RSVP Collects Underwear for Hines VA in Honor of Days of Service

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of West Suburban Cook and Southern DuPage Counties is collecting new underwear for veterans at Hines VA Hospital from Sept. 12 through Nov. 11. In honor of Sept. 11, a National Day of Service and Remembrance, and Veterans Day on Nov. 11, RSVP is collecting new undershirts in sizes L, XL, XXL, and larger as well as new underwear also in sizes L, XL, XXL, and larger.

September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts originally launched in 2002 by the nonprofit 9/11 Day with support by national service organizations, including RSVP. 

This effort first established the inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks. 

RSVP also is joining organizations across Illinois in thanking the servicemen and servicewomen, veterans and their families in Illinois on Nov. 11 with a volunteer service project focused on benefiting these Illinois heroes. 

Individuals interested in helping out by making a donation of new undershirts and/or underwear can drop off their donation with the RSVP Office on Triton College’s campus in River Grove.  The office, located in Room R-221, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to noon, on Fridays. All items must be provided in sealed packages.

For more information, call the RSVP Office at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3603, or email


World Music Series Begins With a Journey to Thailand


By:  Rachel K. Hindery

Guests at Triton College experienced a musical, visual and even culinary journey to Thailand with the opening performance of the World Music Series, For Our Teacher:  The Story of Prince Sung-Tong.  This free cultural event took place in the Performing Arts Center of the Robert M. Collins Center on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.  Triton hosted master dance instructor Jutarut Suntharanund and dancers between 3 and 70 years of age, a 7-member Thai classical orchestra and 5 singers.  Special guests, including President of the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute, Suttisak Pardungkiattisak, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, and Triton College President Mary-Rita Moore were also in attendance.

A Bridge…and a Birthday

Subtle details—the performance program printed in both Thai and English, a table with snack food from both America (chips) and Thailand (savory buns), and the sounds of traditional Hom Rong (overture) music—were signs of welcome both to guests from Chicago’s vibrant Thai community, Triton students and area residents who may be unfamiliar with Thai culture.

Introductions, which were also given in both Thai and English, highlighted the intergenerational nature of the programming.  The production marked the culmination of 2 years of preparation by dancers, some of whom travelled from as far away as Canada to participate.  Dancers and musicians have performed globally, including in Thailand and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in many U.S. states.

In addition to celebrating Thai culture, performers and guests were also celebrating Ms. Suntharanund’s 60th birthday. The theme of dance and music as a bridge, both between generations and cultures, was recurring.  Ms. Suntharanund also described this as her intention in the program notes: “I thought about what I could do to benefit the greater good and I thought about all the students I have taught these past 25 years in America.  This event was thus created in order to build a bridge connecting the past, present, and future.  I am grateful that our Thai community—near and far, old and young, past and present—has come together for this function…Above all, the most important reason I organized this event is for future generations to understand the value in hard work, harmony, and love for the Thai culture…”.

fb_img_1472787674481Five Dances and a Play…Choreography and Culture

The 5 dances and a two-scene play comprising the performance were extremely well choreographed.  The skilled use of choreography, lighting, set design and traditional costuming aided audience members who did not speak Thai.  Dances and were introduced in Thai and English but sung in Thai.  Through Ms. Suntharanund’s choreography and the dancers’ skill, one could still follow the action of the play or dances without understanding the language.  The first dance, The Dance of Benediction, honored Ms. Suntharanund’s birthday.  The second dance, Rabum Daowadeung, represented gods, angels, and celestial objects.  Khon: Nunthuk’s Courtship of Vishnu in Disguise, followed with the story of Nonthuk, a divine giant who learns the proper uses of power.  Audience members experienced the unique dance heritage of central Thailand in the fourth dance, Si Nuan.

