A walk down memory lane to fill a dry spot

5 Dec

Just two weeks ago, I had so many blog ideas piling up that once, maybe twice, I actually published two blogs on one day to get them all posted in a timely manner.

Fast forward to this week, and I got nuthin’.

Oh, I’m working on a few things. Later this week, or example, I’ll be telling you about the new MBody fitness studio in the village, and I want to stop by the new Mexican restaurant on Ridge Rd. Plus, of course, I’m waiting for news about when the Wreaths Across America truck is scheduled to come through town.

But in the meantime, I got thinking about two years ago, when we were deep in the throes of the pandemic, and we were all looking forward to a rather untraditional holiday season. I was reading through the blogs I wrote that month, and came across a few which I thought you might like to see again (or never saw the first time).

This first one just made me giggle…again. I posted in on Dec. 15, 2020:

Some holiday giggles

We all could use a little laugh right about now as Christmas-time stress compounds the stress we already have thanks to COVID.

So I thought I’d share these images with you, of a scene I came across in Irondequoit last weekend. All I could think of was, “Arlo Guthrie told us all about the ‘Thanksgiving Day Massacree.’ How come we haven’t heard anything about this obvious Christmas Day Massacree?”

It got worse when I got to the Rec Center, where I saw clear evidence of a hit-and-run.


Webster’s “Reverse” Parade of Lights

Do you remember how, since the Village of Webster couldn’t hold its annual Parade of Lights, we held a “reverse” parade instead? It was a very ambitious idea where participating businesses and first responders would set up in a big Xerox parking lot, and community members would drive through the line-up to enjoy the lights and music.

It worked very well, but was so popular that traffic backed up for hours, even onto the highway.

I was there most of the day, and took several videos of the event. I won’t repost them all here, but you can click here to see them and read the original blog from this week two years ago, Dec. 6, 2020.

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(posted 12/5/2022)

Webster’s windy Winter Wonderland in photos

4 Dec

Maybe — just maybe — one year soon, it will actually be snowing during the Village of Webster’s winter celebration.

Now, I’m not wishing for a blizzard, but a gentle flurry and a light dusting of snow on the sidewalks would certainly add to the festive holiday atmosphere that the Business Improvement District (BID) works so hard to present during this annual event. But no, this year we got high winds, strong enough to drive most of the planned activities indoors, and managed to cancel a few of them. (I guess we should be happy it wasn’t pouring rain.)

Still, this year the BID, partnering with the Webster Central PTSA, did their level best to create a fun and family-friendly holiday celebration, even introducing a new name — Webster’s Winter Wonderland — and ’round-the-world theme. There was great participation from village business owners, many of whom enthusiastically participated in creating front window displays or even setting up a table inside their shops to highlight different countries and their winter holidays.

I was like a kid myself, spinning a dreidel at one table, listening to a young lady play a Japanese koto and another man playing a djembe at the Kwanzaa display. I had a delicious slice of kielbasa at Brimont Bistro, and I learned some really neat stuff, like how in Japan, Santa delivers pizza. I was serenaded by the Chorus of the Genesee and Rochester Rhapsody. I also heard some beautiful live music at the Webster Museum and checked out all of the decorated mini-Christmas trees at their Festival of Trees.

I sense that a few things went wrong yesterday, mostly due to the weather, but it was a great first effort. I hope the BID keeps this theme for next year and even more businesses participate.

Maybe we’ll even get a little snow.

Click here to check out my gallery of photos from the day, including from the Parade of Lights. (Thanks to Facebook they’re not in perfect order, but enjoyable to look at anyway.)


One quick addition.

I’d like to share this email I got this morning from my friend Kathy Taddeo at the Webster Museum. It says a lot about the community here in the Village of Webster.

THE MUSEUM’S TERRIFIC NEIGHBORS

Many thanks to the Lapham residents and the Main Street retail and other business folks who generally park in the museum’s lot during the day. 

