slipstreaming behavior, and other developmental behaviors. Observations will continue on the calf’s development as well as the social dynamics of the dolphin group. 

Mark Gonka, lead trainer for the Chicago Zoological Society assists Rita Stacey, marine mammal curator, as she measures the girth of a 6-week-old bottlenose dolphin. The calf, born on October 28 at Brookfield Zoo, is being handreared by staff because his mother was not providing adequate maternal care. 
The Seven Seas Underwater Viewing Gallery has reopened so that guests will be able to view Tapeko’s calf when he has access to the main pool. In addition to Spree and Tapeko and her calf, other members of the dolphin group that can be seen include Chinook, 30, the sire of both calves; Allie, 26; Noelani, 10; and Allison, 8. The dolphin calf being handreared will remain off exhibit so that staff can provide him with the best possible care. For updates and further information, visit www.CZS.org.

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The Society, a founding member of the Bottlenose Dolphin Breeding Consortium, is committed to breeding bottlenose dolphins cooperatively with the six other member institutions. The Consortium’s mission is to build and maintain a sustainable population of dolphins for member institutions, taking into account the animals’ social and biological needs while focusing on conservation impact and connecting animals with guests. The Chicago Zoological Society is also accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, which is an international association representing marine life parks, aquariums, zoos, research facilities, and professional organizations dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study, and wildlife presentations.

The Chicago Zoological Society is a leader in dolphin care and conservation and manages the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program in Florida, now in its 44th year. This program, spearheaded by the Society’s Randall Wells, Ph.D., is the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population. The program’s primary focus involves up to five generations of bottlenose dolphins residing year-round in Sarasota BayFlorida, where the program originated in 1970. The program—which focuses on aspects including dolphins’ health, behavior, genetics, environmental change, and adverse interactions with humans—has gained an international reputation for providing high-quality information of importance to worldwide dolphin conservation efforts. The data collected are repeatedly used in scientific studies, as well as public policy decisions that can help protect marine animals. Through 2013, 30 doctoral dissertation projects and 30 master’s thesis projects have benefited from association with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, through field research opportunities or access to samples, data, or guidance.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

HOST A HOLIDAY BENEFIT PERFORMANCE “The WICKED Night Before Christmas”


HOST A HOLIDAY BENEFIT PERFORMANCE
“The WICKED Night Before Christmas”
Sunday, December 8 at The Laugh Factory

Members of the National Touring Company of WICKED will host “THE WICKED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,a staged holiday performance at The Laugh Factory (3175 N. Broadway) Sunday, December 8, at 8:00pm.  The event will feature the members of the company of WICKED, and net proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Chicago House.  WICKED, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster, celebrated its 10th anniversary on October 30, the first performance of the eight-week Chicago engagement.  WICKED is currently playing the Oriental Theatre (24 W. Randolph) through Dec. 21, 2013.

“THE WICKED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” is part of an ongoing series of performances and appearances by the touring company to support charitable causes which advance WICKED’s theme of acceptance and illuminate the musical’s message that people should not be judged on first impressions.  The company believes that in these divisive times we must come together to support those in need throughout the country and around the world. In its eight years on the road, the company has raised over $2.5 million in donations for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and local AIDS service organizations all over the country.

A throwback to the holiday variety shows of yesteryear, the WICKED company comes together to celebrate the joy of the holidays.  Haul out the holly, spin the dreidel, harvest the fruit and celebrate the season in a way that only WICKED can.  Company members making special appearances in the event include:  Alison Luff (Elphaba), Jenn Gambatese (Glinda), Curt Hansen (Fiyero), as well as TV’s Kim Zimmer (Madame Morrible) and John Davidson (The Wizard).  The production also includes members of the ensemble, band, and touring staff.  “THE WICKED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” proves to be a once in a lifetime evening of magic and fun.  

In addition to the performance, there will be live and silent auctions including several opportunities to join the company backstage at the Oriental Theatre, and a chance to bid on a walk-on role in a performance of WICKED.  WICKED, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster is playing through December 21 at the Oriental Theatre.

ABOUT BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) is the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fund raising and grant making organization.  BC/EFA is the on-going, committed response from the American theater community to an urgent worldwide health crisis. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of this community, BC/EFA raises funds for AIDS-related causes across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $150 million for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV, and other serious illnesses.  www.broadwaycares.org

ABOUT CHICAGO HOUSE
Chicago House and Social Service Agency serves individuals and families by providing housing, employment services, medical linkages, HIV prevention services, and other supportive services to those who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity.  All Chicago House services are provided without discrimination and are explicitly designed to guide people towards wholeness and self-sufficiency.

