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This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday, a celebration for football fans across the nation. Although I look forward to watching this game with my family every year, I have to admit I am already thinking about the relaxing spring and summer nights of the upcoming baseball season — and so are the leaders of our local Little League. They have an array of in person and online registration options available and fundraisers planned to make the 2018 season the best one yet.

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St.

The agenda includes planning for the spring season as well as regular league business. All coaches are asked to attend the meeting. Anyone interested in volunteering or who has a general interest in the league is welcome to attend.

Online registration for the 2018 spring Avoca/Dupont Little League season is currently available on the league website, The final online registration date is Sunday, Feb. 28. Any player from last year can register for the upcoming season online. New players to the league must register in person. Current players can, too. New players must supply three forms of proof of residency and a copy of their birth certificate. In-person registration will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5 through Wednesday, Feb. 7, and continue every Monday and Tuesday in February at the clubhouse, 700 Mill St.

The cost to register is $65 for one player and $80 for two or more players from the same family. Payment for online registration can be completed using a credit card or via cash or check in person.

In other news, the league’s third annual cash bingo fundraiser will take place Sunday, April 29, at the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St. Doors open at noon and games begin at 1.

There will be 15 regular games worth $100 each, three special games worth $150 each and a coverall game worth $250. Also, there will be a basket raffle and food available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

To purchase tickets, call Gary at 570-540-0649, Lori at 570-877-4361 or Denise at 570-589-1426. Tickets are also available at all league events.

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Ashley Slaney, who is the Baldwin Elementary School nominee for the Manassas City Public Schools Washington Post Teacher of the Year award. Slaney, who is a kindergarten teacher at the school in Manassas, Virginia, was nominated for the award by her peers.

Slaney is the daughter of Kathleen and Paul Franceschelli, Avoca, and the granddaughter of Anna McMullen, Avoca. She also is the granddaughter of the late Tom McMullen and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Franceschelli.

Nominees for the Teacher of the Year award are selected based on their ability to instill in students a desire to learn and achieve; understand the individual needs of students, encourage their talents and foster their self-esteem; demonstrate a thorough knowledge of subject matter and the ability to share it effectively with students; foster cooperative relationships with their colleagues and the community, and demonstrate outstanding leadership.

Boy Scout chili contest

Avoca Boy Scout Troop 316, Cub Scout Pack 316 and Venture Crew 3701 will host their annual Best Chili in Town Contest at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, in the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St.

Winners of the best overall, hottest, best professional and best homemade chili recipes will receive ribbons and bragging rights. Entry fee is $5 and includes an opportunity to sample and judge each entry. There also will be a bake sale.

Before the contest, the Scouts will celebrate Scout Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. Mass at Queen of the Apostles Parish, 715 Hawthorne St.

VFW Auxiliary meeting

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at the post, 915 Main St. President June Fitzgerald will preside. Refreshments will be served.

Council meeting

Avoca Borough Council will have its monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 8, at the municipal building, 950 Main St. The work session will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed immediately by the regular meeting.

Langcliffe game night

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will host its monthly game night from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at the church, 1001 Main St. They’ll have an assortment of fun games to play. Stop by to learn a new game or play an old favorite. All ages are welcome.

Queen of the Apostles news

In honor of the Feast of St. Blaise, the Rev. Phil Sladicka and Deacon Jim Rose will bless throats following the 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday, Feb. 3, and the 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses on Sunday, Feb. 4, at Queen of the Apostles Parish, 715 Hawthorne St.

The parish women’s guild will have a Lenten tuna hoagie and vegetarian soup sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, in the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

The hoagies, which are $5 each, are available with or without onions, lettuce and tomato. The soup is $5 per quart.

To place an order, call Peg Callahan at 570-457-8887 or Mary Janet Gilroy at 570-457-3759 by Friday, Feb. 9.

The parish will host a Night at the Races Saturday, Feb. 17, in the parish hall. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the races begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and includes food and beverages. Horse sponsorships are $10 each. The sponsor of the winning horse wins $50. Sponsorship registration forms are available in the church vestibule or the parish office. They should be returned to the parish office by Friday, Feb. 9, for inclusion in the event program. Returns made after this date will be added to a race the night of the event. Also, food and baked goods donations are welcome. For information, contact the parish office at 570-457-3412 or

The parish announces the following meetings: hall committee, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, parish hall; social concerns/respect life, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, rectory; pastoral council, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, rectory; word committee, 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, rectory, and worship committee, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, rectory.

Garbage fee

Avoca Borough has sent 2018 garbage fee bills to homeowners and rental property owners. Rental owners are responsible for telling their tenants they must pay this fee, too.

The fee to have up to three bags collected weekly has not increased this year.

It is as follows: $160 if purchased by Feb. 20; $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 can pay their bill 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St., or by mail by sending a check made payable to Avoca Borough, c/o Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641. You do not need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Window stickers are not necessary and will not be issued.

Residents can get a 2018 recycling calendar at the municipal garage or the municipal building.

West Side Social Club

St. Patrick’s Day party

The West Side Social Club will hold its inaugural St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Saturday, March 17, at the club, 711 McAlpine St.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. with a blessing at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Cemetery Street, Avoca, followed by a procession from the cemetery to the West Side Social Club. There will be a ham and cabbage dinner along with live entertainment from 2 to 6 p.m. A $20 donation per person is requested and can be made at the door.

During the celebration, lifelong Avoca resident and retired businessman Michael “Mike” George will receive the Man of the Year award.

George graduated from Avoca High School in 1959 and started his first car repair business on South Main Street, Avoca, in 1961. In 1969, two Avoca community leaders convinced George to purchase a gas station and car repair business located at 935 Main St. George, who retired this year, operated the business for nearly 50 years, and it was the only gas station in Avoca for more than 30 years.

George is a founding member of the Avoca Jolly Boys and was past president of the Avoca Lions Club. George initiated the annual Lions Club Christmas Light Project along Main and McAlpine streets. He also is a member of the West Side Social Club, Rainbow Rod and Gun Club, a former automobile repair instructor, was a member of the former SS. Peter and Paul’s Church, Avoca, and is a current member of Queen of the Apostles Parish, Avoca, and a sponsor of numerous non-profit organizations.

George is the son of the late David and Mildred George. He has been married to the former Kay Sroka for 56 years. They have been blessed with three children: Janice, Christine and the late Michael Jr.

Crime Watch news

Avoca Neighborhood Crime Watch, will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. District Magistrate Alexandra Kokura Kravitz will be the guest speaker and present an overview of the type of criminal activityhappening in and around our area.

Residents are encouraged to attend this meeting and learn more about what is occurring in the area each day.

For information, call Jim at 570-457-8446, Ned at 570-457-6109 or Gene at 570-313-3079.

Softball registration

Softball registration for the spring Little League season is available at All girls ages 7-14 within the boundaries of the Pittston Area School District are eligible to play. The divisions are minors, majors and juniors. A senior division for girls ages 14-16 is tentative. The number of teams depends on the number of players registered.

The cost is $100 per child with a $150 maximum per family. This fee also includes one ticket per family to a future Pittston Twp. purse bingo fundraiser. The registration deadline is Thursday, March 1. For more information, call 570-212-2347.

Birthday wishes

Happy birthday to Colleen Regan Velehoski, who will celebrate her special day Feb. 9.

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.