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Ashton Woods Access: November 2017
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Leaseholders automatically receive the Access each month. If another member of your household is interested in receiving the newsletter, he/she can sign up online. The newsletter is also available at

Community Calendar

See what's going on in your community with the November events calendar.

Thanksgiving Programs

What is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is an important public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. It originated as a harvest festival that traces its origin back to a celebration in the early 1621 shared by early American settlers (the Pilgrims) and native American Indians in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Traditionally, the meal includes a roast turkey and side dishes such as bread stuffing or sweet potatoes. Parades are popular on Thanksgiving, the largest and most famous is the Macy’s department store parade in New York City. This year, Thanksgiving is celebrated on Thursday, November 24.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Saturday, November 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Wesley United Methodist Church Great Hall (1203 W Green St, Urbana)

Join us for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner at Wesley Church. We will be serving dinner and doing fall themed crafts. Also, we will have a photographer and a backdrop to take family pictures. Contact Alexis Gatses at if you have any questions.

Thanksgiving Story Hour
Thursday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m
Orchard Downs Community Center

A volunteer from the Center for Children’s books will be reading us Thanksgiving stories and we will also be making a turkey craft. All children and parents are welcome to attend and snacks will be provided. Contact Morgan Baker at if you have any questions.

Illini Union Turkey Bowling Night
Monday, November 27 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Illini Union Bowling Alley

Come out free fun night of bowling! Transportation is not provided; buses and street parking are available near Illini Union. Children MUST be supervised. All residents are welcome, but registration is required to play. Please register by Friday, November 10 online at Contact Morgan Baker at if you have any questions.

November Happenings

Holiday Office Hours

The Family & Graduate Housing office will be closed on November 23 and November 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Dia de Los Muertos Celebration
Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Orchard Downs Community Center (510 W George Huff Dr., Urbana)

Join us for crafts and snacks to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos! Contact Alexis Gatses at if you have any questions.

Winter is Coming: Preparedness Program for Residents
Sunday, November 5 at 2 p.m.

Orchard Downs Community Center (510 W George Huff Dr., Urbana)

Winter is Coming – says House Stark from Game of Thrones. And there is no better time to prepare for it than now! Join us for a discussion on how to prepare for the season which can include snow storms, wind chill, and emergencies. Learn about campus and local resources and what to do in case of a severe weather situation. And of course, snacks are on us.

Pre-School Accepting Students for Fall

The Orchard Downs Pre-School is still accepting registrations for the 2017-2018 school year. For questions and information please email Debbie Collins at  or call (217) 333-5659. You may also contact the FGH office at (217) 333-5656.

Ashton Woods Events

Ashton Woods Children’s Movie Night
Friday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Ashton Woods Community Building

Enjoy the movie Inside Out! Children can learn about identifying emotions and how to communicate feelings. All children and parents of Ashton Woods are welcome to come and snacks will be provided. Contact Morgan Baker at if you have any questions.

Programs at Orchard Downs

All University Apartment residents are invited to participate in programs at Orchard Downs. All programs are in the Orchard Downs Community Center, 510 George Huff Drive unless noted. See below for more information.  

Family Housing Council Social Night
Saturday, November 4 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. 

Please join the Family Housing Council (FHC) for our monthly resident social. Suggestions for future social themes are appreciated!

Birthday Bingo
Tuesday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Orchard Downs Community Center (510 W George Huff Dr., Urbana)

Join us to celebrate all November birthdays with cake, prizes, and bingo. Everyone is welcome to come, and children must be supervised. I hope to see you there! Contact Alexis Gatses at if you have any questions.

Family Service Night
Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Join us for a day/night of volunteering. We will be baking cookies for a local soup kitchen, making care packages for local homeless shelters, and writing letters to nursing homes. This is a perfect opportunity to volunteer and give back to the community!  Contact Morgan Baker at if you have any questions.

Community Programs

Lending Room

The Lending Storeroom will be open on Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. The Lending Storeroom is located at 2044-A Orchard Street (entrance to Lending Room is located on the West side of the building/street side).

Sewing Room in the Learning Resource Center (Orchard Downs apt. 2044-A)
November 4 and November 18 from 9 to 11:00 a.m.

Sewing Room Coordinator Balqees will be opening the sewing room on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9 to 11:00 a.m.  Sewing machines and other equipment including scissors, pins, measuring tape and thread are available for residents to use. Email Balgees at if you have questions.

