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Author Michael Bassey Johnson once said, “people will walk in and walk out of your life, but the one whose footstep made a long-lasting impression is the one you should never allow to walk out.”

Avoca native Jamie Baker certainly made an impression in the lives of her family, friends and Pittston Area classmates during her short 15 years in this world. Since her passing in 2012, Jamie’s family has channeled their grief into keeping her memory alive via events which contribute positively to Greater Pittston.

Coming up next weekend, Jamie’s family and friends will host a fundraiser which not only serves as an excellent opportunity to gather as a community but also will benefit several Pittston Area seniors.

The seventh annual Jamie Baker Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Center, 237 William St., Pittston.

The evening includes a pasta dinner, soft drinks, a theme basket raffle, a 50/50 raffle and music. Guests also are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the door.

To purchase tickets or to make a donation, please call Jennifer Baker at 570-815-6474 or Caroline Rabender at 570-430-1372.

For information, visit the Seventh Annual Jamie Baker Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser on Facebook.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit a scholarship in memory of Jamie. The annual scholarship is offered every June to graduating seniors from Pittston Area Senior High School.

Paper shredding

Avoca Borough has partnered with Paper Eaters of Wilkes-Barre to host a community paper shredding day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Avoca Municipal Garage, 1103 Plane St. This event will provide Avoca residents with a safe and secure way to dispose of older, unwanted documents. Residents will be asked to provide proof of residency by showing their picture ID or driver’s license.

Paper Eaters will assist residents with loading their paper into their containers, all of which will be lifted into the shredding truck. Paper with staples and/or standard paper clips will be accepted to shred along with standard file folders and envelopes. Larger binder clips, plastic protective sheet covers or any plastic of any kind is not permitted in the shredding truck. Magazines, newspapers, binders and cardboard are also not allowed.

Queen of the Apostles news

Queen of the Apostles 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.

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

Queen of the Apostles Parish announces the following meetings taking place in the rectory: worship committee, 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16; pastoral council, 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16; building and grounds committee, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, and finance committee, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Queen of the Apostles

craft fair

Queen of the Apostles Parish 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 parish office at 570-457-3412 or Jane Maxwell at 570-335-8678. Vendor spaces at the craft fair are limited.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St.

Food can be picked up in the rear entry of the building.

Volunteers are needed at 1:30 p.m. to unload and distribute food.

Bulk item collection

J.P. Mascaro and Sons will conduct a bulk item pick up Monday, Sept. 23, for Avoca Borough residents who have paid their annual refuse fee.

Residents may have up to three items per household collected. Please place the items curbside the night before the collection to ensure pick up. The regular weekly trash collection will take place the same day.

The following items will not be collected: Freon containing items, tires, paint, stains, pesticides, hazardous type waste, construction materials, brick, block, concrete, car parts, electronics, TVs, computers, laptops, DVD players, VCRs, batteries and recyclables.

Larger items should be broken down if possible. Mattresses will be accepted but must be wrapped in plastic. Carpeting must be rolled and tied, no wider than four feet.

Please call J.P. Mascaro directly at 1-800-243-7575 with any questions regarding specific items that will or will not be accepted in the collection.

School taxes mailed

Avoca Tax Collector Therese Wrubel announced the Pittston Area school taxes have been distributed.

Residents can pay their bill from 5 to 6 p.m. Mondays and 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St., during the rebate period only. Residents also can pay their bill via mail by sending the entire bill and payment to Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you need a receipt.

The first installment is due Friday, Sept. 27.

Anyone who did not receive a bill should call Wrubel at 570-457-4891.

Residents also are reminded they may only place three bags of garbage curbside for the weekly refuse collection. Additional bags require a sticker which is $3 and can be purchased from Wrubel anytime by calling 570-457-4891.

Oktoberfest bar hop

Avoca Community Committee will host an Oktoberfest bar hop throughout Avoca starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.

The participating bars include Litzy’s Lounge, Ernie G.’s, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335, Boozer’s Sports Bar, McAlpine Street Pub and Pizza, and the West Side Social Club.

The cost is $25 per person, which includes a custom T-shirt, transportation around town, drink specials, giveaways and entertainment.

To register, please contact Colleen Velehoski, Holly Homschek or Kelly O’Brien via Facebook.

For details, visit the Avoca CC Facebook page.

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.

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.

Birthday wishes

Happy birthday to Jennifer Baker, who will celebrate her special day Monday, Sept. 16.

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. To include an item in her column, email jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.