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Happy New Year, my friends!

As you prepare to ring in the New Year this weekend, consider taking this Irish New Year blessing to heart as your motto for 2018:

“Count your blessings instead of your crosses. Count your gains instead of your losses. Count your joys instead of your woes. Count your friends instead of your foes. Count your smiles instead of your tears. Count your courage instead of your fears. Count your full times instead of your lean. Count your kind deeds instead of your mean. Count your health instead of your wealth. Love your neighbor as much as yourself.”

Fire department officers

Congratulations to the following individuals who were elected as officers of the Avoca Fire Department for 2018:

Thomas Matthews Jr., president; Joe Chiumento, vice president; Sandra VanLuvender, treasurer; Matthew Taylor, secretary; Chris VanLuvender, fire chief; Thomas Matthews Sr., deputy chief; Gary Halagarda, fire police captain, and Kevin O’Brien Jr., Richard Ostrander and Mark Mullen, trustees.

Relief Association officers

The Avoca Relief Association Officers for 2018 are Josh Taylor, president; Joe Chiumento, vice president; Kevin O’Brien Jr., secretary; John Soy with Matthew Taylor (intern), treasurer, and Matthew Taylor, Chris Collins and Billy MacCallum, trustees.

Holiday trash collection

Due to the New Year’s Day holiday, garbage will be collected a day late the week of Dec. 31. Garbage will be collected Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Queen of the Apostles

Parish news

Queen of the Apostles Parish will have Mass for the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, at the church, 715 Hawthorne St.

Queen of the Apostles Parish has Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the church. 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 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.

Food pantry

The Avoca Food Pantry will be open at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, 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.

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 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 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 Avoca 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, www.tshq.bluesombrero.com/adll.

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.

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. If you would like to send out a birthday, anniversary or get well wish or have your organization’s upcoming meetings, events or fundraisers listed in next week’s edition of the Avoca community news, please contact me.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Jackie Borthwick-Galvin writes about Avoca every week. To include an item in her column, email jborthwickgalvin@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2171 by noon Sunday, Dec. 31.