The first HIV/AIDS housing provider in the Midwest, Chicago House has continuously evolved its services to meet the changing needs of those who are living with HIV and AIDS.  Their programs guide more than 1,500 people to wholeness and self-sufficiency each year. But as the realities of HIV and AIDS change, one remains the same: Chicago House: There at the beginning: Here to meet the challenge.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE   
The  Oriental Theatre performance schedule for WICKED is as follows:
Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. (no performances on 11/28)
Fridays at 7:30 p.m. (additional matinee performances on 11/29 at 2 p.m.)
Saturdays at 2 & 8:00 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Additional performance Monday 12/16 at 7:30 p.m.
Please note: Ticket prices and performance schedule are subject to change.

TICKET INFORMATION
General Admission to “THE WICKED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” is a $60 donation (includes 2 drinks).  A limited number of VIP tickets are available for a $125 donation and include priority seating as well as a 6:30pm pre-show reception with members of the company.  All proceeds from the evening benefit BC/EFA and Chicago House and admission donations are tax deductible. Tickets are available online at www.chicagohouse.org  or by phone (773) 248-5200 ext 303.  The evening is intended for mature audiences.  Must be 16 or older to attend; 21 or older to purchase alcoholic beverages.

Tickets for WICKED at the Oriental Theatre start at $40.  A select number of premium seats are also available for many performances. Tickets are available now for groups of 20 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.  Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com 

Monday, December 2, 2013

CITYWIDE OUTDOOR ICE RINKS NOW OPEN



CITYWIDE OUTDOOR ICE RINKS NOW OPEN
New Rink Added, Plus Programming at Most Locations


Chicago Park District’s outdoor ice skating rinks are now open for the season, weather permitting.  Skating season runs through Sunday, Feb. 23 at most outdoor rinks, weather permitting.

The Chicago Blackhawks sponsor the Chicago Park District’s outdoor ice rinks.  This year, a new rink has been added at Wentworth Park, 5625 S. Mobile Ave., and will open in December 2013.  Additionally, the ice rink at Daley Bicentennial Plaza is closed due to Maggie Daley Park construction.  There are no longer ice rinks at West Lawn Park or at Wrigley Field.

Also new this year, most ice rinks will feature programming including pick-up hockey games.  Programs are as follows:
Open Skate
Offered 7 days a week; see schedules below. 
Skate rentals for all ages: $6
Admission: adults $3; children and students with valid ID free
Adult admission with skate rental: $7
Friday evening family skate, 6:30 – 9 p.m., special price: $10 (includes skate rental)
Weekly Drop-In Learn to Skate SessionsSaturdays, 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., prior to open skate at all outdoor rinks except Midway Plaisance
Admission: $10; includes skate rental (based on availability) and entry to public skate.
This drop-in session provides instruction on the basics of balance, forward stride, starting and stopping, and backward skating.  It is open to all ages and to both hockey players and ice skaters.  Recreational or hockey helmets, gloves and knee pads are recommended.

Stick & Puck and Pond Hockey
This combined program offers 45 minutes of Stick & Puck followed by 45 minutes of Pond Hockey for one price. 
Admission (includes skate rental): $7 per person, $10 for adult & child.
Recreational or hockey helmet recommended.
  • Stick & Puck offers open access to the ice specifically for practicing stickhandling, skating and shooting skills.  No scrimmage games or slap shots allowed.  Youth skaters may be on the ice with supervision. 
  • Pond Hockey is more like the neighborhood pick-up game and is less competitive than rat hockey.  No slap shots or body checking allowed and hockey helmets are required.  Program is open to children and adults.
Rat Hockey
Rat hockey is available for adult players to play pick-up games.  Full hockey equipment is required, and slap shots are allowed.  No checking permitted.
Admission (includes skate rental): $10.  Available for players ages 18 and older.

Sled Assisted Skating
No usage charge; reservations required by calling individual rinks.
Sled assisted skating allows people of all abilities to skate together.  These specialty sleds for both children and adults are designed with a foot guard, ABS bucket seat, foot rest and pusher handle.