The highlight and title performance of the evening was two scenes from The Story of Prince Sung-Tong.  Ms. Suntharanund brought her audience new or renewed appreciation of a dance drama that was written by King Rama II of Thailand (Siam) and first performed in the 1800s.  King Rama II, who ruled the Chakkri dynasty 1809-1824 wrote poems, plays, and dance dramas.  This is perhaps a fitting choice for an evening celebrating the bridges between cultures and the importance of the arts.  During his rule, King Rama II reopened relations with the West, and presided over the second golden age of Thai literature when writers, including female poets, gained prominence.  Readers who are interested in learning about the background of this play may wish to view the Encyclopedia Britannica entries on Rama II or the second golden age of Southeast Asian arts.

Ms. Suntharanund used her artistic talents to highlight some of her youngest dancers in The Story of Prince Sung-Tong.  The greatest audience response of the evening came when students as young as 3 years old depicted fish.  The audience joined in, supporting these young artists with good-natured laughter and applause.

fb_img_1472787629540Global Artists…at Home at Triton College

After a brief intermission, Ms. Suntharanund addressed the audience, thanking them for their support and receiving an award from the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago. This award is added to at least 7 awards previously earned by Ms. Suntharanund for her expertise in choreography, community service and dedication to the enhancement and preservation of Thai culture.  Ms. Suntharanund has performed extensively in Thailand, as well as Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, Laos, England, France, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, and studied at Chulalongkorn University, the top-ranked university in Thailand.  A dancer since the age of 5, Ms. Suntharanund has been teaching and directing for over 25 years.  This world-renowned artist is not unknown to Triton College; she directed a play here in 2008.  The second scene of The Story of Prince Sung-Tong followed her remarks.


A Finale…and a Beginning

The Journey of Rice in 4 Regions ended the performance.  This dance, the finale, showcased each region of Thailand (north, south, central and northeastern).  For those who may only be familiar with major cities in Thailand such as its capital, Bangkok, this dance was an important reminder of the cultural diversity within Thailand.  The dance highlighted musical styles, costuming and powerful drumming from each section.  The cast and Thai audience members concluded the celebratory evening by singing Sansoen Phra Barami, a Thai song of respect for their King.

In her message in the performance program, Ms. Suntharanund expressed her birthday wish: “my hope is that the Thai fine arts can continue to thrive in America.”  Triton College helped grant that wish as it began its World Music Series.


Upcoming Events…and Where to Learn More

The World Music Series next takes listeners on an auditory trip to Africa when Kaben Kafo (“let’s play together”) returns to Triton for an outdoor performance at noon on Wednesday, September 7 on the Student Center Mounds.  Triton students and guests will experience live djembe music from some of the most gifted musicians in Chicago.

Readers who are interested in learning more about musical offerings at Triton College may visit the Visual, Performing and Communication Arts webpage.  All events are open to the public, and most are free of charge.  Readers who are interested in learning more about Thai arts and culture are encouraged to visit The Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago.

FREE: Movie on the Mounds Presenting Finding Dory – Sept. 23

Join Dory, the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish as she embarks on an epic, underwater journey to find her long lost parents as Triton College presents Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory during the annual Movie on the Mounds on Friday, Sept. 23.

The Movie on the Mounds event starts at 6 p.m. on the Student Center Mounds located on the west side of the Triton College Campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove. The movie will begin at sunset.

 Bring your family and friends to this free event, which is sure to please movie lovers of all ages. Free popcorn will be served and hot dogs will be available for purchase ($2 each). 

 In case of inclement weather, the movie will be shown inside the Robert M. Collins Center (R Building). For more information, call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3815.

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Career Services Open House Sept. 22

Come to the Career Services Open House to see all the ways Triton College can help prepare you to succeed in your career. Resume writing assistance and interview coaching is available through Career Services, plus on-campus job fairs that match you with area employers are held throughout the year.

 The open house is Thursday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and 4-6:30 p.m., in Room A- 204 ( A Building). The event is free to attend and open to the public.

 There will be refreshments, games and giveaways at the event. Plus, two local employers will be on-hand, recruiting candidates for internships, including the FBI from 4-6:30 p.m.

 open house fall16_R2Layout 1For more information or assistance with resumes, please contact Triton College Career Services at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3789.