Coffee House in the Learning Resource Center (Orchard Downs apt. 2044-A)
November 11 and November 25 from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

The International Hospitality Committee sponsors a Coffee House at the Learning Resource Center.  The purpose of this program is to have morning coffee and get to know your neighbors. It is an opportunity for international discussion and casual conversation, and a way to share your culture and make friends.  The Coffee House will be held on the second, fourth, and fifth Saturdays of the month from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Parent-Child Playgroup in the Family Resource Center (1834-A Orchard Place)
Every Monday and Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Come play and learn with us! Caregivers and children ages five and under participate in fun and educational activities, such as crafts, music, story time, and snacks. This month, there will be no Playgroup on Wednesday, November 22. Contact Daniela at  with any questions.

Welcome to the World

Babies are a sign of hope and bring much joy to our lives. At Family & Graduate Housing, we would like to welcome your newborn to our community with a small gift. This is our way of saying, “Welcome to the World!” If you have recently welcomed a new baby into your family, please contact Daniela Vidal at or call the Family & Graduate Housing office at (217) 333-5656.

Women’s Tea Time Support Group in the Family Resource Center (1834-A Orchard Place)
Tuesdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Come join us for tea and conversation. The Women’s Tea Time Support Group is a comfortable space for women to bond and learn new skills while supporting each other. There will be weekly workshops on a variety of topics such as art, cooking, stress-management, parenting, and many more. For more information, contact Daniela at

Yoga and Meditation Happy Hour at the Orchard Downs Community Center
Mondays from 6:30­ to 7:30 p.m.

The Art of Living - UIUC Chapter works to promote the mental, emotional and physical well-being of members of the campus community with the help of yoga, meditation and breathing techniques. This is based on the belief that a stress-free individual builds a stress-free and violence-free society. The Yoga and Meditation Happy Hour will be a fun-filled session where you will practice yoga, meditation and breathing techniques to help the overworked mind settle down and let your inner peace shine through. Come, be happy!

International Women’s Connection

The International Women’s Connection (IWC) is a friendship & cultural exchange group that was started in 1987. Since then, hundreds of women have had the opportunity to practice English, make friends and learn about American culture. The group meets every Wednesday from 9 to 10 a.m. for a free English class and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. for various activities to help you adjust to American life. The location for the meetings is Twin City Bible Church, on the corner of Lincoln & Michigan Avenue, Urbana (approximately 6 blocks northwest of Orchard Downs).  The IWC welcomes women of all nationalities or religious background and any level of English fluency. Childcare is also provided. For more information, visit or email Ruth at 

MultiCultural Health Center

Starting November 1, the MultiCultural Health Center will serve as a one-stop shop for resources and guidance about residents’ health and wellness needs. Visit the Center to find useful information and contacts about health, medical facilities, fitness, nutrition, and wellness available on campus and in the community. We will also maintain a running calendar for related programming for Family and Graduate Housing residents.

The MultiCultural Health Center is open every Thursday from 6–8 p.m. and every Friday from noon–3 p.m.

This will be alongside the free weekly clinic operated in collaboration with HeRMES. The weekly clinic will continue to operate as scheduled.

About HeRMES: The HeRMES free medical clinic is a walk-in clinic every Thursday from 6–8 p.m. staffed by volunteer medical students and supervised by a licensed medical professional. Doors open at 5:30. For several years, HeRMES has operated in partnership with area health clinics that serve the uninsured and underserved of Illinois.

Please note that there will be no clinic or center hours during on Thursday, November 23 or Friday, November 24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Maintenance Requests

Pest Control

No buildings in Ashton Woods will be inspected during November.

Treatment will be provided only as needed; twenty-four-hour advanced notice will be given prior to treatment. To request treatment, visit

Pet Owners: please put your dogs in the small bedroom between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. after we post a dated notice on your door. We need to enter your apartment to inspect for pests and change your monitors. We will be at pet apartments Monday and Tuesday during your posted time to prevent your dogs from being locked up all week. Thank you for your cooperation!

Important Contacts

Complex Coordinator

Whitney Welsh
Phone: (217) 300-7157

Community Aide

Rachel Pharris

Dario Acosta & Alejandra Jimenez Alcala &

Other Contacts

Family & Graduate Housing Office: 333-5656
Emergency: 9-911
U of I Police (non-emergency): 333-1216
McKinley Health Center Dial-A-Nurse: 333-2700
Student Insurance: 333-0165