I had put out a sign asking that our lot be cleared from 1-5 on Saturday, and when I arrived shortly after 1, the lot was completely empty. Their kindness and courtesy allowed two shifts of volunteers and two groups of musicians to park in the lot.  The museum had a great turnout and that is at least partly due to the courtesy of our village neighbors.

Also, kudos to whoever decided to make this annual celebration a multicultural one, and to change the name of the event to Webster’s Winter Wonderland to reflect that change. 

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(posted 12/4/2022)

I got my photo with Santa Friday night

3 Dec

I just love the annual Evening With Santa at St. Martin Lutheran Church, for so many reasons.

For starters, they give out free pizza (always a bonus) and you can make your own Christmas cookie (topped with more frosting than anyone should eat in one sitting). I love how the Scouts from Troop 110 always help out with the children’s games. And of course it’s a great place to meet with Santa, because the lines are super short and the photos are free.

But as I stood back last night and watched the activity all around me, I realized that the thing I like best about the event is the way it brings the community together. There were probably about 75 or 80 adults and children wandering around the church’s community room when I was there, and I asked one of the organizers how many people she recognized. I assumed that most of them were parishioners.

But she told me she only recognized a handful. The rest were neighbors or other community members unaffiliated with the church who had come to join in the festivities. That is exactly what the organizers wanted to accomplish when they put out an all-community invitation. Congratulations, St. Martin, for another successful event.

Here are a few photos from the evening (thank you to my firend Rebecca for providing a few of these):

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(posted 12/3/2022)

Webster community mailbag

1 Dec

Now that December is upon us, holiday events are coming fast and furious.

Several opportunities to visit with Santa are coming up in the next few weeks.

  • St. Martin Lutheran Church will host its annual Evening With Santa on Friday Dec. 2, 6 to 8 p.m. at the church, 813 Bay Rd. The event includes games for the kids, cookie making, free pizza, story time and free photos with Santa. The evening is free, but participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the St. Martin food cupboard.
  • Santa will be at Webster’s Winter Wonderland this Saturday afternoon Dec. 3, greeting children at the gazebo on North Ave. from 2:45 to 5:45 p.m. And after your visit, make sure to check out all the Santa’s Workshop activities, and the ’round the world displays on Main Street. Click here for the full schedule.
  • The Webster Golf Club, 440 Salt Rd., will host a Breakfast With Santa on Sunday Dec. 4 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Breakfast (and of course your visit with Santa) are free, but donations will be accepted to benefit Webster Hope, Webster Community Chest and Lions Club charities.
  • On Saturday Dec. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m., Santa will pop up again, this time at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr. (off of Phillips). This free event will feature hot cocoa and a cookie station. No registration is required.

Still gift shopping? While you’re at Webster’s Winter Wonderland this Saturday Dec. 3, stop by the Harmony House at 58 East Main St. to check out their Holiday Craft Fair and Open House. Before, during and after the parade there’ll be lots of crafters, live music, beverages and snacks. Click here for more details. The event is sponsored by the Webster Grange and the Chorus of the Genesee.

Also from Dec. 3 through Dec. 8, the Webster Thomas High School/OWL PTSA will sponsor a book fair at Barnes & Noble Webster in Towne Center Plaza. All week, when you present the Book Fair ID# 12641403 at checkout, the PTSA will get a percentage of your purchases. To kick off the event, this Saturday Dec. 3, you’ll enjoy some live music presented by Thomas students from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Webster Public Library has all kinds of fun events scheduled this month, from crafts to storytimes to live music. Check out the flier below for some details, but here’s one I want to highlight:

On Tuesday Dec. 6 from 7 to 8 p.m., the Chorus of the Genesee will present a free holiday concert at the library. The Chorus will be sharing a cappella music that spans traditional barbershop to contemporary to some holiday selections. The concert is free, but the library would like to make sure there’s enough seating, so please register here.

