Here we are in 2016 already and plans have been made for
a variety of fun experiences for the Newcomers.
Remember that you are considered a Newcomer to The Illinois Club
for 3 years after you first join the group.
Please put these dates on your personal calendars.
Watch for the weekly news from our President
or special emails as an event draws near.
For questions please email
Renée Mullen and Teal Ashworth, Newcomer Chairs
Please stay tuned for new events to be announced for the next academic year!
Participate in the traditional arts and aesthetics of Japanese culture
as we visit Japan House at the University of Illinois campus,
experience a tea ceremony, stroll thru the beautiful zen gardens,
and watch a flower arranging demonstration known as Ikebana.
Please bring a pair of white socks to wear inside the house.
Maximum number of participants is 20, so do not delay in sending in your reservation.
|Japan House Visit
(co-sponsored with the
2000 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana
Thursday, May 19, 2016, 1:30-3:00pm
April 7, 2016, 6:15-7:45pm
WILL Tour and Live Taping, 300 N. Goodwin, Urbana, IL
Ever wanted to tour a radio and television station?
Then come to Campbell Hall on the corner of Goodwin and Clark
on the U of I campus and join us for this tour and talk about the
WILL Illinois Public Media Station led by Danda Beard,
Development Director. Just in time for spring
we will also view a live taping of the show "Mid American Gardener"
hosted by Diane Noland. We will meet in the lobby of
Campbell Hall in time to begin the tour at 6:15.
Free parking is available in the University Lot B22
on Clark St. between Goodwin and Harvey.
February 18, 2016, 10:00-11:30am
Eastern Illinois Food Bank Tour, 2405 North Shore Drive, Urbana, IL
These are the folks who have put the food in food pantry
and the soup in soup kitchen for the past 30 years
and who bring hope to the one in five people in our area
who struggle with hunger each day. Learn about programs
such as the School Pantry, Backpacks for Kids,
the Senior Grocery Program, and the Foodmobile.
Check out their website at
for more information.
Your Ticket is one or more cans of one of the following:
- 1. Canned meats
- 2. Canned complete meals (ravioli, Spaghettios, etc.)
- 3. Canned beans and other vegetables
- 4. Canned fruit
- 5. Boxed meals
- 6. Peanut butter OR
- 7. a monetary donation made out to EIFB.
January 17, 2016, 5:30-7:30pm
Good Old Fashioned Potluck
Graciously hosted by Linda and Len Lopez at their home
in Urbana. Join us for good food, good conversation,
and lots of fun. Bring a dish to feed at least 6 to share.
Drinks and tableware will be provided.
November 19, 2015, 10:30am-12:30pm
Common Ground Food Co-op,
300 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, IL
Do you know what a food co-op is and how it works?
This one has been around for nearly 40 years and offers classes,
education, and an art gallery in addition to selling
all sorts of grocery items. Come for a tour
and learn about this nationally recognized food co-op
and enjoy lunch from their many choices at the deli.
We'll also get an update about plans for their
new store opening soon in Champaign.
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 4:00-6:00pm
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Backstage Tour,
500 S Goodwin, Urbana, IL
Please plan to meet in the lobby (5th floor) at 4 p.m. near the ticketing area.
We will start with the shops (floor 2) while they are
still in operation and then continue to the 4 theaters
as available. When the tour is completed we will head back
to the lobby for music, wine tasting and cheese.
Individuals may make arrangements to go out to eat
or purchase food in Krannert at the Intermezzo Café.
Parking meters under Krannert need to be fed until 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Monday, September 14, 2015, 4:00-6:00pm
The Illinois Club Fall Expo at the Hilton Garden Inn,
1501 South Neil Street, Champaign
This is our first big event of the fall for the whole club
and is a great favorite. Join us at the end of the work day
for delicous hors d'oeuvres, conversation with new and old friends,
and signing up for Interest Groups for the year.
There will also be a membership table if you have not yet
paid your dues for 2015-2016. This is a great opportunity
to learn about the various interest groups.
The Fall Expo takes place at The Hilton Garden Inn,
located at 1501 South Neil Street, Champaign.
No need to send an RSVP for this event, just come
and bring a friend who might be interested in joining!
Thursday, September 10, 2015, 5:00-7:00pm
Wine and Cheese Meet and Greet
Newcomers, mentors, and board members are invited
to the lovely home of Alma Bellafiore,
to share our summer happenings, meet old friends,
and make new ones. It's also a special time
to welcome new members to our club and be on hand to
share the good things The Illinois Club has to offer.
Current members are invited to bring a small appetizer
or simple dessert to share.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 5:00-7:00pm
Gospel Jazz Fest, Hessel Park, Champaign
All Club members welcome!
Join the Newcomers for the Gospel Jazz Fest on Sunday,
Aug. 23 from 5-7 pm at Hessel Park in Champaign.
Enjoy great music, free and fun for all ages,
as well as inflatables for kids who might want to
bounce in addition to dancing to the beat.
Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments, if desired.
Look for an orange Block I flag on a pole to
find our spot in the crowd.
Thursday, August 20, 2015, 10:45-11:45am
New Employee Resource Fair at the iHotel and Conference Center, Champaign
If you are new to the University, come visit our booth for more information
about who we are, and what we do!
Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 6:30pm (note time change)
U of I Band on the Quad
All Club members welcome!
Our next summer fun event is the U of I Band concert on the Quad
behind the Union of the University of Illinois on Thursday,
July 16 from 6:30 to about 8pm. Bring your own dinner
and drink and a lawnchair or blanket for some goodies
and conversation before the concert begins at 7 pm.
Bug spray might also be handy!
You can park in the Krannert parking lot or in the lot
across the street and go west into the Quad area.
Look for the orange Block I flag on a pole to find our group.
All Illinois Club members are invited to join us.
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.
- Click images (below) to enlarge.
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.
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
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.
Sunday, January 25, 2015, 5:30-7:30 pm
Potluck dinner at the home of Linda Lopez
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
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.
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 11:45 am-(about) 5 pm
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.
|Special Family-Friendly Event
Amish Farm Dinner, Arcola IL
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.
Contact for questions:
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
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.
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 décor will be offered also
Nominal cost of this fantastic event is $15.
Dessert Potluck and Theater
Friday October 19, 2012
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
Newcomer / Illinois Club Board Member Wine and Cheese Mixer
Friday, September 28, 2012 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
At Alma Bellafiore's home.
Newcomers Special Invitation to Wine Lover's Group
Friday, September 14, 2012 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Outdoor Garden Party featuring Argentinean wine, at
Cinda & Jim Pettigrew's home.
Bring a bottle of Argentinean wine.
Newcomers @ Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 from 4pm - 6pm
4410 North Lincoln Avenue, Champaign
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.
Directions to the farm may be found here:
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
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.
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:
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.
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.