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Are you new to the Illinois Club? We have a program within our organization whose goal is to help you feel welcome, whether you are new to both the Club and the Champaign-Urbana community and the University of Illinois, or just new to the Club. We organize several events each semester, in addition to working with current members to mentor all new Club members who wish to participate. This might involve a brief call or email every now and then, asking how you're doing, or going together to a general meeting or interest group session that you will both attend. We want to help everyone feel more connected to the overall organization. Please contact us throughout the year.

Pat Davis and Renée Mullen, Newcomer Chairs
RSVP to newcomers@theillinoisclub.org to let us know of your interest.

Next Event(s)

Saturday, June 20, 2015, 4pm - ?

The Illinois Club Newcomers and Mentors First 2015 Summer Event - Strawberry Jam
Meadowbrook Park -Race Street Entrance- 2808 S. Race St., Urbana
(overflow parking at Stone Creek Church)

Newcomers and Mentors: look for small orange I flag on a pole far west of the barn close to the Race Street sidewalk for our group. Join us for this free family event. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket or lawn chair for a good old-fashioned fun time. Enjoy free strawberries and ice cream served in the barn as long as they last. This is a family event with hayrides and walking tours available. Various bands will play throughout the event. Use this event to invite a friend to come along who might be interested in knowing more about our club and consider joining. Please email newcomers@theillinoisclub.org with your intent to come so we know how much space to try and save.

IMPORTANT: Now is the time to renew your Illinois Club dues. You can download the membership form, fill it out, print it, and mail it with your check to the Membership Chair. Or you can renew your membership using PayPal. The Club Directory will be published in August this year, so if you want to be included in it, you will need to have paid your dues by July 1.

Thursday, July 23, 2015, at 6pm

U of I Band on the Quad
July's event is BYO sandwich and drink; come listen to the U of I Band play on the Quad, at 7pm

Please stay tuned for new events to be announced for the next academic year!

Recent Events

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 10:00am-noon

Newcomers Group Tour of Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign.
   All Club members welcome!

The Illinois Club is pleased to offer a group visit to a wonderful, innovative resource in our community. Anyone who has seen customers lined up at the Urbana Farmer's Market can attest to the popularity of this local gem.

   More about Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

Guests of all ages can enjoy the farm on a more in-depth level. Meet the goats, view the milking parlor and creamery, walk through the orchard and garden, and taste some of our farmstead products. Cheese and gelato are a great way to wrap up the hour long tour. In the spring, visitors can see the new born babies, the first blooms on the fruit trees, and the small plants in the garden. Tours are conducted RAIN OR SHINE. Please be prepared to walk around the farm; comfortable closed-toed shoes are advised. Also, we have bees on the farm to pollinate our trees and garden. We mention this so if anyone has severe allergic reactions to stings they are advised to bring their allergy medication. Also, if you have any food allergies to nuts, dairy, etc., please let us know so our hosts can adapt the samples accordingly.

   Farming Philosophy

We have transformed our landscape into diversified perennial crops and livestock. Our farm embodies core principles of sustainability including environmental stewardship, economic viability and social responsibility. We strive to educate our community about organic and sustainable agriculture and the connections between food production and consumption. We also hope to serve as a model for others interested in small-scale diversified farming systems. Little by little, we are working toward building a vibrant local food system in Central Illinois.

For more information, see www.prairiefruits.com

Sunday, February 22, 2015; 6:00 and 8:00pm: Evening of Dinner Theater

Silver Creek Restaurant, 223 N Broadway Ave., Urbana, 6pm, and
Station Theatre, 223 N Broadway Ave., Urbana, 8pm.
We start at 6:00 with dinner at Silvercreek, 402 N. Race St., in Urbana. We then move down the train tracks to a community theater gem, the Station Theatre, 223 N. Broadway, for an 8:00 show of the musical Floyd Collins. If you can join us for both, that's wonderful, or attend only one event. Tickets for Floyd Collins will be discounted to $9 each if we have enough people, and the theater has limited seats, so we need to confirm the number in advance. We'll also need to reserve sufficient space at Silvercreek.