Just a few days ago I got the latest edition of the Webster Senior Center newsletter. It’s packed with news of all sorts of great events for the 55+ gang, including exercise classes, Talks on Tuesday, a holiday ball at the Doubletree and more. I wanted to highlight two events, however …

  • first is the Senior Singers annual Holiday Show, scheduled for Tuesday Dec. 20 at 11 a.m. This would be a great opportunity to find out more about this group and meet some of the members if you’re at all interested in joining. IN any case, it will feature some beautiful holiday tunes. Admission is free,
  • second is the Holiday Party on Wednesday Dec. 21 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $8/person and registration is required.

Now some important information from the Webster Central School District:

The district will run its annual Emergency Preparedness Early Release Drill, designed to test the district’s plan for the early dismissal of students, on Friday, December 23.

Parents should be prepared for their children to be dismissed early that day. Below are the bus departure times for that Friday Dec. 23 day only:

● Schroeder, 3:15 p.m. departure
● Thomas, 3:15 p.m. departure
● Spry, 3:15 p.m. departure
● Willink, 3:15 p.m. departure
● DeWitt, 2:10 p.m. departure
● Klem North, 1:50 p.m. departure
● Klem South, 2:00 p.m. departure
● Plank North, 1:50 p.m. departure
● Plank South, 2:00 p.m. departure
● Schlegel, 2:10 p.m. departure
● State, 2:10 p.m. departure

For parents/guardians who pick their student(s) up from school, the pick-up window will also be different that day. cConsult your school newsletter/ notifications for details.

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As we enter the winter months, Webster CSD reminds families of its closing and early dismissal protocol. Closing and cancellation information is available through a variety of sources:

● online at websterschools.org
● social media at Facebook.com/WebsterCentralSchools and Twitter @wcsdproud
● parent/guardian notification through ParentSquare
● local media

If the district needs to dismiss early, bus riders will return home in the same order as a regular school day. Parents are asked to be prepared with a plan in the event of an early dismissal and discuss it with their children.

Weather conditions vary widely across the district. Parents/guardians are the final authority in deciding whether or not to send a child to school. Weather-related absences are legal absences; however, parents are required to notify schools if their children will
not be attending.

When school is closed due to weather, all aquatics, community education classes, and evening activities are cancelled as well. WonderCare may be an exception; consult their website and social media pages for updates.

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The district is surveying the community to forecast student enrollment for the foreseeable future. The annual young child census launched on the district website December 1. If you have children residing in your household who are birth to 5 years old, please visit websterschools.org to complete this brief census. Don’t delay! The census closes Jan. 6, 2023.

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In an effort to create a more welcoming environment for all families, the Webster CSD is offering free English as a Second Language (ESL) class to the community.
 
The adult ESL class is open to any adult interested in learning English as a Second Language. To support our growing number of families in Webster due to the war in the Ukraine, the class will be taught by a Ukrainian speaker; however, individuals from all language backgrounds are welcome and participants do not need to reside in Webster. 
 
The class takes place Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road. The class is ongoing so students may attend as many or as few as they wish. No registration is required, and there’s no charge.
  
For more information, call (585) 467-7683 or visit https://oaces.net/enroll-now/


Finally, this notice from the Town of Webster:

In January 2023, the Town will formally start the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan. This was last done in 2008. In anticipation of this venture, they are trying to get as much feedback from Webster citizens as possible.

The Town has developed a short, simple, 6-question survey and are hoping to get more than 2,000 surveys completed by Dec. 31. To participate, click the link above.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Instagram.

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(posted 12/1/2022)

Let’s cheer on the Wreaths Across America truck!

30 Nov

Wreath Day is almost here!

As you’ve read here several times, Wreaths Across America is coming to Webster, joining the effort to place wreaths on the graves of every veteran in the country. On Dec. 17, Wreath Day, volunteers will gather at Webster Union Cemetery to help lay wreaths on the resting places of 650 veterans. (Keep reading to find out how you and your family can volunteer.)

But before we can place the wreaths, they have to be delivered, and THAT will be an exciting and awe-inspiring event.

Sometime in the next week or two, an 18-wheeler traveling from Maine (where the wreaths are created) will be arriving in Webster to deliver our 650 wreaths, driving through town and up to Webster Union Cemetery at the corner of Rt. 250 and Woodhull. The truck is part of the Wreaths Across America “Honor Fleet,” made up of hundreds of trucking companies who volunteer their drivers, equipment and time to deliver almost three million wreaths every year to every corner of the country.

