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For Christians, Lent is a period for self-renewal. It’s a time for people to search inward for ways to make themselves and the world around them better. The Four-Boro Ministerium of Avoca, Duryea, Moosic and Old Forge defines this idea. So often religions are in opposition to one another because of their differences, yet this ministerium embraces those differences and unites around their commonalities. To share in this fulfilling Lenten experience, consider stopping by one of the ministerium’s weekly Lenten services.

This week’s ecumenical Lenten service will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church, 174 N. Main St., Old Forge. Avoca’s own Rev. Alex Becker, pastor of Langcliffe Presbyterian Church, will be the guest preacher. A collection will be taken to support the food pantry at the Moosic United Methodist Church.

Ambulance drive

The Avoca Ambulance Association’s 2018 annual membership drive mailer has been mailed to Avoca and Dupont residents. Duryea residents will receive their mailer in the near future.

The cost is $40 per household and $35 for senior citizens. Membership includes protection from costly co-payments, ambulance transport fees, insurance denials and deductibles. Avoca Ambulance provides basic life support services with paid crews on duty 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to ensure reliable EMS service for our community.

Little League news

Online registration for the 2018 spring Avoca/Dupont Little League season is currently available on the league website, The final online registration date is Wednesday, Feb. 28. Any player from last year can register for the upcoming season online. New players to the league must register in person. Current players can, too. New players must supply three forms of residency and a copy of their birth certificate. The final in-person registration will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, and Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the clubhouse, 700 Mill St.

The cost to register is $65 for one player and $80 for two or more players from the same family. Payment for online registration can be completed using a credit card or via cash or check in person.

In other news, the league’s third annual cash bingo fundraiser will take place Sunday, April 29, at Queen of the Apostles Parish hall, 742 Spring St. Doors open at noon and games begin at 1 p.m.

There will be 15 regular games worth $100 each, three special games worth $150 each and a coverall game worth $250. Also, there will be a basket raffle and food available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. To purchase tickets, call Gary at 570-540-0649, Lori at 570-877-4361 or Denise at 570-589-1426. Tickets are also available at all league events.

Softball registration

Softball registration for the spring Little League season is available at All girls ages 7-14 who reside within the boundaries of the Pittston Area School District are eligible to play. The divisions are minors, majors and juniors. A senior division for girls ages 14-16 is tentative. The number of teams depends on the number of players registered.

The cost is $100 per child with a $150 maximum per family. This fee also includes one ticket per family to a future Pittston Twp. purse bingo fundraiser.

The registration deadline is Thursday, March 1. For more information, call 570-212-2347.

Langcliffe news

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will host Puzzles for the Young at Heart, a puzzle night for adults, at 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the church, 1001 Main St. Join in the fun and enjoy snacks and conversation while putting a puzzle together.

The church will sponsor its third annual Easter Egg Hunt 5K on Saturday, March 24. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m., and the race begins at 11 at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Participants can park in the church parking lot directly across the street.

Registration, which can be completed online at, is $20 until March 10, and then increases to $25. Race day entries are $30. The fee includes a T-shirt and a post-race pasta lunch. The lunch will also be available to the general public for $5 per person.

This year’s event will include a challenging 3.1 mile course and a 1 mile fun run/walk around Avoca collecting Easter eggs along the course. At the end of the race, runners open the eggs they collected to see how much time gets taken off of their finish. This is one of Scranton Running Company’s featured races. There will be appearances by ALT 92.1, Tux the Penguin and the Easter Bunny.

All proceeds will benefit the Avoca Hose Company and Ruth’s Place women’s shelter, Wilkes-Barre.

For race, volunteer or sponsorship information, contact the Rev. Alex Becker, at 570-457-4477 or

Queen of the Apostles news

The Deacons of the Greater Pittston Deanery will celebrate Sunday Evening Prayer with a reflection and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament during Lent at parishes throughout the deanery. Queen of the Apostles Parish will host the event at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.

The parish will have its annual spring chicken dinner from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 18, in the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

The dinner includes a half chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetable, coleslaw, roll, homemade dessert, and beverages. Takeouts will be available from 11 a.m. to noon.

In addition to the dinner, there will also be a cash and theme basket raffles.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger. To purchase tickets, please call the parish office at 570-457-3412.

The parish will pray the Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. Fridays during Lent in the church. Prior to the Stations, the Our Lady of Sorrows prayer group will recite the Our Lady of Sorrows rosary at 6:30 p.m.

As part of the Diocese of Scranton’s The Light is on for You Lenten reconciliation program, the parish will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays during Lent. The sacrament will still be available from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tax/trash bill reminder

Avoca Tax Collector Therese Wrubel announced the Luzerne County and Avoca Borough taxes have been distributed, and the 2018 garbage fee for homeowners and rental property owners can still be paid.

Residents can pay both bills from 5 to 6 p.m. Mondays and 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St., during the tax rebate period. Residents can also pay the bills via mail by sending their payments to Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641.

If a receipt is needed for the tax bill, send both copies of the bill with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The trash fee to have up to three bags of garbage collected weekly has not increased this year. It is as follows: $165 if purchased by March 20; $175 if purchased between March 21 and April 20; $185 if purchased between April 21 and May 20, and $195 if purchased between May 21 and June 21. After June 21, all unpaid bills will be turned over to the magistrate.

Anyone who did not receive a bill should call Wrubel at 570-457-4891.

West Side Social Club St. Patrick’s Day party

The West Side Social Club will hold its inaugural St. Patrick’s Day celebration Saturday, March 17, at the club, 711 McAlpine St.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. with a blessing at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Cemetery Street, Avoca, followed by a procession from the cemetery to the West Side Social Club. There will be a ham and cabbage dinner along with live entertainment from 2 to 6 p.m. A $20 donation per person is requested and can be made at the door.

During the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, lifelong Avoca resident and retired businessman Michael “Mike” George will receive the club’s Man of the Year award.

George graduated from Avoca High School in 1959 and started his first car repair business on South Main Street, Avoca, in 1961. In 1969, two Avoca community leaders convinced George to purchase a gas station and car repair business located at 935 Main St. George, who retired this year, operated the business for nearly 50 years, and it was the only gas station in Avoca for over 30 years.

George is a founding member of the Avoca Jolly Boys and was the past president of the Avoca Lions Club. George initiated the annual Lions Club Christmas light project along Main and McAlpine Streets. He is also a member of the Avoca West Side Club, Rainbow Rod and Gun Club, a former automobile repair instructor, a former member of Ss. Peter and Paul’s Church, Avoca, a current member of Queen of the Apostles Parish, Avoca, and a sponsor of numerous non-profit organizations.

George is the son of the late David and Mildred George. He has been married to the former Kay Sroka for 56 years. They have been blessed with three children: Janice, Christine and the late Michael Jr.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the basement of the Queen of the Apostles Parish rectory, 715 Hawthorne St. Please use the sunroom entrance.

Birthday wishes

Happy birthday to Katie Joyce, who will celebrate her special day Monday, Feb. 26, and to Ellen Saporito, who will celebrate her special day Thursday, March 1.

That’s about it for this week, my friends.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Jackie Borthwick-Galvin writes about Avoca every week. To list a news item, email her at or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.