Last weekend as my husband and I were finalizing some last-minute details for Christmas, our son, J.J., was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a special visitor. Throughout the day, we kept telling him someone was stopping by to see him, but we wouldn’t tell him who the special guest would be.

As the afternoon faded into evening, J.J.’s anticipation of just who was coming to visit continued to grow. And as it grew, so did his level of excitement. As a matter of fact, so did Jim’s and mine as well. There certainly is something extraordinary about seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child, isn’t there?

After some time had passed, we suddenly heard sirens in the distance and could see faint rays of red light as we peered out the window to see what was happening in our neighborhood. As we watched and listened, we could see the source of this sound and light was approaching our home. Jim and I knew our special guest was about to arrive.

We quickly put on our coats and facemasks and headed outside to welcome our visitor. As the sound and light grew nearer and nearer, J.J. started jumping up and down. He could see who our visitor was — it was Santa! And he was on a fire truck!

Arriving in style on Excelsior Hose Company No. 2’s fire truck, Santa’s special sleigh was decked out with bright lights and accompanied by a rescue vehicle playing Christmas music!

As J.J. shouted and waved, “Hi Santa,” one of the firefighters climbed out of the rescue vehicle, handed J.J. a Christmas present, smiled and wished him a merry Christmas.

As many of you know, J.J.’s visit with Santa was part of Excelsior’s annual Santa ride through town tied in with a gift delivery fundraiser to assist the members with meeting department expenses. Due to the pandemic, many non-profits, including Excelsior, had to cancel most of their fundraisers, which are vital to maintaining their programs. Thankfully, the Santa program was one that could take place safely per COVID guidelines while spreading much needed holiday cheer throughout the town.

Thanks again to everyone at Excelsior Hose Company for making this Christmas season bright for the young and the young at heart of Duryea!

St. Mary’s news

The Rev. Carmen Bolock and the parishioners of St. Mary’s Polish National Catholic Church will have Masses for the Christmas season at the church, 200 Stephenson St.: St. Stephen Deacon and Protomartyr, Holy Mass and symbolic stoning of Stephen with throwing of walnuts, 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 26; Solemnity of Humble Shepherds, Feast of St. John the Apostle, 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 27; Feast of the Holy Innocents, 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28; New Year’s Eve, St. Sylvester, End of Year Mass, 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31; New Year’s Day, Circumcision of Our Lord, 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1; Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus, 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, and Solemnity of the Holy Name Family, 9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 3.

Drop off gently used clothing for men, women and children at the church until Thursday, Dec. 31. Please call 570-457-2291 before dropping off items.

Brick U.M. church closed

Due to the increase of COVID cases, Brick United Methodist Church will not have services until Jan. 3, under the advisement of the United Methodist Church’s Susquehanna Conference.

Collections schedule

Duryea Street Department will collect garbage Monday, Dec. 28, and Tuesday, Dec. 29. Ashes will be collected Thursday, Dec. 31. Recyclables will not be collected this week. For information, please call the street department at 570-655-1299.

King of the Wings

Duryea Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1227 is participating in local radio station Rock 107’s NEPA King of the Wings contest through Jan. 31.

For a $25 fee, you will receive a ballot with a list of 15 participating restaurants and bars throughout the area. At each location, you will sample three wings. Once you’re finished sampling, you will vote for your five favorites, return your ballot to one of the participating locations and receive a limited edition King of the Wings tour T-shirt.

You can purchase a ballot online at rock107.com/king-of-the-wings or any of the participating locations including the Duryea VFW, 492 Stephenson St. The VFW is open 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Phoenix raffle

Phoenix Performing Arts Centre is hosting virtual Spin and Win raffles. The raffles, which will take place over several months, will include an array of prizes, including designer purses, power tools, household goods, electronics, gaming systems, gift cards and more.

Visit the Spin and Win for Phoenix 2020 Facebook page for complete rules and payment information. All proceeds will benefit the Phoenix Performing Arts Centre.

CEO food distribution

Duryea Borough CEO food drive takes place on the second Monday of each month at Germania Hose Company, 430 Foote Ave. Set up is from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Food can be picked up from 2 to 3 p.m. Volunteers are always welcome.

That’s about it for this week, my friends.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

Jackie Borthwick-Galvin writes about Duryea. To list an item, email jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.

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