We don’t know (yet) exactly when the 18-wheeler will be arriving, but when it does, we want to give it a HUGE Webster welcome. Of course we hope as many people as possible can get out on the roadways to cheer on the truck as it passes by. But also, with enough advance notice, the Webster PD will give the truck an all-sirens-blaring escort through town, and our Webster volunteer fire departments will hang a huge flag from their ladder trucks for the semi to drive under.

We don’t know how much lead time we’ll have to let everyone know when the truck will be arriving and what its route will be. But as soon as I find out, I’ll post something on this blog AND on my Webster on the Web Facebook page. Updates will also be posted on the Wreaths Across America Facebook page.

So keep an eye out for updates, and let’s get excited about welcoming the Wreaths Across America truck to Webster.


Wreath Day is Saturday Dec. 17, and the community is invited to help lay the 650 wreaths on veterans’ graves at Webster Union Cemetery. This would be a great way to honor our heroes and start a new family tradition. Click here to sign up.

To read more about Wreaths Across America at Webster Union Cemetery, visit the website here or Facebook page here.

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(posted 11/28/2022)

Bygone blog — Parental stupidity index

29 Nov

This is the latest in my on-again, off-again series of Bygone Blogs, in which I’m re-posting some of my favorite blogs from the last 14 years. This one was originally published on October 8, 2008.


Parental Stupidity Index

WARNING! Mathematics ahead!
(But stay with me, because you might find this interesting.)

My husband and I have a 14-year old. She thinks we’re stupid.

Now this phenomenon — which I’ll call “Perceived Parental Intelligence,” or PPI — is not unusual. Matter of fact, it’s so commonplace I’m surprised there hasn’t been any serious quantitative research on the subject. So of course, I’ve decided to give it a shot.

As I see it, the PPI phenomenon proceeds something like this: from birth to pre-teen, children think their parents are the smartest people in the world. At about 9 or 10 years old, that perception begins to sag. Then, at around 11 years old, the PPI takes a precipitous drop and continues to drop (i.e. parents continue to get stupider) until children’s mid to late-teen years.

It’s at this time, roughly coinciding with the college years, that Perceived Parental Intelligence begins a slow and steady crawl back up. Not surprisingly, the index takes an abrupt upswing in the late 20s, when children start having children of their own, and they wonder how on earth their parents managed to raise a family without going psycho.

For visual learners, below you’ll see how the PPI phenomenon looks when graphed.

Point A, a child’s early years, are when parents are percieved to be really smart and know everything.

Point B, when a child enters the pre-teen years, parents begin their quick descent into stupidity.

At Point C, when grandchildren are born, parents all of a sudden look like Einstein.

I’m curious to see if other families are seeing the same phenomenon. I also encourage replication of this study. I wonder, for example, if Point B — where the PPI begins to decline — is a constant.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Instagram.

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(posted 11/28/2022)

Webster’s Winter Wonderland comes to the Village Saturday Dec. 3

28 Nov

Update: Because of high winds expected this afternoon, Santa will greet kids at Village Hall instead of the gazebo, and many activities will be held inside Main St. shops instead of on the sidewalk. So keep an eye out for them!


So, before you read any further … do you have your ugly sweater yet?

Perhaps you’ve heard about this new wrinkle in Webster’s Winter Wonderland.

In addition to all of the features everyone has come to love about this annual festival, including Santa, carolers, the bell choir, the festival wagon and the Parade of Lights, the organizers are encouraging everyone, including parade participants, to wear ugly sweaters.

You don’t even have to go out and buy one. Just take an old sweater and hang stuff on it (like I did in the photo). There will even be a photo booth set up on Main Street in front of Lala’s where you can get your photo taken with your creative attire. Next year, our little village is going to try to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of ugly-sweater-wearers. So this Saturday will be good practice.

Now for the information you’ve all come for … what’s happening this Saturday at Webster’s Winter Wonderland (the festival formerly known as White Christmas)?

