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Nando Milano has a wine dinner coming up next week

Nando has scheduled their third wine dinner of the year, and it's happening next Monday, June 26th, at 6 p.m. The dinner will feature dishes prepared by Executive Chef Alessio, and those dishes will be paired with wines from the Antinori family. No word yet on the menu, but here are the wines will include: Il Bruciato, Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico, Guado al Tasso, Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino, and Tignanello. Each wine will be also be available for purchase that evening.

Cost is $120 per person (doesn't include tax/tip) and reservations are recommended. Call the restaurant at 217-954-1439 to reserve your spot.

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Eat swine and drink wine at Miga this Thursday

Miga is hosting a welcome-to-summer party this Thursday, June 21st from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The Wine & Swine dinner ($75/person, reservations required) will feature a hog from Triple S Farms and wine by Scarpetta. Five courses of head to tail hog dishes are bound to be delicious — Miga doesn't mess around with these speciality dinners

Get your tickets by calling (217) 398-1020, or e-mail jennifer@miga-restaurant.com.

Photo from Facebook

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Donate PB&J and pajamas to help moms and kids at Courage Connection

This is a tangible and easy way to make a difference in the lives of moms and kids in need in C-U. Courage Connection is a resource for women escaping domestic violence, and often they have to leave quickly, with little time for belongings. The last week of July, the organization will be collected new children's pajamas along with peanut butter and jelly to keep their shelters stocked with these essential items. More donation info below:

Courage Connection’s Pajama’s and P.B.&J. Event,  July 21-29, 2018

Almost nightly, a woman will arrive at Courage Connection with her young children in the early hours.  They may have nothing but the clothes they were wearing and a maybe a few essentials.  Not even a pair of pajamas to wear for their first night of stay. Items like this were sacrificed for her safety.

Every day individuals turn to Courage Connection for safety and support, many times leaving the comforts of the place they called home.

Courage Connection is launching a Pajama’s and P.B.&J. an event July 21-29. Nothing is more comforting at bed time that a P.B.&J. snack and your wearing comfy Pajamas can be.  To make every night a little brighter for victims and survivors of domestic violence, we are collecting new Pajama’s in all children’s sizes along with Peanut Butter & Jelly to keep out shelter stocked with these essentials. Donations of goods can be made at our Connection’s Store located in Lincoln Square. Busey Bank at 201 West Main Street, Urbana and Busey Bank 2011 West Springfield, Champaign.

Courage Connection, Development Director, Michael Ujcich comments, “We’ve teamed up with our Connections Store in Lincoln Square and Busey Bank locations as drop off points to protect client safety and for confidentiality reasons. Support of this event will restore a touch of comfort for those youth enduring a very scary and stressful time.”

For more information,

www.courageconnection.org or contact Development Director, Michael Ujcich, mujcich@courageconnection.org.

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Uncorked continues at Krannert through the summer

Things are relatively quiet at Krannert Center during the summers, as their performance season doesn't start again until the fall semester. But Uncorked, the recurring Thursday evening wine tasting and music event, keeps rolling through June and July. And it's free! Since it lasts from 5 to 7 p.m., it's a great prescursor to dinner or other evening excursions. 

This Thursday features the Katie Flynn Quartet; stay tuned to Krannert's Facebook page for subsequent performers. There will not be an event on July 5th.

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iVenture, EDC, and SBDC team up for start up social on Wednesday

iVenture Accelerator at the U of I, Champaign County EDC, and Illinois SBDC have teamed up for a social tomorrow, Wednesday, June 20th at Sipyard. This is a chance to meet and learn about some of the cool start up projects being worked on at iVenture by some of the top students at the University. Plus, beer and food are always good.

From the Facebook event:

UIUC's iVenture Accelerator, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, and Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC - CUSBDC are co-hosting a Startup Social at Sipyard on Wednesday, June 20th!

Join us to meet 12 of UIUC's top student startups in the iVenture Accelerator fourth cohort: http://iventure.illinois.edu/index.php/startups/

Food will be provided.

If you're looking to advise startups, meet other entrepreneurs, or just learn about the innovative work happening in the community – this event is for you.

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There’s a Campustown Bar Tour this Thursday

Whether you're still a student, or you haven't stepped foot in a campus bar since C.O.'s was still alive, you can participate in the Campustown Bar Tour, part of Champaign Center Partnership's 13 Thursdays, as long as you're over 21. Spots are limited, so go here to register. Here's some info from the Facebook event:

Come celebrate the longest day of the year as you Explore Campustown on the 13 Thursdays Pub Tour! Tickets are $20 per person and include:
-4 drinks
-3 pub stops at Firehaus, Murphy's Pub and Legends
-1 30-minute tour on Slowride Pedal Tours through Campustown
-1 food ticket - redeemable at any of the 3 pubs
-1 2-hour parking validation ticket for the Campus Center
Public Parking Deck (509 E. Healey Street)
Plus fun games by Brainstorm Escapes!

Guests must be 21+ to participate. Please bring confirmation email, paper or electronic, along with a valid ID when you check in at Firehaus, 708 S. Sixth Street at 6pm.

Registration is limited to 30 people. Visit www.champaigncenter.com/campustown-pub-tour to purchase your tickets in advance! This event will happen rain or shine.

