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Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms, grandmothers, nanas, godmothers, aunts, sisters and terrific ladies in Avoca. While today certainly isn’t a typical Mother’s Day, we can still make the best of it and honor the special ladies in our lives — after all, that’s what this holiday is truly about.

I would like to wish my mother Lorraine a very happy Mother’s Day! My mother is truly one of the strongest people I know, and I am so grateful to be her daughter. She has taught me so much about love, friendship, faith, compassion and care. These are gifts of immeasurable wealth, and I can only hope I can give them to J.J. just like she shares them with me each day. Thank you, Mom! I love you!

Community committee news

Avoca Community Committee has canceled its Decades Bar Hop scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 16. The committee hopes to reschedule the event during the summer.

Anyone who paid the registration fee should send a message privately to the committee via its Facebook page to make arrangements to receive their money back.

Avoca Community Committee’s Stay at Home Improvement contest offers residents an opportunity to showcase their outdoor home improvement projects which they have completed within the last few weeks up to Monday, May 18. Some project ideas include sprucing up your porch, planting flowers, creating a garden or other creative ways to beautify your yard.

Entrants are asked to take before and after photos of their projects. Winners will be announced Friday, May 22, and receive cash prizes through the generosity of an anonymous resident.

For details, please send a private message to the Avoca Community Committee Facebook page.

Queen of the Apostles

online Masses

Queen of the Apostles Parish offers Mass on Sundays on its social media sites. The Mass is streamed live at 10 a.m. on It also is available on Facebook after it is streamed live. The parish also posts the Mass on its new YouTube channel Sunday evenings. This video includes enhanced sound, graphics, music and the text of select prayers for improved quality on smart TVs. You can find it by searching for “Queen of the Apostles Parish, Avoca, PA” on YouTube.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St. Food can be picked up in the rear entry of the building.

Volunteers are needed to unload and distribute food at 1:30 p.m.

For information, please call Jim at 570-921-9899.

State of emergency

Avoca Borough is still operating under a state of emergency. The municipal building is closed until further notice, as are the Avoca Community Center, Plane Street Park and Memorial Park.

Anyone who needs to do business with the borough should call the municipal building at 570-457-4947 and leave a message. Calls will be returned as soon as possible.

For non-emergency police department issues, please call 570-457-4011.

For emergencies, always dial 911.

Taxes, refuse and sewer maintenance fee payments

At the April meeting, Avoca Borough Council voted in favor to extend the face value due date for borough property taxes until Aug. 18, coinciding with Luzerne County’s property tax extension. This will give property owners an additional two months to pay at face value, without any penalties.

The refuse fee for 2020 to have up to three bags collected weekly will remain at $175 through June 21.

Residents cannot pay any of these bills at the Avoca Municipal Building until further notice. However, residents may mail tax and refuse payments to Tax Collector Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641 or place them in the envelope outside of her home office at the above address. If you need a receipt, please include the complete bill and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your payment. Please be sure to issue separate checks for tax and refuse payments and that all checks are dated correctly and signed.

For information, please call Wrubel at 570-457-4891.

Avoca Council will honor the discounted rate of $40 up until Aug. 4 for the 2020 annual sewer maintenance fee invoice billed by Berkheimer Associates. After that, the fee will be $50 from Aug. 5 to Aug. 20, and $52.50 after Aug. 20. Berkheimer is aware of the extended dates. Payments should be mailed to them as outlined on the invoice. Call Berkheimer at 610-599-3145 with any questions.

Collection information

Residents are reminded the borough’s weekly Tuesday yard waste collections have started. Each property may place a maximum of three open containers, preferably with handles, not to exceed 30 pounds, containing leaves, grass clippings, small branches and shrubs. Any yard waste placed in plastic bags, dirt, rocks or animal waste will not be collected.

Recycling is still suspended until further notice.

Anyone who does not have their trash picked up should call J.P. Mascaro at 1-800-243-7575.

Masks needed

Anyone who can sew, make or donate face masks for health care professionals can drop them off in the sanitized lock box next to the black bench at the entrance of the Avoca Municipal Building, 952 Main St.

Ambulance membership

Avoca Ambulance Association’s annual 2020 membership drive is underway. Residents of Avoca and Dupont have been mailed a membership packet.

Duryea residents will receive their membership subscription at a later date.

The membership subscription protects the subscriber and family members from out-of-pocket expenses which insurance may not cover. The membership subscription price, which remains the same as last year, is $40 and $35 for senior citizens.

All proceeds are used for operating expenses and to maintain the viability of the Avoca Ambulance Association. The association provides coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week by paid, professional emergency medical providers on duty around the clock. Without the community’s support, this level of service would not be available. The association appreciates the community’s support and members pledge to do their best to serve people in their time of need.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to my beautiful baby boy, J.J. — well he’s not a baby anymore because he will be 4 on May 11! We hope you have a great day. Daddy and I love you very much!

Happy birthday to Geniele D’Aiello, who celebrated her special day Friday, May 8, and happy birthday to Thomas Kaplavka, who will celebrate his special day Sunday, May 10.

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 an item in her column, email or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.