As the new year arrives, changes have arrived too at the Avoca Fire Department. For the first time in 40 years, the Avoca Fire Department started the new year with some members in new positions.

At the department’s October monthly meeting, Fire Chief Chris VanLuvender and Assistant Chief Jim Butler both announced their retirements. Both men have been staples of the Avoca Fire Department and helped build the department into what it is today. Thankfully, both men will continue to offer their advice and assistance as trustees to the department.

Congratulations to the elected officials of the Avoca Fire Department for 2021: Tom Matthews Jr., president; Jim McMahon, vice president; Matthew Taylor, secretary; Sandy VanLuvender, treasurer; Collin Halagarda, financial secretary; Chris VanLuvender, Jim Butler Sr. and Joe Bender, trustees; Tom Matthews Sr., fire chief; Michael Lampman, deputy chief, and Gary Halagarda, fire police captain.

Congratulations to the 2021 elected officials of the Avoca Fireman’s Relief Association: Josh Taylor, president; Jim McMahon, vice president; Sandy VanLuvender, secretary; Matthew Taylor, treasurer, and Chris Collins, Tyler Wilson and Collin Halagarda, trustees.

Tree collection

Avoca Street Department will collect Christmas trees Tuesday, Jan. 12, and Wednesday, Jan. 13. Place trees curbside to ensure collection. All decorations must be removed. Artificial trees will not be collected.

Queen of the Apostles

Queen of the Apostles Parish has opened a virtual spirit gear store in conjunction with Mad Tees, Dupont. The store is located at stores.inksoft.com/queen_of_the_apostles/shop/home, and it has several different items for sale. When your order is complete, a Mad Tees representative will contact you. Orders can be picked up on the back porch of Mad Tees, 340 Main St., Dupont, following social distancing guidelines. A portion of all sales will benefit the parish. Please note, orders take two weeks to complete.

The parish recently re-established the Cardinal John J. O’Connor Knights of Columbus Council 12967. Before its closing, this council was very active at SS. Peter and Paul’s Church. For information, call the parish office. Membership is open to all men 18 or older.

Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall is sponsoring Paul’s Famous Sauce and Meatballs sale. The prices are as follows: quart of red sauce, $6; quart of red sauce and meatballs, $8, and a quart of vodka sauce, $10. To order, please call Paul at 570-430-9015 or the church office at 570-457-3412.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St. The food, provided by the CEO Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank, can be picked up in the rear entry of the building. If you can volunteer to unload and distribute food, please arrive at 1:30 p.m. For information, call Jim at 570-921-9899.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to Arlene Shatrowskas, who will celebrate Jan. 15.

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.

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