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Living in a small town has many advantages. As citizens, we share a closeness and a feeling of responsibility for one another. If a neighbor is in trouble, we rally and respond to meet their need whatever it may be.

Within this same group of citizens, there is a subset of men and women who not only rally and respond to their neighbors’ needs, but when needed, rescue them too. Helping is not just a neighborly act for them — it is a call to serve.

If you feel this call, consider volunteering with the Avoca Fire Department. Facing a range of physically and emotionally demanding situations under extreme pressure, our firefighters not only extinguish and prevent fires but also administer first aid, rescue victims from cars or buildings, assist at acute accident scenes and help the community in a whole host of other ways.

While these brave men and women may not respond to emergencies daily, our volunteers continuously prepare to face them. As firefighters, our hometown crew utilizes their off-peak moments to develop their skills and knowledge about new procedures, operational techniques and the latest life-saving equipment.

For information about this rewarding volunteer opportunity, please call the Avoca Fire Department at 570-457-2894 or send a message to the Avoca Fire Department Facebook page.

Refuse bills

Refuse invoices for 2019 have been mailed to residents. The fee schedule to have up to three bags collected weekly has not increased this year. It is as follows: $165 if purchased between Feb. 21 and 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.

Residents also can pay their bill 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 5 to 6 p.m. Mondays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St.

Residents can also pay the fee via mail by sending a check made payable to Avoca Borough, c/o Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641.

Avoca Borough encourages residents to mark the following dates on their calendars:

A white goods collection will be held Wednesday, July 10.

A bulk item/furniture collection will be held in the borough Monday, Sept. 23.

If you need to dispose of a white goods item before or after the pickup date, please call 570-451-0625 or 570-457-4947.

If you need to dispose of a bulk item that is not normally collected with weekly garbage, please call J.P. Mascaro directly at 1-800-243-7575. Couches, chairs, tables, etc. left curbside will not be collected unless arrangements are made with Mascaro.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursdays, March 7 and 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.

Alcoholics Anonymous

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

That’s about it for this week, my friends. If you would like to send a birthday, anniversary or get well wish or have your organization’s upcoming meetings, events or fundraisers listed in next week’s edition of the Avoca community news, please contact me.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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