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Avoca’s Erin Schmidt poses in front of the Golden Dome on the campus of Notre Dame University. The King’s College student will begin engineering classes at Notre Dame in the fall as part of the schools’ dual enrollment program.

Happy Easter, my friends! On a day where Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and new life, Queen of the Apostles Parish is introducing two new ministries with a core mission of bringing new life and new friends into people’s lives.

The first is a lunch group. The group will meet the second Wednesday of the month at a local restaurant. The first gathering is at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, at Colarusso’s Café, 725 Main St., Avoca. Anyone can attend to share a meal and enjoy some companionship. To register, please call Rennie Steiner at 570-855-5571 by Tuesday, April 10. Please note, the lunch is self-pay.

The second ministry is an outreach program to parishioners 80 years old and older. With it, parishioners receive a monthly phone call to stay connected to the parish and community to discuss a variety of topics. To add someone to the list, call Kay at 570-457-8470.

In other parish news, the community is invited to celebrate Easter at the following events at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.: Holy Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m., Easter Vigil Mass, and Easter Sunday, April 1, 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses with a resurrection service at 10:15 a.m. Easter baskets will be blessed at noon and 4 p.m., Saturday, March 31.

The parish will have Bible study from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursdays, April 5 and 19, and May 3, 17 and 31. All are welcome.

The parish announced the following meetings: parish hall committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, rectory; social concerns/respect life committee, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, rectory; pastoral council, 7 p.m. Monday, April 9, rectory, and women’s guild, 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, rectory.

Queen of the Apostles Parish will have its 11th annual golf tournament at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 6, at Pine Hills Country Club, Taylor. This year’s tournament will be played in memory of Thomas Quinnan. The cost is $85 per player, which includes golf and dinner. The dinner will be held in the parish hall, 742 Spring St., immediately following the tournament. Hole sponsors are available for $100. For information, contact Jim McMahon at or John Soy at

Congratulations to the following members of Queen of the Apostles Parish who will receive the Bishop’s Youth Award from the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton: eighth grade students: Cole Ferranti, Molly Houston, John McAdarra, Mary McAdarra and Grazia Saporito; 12 grade students: Rosalie Catherine Bennie, Noah Verne Jennings, Matthew Michael Mulea and Kerry Ann Shamnoski.

Smoke detectors available

Avoca Fire Department is participating in WNEP-TV 16’s Operation Save A Life program. Any Avoca resident in need of a smoke detector may obtain one by calling 570-457-2894 or sending a message to the department via its Facebook page. Detectors are available on a first come, first serve basis. Supplies are limited.

The fire department is conducting a special fund drive to replace the department’s 15-year-old engine truck. Donations of any size are welcome and make a difference. Donations can be made by responding to the mailer sent to residents and businesses or online at

In observance of Easter, the Avoca Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 8335 meeting has been changed. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at the post home, 915 Main St. Nomination and election of officers will take place at this time. President June Fitzgerald will preside. Refreshments will be served.

Langcliffe puzzle and

game nights

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will host Puzzles for the Young at Heart, a puzzle night for adults, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, at the church, 1001 Main St. Join in the fun and enjoy snacks and conversation while putting a puzzle together.

The church will host its monthly game night at 5 p.m. Friday, April 13, at the church. They will have an assortment of fun games to play. Stop by to learn a new game or play an old favorite. All ages are welcome.

Shotwell benefit

There will be a pasta dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St., Avoca, to benefit Avoca resident and Duryea business owner Patrick Shotwell Sr., who is fighting stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer.

The menu includes pasta with meatballs, salad, roll, dessert, beer (for patrons 21 and older) and other beverages. There will be entertainment by the Luongo Brothers — famed members of The Poets. There will also be a basket raffle and 50/50 drawings.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5-18. Children under 5 years old will be admitted for free. Takeouts for children and adults are $10. They do not include beverages.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from Pat Shotwell’s Auto Repair, 860 Main St., Duryea; Queen of the Apostles Parish office, 715 Hawthorne St., Avoca, or from a Shotwell family member or online via the “Pasta Dinner Benefit for Patrick Shotwell Sr.” Facebook event page.

Monetary or raffle donations can be made by calling Ryanne Ziobro at 570-237-6123.

Little league news

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 8, at the Avoca Borough Municipal Building, 950 Main St. The agenda includes planning for the spring season and regular league business. All coaches are asked to attend. Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities or league business is welcome, too.

The league will have its Opening Day at noon Saturday, April 14, at the Avoca/Dupont Little League field, 700 Mill St. All players and coaches should arrive by 11:30 a.m. The league will hold its hit-a-thon fundraiser during the event. The public is encouraged to attend and support the players.

The league will have its third annual cash bingo fundraiser Sunday, April 29, at the Queen of the Apostles Parish hall, 742 Spring St. Doors open at noon and games begin at 1 p.m.

There will be 15 regular games worth $100 each, three special games worth $150 each and a coverall game worth $250. Also, there will be a basket raffle and food available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. To purchase tickets, call Gary at 570-540-0649, Lori at 570-877-4361 or Denise at 570-589-1426. Tickets are also available at all league events. Please note, limited tickets remain available.

Tax and trash bill payment

Avoca Tax Collector Therese Wrubel announced the Luzerne County and Avoca Borough taxes had been distributed, and the 2018 garbage fee bill for homeowners and rental property owners can still be paid.

Residents can pay both bills 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 tax rebate period which ends Wednesday, April 11. Beginning Thursday, April 12, Wrubel’s office hours will be 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays. Residents can also pay the bills via mail by sending their payments to Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641.

If you need a receipt for the tax bill, send both copies of the bill with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The fee to have up to three bags of garbage collected weekly has not increased this year. It is as follows: $175 if purchased by April 20; $185 if purchased between April 21 and May 20, and $195 if purchased between May 21 and June 21. After June 21, all unpaid bills will be turned over to the magistrate.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the basement of the Queen of the Apostles Parish rectory, 715 Hawthorne St. Please use the sunroom entrance.

ND bound

Congratulations to Avoca resident Erin Schmidt, who has been accepted into the University of Notre Dame’s engineering program.

Schmidt, who is a 2015 graduate of Scranton Prep, is currently a junior at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, where she is a member of the women’s basketball team. She will begin her studies at Notre Dame this fall as part of King’s 3+2 Engineering Dual Degree Program in collaboration with the university. The program allows students to study for three years at King’s, taking mathematics, science, pre-engineering and liberal arts courses, and then transfer to Notre Dame for two years to complete engineering courses in their chosen fields. Upon successful completion of the program, Schmidt will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from King’s and a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from Notre Dame. Prior to completing her studies at King’s, Schmidt will present her project on detecting turbulence at a conference taking place at the college in April.

Schmidt is the daughter of Patricia (Redington) and John Lepore, Avoca, and Robert Schmidt, Addison, Texas. She is the granddaughter of Marilyn Redington, Avoca, and the late Al Redington, and the step-granddaughter of Ralph Lepore and the late Regina Lepore.

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 a news item, email her at or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.