Proceeds from this event benefit programs and services of Champaign Center Partnership. Questions? Call 217-352-2400 or email coordinator@champaigncenter.com

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19th annual Jettie Rhodes Day is happening this Saturday

The event celebrates the life and legacy of Jettie Rhodes, an Urbana resident who just wanted her neighbors to come out of their houses and get to know each other and have some free food. She died not long after that first endeavor, but her friends and family kept the event going and growing over the years. Now it's a full blown community celebration in partnership with the Urbana Park District. Because of the support of dozens of local businesses and organizations, it's still free, and there will be food, entertainment, activities for kids, a BBQ cook off, and more. 

The festivities are happening at MLK Jr. Park in Urbana from 12 to 4 p.m.

You can read more about the history behind the event here

Photo from the Jettie Rhodes Neighborhood Day Facebook page. 

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MobileMeter launched today on U of I campus

After launching a few years ago in Champaign, and then in Urbana, MobileMeter has finally arrived on campus at the University of Illinois.

The pay-for-parking mobile app is excellent and easy to use — I use it all of the time — and though that testamonial only goes so far, MobileMeter has continued to expand throughout our cities. Now when you park on campus, you can use the app. Here is one of those meters at Krannert Art Museum today, above.

The one update I've noticed since parking on campus today was that you now have to enter your vehicle information, which isn't required when using in Champaign and Urbana. I'm uncertain whether or not that will change for the other areas, if I get information that confirms/denies this, I will update here.

Photo by Patrick Singer

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Cafe Kopi is featuring artists during Friday Night Live

The patio at Café Kopi is a great spot for Friday Night Live participation, with one of the performance corners right there at Walnut and Chester. Now they've added to the evening's festivities by featuring local artists each week. This week will showcase the work of My Darling Loren as well as Shiver magazine. A little coffee, some live music, art to browse and possibly purchase...an enjoyable start to your weekend. Watch their Facebook page for who will be featured week to week.

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A Jefferson student is the #1 middle school archer in the world

Jefferson Middle School has an amazing archery program, and that was on display last weekend. Not only did the team place 9th out of 92 teams at the World Championships, team member Beth Merrifield beat out 882 other middle school competitors to be the best in world.

Here's the full press release:

Jefferson Middle School Archer is No. 1 in the World

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Beth Merrifield became the no. 1 middle school archer in the world at the National Archery in Schools Program® World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, June 7-9.

Merrifield, who recently completed eighth grade at Jefferson, competed against 884 middle schoolers from the U.S. and multiple countries, scoring a 293 to claim the top spot. She ranked 8 out of 2,362 for the tournament overall, which included elementary, middle and high school divisions. Teammate Mathias Kirkland scored 290 to rank 10th among middle schoolers and third in the seventh grade boys division. The highest individual score possible was 300 points.

The Jefferson Archery team placed ninth out of 92 teams. They advanced to the World Championship after winning their sixth consecutive state title with a record-setting score in April. Before that, they placed sixth out of 255 at the national tournament in May, where shooter Kendall Lyell scored 291 to place in the top 1 percent.

“We are so proud of our entire Jefferson team this season,” head coach Jason Brown said. “It is exciting to see our student archers excel with such skill and passion, especially as a relatively new sport in Champaign schools.”

Archery teams were established at Jefferson, Central and Centennial within the last seven years as a non-IESA sanctioned sport and have grown in size and popularity since then. This has been a banner year for Unit 4 archers, with Central becoming first-time state champions and Centennial High School placing second in the state tournament and 14th in the World Championship. Jefferson also hosted the Schweighart Shootout tournament in January, welcoming more than 750 archers to Champaign.

Photos from Unit 4 Facebook page

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Spurlock Museum is hosting a talk on religion next week

If you need a little deep thinking to interrupt your summer frivolity, head over to the Spurlock Museum next Thursday, June 21st from 4 to 5 p.m. They will be hosting a talk titled Holy Alliance: The Influence of Religion at UIUC. Some background from their website:

The concept of “separation of church and state” has changed dramatically since the early days of the University. In the 19th century, chapel attendance was mandatory. Today, every major faith tradition in the world is represented by programming for and often by students on a pluralistic but secular campus. Join retired Alumni Association vice president Joe Rank for a presentation on this little-known thread of the University’s history.

For its first 26 years, University students were required to attend Christian chapel service every day. When the practice was challenged by a student suspended for failure to attend, the University’s policy was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court. After the requirement was dropped, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) became a major force on campus, serving for many years as a de facto student affairs office.

In a move to create a more welcoming environment in the early 20th century, President Edmund James fostered religious diversity by inviting denominations to establish student foundations to teach for-credit, faith-based classes to University students. The first Jewish Hillel Foundation and the first residential Catholic Newman Center in the country were established on the Illinois campus. Today, the University of Illinois campus environs host the largest number of religious outreach programs in the world, representing every major faith tradition.

Photo from Spurlock Museum website.

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Volunteer with ReStore this summer

Many local organizations see their volunteers dwindle as the students depart for the summer, so it's a great time for community members to step up and help out. Habitat for Humanity's ReStore is looking for some volunteer help with processing donations, stocking the store, assisting customers, etc. By lending a hand there you will be helping keep junk out of landfills, supporting Habitat's mission of creating affordable housing opportunities for local families, and maintaining a place for the community to get reasonably priced stuff for their abodes. Bonus: you might get first dibs on a treasure for your abode.

If you've got an hour or two to lend during the week, you can sign up here