Holiday Hours
All ice rinks will be closed on Christmas, Wednesday, Dec. 25.

Please note that schedules and fees are subject to change.  Contact the individual ice rinks or the Chicago Park District at 312-742-PLAY (7529) or visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com
The Chicago Park District operates ice rinks in the following park locations:
*Indoor Rink* at McFetridge Sports Center, California Park, 3843 N. California Ave.
773-478-2609
Admission fees: children ages 12 & under, $4; teens and adults, $5; seniors $2
skate rental: $3
Monday: 12-1:30 p.m. adult open skate
Tuesday: 12-1:30 p.m. adult open skate; 3:30-4:45 p.m. all ages open skate
Wednesday-Thursday: 12-1:30 p.m. adult open skate
Friday: 12-1:30 p.m. adult open skate; 3:30-5 p.m. open skate; 9:20-10:45 p.m. teens and adult skate
Saturday: 4:40 – 6:10 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 4:30 – 6 p.m. open skate
McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Road, 312-747-5992
Wednesday-Thursday: 3-7 p.m. open skate
Friday: 1:30-5 p.m. open skate; 5:15-6:15 p.m. rat hockey; 6:30-9 p.m. family skate
Saturday: 10-10:45 a.m. stick & puck; 10:45-11:30 a.m. pond hockey; 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. learn to skate; 1-4 p.m., 6-9 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 12-6 p.m. open skate; 6-7:30 p.m. rat hockey

Midway Plaisance Park, 1130 Midway Plaisance North (east 59th Street at Woodlawn), 312-745-2470
Monday – Thursday: 12-7 p.m. open skate
Friday: 12-5 p.m. open skate; 5:15-6:15 p.m. rat hockey; (Nov.-Dec. only) 6:30-9 p.m. family skate
Saturday: 1-4 p.m., 6-9 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 12-6 p.m. open skate; 6:30-8 p.m. rat hockey

Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111 St., 312-747-3690
Wednesday – Thursday: 3-7 p.m. open skate
Friday: 1:30-5 p.m. open skate; 5:15-6:15 p.m. rat hockey; 6:30-9 p.m. family skate
Saturday: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. learn to skate; 1-4 p.m., 6-9 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 12-6 p.m. open skate, 6-7:30 p.m. rat hockey

Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton Ave., 312-746-5735
Wednesday – Thursday: 3-7 p.m. open skate
Friday: 1:30-5 p.m. open skate; 5:15-6:15 p.m. rat hockey; 6:30-9 p.m. family skate
Saturday: 10-10:45 a.m. stick & puck; 10:45-11:30 a.m. pond hockey; 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. learn to skate; 1-4 p.m., 6-9 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 12-6 p.m. open skate; 6-7:30 p.m. rat hockey

Rowan Park11546 S. Avenue L, 773-646-1967
Wednesday-Thursday: 3-7 p.m. open skate
Friday: 1:30-5 p.m. open skate; 5:15-6:15 p.m. rat hockey; 6:30-9 p.m. family skate
Saturday: 10-10:45 a.m. stick & puck; 10:45-11:30 a.m. pond hockey; 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. learn to skate; 1-4 p.m., 6-9 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 12-6 p.m. open skate; 6-7:30 p.m. rat hockey

Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave., 773-761-8663
Wednesday-Thursday: 3-7 p.m. open skate
Friday: 1:30-5 p.m. open skate; 5:15-6:15 p.m. rat hockey; 6:30-9 p.m. family skate
Saturday: 10-10:45 a.m. stick & puck; 10:45-11:30 a.m. pond hockey; 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. learn to skate; 1-4 p.m., 6-9 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 12-6 p.m. open skate; 6-7:30 p.m. rat hockey
Wentworth Park, 5625 S. Mobile Ave., 312-747-6993
Opens December 2013; date to be announced
Wednesday-Thursday: 3-7 p.m.
Friday: 1:30-5 p.m. open skate; 5:15-6:15 p.m. rat hockey; 6:30-9 p.m. family skate
Saturday: 10-10:45 a.m. stick & puck; 10:45-11:30 a.m. pond hockey; 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. learn to skate; 1-4 p.m., 6-9 p.m. open skate
Sunday: 12-6 p.m. open skate; 6-7:30 p.m. rat hockey

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For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,200 acres of parkland, 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 10 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling 312/742.PLAY.