Please RSVP to reneemullen1@comcast.net by Wed. Feb. 11 to advise if you can join us for only Floyd Collins, for both the musical and dinner beforehand, or just for dinner at Silvercreek, and also note how many of you will be attending.

Sunday, January 25, 2015, 5:30-7:30 pm

Potluck dinner at the home of Linda Lopez, Urbana.
Share a social opportunity with a dynamic group. Try a new recipe or use a standby. Children welcome.

Monday, October 27, 2014, 4:00-5:30 pm

Visit the University of Illinois Pollinatarium, off Windsor Road, east of Lincoln Avenue.
This is a science center devoted to pollinators and pollination. Come for a guided tour to find out more about bees and the role of this research facility in their survival. More details to follow. Children are welcome.

Tuesday, September 30, 11:30 am - 12:45 pm

Lunch at 301 Mongolia Restaurant, 301 N. Neil St., downtown Champaign.
Enjoy lunch and conversation, and make new friends.

Thursday, September 4, 5:00-7:00 pm

Wine & cheese get-together, at the home of Kathy and Steve Marshak (702 Hamilton Dr., Champaign).

Friday, August 8, 6:00-9:00 pm

Summer music -- Bluegrass concert featuring Special Consensus and the Henhouse Prowlers at Allerton Park on the Gate House Lawn in Monticello.
See the weekly Illinois Club e-news or contact us for more details. Bring your picnic supper or purchase food and drink there. Alcohol is permitted at Allerton. Suggested concert donation $5 per person or $10 per family.

Past Events

Saturday, April 12, 2014, 11:45 am-(about) 5 pm

Special Family-Friendly Event
Amish Farm Dinner, Arcola IL
Enjoy hearty country foods served family-style at an Amish farm home, in a community where life continues as it has for many years. We will carpool from Champaign Urbana to meet at the farm. There we'll start with a delicious and filling lunch, followed by optional visits of the home, farm, countryside, and Rockome Gardens' Amish museum.

Lunch is $16.95 for adults, $8.95 for children 12 and under. Additional tours might have added cost, depending on our numbers and the particular farm we are visiting.

Make check out to: The Illinois Club
Mail: Kathy Marshak, 702 Hamilton Drive, Champaign IL 61820
Contact for questions: newcomers@theillinoisclub.org.

Wednesday October 23, 2013, 11:00 am

Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 600 West Gregory Street, Urbana.
Museum visit, followed by lunch at The Bread Company, 706 South Goodwin.

Thursday September 26, 2013, 5-7 pm

Krannert Uncorked, Krannert Center Lobby, 500 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana.
Wine tasting, music, conversation. Co-sponsored with the Wine Lovers' Interest Group.

At 7:30 that evening is a concert, part of the Pygmalion Music Festival, in the Tryon Festival Theater. Tickets for all Krannert events go on sale August 10, and some for this performance may still be available that evening. Light meals are sold at Krannert on performance dates, both at Intermezzo Cafe' and Stage 5 Bar.

Thursday August 29, 2013, 5-7 pm

Home of Kathy Marshak, 702 Hamilton Drive, Champaign.
Informal back-yard welcome gathering.

Tour of the U of I Plant Conservatory

March 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Enjoy a fabulous personal tour with curator, Debbie Black, to see and enjoy the very rare Blue Poppies (the only place you can see them after the U of I ACES Open House the weekend before). We will also see rooms of orchids, desert and carnivorous plants, and the lush, tropical 3-story greenhouse. After the one hour tour, we will skip over to nearby Bevier Hall for a 6:30 dinner at the Spice Box. Dinners fill up quickly so we will want an idea of how many will attend as soon as possible. Please notify by emailing to newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Dinner at the new Inman Place & More Winter Tales

January 17, 2013 at 7 pm
17 E. University Ave., C.

Chef Rick, the new Inman Place chef, will make a personal appearance and share some recipes. We'll see the newly redesigned dining and welcome center, enjoy a fabulous gourmet dinner and get the "inside scoop" on its details from the chef. Afterwards we will sit by the fireplace and be enthralled by a master storyteller weaving tales of winter. A tour of the facility with its beautiful new d├ęcor will be offered also Nominal cost of this fantastic event is $15. RSVP by emailing to newcomers@theillinoisclub.org
Deadline is January 10th. Send checks (made out to The Illinois Club) to:
Stephanie Price, 4303 Curtis Meadow Dr., Champaign IL 61822.

