PAXINOS - The Coal Crackers Club kicked off its 13th year with its "Spring Fling" luncheon at Masser's Banquet Hall Wednesday. The total members in attendance was 216.

The Coal Crackers Club is an informal group of residents and formers residents of the Coal Region. There are no dues or officers, and they hold no formal meetings. The club's expenses are covered by the generous donations of its members. Total membership of the club is 600-plus, and they are continually accepting new members to join and enjoy renewing old acquaintances and make new friends. The club holds luncheons in April and October at Masser's Banquet Hall and a picnic in July at Knoebels Amusement Resort.

Members were welcomed to the "Spring Fling" luncheon by coordinator Glenn Henninger, followed by a prayer of thanksgiving. Chris Masser and her staff then served the meal.

Prior to opening the program, Joan Muskey welcomed the Rev. Robert Peiffer, pastor of St. John's United Church of Christ, to the club. Peiffer is new to the region, which makes him an honorary coal cracker. Muskey also welcomed all first-time attendees.

Linda Gula, a registered nurse from the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA), talked about the VNA and the services it provides, focusing on thospice care.

The Coal Crackers summer picnic will be July 31 at Knoebels Amusement Resort. The club's newsletter will be sent out at that time.