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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:08:15 11:28:25

Scout Troop 3701 and 316 members attend summer Scouting program Scout Troop 3701 and 316 successfully completed one week at Goose Pond Scout Reservation in the Poconos. Scouts participated in swimming, boating, climbing and shooting sports while learning outdoor skills for survival. The group won several awards and individual members received merit badges. Queen of the Apostles Church in Avoca sponsors Troop and Pack 316 /3701, but membership is open to any child in the area. Call 570-905-4001 for information on meeting times. First row, from left, are Alexandra Osborn, Kyleen Bird, Cristal Bird and Josiah Lyons. Second row: Logan Ryan, Adam Lazur, Biagio Manganiello, Tyler Osborn and Josh Phillips. Third row: Matt Fino, Jason Phillips, Heather Bird, Grace Huntington, Janice Sepcoski and Joe Babkowski.

The NFL season kicks off next week, and so does the inaugural season of the Avoca Youth Flag Football League!

Join in the fun, get some exercise and meet new friends beginning Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Avoca Teener League Baseball Field, Commerce Street.

The teams will be divided into age groups by the following school grades: first and second; third and fourth; fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth.

Individual players or full teams are invited to register. Teams will be capped at nine players each. The cost is $35 per player and a $45 maximum per household. There are no residency requirements to play.

For information or to register, please call or text Jeremy Collins at 570-407-6409 by the Saturday, Aug. 31 registration deadline.

All proceeds will benefit the Avoca-Dupont Little League and the Avoca Fire Department.

Avoca defeats West Avoca

in Battle of the Tracks

After two days of intense, yet friendly competition, the results are in — Avoca defeated West Avoca in the inaugural Battle of the Tracks on Aug. 16 and 17.

On the first night of play, West Avoca took the lead by capturing the kickball trophy. Four Avoca teams battled four West Avoca teams with each side winning an equal number of games. To break the tie, the Avoca Community Committee tallied the total runs for each side with West Avoca taking the title 24-15.

Knowing they needed to bring their “A” game the next day to win the competition, the Avoca teams rested up, and it paid off. Beginning with the cornhole competition, the bags started flying at noon with 72 players forming 18 teams on each side. Avoca beat West Avoca with 71 wins versus 35. The three highest-scoring teams were Avoca’s Jeremy Collins and Maria Burns; Beth Yuschovitz and Lori Boggetti, and West Avoca’s Dave Homschek and Mike McAndrew Sr.

In the mid-afternoon free throw competition, Avoca once again scored the most points which gave them not only their second win of the day but also the bragging rights of being the first winner of the Battle of the Tracks showdown.

After such an active afternoon, many of the competitors were hungry and ready to eat. While some snacked on a delicious menu of items available at the Avoca-Dupont Little League stand, others saved their appetites for the hot dog eating contest. Chomping their way through dozens of hot dogs, Hughy Bentham won the contest knocking out the competition in double overtime!

In honor of Avoca’s win over West Avoca, there will be a special addition added to the Welcome to Avoca sign on Main Street soon to recognize the winners.

Scouting news

Congratulations to the members of Scout Troop 3701 and 316 who successfully completed a week at Goose Pond Scout Reservation. While attending their one-week adventure, 10 Scouts participated in swimming, boating, climbing and shooting sports while learning outdoor survival skills. The group also worked as a team to garner awards in competitive events including the Green Bar Award for which the group demonstrated how a Scout Patrol operates, and the Unit Honor Camper Award, which required the group to illustrate the Scouting spirit the entire week including while they conducted a service project. Individually, each Scout earned at least one merit badge at camp.

If your child is interested in becoming a Scout, please call 570-905-4001 for meeting information.

Fire department fund drive

The Avoca Fire Department’s annual fund drive is underway. Residents should have received their appeal letter in the mail. This project is the department’s major fundraiser of the year and supports all of its operating costs.

In addition to meeting their annual expenses, the department is hoping they will receive enough financial support through the appeal to make necessary repairs to the department’s shared Emergency Services Building, primarily replacing the leaking roof.

Donations of all amounts are welcome and can be made by following the instructions listed in the annual appear letter or online via PayPal at avocafire.net.

The members thank you in advance for your generosity.

Plane Street Park closed

Residents are reminded the Plane Street Park is closed for repairs, maintenance and improvements until further notice. Avoca Borough thanks everyone for their cooperation and hopes to open up the park again soon.

 Queen of the Apostles news 

Queen of the Apostles Parish’s word committee will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, in the rectory, 715 Hawthorne St.

The parish’s religious education classes, which are open to students entering kindergarten through seventh grade, will begin Sunday, Sept. 15, with class from 9 to 10:15 a.m. in the former St. Mary’s School, 742 Spring St. The confirmation class will meet every two weeks from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the rectory.

Registration forms have been mailed. Anyone who did not receive one or who wants to enroll their child in classes should call the parish office at 570-457-3412. Completed registration forms are due by Friday, Sept. 13.

Following the first day of class, the parish will celebrate its annual Back to School Mass at 10:30 a.m. at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.

The parish’s social concerns/respect life ministry will have a fall craft fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

Along with a variety of beautiful crafts, there also will be other types of vendors on hand.

In addition to the fair, there will be breakfast and lunch for sale and a raffle of prizes donated by the vendors and committee members. Treats also will be available for children.

Anyone interested in reserving an 8-foot space for $25 or a 16-foot space for $40 may contact the office at 570-457-3412 or Jane Maxwell at 570-335-8678. Spaces are limited.

Hibernians golf tournament

Avoca Ancient Order of Hibernians will host its annual Thomas P. Durkin Memorial Avoca Open Saturday, Aug. 31, at Pine Hills Country Club, 140 S. Keyser Ave., Taylor. The format is captain and mate with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.

The cost is $90 per golfer which includes green fees, use of a cart, cash prizes and a post-tournament luncheon at the West Side Social Club, 711 Main St.

Anyone who wants to register for this day of fun on the links with local golf enthusiasts may contact Jim at 570-417-8563 or Gene at 570-313-3079. Registration is available at the West Side Social Club any Thursday evening.

All proceeds will benefit scholarships for local high school students and other community projects.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 5 and 19, 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.

VFW barbecue

Avoca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 will host its annual chicken barbecue dinner from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the post home, 915 Main St. Takeouts will be available too.

The menu includes chicken, baked potato, corn, cranberry sauce and dessert.

Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased by calling the post home at 570-457-7673 or from any member.

Little League recognition

The Luzerne County Council will honor the Greater Pittston Area Little League 8/9/10 and 10/11/12 All-Star teams, as well as the Pittston Area Junior Softball team for their accomplishments this year. The event will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Luzerne County Courthouse.

9/11 Memorial Mass

Avoca Fire Department and Queen of the Apostles Parish will co-host their annual 9/11 Memorial Mass at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the church, 715 Hawthorne St. Prior to Mass, there will be a procession from the fire department, 740 Main St., to the church. Refreshments will be served in the parish hall following the Mass.

Farmers market

The Avoca Farmers Market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays in the parking area of 824 McAlpine St.

Happy anniversary

Congratulations to Babe and Jeanne Gutowski, who celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary Aug. 22.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Queen of the Apostles rectory basement, 715 Hawthorne St. 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 an item, email jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.