Well for starters, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever, expanding to the east end of the village, and featuring a brand new, around-the-world theme. You’ll find displays inside shops and along Main Street highlighting different winter holidays and cultures from around the world. Also on Main Street, plans are to have at least one food truck, a bounce house, carolers and carriage rides, cookie decorating, music, street games and more.

Like last year, the North Pole will be set up in Gazebo Park on North Ave. There’ll be hot cocoa, kettle corn, Santa’s Workshop where the kids can build a toy, Storytime with Jason, and a donation bin for Toys for Tots. Kids can even participate in a scavenger hunt and win a prize after they check off some of the activities. And of course Santa will be there, welcoming children at the gazebo.

And this year the festival will even extend to the lower level of the North 43 shops east of North Ave. (next to Village Bakery). Make sure to visit “The Land of Sweets” at Roc Dance and check out some other fun surprises at Curated and MBody. Everything begins at 2 p.m. in the Village of Webster. (Update: Santa will be at Village Hall, beginning at 2:45.)

I want to highlight two special events happening that afternoon. The first is a donation table set up in front of Village Hall where you can drop off hygiene items and non-perishable foods to benefit Webster Hope. Check out the poster below for a wish list of items. (You can also drive through and drop off your donations behind the Fire Hall.)

Second, make sure to stop by the Webster Museum at 18 Lapham Park sometime between 2 and 6:30 p.m. to see all of the beautiful decorations, and to vote for your favorite little tree in the museum’s annual Festival of Trees. There will even be live music from 4 to 6 p.m. featuring the Saxophone Therapy Project and the Goodwin Family.

The Parade of Lights begins at 6:30 p.m., heading west down Main Street to Fireman’s Field, and right after that, everyone can head back down to Gazebo Park for carol singing and Christmas tree(s) lighting!

You can find more information at the Webster BID website. If any more fun things are added to the schedule, I’ll post them here, too, so stay tuned.

Click here to see my photo gallery from last year’s White Christmas.

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(posted 11/28/2022)

Remembering Lee Burgess

27 Nov

I was surprised by some sad news the other day. I read in the Webster Herald that Lee Burgess has passed away.

Lee attended college at Miami University, where he was immediately drawn to the media, spending time as a sports announcer and writer. After graduation he spent his early career in advertising, but eventually found his true passion: teaching. For 30 years he taught multimedia and journalism at R.L. Thomas High School.

But many Webster residents know Lee Burgess best through his work with the Webster Herald, which he started writing for in 1969.

I didn’t know Lee very well. However, I did meet him for coffee at the Atlantic Restaurant one morning years ago. We chatted about the projects he was working on, the class he was teaching at the Webster Recreation Center, and journalism in general. Many times in the following years I told myself I’d try to reconnect with him and continue that conversation. But I never got around to doing that. So on the occasion of his passing, I decided to get to know Lee Burgess a little better. I realized a good way to do that was to examine his long career with the Herald, using the terrific NY Historic Newspapers database as my guide.

Lee’s name started appearing in the Webster Herald back in 1967, even before he began writing for the paper. At the time, he was yearbook advisor for the R.L. Thomas Reveille, and his name would pop up regularly in the “Thomas Tales” column written by Marsha Kuhn and Cheryl Koopmans. In September 1968 he was introduced as the school’s new journalism teacher and advisor to the Courier, the school’s brand new newspaper.

Lee’s first bylined article seems to be one published on May 21, 1969 about the Monroe County Harvest Queen Contest (pictured below). That summer he also started to help out behind the scenes at the Herald. In his regular “Ridge Runner” column, Webster Herald editor Curt Gerling called Lee “our summer ‘swing man,’ a fellow who fills in on the editorial side for vacationing members of the regular staff.” Gerling also talked Lee into covering school board meetings.

For the next several years, Lee would occasionally write about other topics as well, including politics, new businesses, even auto accidents. But when he added sports stories to his beat, he really found his niche.

