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Avoca Scouts visit Scranton’s Civil War Museum Avoca Scout Troop and Pack 316 recently visited the Civil War Museum in Scranton. The Scouts learned about the important role the area played in the war. Scouts who attended the program, first row, from left, are Elijah Lyons, Elijah Michaels, Bentley Harrison, Lyam Collins, Jacob Phillips, Kairyn Saunders, Josiah Lyons, Nicholas Collins and Joe Long, commander of Camp No. 8 GAR. Second row: Hal Meyers, museum president; Jason Phillips, Biagio Manganiello, Joshua Phillips and Adam Lazar. Third row: Ann Edwards, Dawn Phillips, Dorothy Collins and Matthew Fino.

Avoca will have its inaugural town-wide Christmas celebration featuring its own “Avoca Polar Express” Santa Parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, immediately followed by a children’s Christmas party at Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St.

The parade route will be starting from the lot at 822-824 McAlpine St., through Main Street, turning down Hawthorne Street and ending at Queen of Apostles Parish Hall. Along with Avoca officials, organizations and businesses, any child living in Avoca or the surrounding local communities is invited to join in the procession by hopping aboard the Avoca Polar Express!

Immediately following the Santa Parade, the children will be welcomed at the Christmas party featuring a visit with Santa, a milk and cookie bar, hot chocolate station, Christmas music, basket raffles and more.

Any child participating in the Santa Parade or coming to the Christmas party must pre-register by Saturday, Dec. 8. Organizers are asking anyone participating in the parade to please be at the assembly spot no later than 12:30 p.m. You can pre-register by calling or texting 570-499-7013 or 570-237-7190. Leave your name, number, names and ages of children attending.

Scouting news

Who would have thought Scranton would figure significantly in the Civil War? That history is exactly what Joe Long and Hal Meyers taught to Avoca Scout Troop and Pack 316 during their recent visit to the Civil War Museum in Scranton.

The rich history came alive among the vivid stories and original artifacts. Approximately 30 Scouts and parents attended the closed presentation earlier this month. According to Scoutmaster Matt Fino, this is a great trip to make from anywhere in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The presentation is free and can be scheduled by calling Long at 570-457-1625.

For information about joining the Scouts, please call Queen of the Apostles Parish at 570-457-3412.

Hibernians meeting

While Notre Dame Football fans are praying for a win against USC this weekend to secure a playoff berth for their beloved Fighting Irish, the Avoca Ancient Order of Hibernians are already planning to celebrate it and discuss other important matters at their upcoming meeting.

Avoca Ancient Order of Hibernians will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the West Side Club, 711 McAlpine St.

All members are urged to attend.

Queen of the Apostles Christmas activities

Queen of the Apostles Parish will have a Polish Advent Mass at noon Monday, Dec. 3, at the church, 715 Hawthorne St. The Rev. Stephen Krawontka will celebrate the Mass in Polish. Following the Mass, a light luncheon of chicken soup, bread and butter, dessert and beverages will be served in the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

The parish’s women’s guild will have a Christmas party at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at Lucca Restaurant and Catering, Taylor. Tickets are $25.

To make a reservation, please call Priscilla at 570-351-7283, Mary Ann at 570-212-1365 or Marie at 570-299-9356 by Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The parish is striving to make Christmas a little merrier for members of our community.

Under the direction of the Social Concerns/Respect Life Ministry, the Christmas Giving Tree will be displayed in the church vestibule. The tree will be trimmed with tags listing gifts for children in need. Gifts must be returned by the weekend of Dec. 1 to be distributed on Dec. 10.

The parish also will display its Christmas rocking chair with tags containing suggested health and beauty aids and other small items earmarked for residents of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s Holy Family Residence, Scranton. Items should be returned by Sunday, Dec. 16.

Tickets are available for the Queen of the Apostles Parish Pot of Gold Stocking Stuffer raffle. Tickets, which are $10 each, offer a chance to win $75 daily and $100 on Fridays throughout January, as well as $250 on Jan. 15 and $500 on Jan. 1 and 31.

For information or to purchase a ticket, contact the parish office at 570-457-3412. The daily winning number must match the state lottery’s evening Pick 3 number.

The parish announces the following meetings, which will take place in the rectory: buildings and grounds, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, and finance council, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Tax reminder

Avoca Borough Tax Collector Therese Wrubel states Pittston Area school taxes are now at face value until Nov. 30. The third installment is due by Dec. 17. Luzerne County/Avoca Borough taxes are due Dec. 30.

Tax bills can be paid between 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesdays in the Avoca Borough Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Or, they can be mailed to 129 Factory St., Avoca.

Please write separate checks for each bill.

VFW Auxiliary

Christmas party

Avoca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary will have its annual Christmas party at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the post home, 915 Main St. Gifts will be exchanged. Please call President June Fitzgerald at 570-457-9604 by Saturday, Nov. 24 to make a reservation. Please note this party is for members only.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 6 and 20, 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.

Pittston Area,

Class of 1967, parties

Pittston Area, Class of 1967, will have a Christmas party at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4909, 401 Main St., Dupont. For information, please call Karen Hadley Sobeski at 570-457-3247.

Also, the class is planning a 70th birthday party for members of the graduating class. The party will tentatively take place sometime in September 2019. More information will be available in the future.

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.

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.