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Think you have what it takes to make the best chili in town? There’s only one way to find out.

Avoca Boy Scout Troop 316, Cub Scout Pack 316 and Venture Crew 3701 will host the annual Best Chili in Town Contest at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, in the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St.

Winners of the best overall, hottest, best professional and best homemade chili recipes will receive ribbons and bragging rights. The entry fee is $5 and includes an opportunity to sample and judge each entry. There will also be a bake sale.

Before the contest, the Scouts will celebrate Scout Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. Mass Sunday, Feb. 4, at Queen of the Apostles Parish, 715 Hawthorne St.

Queen of the Apostles news

Queen of the Apostles Parish will honor St. Brigid at all of their weekend Masses the weekend of Jan. 27-28 with a special prayer and hymn in her honor. Following the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Jan. 28, the parish will host a tea in the parish hall, 742 Spring St.

In addition to serving tea, there will be scones, Irish soda bread, Welsh cookies and Irish coffee. Admission is free.

The parish will have a Night at the Races Saturday, Feb. 17, in the parish hall. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the races begin at 7. Admission is $5 per person and includes food and beverages. Horse sponsorships are $10 each. The sponsor of the winning horse wins $50. Sponsorship registration forms are available in the church vestibule or the parish office. They should be returned to the parish office by Friday, Feb. 9, for inclusion in the event program. Returns made after this date will be added to a race the night of the event. Also, food and baked good donations are welcome. For information, contact the parish office at 570-457-3412 or staff@queenoftheapostles.com.

The parish announces the following meetings: buildings and grounds committee, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, rectory; finance council, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, rectory; hall committee, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, parish hall, and social concerns/respect life, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, rectory.

Food pantry

The Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Bethel United Methodist Church, 532 Main St. Food can be picked up in the rear entry of the building.

Volunteers are needed to unload and distribute food at 1:30 p.m.

VFW Auxiliary meeting

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at the post home, 915 Main St. President June Fitzgerald will preside. Refreshments will be served.

Council meeting

Avoca Borough Council will have its monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 8, at the municipal building, 950 Main St. The work session will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed immediately by the regular meeting.

Little League news

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St.

The agenda includes planning for the spring season as well as regular league business. All coaches are asked to attend the meeting. Anyone interested in volunteering or who has a general interest in the league is welcome to attend.

Online registration for the 2018 spring Avoca/Dupont Little League season is currently available on the league website, www.tshq.bluesombrero.com/adll. The final online registration date is Sunday, Feb. 28. Any player from last year can register for the upcoming season online.

New players to the league must register in person. Current players can, too. In-person registration will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, through Wednesday, Feb. 7, and continue every Monday and Tuesday in February, at the clubhouse, 700 Mill St.

The cost to register is $65 for one player and $80 for two or more players from the same family. Payment for online registration can be completed using a credit card or via cash or check in person.

In other news, the league’s third annual cash bingo fundraiser will take place Sunday, April 29, at the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St. The 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.

Garbage bills

Avoca Borough has sent 2018 garbage fee bills to homeowners and rental property owners. Rental owners are responsible for telling their tenants they must pay this fee, too.

The fee to have up to three bags collected weekly has not increased this year. It is as follows: $160 if purchased by Feb. 20; $165 if purchased between Feb. 21 and March 20; $175 if purchased between March 21 and 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.

Residents can pay their bill 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Residents can also pay the fee by mail by sending a check made payable to Avoca Borough, c/o Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641. You do not need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Window stickers are not necessary and will not be issued.

Residents can get a 2018 recycling calendar at the municipal garage or at the municipal building.

Softball registration

Softball registration for the spring Little League season is available at www.pallsoftball.com. All girls ages 7-14 within the boundaries of the Pittston Area School District are eligible to play. The divisions are minors, majors and juniors. A senior division for girls ages 14-16 is tentative. The number of teams depends on the number of players registered.

The cost is $100 per child with a $150 maximum per family. This fee also includes one ticket per family to a future Pittston Twp. purse bingo fundraiser.

The registration deadline is Thursday, March 1. For more information, call 570-212-2347.

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.

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 jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.