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For the 17th consecutive year, The UPS Store at the Midway Shopping Center in Wyoming will be a Toys for Tots drop-off point for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve drive for toy donations. During the busy Christmas season, take the time to make a donation for this cause. John Minetola, owner, estimates his store collected more than $2,000 worth of toys in 2020. The deadline for donations this year is Friday, Dec. 17. In addition to accepting a new, unwrapped toy donation, The UPS Store in Wyoming is also participating in the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Literacy Program. A $1 donation buys a book for a child in need. All donations of toys or cash donations for the literacy program stay in the local community. From left, are Sergeant Vasquez, John Minetola, UPS Store owner, and Staff Sergeant Dely.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Wyoming Area varsity football team for its home playoff game against Lakeland on Nov. 12. As most of you already know, Wyoming Area won by a score of 35-32 in an exciting matchup where the Warriors showed tremendous heart and fortitude.

There is a buzz around town from excited parents, family, friend, and residents. Football is a big deal. It builds camaraderie, team work, discipline, and physical, emotional, and psychological strength and endurance. Sometimes, for the lucky few, football becomes a ticket out of a small town with little to offer, and sometimes it becomes the ultimate dream for the lucky few who are talented and willing to work hard enough to make it in the pros.

Whatever this game means to the players on our team, I hope they carry that feeling with them for the rest of their lives. When they are feeling down, I hope they remember the excitement of being a part of something bigger than themselves, of something thrilling during a difficult time in our global history. I hope they share their respective stories with their children and grandchildren, whatever their story is - from quarterback to water boy - it is a night that everyone will remember.

I remember one night after a big game many, many years ago - so many years in fact that I was wearing footie pajamas at the time. The Wyoming Area football team was taking a celebratory homecoming ride after a big game. My parents ran me out to the porch so I could share in the excitement and wave to the football players who were hanging out of windows, yelling, and cheering. I remember asking my mom why they did that, and she said, "Because they deserve it. Look how happy they are."

I hope this team is still glowing from their win and that they played a good game when they met Scranton Prep in the first round of the state football championship (played Friday night, after this issue of Greater Pittston Progress already went to press). I am in a tough spot as I write this because I am a Prep alumna. My heart is filled with love for my school; but, also, of course, for my hometown. In a way, I am personally in a win-win situation, but as the writer of the Exeter, Wyoming, West Wyoming column, I positively wish our Wyoming Area football team the very best of luck! Congratulations again, and savor your victory!

Congratulations, too, to the Wyoming Area field hockey team for its terrific season! The Warriors lost Tuesday 2-0 to Oley Valley in the state Class 1A semifinal game.

Library news

Wyoming Free Library is hosting a children's holiday giveaway. Think "trunk or treat," but indoors. If there are any businesses or organizations that would be interested in donating candy, coloring books, or any holiday-related items, please contact the library at 570-693-1364.

Children are invited to stop in and pick up a holiday goodie bag from 11a.m. to 2p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, in the former Super Bounce located in the Midway Shopping Center. Children of all ages are invited. There is no fee to participate. Call the library at 570-693-1364 for information.

There will be a Facebook reading of "The Littlest Candle: A Hanukkah Story" by Rabbis Kerry and Jess Olitzky with guest speaker Mike Steinberg from 8 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. Call the library at 570-693-1364 for details.

The library is selling Gertrude Hawk candy bars for $1.50 per bar. They make delicious stocking stuffers. While you're there, pick up a library bag for $10 to hold your candy bars.

Birding at Frances Slocum State Park

Join a bird walk searching for winter birds at Frances Slocum State Park with John Dickinson of the Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society at 9:30a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Meet in front of the environmental center. Call John at 570-239-4369 to register.

West Wyoming Legion meeting

West Wyoming American Legion will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at the post.

WA scholarships

The very successful Wyoming Area Scholarship Program, available to Wyoming Area seniors, is working on developing new scholarships to offer to Wyoming Area seniors for the 2021-22 academic year. Any individual, family, civic group, or business that has considered offering an award to Wyoming Area graduating seniors can call Teddi Rabel at 570-655-2836, ext. 2339. Please leave your name and phone number, and a committee member will contact you to discuss your ideas, as well as help you develop your award.

Grace Berlew writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week. To list an item, email gberlew@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2185 by 5 p.m. Monday.

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