In September 1976, Lee Burgess became a regular Webster Herald columnist. His “Sports Shorts” column was a pithy, informational, opinionated look at local and national sports. But it was when he took over the weekly “Ridge Runner” column from Gerling on Feb. 1, 1989, that Lee Burgess really hit his stride. He would write that column for the next six years.

In his first column (pictured below), Lee wrote,

And what’ll the column be? A lot of opinion, the kind of argument that folks loading up on groceries at Nesbitt’s or Seitz’s in Webster or at Linken Ridge in Ontario Center can chew about. A few thought provokers that’ll make “tippling talk” at The Old Ridge Inn or Sodus Hotel. Humor to pass along while you’re waiting for ice cream at Friendly’s in Webster or Russet’s in Ontario. And some names now and then, perhaps neighbors along Eddy Ridge Road or Klem Road or kids from schools in Webster or Wayne or Williamson or Sodus.

Little bits and pieces that put the “home” and “town” into where you live.

“Ridge Runner” may very well be what Lee Burgess is best remembered for, and for good reason. He wrote the kind of small-town-weekly-newspaper column that celebrates the ordinary people, places and events that often go unnoticed but make up the fabric of a small town. Through his words, Lee Burgess brought our community together.

As his family wrote in his obituary, Lee Burgess was a “larger than life figure in Webster.” He will be missed.

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(posted 11/27/2022)

Webster community mailbag

27 Nov

Just in time for gift-giving, the Friends of the Webster Public Library will be holding their Winter Book Sale beginning Tuesday Nov. 29.

The Friends sold the event in their press release better than I could:

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season wear you down! The Friends of the Webster Public Library have the perfect solution to your holiday stress. The Friends are holding a Winter Holiday Book Sale at the library. Gently used books, DVDs, CDs and puzzles for adults and children will be available for purchase.

The sale begins Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 9 a.m. and runs during regular library hours for the next several weeks . . . or until sold out! Children’s items are in limited supply so shop early for the best selection and help support the library! All monies raised will go to support library programs and initiatives.

Free Breakfast With Santa

The Lions Club will hold their annual Breakfast With Santa on Sunday Dec. 4 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Webster Golf Club, 440 Salt Rd.

Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, english muffins, juice and coffee. Raffles and gift certificates will also be available.

There’s no charge, but donations will be accepted (and encouraged) to benefit the Webster Community Chest and other Webster Lions Club charities.

St. Martin Evening With Santa

Here’s another opportunity to get a free photo with Santa, plus cookies and pizza (if you prefer that over breakfast).

St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Road will hold its annual “Evening with Santa” holiday event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fri. Dec. 2, Have your family holiday picture taken in a professional photo setting at St. Martin with Webster’s own Professional Santa, the same Santa as seen in Webster’s White Christmas & famous Firemen’s Parade of Lights. Pictures will be available on the spot and they’re absolutely free. (No need to wait in long lines at the mall or pay for a photo.)

Santa will arrive by fire truck, and will be handing out candy canes to all of his visitors. Bring your own camera for selfies with the elves, watch the children tell Santa their most secret wishes, help the children decorate their own Christmas cookies and write a letter to Santa, and listen to Santa read “The Night Before Christmas.”

There will be lots of games for the children, free pizza, and later, hear Pastor Korey read the Christmas Story as written in the Gospel of Luke.

Families who attend are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the church’s Food Cupboard, to help another family enjoy their holiday season just a bit more.

Christmas Cookie Sale

The Women’s Club of Webster will hold their 28th annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday Dec. 10 in the Webster Public Library community room. The sale will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until they’re sold out.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s scholarship funds and other Webster community programs. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the rear of Webster Plaza.

Webster’s Winter Wonderland Details

Well, you’re going to have to wait another day or two for these, but rest assured you’ll get the full line-up here shortly. But I do want to make sure you remember to 1) wear your ugly sweaters all day, 2) bring a nonperishable food item to drop off at Village Hall to benefit Webster Hope, and 3) stop by the Webster Museum to vote for your favorite decorated mini-Christmas tree.

