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During college, whenever I would talk to any of my friends from out of town, I always made it a point to tell them how good the pizza is around here. The possibilities are endless. There is something for everybody.

Long Friday nights during high school would be spent with friends laughing and unwinding from the week over some pizza after watching a football game. I hold these moments of food and fellowship very near and dear to my heart. One of my favorite places to go to unwind and sit down and have some pizza has always been Sabatini’s.

At the time this is being read, it has been more than a month since I have left my house for more than a stroll around the neighborhood to maintain my sanity or to go get gas for my car. Countless lives are being impacted. Events are being cancelled. Graduation parties. Weddings. Summer vacations. On a local level, the high point of the West Pittston year, the Cherry Blossom Festival, has been cancelled. The Wilkes-Barre Fine Arts Fiesta has been cancelled. It feels as though any event is in danger of cancellation.

The latest victim is the annual West Pittston Tomorrow fundraiser at Sabatini’s Bottle Shop in Exeter. This is an event that I always look forward to every year. It is an excuse to see all of our neighbors out and about, listen to some great live music and maybe buy a couple of raffle tickets. And, of course, we can’t forget about the drink tickets and all the pizza that you can eat. The Thursday night event was a wonderful way to start the weekend just a little bit prematurely. The fundraiser was an event that I never missed no matter how busy my schedule happened to get. I remember last year I just poked my head in the door for a few minutes because I had a rehearsal to get to. This annual evening was always not only a great opportunity to spend some time with our friends and neighbors, but it was also a fundraiser for West Pittston Tomorrow.

While it is certainly unfortunate that this year’s event had to be cancelled, I have complete faith that when this is all over, there will be plenty of time to meet with our friends and neighbors over some drinks and some pizza. Until that day, we have the memories we have made over the past few years at this wonderful fundraiser and we can hope that someday soon we will be gathered together in Sabatini’s, eating all of the pizza our stomachs can handle.

Corpus Christi news

Corpus Christi Parish has cancelled or postponed the following events: the Holy Name breakfast will be rescheduled for a later date, and all tickets will be honored at that time. If you prefer a refund, call the rectory at 570-654-2753. Twilight Bingo also has been postponed. The bingo will be held at a later date, so anyone who sent in sponsorships and those who purchased tickets are advised tickets will be good for the new date and sponsorship money also will be rolled over for the new date. If you prefer a refund, please call the rectory 570-654-2753. Also cancelled are Heart Saver Class, religious education classes, confirmation classes, Soup & Scripture, First Eucharist retreat, Communion to the homebound and soup to the homebound.

In an effort for parishioners to stay connected to each other and to their faith, Deacon Jim will be offering a virtual Bible study using the Zoom application. The application can be used on smartphones or laptops. The group will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesdays for approximately one hour. Each Wednesday, participants will discuss the following Sunday’s readings. If you are interested, contact Deacon Jim at 570-239-2783 or deacon.meizanis@gmail.com. And since it is virtual, snacks are on your own!

Library news

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries and the Pennsylvania Department of Education have instructed libraries to extend their closures. Therefore, the West Pittston Library, along with all of the libraries in the Luzerne County Library System, will remain closed until further notice.

Books can be returned to the library book drop. No overdue fines will be charged on any checked out library materials during this time.

Keep checking back for updates.

Cherry Blossom Festival

cancelled

West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival Committee announced the festival is cancelled this year due to the coronavirus.

Lori DeAngelo, West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival president, announced:

“It is with great sadness and heartbreak that the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival Committee has decided to cancel our 2020 festival due to the coronavirus that is impacting our world.

We are deeply disappointed that we cannot enjoy all of our crafters, performers, visitors, and our community this year.

We were so excited to welcome as our grand marshal, Randy Spencer, head coach of the state champion Wyoming Area Warriors football team as well as members of the team this year, it was truly something we were looking forward to this year. We hope to find a way to still honor the team as best we can from a socially safe distance.

We hope you all will join us next year for the 50th anniversary of our festival, which we plan to throw a huge celebration for.

Our community works for many hours and months prior to the festival to bring you this event each year, and we are saddened we will not get to see you all on the riverbank in 2020.

We hope you all stay safe and healthy and pray our nation heals and soon we will get back to a new normal that allows us to continue our great festival in 2021.

We thank you for your patience and time.

See you in May of 2021.”

Honor a veteran

If you or your family would like to purchase a banner for a friend or loved one who is a West Pittston veteran, past or present, you are encouraged to apply on West Pittston Tomorrow’s website, www.wptomorrow.com.

The banner is made of heavy vinyl and is 30 inches wide by 60 inches tall. The initial cost per banner is $200 and that cost includes the production, installation and removal and storage of the banner. Annual renewal fee of $25, which will go toward putting up and taking down the banners, also will be charged.

Plans are for the banners to be put up before Memorial Day and be taken down in November, to be stored until the next year.

To purchase a banner, fill out an application online.

Community garden spaces

Attention gardeners, West Pittston Tomorrow is accepting applications for its community garden. Three plot sizes are available, a small 4-by-4-foot plot for $10, a medium 4-by-8-foot plot for $20 and a large 6-by-12-foot plot for $40. To participate, make a check payable to West Pittston Tomorrow and send it to 555 Exeter Ave., West Pittston, PA 18643.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston. To list an item, email jbubul@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.