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“It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness” —


Teachers Ashley Aritz and Anthony Macario “lit a candle” at Wyoming Area when they began a project known as mini-THON. Mini-THON is a part of Four Diamonds, a charitable organization affiliated with Penn State Children’s Hospital at Hershey. Four Diamonds is dedicated to fighting childhood cancer. They raise money all over the country through school and community activities, but the most famous is THON, held at State College each year. Money goes into research and to help pay bills for children at the Hershey hospital.

Aritz and Macario started mini-THON at WA as a Wilkes-Barre Leadership project. The kids loved it, so they have made it a permanent part of WA student life. They lead a group of approximately 40 to 50 middle and high school students who serve as the committee, plan and run events throughout the school year to raise money that they donate to the Four Diamonds and to the Eric Speicher Foundation. Eric Speicher was an exceptional, beloved WA student who battled brain cancer until it took his life at the age of 14.

In the first year, WA mini-THON raised $27,000. Last year, they reached $32,000 and hope to see that number go up this year. Events like bingo, dress down days and pizza sales lead up to the big night — the actual mini-THON from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. May 4-5. All students from grades seven through 12 are invited to participate in the marathon held in the gym. They have food, a bake sale, basket raffles, pool tables, basketball tournaments, bounce houses and more. Teachers and parents take shifts as chaperones and science teacher Damian Rutkoski volunteers his time as DJ.

Over the past two years, Aritz and Macario have taken groups of students to Hershey to see where the money goes, trips Ashley describes as eye opening. Sometimes our students learn more from extra-curricular activities than from their textbooks. The kids participating are learning leadership and organizational skills, teamwork, accounting, marketing and publicity. They are learning compassion and the value of community service. Most important, they are learning to light a candle in the face of the times of darkness that visit us all. Aritz (I taught her and Rutkoski) and Macario are giving the WA kids a gift that they will carry with them their whole lives. Well done!

Wyoming Area Mini-THON will host its second annual bingo fundraiser Sunday, Feb. 17. Doors open at noon. All proceeds will be donated to Four Diamonds and the Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey. Doors at the Secondary Center Cafeteria open at noon. Cost is $20.

S.T.E.A.M. Club at the library

Wyoming Free Library is starting a S.T.E.A.M. Club. The club will meet at 11 a.m. the last Saturday of every month beginning in February. The first session is magnetism on Feb. 23. The club is open to ages 6 and older. Space is limited and registration is required. Call the library for information at 570-693-1364.

W. Wyoming Legion meeting

West Wyoming American Legion Morning Star Post 904 will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at West Wyoming Hose Company No. 1. All members are welcome to attend.

West Wyoming Hose

company ziti dinner

West Wyoming Hose Company No. 1 is having a ziti dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.

Dinner includes ziti, homemade sauce and meatballs, salad, dessert and beverages. Adults are $8 and children under 12 are $5. Takeouts are available. Tickets may be purchased from any member or at the door. Proceeds benefit the hose company.

Also, during Lent, from March 22 to April 12, the hose company will sell pizza from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays. Baked and unbaked pizza will be available to order for pick up by calling 570-693-1811.

Greater Wyoming Area

Little League registration

For the 2019 season, Exeter Lions, West Pittston and Wyoming/West Wyoming Little Leagues have combined for all age groups to form the Greater Wyoming Area Little League. Online registration for baseball and softball is now open at Three in-person registration events also will be held at the Exeter Scout Home, behind the Exeter Borough Building, from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6; noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10. All first-time T-ball registrants will receive a free glove. Detailed registration information can be found on any of the league’s Facebook pages. Email questions to

St. Barbara’s Mardi Gras

St. Barbara’s Parish, 224 Memorial St. Exeter, will hold a Mardi Gras celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 2, in the parish center. The cost is $25 and includes dinner and entertainment. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to adults, 21 and older only, and is BYOB. Tickets are available at the rectory and after weekend Masses. Please call the rectory at 570-654-2103 for information.

Wyoming U.M. theater trip

Wyoming United Methodist Church will host a bus trip to the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton, New Jersey, on Friday, May 17, to see “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Cost is $98 and includes bus, show, meal and gratuities. For reservations or information, call Audrey at 570-693-0905 or 693-2821.

Wyoming Borough notices

Wyoming Borough has returned to normal office hours, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Residents are asked to use the secure payment box located next to the entrance to pay for trash stickers, parking tickets and taxes.

The 2019 garbage fee is now due. The discount price of $190 is in effect until Feb. 6. Face value of $200 will be until May 15. After that, the cost will be $250.

The next borough council meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Feb. 19. Executive session is at 6:30 p.m.; work session is at 7 and council meeting at 7:30.

Wyoming snow ordinance

Wyoming residents are advised to follow snow storm parking regulations. In the event of a storm of 3 inches or more, street parking is allowed only on the even side of the street on even days of the week and odd side of the street on odd numbered days.

Exeter police and ambulance

Exeter Borough Police Department now has fully stocked EMS “jump bags” for each patrol vehicle. The new equipment was donated by the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance. Officers who are also cross trained as EMTs or for first aid will be able to administer care prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

Greater Pittston Ambulance recently merged with the Exeter Ambulance Association and will be providing Advanced Life Support Services to Exeter residents.

Exeter refuse stickers

Exeter refuse stickers for 2019 are now available. Prices remain the same as last year. Stickers will be in rebate period until Feb. 28 at a cost of $150; $110 for seniors 65 and older. Proof of age is required. From March 1-31, the regular price of $180 will be charged; $130 for seniors. April 1, the stickers will go into penalty and the price for everyone will be $250.

Stickers can be purchased at the borough building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday or by mail by sending a self addressed, stamped envelope to Exeter Borough Refuse Department, 1101 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, PA 18643. Please use a long business size envelope. For information, call Lynda at 570-654-3001, ext. 2.

Kaufer’s office hours

State Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Exeter office, 1101 Wyoming Ave., is open from noon to 2 p.m. every third Friday.

Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming. To include an item in her column, email or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.