More to come. Stay tuned!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 11/26/2022)

How to help feed our neighbors in need

25 Nov

During this Thanksgiving season, we need to all remember that not everyone in our community was able to sit down to a plentiful dinner on Thursday. Even here in Webster, many families simply do not have enough to eat, and children are going hungry.

Two local agencies are working hard to help out as much as they can, during the holidays AND all year ’round. Read on for some information about Webster HOPE and the Webster Community Chest and how you can help them help our community.

Webster HOPE

The mission of Webster HOPE is to serve the needs of residents in the 14580 zip code, providing food, clothing, household goods and furniture. Financial assistance, with the emphasis on preventing homelessness, is also available.

Webster HOPE is located at 1450 Ridge Rd., adjacent to Holy Trinity church. They gladly accept donations of nonperishable food, hygiene products, gently used clothing, and monetary donations. (You can even click here to donate through their PayPal site.)

They’d also love to have more volunteers to help stock the food pantry, work in the garden, organize the clothing closet or work with the clients. Email websternyhope@gmail.com to find out how you can help.

Here are a couple of other easy ways to help out in the next several days:

  • Tuesday Nov. 29 is ROC the Day. Webster HOPE is participating for the first time and hoping to raise $5,000 to cover food costs for a whole month. Log onto www.ROCtheDay.org to donate.
  • Shop with Amazon Smile. Designate Webster NY Hope as your charity of choice and every time you shop on Amazon a donation will be made.
  • Look for the Webster HOPE donation table set up in front of Village Hall on Saturday Dec. 3 during Webster’s Winter Wonderland. Click on the flyer below for a wish list of food and clothing items.

To read more about Webster HOPE, check out their website and Facebook page.

Webster Community Chest

For almost 75 years, the Webster Community Chest (WCC) has provided information and referrals, emergency financial assistance, food assistance, summer camp scholarships, high school senior awards for community service, and financial aid to organizations whose programs benefit Webster residents. Like Wester HOPE, the agency serves the 14580 zip code area.

This year alone, the Webster Community Chest provided

  • 878 meals to the elderly through Meals on Wheels
  • 475 meals to families
  • six high school scholarships
  • four vanloads of food to Webster HOPE
  • summer camperships
  • therapeutic services for disabled children

plus they helped 49 families avoid being evicted from their homes.

The Webster Community Chest’s annual fund drive is underway right now. To find out more about the agency and how you can help, visit their website here.

Bonnie Reynolds from WCC also just told me about a great event the agency is sponsoring next week at the Webster Public Library. She wrote,

Girl Scouts Reis Arnold and Ainsley Smith of Troop 60415 spearheaded a food drive for our Food Giveaway to be held at the Public Library on Monday Nov. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m.

People can come in and grab a bag which has ingredients for three meals, plus a recipe card. Some of the meals are themed and include Pizza Night and Italian Night. Other meals are Shepherds Pie, Taco Chicken and BBQ Chicken. The girls will be there to help distribute the bags. 

Webster Community Chest Webster Community Chest does not have a permanent home for their food pantry right now. But they do have a storage room and will be hosting pop-up food give-aways for now. We are also searching for places to put food donation boxes and for people to organize these food collections, so if you know anyone who can help …..?

Little Free Pantries

Have you heard about “Little Free Food Pantries”? They’re a great twist on Little Free Libraries. These are small, stand-alone pantries filled with non-perishable food items, where the concept is “take what you need, leave what you can.”

There are six pantries in the Webster area. Five are hosted by church congregations and can be found in the church parking lots. They’re at the Webster Baptist Church on South Ave, Immanuel Lutheran Church on West Main St., the United Church of Christ on Klem Rd., St. Martin’s Lutheran Church on Bay Rd. and Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Plank Rd. The sixth can be found at Phillips Village.

Donations can be made at any time; just drive up, open the pantry and put in your donations. So maybe next time you head to Wegmans, consider picking an extra half dozen cans of veggies, a few boxes of cereal, maybe some spaghetti, and swing by one of these pantries on the way home.

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(posted 11/25/2022)