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Now that May has arrived, it’s time to begin making our summer plans starting with Memorial Day activities. While this holiday is often thought of as the unofficial start of summer, it is also an important time to remember our veterans and the many sacrifices they made to protect and maintain our democracy.

A group in town is remembering our veterans in a special way this year by introducing the Hometown Heroes Banner Program in the borough. The program will honor active duty military, retirees and veterans of Avoca with personalized banners on utility poles along Main Street, York Avenue and McAlpine Street.

The banners will feature a picture of the service member in uniform, branch of service, era of service and hometown. Photos can be black and white or color. If you do not have a photo or prefer not to use one, a symbolic ribbon can be used in its place. Please note, the photo will be enlarged to approximately 27-by-20 inches. The quality of the picture on the banner may be affected.

The banners are $200 each. Family members and loved ones of service members may purchase a banner themselves or obtain sponsorship from a local business. The sponsor’s name, whether family member, loved one or business, will be displayed on the bottom of the banner. Monetary donations are also welcome. Banners are available on a first come, first served basis and will be installed by volunteers at no cost to the borough.

Banner applications are available at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St.; the West Side Social Club, 711 McAlpine St.; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335, 915 Main St., and American Legion Post 607, 800 Main St. Applications also can be emailed to interested parties.

Completed applications and payment should be mailed or dropped off at the municipal building by Tuesday, May 29.

For information or volunteer opportunities about this program, please contact Project Coordinator Holly Homschek at 570-237-7190, Sandy VanLuvender at 570-451-0202 or Borough Secretary Kelly O’Brien at 570-457-4947.

Information is also available at

Queen of the Apostles news

Congratulations to the members of Queen of the Apostles Parish’s First Communion class who will receive the sacrament during a special Mass at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5, at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.: Allie Becker, Eugene Canfield, Emery Dommes, Anthony Dorsa, Mia Ferranti, David Homschek, Bella Maria, Isabella Orr, Connor Posluszny, Ellasyn Priebe, Zachary Ramirez, Lucas Russomano, Christian Sakulich, Colter Sienkiewicz and Ethan Winburn.

The class will also participate in the parish’s May Crowning during the 10:30 a.m. Mass Sunday, May 6, at the church.

The parish will have Bible study from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 17 and 31, in the rectory, 713 Hawthorne St. All are welcome.

The parish announces the following meetings: pastoral council, 7 p.m., Monday, May 7, rectory, and women’s guild, 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, rectory.

Yard waste collection

Avoca Borough collects yard waste every Tuesday. A maximum of three standard sized garbage cans, filled with yard waste not to exceed 30 pounds, will be allowed per collection.

Residents can place the following separated items in the containers: grass clippings and leaves, shrubs, hedge clippings and tree limbs which should not exceed 3 feet in length and ½ inch in diameter.

Rocks, stones, dirt and animal waste are not acceptable forms of yard waste.

Also, please do not place yard waste in 55-gallon drums, large wheeled garbage cans, large plastic storage totes or plastic bags. Items in these containers will not be collected.

Collection containers should be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on collection days.

For information, please call 570-451-0625.

Paper shredding

State Rep. Mike Carroll and state Sen. John Blake, in conjunction with the police departments and Crime Watch groups from Avoca, Duryea and Dupont will host a community shred day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at the Healey Memorial Playground, Foote Avenue and Wright Street, Duryea.

Residents are invited to bring up to two boxes per household of old bills, bank statements, medical records, canceled checks, old tax returns or any other documents which need to be permanently destroyed. Shred-It Document Management will provide the shredding service.

All documents should be removed from binders and notebooks. Staples and paperclips do not need to be removed.

Langcliffe movie nights

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will host a movie night at 7 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the church, 1001 Main St. This free event features family-friendly movies, a popcorn machine and a giant screen.

All of the movies have life lessons that families can discuss together, learn from or react to that make people think a little more deeply and lovingly.

Litle League meeting

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 13, at the Avoca Municipal Building, 952 Main St. The agenda includes the spring season and regular league business. All coaches are asked to attend the meeting. Anyone who wants to volunteer with the league, as well as anyone interested in the league, is welcome to attend.

Tax and trash bill reminders

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

Residents can pay both bills from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Residents can also pay the bills via mail by sending their payments to Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641.

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

The fee schedule to have up to three bags of garbage collected weekly has not increased this year. It is $185 if purchased by 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.

Touch a Truck

Avoca Fire Department will have its third annual Touch a Truck Day from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, in the parking lot of the medical office building, 824 McAlpine St.

This family-friendly event allows children of all ages to view, explore, climb on and touch a variety of different vehicles. The event also will include participation from several community groups as well as food vendors, a bounce house and a children’s fire prevention education program.

Admission is $5 per person.

Farmers market

Save the date! The Avoca Weekly Farmers Market will open Wednesday, June 20, providing you with fresh vegetables and so much more.

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 Geniele D’Aiello who will celebrate her special day Tuesday, May 8.

Happy birthday to my baby boy, J.J. Galvin, who will celebrate his second birthday Friday, May 11. Mommy and Daddy love you very much, honey!

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.