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A new year often brings new changes in people’s lives. Whether they resolve to lose weight, eat better or volunteer more, each change is meant to make an improvement in some way. Mike George, owner of Mike George’s Service Station, decided it was time to make a change, too. At the close of 2017, George hung up his gas pump for the last time and closed his 56-year old business to retire.

The Avoca landmark stood out from competitors not only because it was proudly painted in George’s Green Bay Packers’ signature green and gold colors, but also — and more importantly — because of George’s commitment and dedication to his hometown’s customers. On Dec. 29, George’s final day in business, many of his customers honored his great service by stopping by the station one last time to have their cars fixed, their gas pumped and to say thank you to George.

While the closing of the Main Street mainstay is certainly sad, it’s also a time to be grateful to George for all of the ways he made people’s days brighter with his signature service with a smile. I know he made many of my morning commutes brighter with his kindness as I pulled up to the pump for gas. After he’d walk up to my car window to tell me how much I owed him, George would always say “you’ve got a smiler back there,” referring to the beaming smile my son, J.J., would give him as he sat in his car seat watching George work. That compliment, along with George sending me off with a “have a good day, honey” farewell, always turned me into a smiler, too.

Thanks Mike for all of the ways you’ve made Avoca a better place, for the thousands of smiles you gave and for the thousands of smiles you made.

Queen of the Apostles news

Queen of the Apostles Parish has Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the church, 715 Hawthorne St. At the present time, the parish is in need of a Eucharistic Adorer for the 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. hour. Anyone who can commit to this hour should call Ann Jake at 570-457-3521 or the parish office.

The parish has weekly Bible study in the rectory Bible study room following the 8 a.m. Mass. Also, there is evening Bible study from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, in the rectory Bible study room.

The parish will have its Holy Hour for Life at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the church.

The parish will have its St. Brigid’s Tea at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, in the Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St.

Queen of the Apostles Parish announces the following meetings: pastoral council, 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 8, rectory; women’s guild, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 9, rectory; word committee, 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15, rectory; worship committee, 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15, rectory; buildings and grounds committee, 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 29, rectory, and finance council, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 30, rectory.

Garbage stickers

Avoca Borough has sent bills to homeowners and rental property owners for the 2018 window garbage sticker fee. Rental owners are responsible to tell their tenants they must purchase a window sticker, too.

The fee schedule for purchasing the window garbage sticker 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 from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays beginning Jan. 16, in the Avoca Municipal Building, 950 Main St. Residents can also purchase a garbage sticker via mail by sending a check made payable to Avoca Borough and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Avoca Borough, c/o Therese Wrubel, 129 Factory St., Avoca, PA 18641.

Anyone who does not receive a bill by Saturday, Jan. 20, should call Wrubel at 570-457-4891.

Council meeting

Avoca Borough Council will have its monthly meeting Thursday, Jan. 11, at the municipal building, 752 Main St. The work session will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed immediately by the regular meeting.

Langcliffe Presbyterian

game and movie nights

Langcliffe Presbyterian Church will host its monthly game night from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at the church, 1001 Main St. From chess to Uno, Parcheesi to Settlers of Catan, they’ll have an assortment of fun games to play. Stop by to learn a new game or play an old favorite. All ages are welcome.

The church will host its monthly movie night from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the church. This fun and free night includes a family-friendly movie children and adults will enjoy while snacking on popcorn and watching the movie on a giant screen.

Little League meeting

Avoca/Dupont Little League will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Little League clubhouse, 700 Mill St.

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

Little League registration

Online registration for the 2018 spring Little League season will begin Monday, Jan. 1. Any player from last year can register for the upcoming season online at the league website, 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 by paying in person with cash or check.

New players to the league must register in person at one of the upcoming in-person registration dates.

VFW Auxiliary news

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8335 Auxiliary will not meet in January.

The next meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at the post home, 915 Main St. President June Fitzgerald will preside. Refreshments will be served.

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 or call 570-301-2171 by 5 p.m. Monday.