Dessert Potluck and Theater

Friday October 19, 2012
4303 Curtis Meadow Dr., Champaign
2400 W. Bradley Avenue, Champaign

6:00 pm - Dessert Potluck at Stephanie Price's. Bring a dessert to share and please label for common allergies.
7:30 pm - Show of Champaign Urbana Theatre Company's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Parkland Theater
Individual Tickets: (prices may be lower with group discounts)
  • Adult $16
  • Senior (60+) $12
  • Student (through college) $12
  • Child (12 & under) $8

Please RSVP by email to newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Newcomer / Illinois Club Board Member Wine and Cheese Mixer

Friday, September 28, 2012 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
711 S. Elm Blvd., Champaign

At Alma Bellafiore's home.

Please RSVP by email to newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Newcomers Special Invitation to Wine Lover's Group

Friday, September 14, 2012 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
21 Greencroft Drive, Champaign

Outdoor Garden Party featuring Argentinean wine, at Cinda & Jim Pettigrew's home. Bring a bottle of Argentinean wine.

Please RSVP by email to newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Newcomers @ Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 from 4pm - 6pm
4410 North Lincoln Avenue, Champaign (map)

This event is free to newcomers (members of the club for 3 years or less)! Learn all about this very special and unique farm which is a goat dairy, creamery, and fruit and berry farm. Maybe you have even had some of their delicious cheese or gelato, found in local groceries and at the Market at the Square on Saturdays.

Please RSVP by email to Stephanie at newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Directions to the farm may be found here: www.prairiefruits.com/direction-to-the-farm

Planetarium Event - Open to all Members & Guests!

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity
March 29, 2012 with Refreshments at 6:30 pm, Show at 7:00 pm
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign

Newcomers' Group is hosting a show at Parkland's Staerkel Planetarium. We'll begin with a social reception in the lobby with non-alcoholic beverages and light refreshments, followed by a short introduction by Donna Cox, Director of the Illinois eDREAM Institute, as well as the producer and art director of this gem, who will point out interesting things to watch for in the film. We will then get to see this spectacular 30 minute show on the Planetarium's state-of-the-art Digistar 4 full dome projection system.

This is indeed a rare opportunity only available to our group!

All members and their guests are welcome to join us at this fabulous event. Guests do not need to be prospective members to come. Newcomers (members of 1, 2, or 3 years) and prospective members may come for free. All others will pay a small $5 advance reservation fee or $7 at the door. Please RSVP to Stephanie at: newcomers@theillinoisclub.org by March 26th

If payment is required, please dowload this form

The Planetarium is on the western side of the Parkland College campus. There is a (sort of) circular drive near the entrance where you may drop people off. Some handicap-accessible parking is also nearby.

Driving directions to Parkland may be found here: www2.parkland.edu/planetarium/directions.html

Parkland map: www.parkland.edu/Media/Website%20Resources/PDF/maps/parkinglots.pdf

A Winter's Tale

February 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

To celebrate leap day, Newcomers' would love for you to join us for a Hearth and Home Gathering. We will have fantastic food, excellent conversation, and best of all, an awesome special speaker, Storyteller Kim Sheahan, from the Spurlock Museum. Kim will delight us with winter stories as we sit by the fire and sip hot chocolate and cider and munch on tummy-warming goodies. What better way to spend a leap day evening?

Come at 6:30, mingle and nibble, then find a place to nestle and listen to some wonderful, soul-enriching tales to warm your heart in the winter weather.

Open to all Newcomers (in The Illinois Club 3 years or less) and being held at Stephanie Price's home.

Space is limited, so e-mail now to reserve your cuddly seat at newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Larry Kanfer Gallery - Open House

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
2503 South Neil Street, Champaign

Newcomers will host a visit with the Kanfers at their studio on Neil Street. Popular local artist, Larry Kanfer, and his wife, Alaina, will talk about their art. There will be light refreshments with non-alcoholic beverages, lively conversation, and the wonderful Kanfer photography. There is limited seating for this free event. Please RSVP to Stephanie at newcomers@theillinoisclub.org