When people from Avoca set out to make an event successful, they will do everything they can to achieve their goal. In March, Avoca residents banded together and did just that as they surpassed their collection goal at Queen of the Apostles Parish’s community blood drive.

Due to the overwhelming response of that drive, the parish will host a second blood drive for the American Red Cross from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, at the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

Donors are encouraged to make an appointment at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. Walk-ins are welcome, too.

In other parish news, Queen of the Apostles Parish has resumed public Masses. Anyone who chooses to attend Mass must practice the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These guidelines include social distancing, wearing a mask and other practices the parish has listed on its Facebook page.

In addition to these guidelines, the parish is limited to 75 people in the church per Mass, which is 25% of the church’s crowd capacity. Anyone planning to attend must make a reservation by contacting the parish office in advance at 570-457-3412 or staff@queenoftheapostles.com. The reservation is necessary to conduct contact tracing if someone becomes ill with COVID-19 per the regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Also, the parish has a temporary Mass schedule in place. Daily Mass will take place at 9 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Weekend Masses will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.

If someone is experiencing COVID symptoms, has a pre-existing condition which would make them more susceptible to contracting COVID or simply does not feel comfortable attending Mass yet, they are welcome to watch Sunday Mass live at 10 a.m. on the parish’s Facebook page and or on its YouTube channel Sunday evenings. Please note, the Diocese of Scranton has not reinstated the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays.

The parish also will have Eucharistic Adoration following the 9 a.m. Mass until 8 p.m. Tuesdays.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, uncles, grandfathers, papas, godfathers and good guys! I hope you all have a wonderful day! I’d like to extend a special Father’s Day greeting to my husband, Jim. Thank you for being such a wonderful father to our son, J.J., and for teaching him how to grow into a gentleman. You are a wonderful husband, and J.J. and I are grateful to have you as the solid foundation of our family. We love you very much!

Sesquicentennial news

Avoca Borough’s 150th committee is selling anniversary spirit gear to support its sesquicentennial in 2021. There are a variety of great items available with three different logos that will make the sesquicentennial festivities even more festive. Just a few of the items for sale include sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts, polo shirts, baseball hats, winter hats, tote bags and can coolers in a variety of colors and sizes. To review the items created by Mad Tees, please visit stores.inksoft.com/avoca_online/shop/home. Shipping is available. For information or to make your purchase offline, please call the municipal building at 570-457- 4947 and leave a message.

Food pantry

Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursdays, July 2 and 16, 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 the church at 1:30 p.m. For information, please call Jim at 570-921-9899.

Sewer maintenance fee

Council will honor the discounted rate of $40 up until Aug. 4 for the 2020 annual sewer maintenance fee invoice billed by Berkheimer Associates. The fee will be $50 from Aug. 5 to Aug. 20, and $52.50 after Aug. 20. Payments should be mailed to them as outlined on the invoice. Call Berkheimer at 610-599-3145 with questions.

Tax reminder

Council extended the face value date for borough property taxes until Aug. 18, coinciding with Luzerne County’s property tax extension. Residents cannot pay this bill at the municipal building. Mail tax payments to Tax Collector Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641 or place them in the envelope outside of her home office at this address. For a receipt, please include the complete bill and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your payment. For information, please call Wrubel at 570-457-4891.

Trash, yard waste collections

Residents are reminded the borough’s weekly Tuesday yard waste collections have started. Each property may place a maximum of three open containers, preferably with handles, not to exceed 30 pounds, containing leaves, grass clippings, small branches and shrubs. Yard waste placed in plastic bags, and dirt, rocks or animal waste will not be collected.

Recycling is still suspended until further notice.

Anyone with missed trash collections should call J.P. Mascaro at 1-800-243-7575.

VFW Auxiliary outdoors raffle

Avoca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary is sponsoring an outdoor enthusiast raffle which features a lucky winner every day in October. The daily winning ticket number must match the state lottery’s evening Pick 3 number. The raffle includes 31 prizes valued at more than $20,000, including a grand prize five-day bowhunting trip in the hardwoods of southeast Ohio with Buckeye Bowhunting. Other prizes include crossbow packages, binoculars and tree stands.

Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased by calling June Fitzgerald at 570-457-9604, Joe Burgio at 570-362-2141 or Lonesome Road Archery at 570-562-0301 by Sept. 30, or while supplies last. Proceeds benefit the Avoca VFW veterans and auxiliary to support their community services.

Birthday wishes

Happy birthday to Mike Volch, who will celebrate his 70th birthday June 22. And, best wishes to Mike and his wife Nancy, who will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary June 21.

Happy belated birthday to my father-in-law Jim Galvin, who celebrated his special day June 13.

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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