I would like to start this week’s column off by wishing Alanna DeRito-Gaudiello farewell as Derry Borough mayor.

DeRito-Gaudiello served the borough as mayor for nearly two years before resigning from her post Feb. 22. One of her major accomplishments as mayor was pushing to resume the borough’s K-9 program after it briefly ended in early 2020. Council voted last February to resume the program.

DeRito-Gaudiello was appointed by council in June of 2019, following the resignation of former mayor Kevin Gross. She then was elected in November 2019 to finish the remaining two years of Gross’ term.

In a video posted on her Facebook account, DeRito-Gaudiello thanked Derry Borough Police Chief Randy Glick and K-9 Smoke. She also thanked her grandma, mom and husband, Tim. She also thanked council, the fire department and public safety, and a few other members of the community who have supported her over the years.

DeRito-Gaudiello said she resigned because she plans to make a permanent move to the Connellsville area (Fayette County) in the near future.

On a personal note, I have known Alanna for a long time. When I coached wrestling at Derry Area, I took her as one of my wrestling mangers, and she did a fantastic job.

I sincerely believe she put her heart into her work as mayor and she will be sadly missed by many. I wish her the best of luck in her future plans.

Council is expected to accept her resignation at its March 9 meeting.

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Theresa Miedel, website coordinator for St. Joseph Church in Derry, has announced that St. Joseph and St. Martin Knights of Columbus Council No. 2648 will be holding its annual Lenten fish dinners every Friday during Lent (except for Good Friday) from noon to 6 p.m. in St. Joseph Church.

Available are baked and fried fish dinners, which include green beans, cole slaw, roll and butter, and a choice of baked potato or Mac n’ cheese. Many sides are available as well. Cost is $11.

Because of the pandemic, dinners are takeout only. Orders will also be accepted by phone at 724-694-6192.

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New Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department will begin its dinner menu at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26.

Get your favorite hot sides such as lazy pierogies, haluski, and mac. Lunch will still be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (entree and fries only).

When using the drive-thru, please enter on the east side of the building (first entrance, like it was last year). There will be signs to guide you.

For faster service, call ahead to 724-668-9911. If it’s busy or you get a VZW message, keep trying!

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The Derry Volunteer Fire Department will continue its Lenten fish fry every Friday throughout Lent from 4 to 7 p.m. starting Friday, Feb. 19. The menu and prices will remain the same as last year.

Items include a fish sandwich ($7), five shrimp ($6), pierogi ($2), cole slaw ($1), haluski ($2), mac n’ cheese ($2), twice-baked potato ($2), french fries ($2), french fries with cheese ($3) and bottled water or pop ($1).

Starting Friday, Feb. 26, the department will add some new items, including baked fish ($7) onion rings ($3) and two crab cakes for $6.

* * *

The Derry Area School District is looking for a licensed practical nurse.

Candidates must hold appropriate state certification. Required background clearances: PA child abuse, PA criminal history and FBI federal background, along with Act 24 and Act 168 Disclosures and proper licensure for LPN position required for employment. Current health physical and Tb test are required upon employment.

Documents for employment can be downloaded from www.dasd.us > our district > employment opportunities.

Interested candidates should send required documentation to Greg Ferencak, Director of Secondary Education, Derry Area SD, 982 N. Chestnut St. Ext., Derry, PA 15627.

* * *

Derry Borough Council will accept letters of interest for a vacancy on the Derry Borough Municipal Authority (DBMA) board expiring Dec. 31, 2024, until 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Also, there are two zoning hearing board vacancies. If anyone is interested, please submit a letter of interest to the Derry Borough office, 114 E. Second Ave., Derry, PA 15627 or from the borough website at “Contact Us.”

* * *

Here is an update from Derry Township Tax Collector Debby Zello:

“Just wanted to let everyone know a few things for the new year. Your 2021 county/township tax statements will be mailed out the end of February. There are NO changes to the due dates listed on your statement.

“Also, payments and exonerations for the 2020 per capita tax are due in the office by Feb. 28. Exoneration forms and a locked payment box are located outside the office door for your convenience if the office is not open when you come.

“The office is currently open for in person business. Please check the Derry Diary, Derry Township website or call the office 724-694-5115 for any changes in office hours or due dates due to COVID-19. In case of inclement weather, we do follow the DASD closing and delay schedule.

“We still are encouraging everyone to mail your tax payments and a SASE if receipt is requested to: 978 N Chestnut St. Ext. Derry, PA 15627, as our strict in-office guidelines are still in place. Only one person in the office at a time. One person may wait outside the office and everyone else must wait their turn outside the main entrance doors maintaining a 6-foot distance from others. Hoping we will soon be done with all this and back our normal again soon!”

* * *

Megan Hilpert Sliva, director of the Barbara Thompson Early Literacy Center, has announced that the center is currently enrolling preschool and pre-kindergarten for fall 2021-22. If interested, call 724-694-2514.

* * *

Action for Animals Humane Society, Derry Township, is hosting a Hop into spring virtual cash bash at 5 p.m. March 27. Winners will be drawn live on Facebook. Tickets, 50/50 and raffle chances are on sale now.

Ways to participate include reading ticket and raffle information, purchasing cash bash tickets, purchasing 50/50 and raffle chances, donating a basket or raffle item or making a monetary donation.

* * *

Congratulations to Derry Area Middle School sixth grader Liam McMahen for taking first place in the Westmoreland County Gifted Consortium. Liam performed “Vivace in A Minor” by Ferdinando Carulli. Great job, Liam!

Have a great weekend!

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Derry Diary items may be emailed to liberoni@aol.com.

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