Archive | November, 2017

Bourbon lovers, unite!

15 Nov

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Wine lovers have had their day — OK, lots of them — with the Webster Wine Walks. Now bourbon lovers are getting their turn.

The Webster Business Improvement District BID) and Webster Wine and Spirits will host a Bourbon Bash this coming Saturday November 18 from 6-9 p.m. at the Harmony House on East Main Street.

This is Webster’s very first Bourbon Bash for Webster, and it’s shaping up to be a really neat event.

Organizers have invited many local and well-known bourbon vendors to set up in the Harmony House for tastings. Several local restaurants will also be on hand to complement the bourbons, including Pub 235, The Coach, Gioia Mia Catering, Webster Hots, Smoking Hot Chicks, The Village Bakery and Brimont Bistro.

BBQ Blues Band will provide entertainment as attendees sample great bourbons from distilleries including Heaven Hill, Black Button, Elijah Craig, Iron Smoke Whiskey, Honeoye Falls Distillery, Jim Beam, and more.

Tickets are $20, available at the BID website and Hegedorn’s Market 964 Ridge Road.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Challenger Miracle Field to help finish the local field for challenged athletes.

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Webster Thursday mailbag

15 Nov

imageLots going on as the holidays start to gear up in earnest.

Here’s a fun thing to do this weekend: The Webster Thomas Players will present Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream in three shows this Thursday Friday and Saturday, November 16 through 18. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road.

Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door.  Click here to check out a preview of the show.

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On Saturday, Spry Middle School will host a FIRST Lego League competition, which promises to be a fun spectacle.

Here’s a description/press release written by one of the SparX team members:

It’s that time of the year once again! Young students throughout the world are preparing to compete in this year’s FIRST Lego League competition, HYDRO DYNAMICS.

FIRST Lego League is a worldwide competition in which students ages 9-14 compete in challenges by creating a robot using Lego® blocks. In this year’s game, HYDRO DYNAMICS, kids have to create a robot that can do a variety of water-related functions, such as turning on a Lego faucet, flushing a Lego toilet, and replacing a broken Lego pipe. In between the games, the teams also make presentations to focus on the thematic issue presented each season. This season the teams are focusing on the importance of conserving water and the human water cycle. The kids use the scientific method and engineering design to solve their problems.

The last significant part of the game is designing a poster that goes over the fundamentals of Lego League: Discovery, Integration, Inclusion, and Cooperation.

On November 18, a regional competition will be held in Spry Middle School so the kids can show off what they have been working on for the past few months. Opening ceremonies begin at 11:00 a.m. If you are interested and want to learn more about the FIRST Lego League and the FIRST program, stop by or visit firstinspires.org.

hydro

The Chorus of the Genesee has announced their second annual Breakfast with Santa, which will be held on Saturday December 2 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in Webster. Photos with Santa will be available.

The menu will feature French toast sticks and sausage, coffee, juice, and milk. Cost is $5 per person, $20 maximum per family. For tickets call (585) 265-9540 or visit chorusofthegenesee.org.

Breakfast with Santa is happening on the same day as the Village of Webster’s White Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights (Saturday December 2), which features holiday activities all afternoon and evening. Watch for a more complete blog about that to come soon.

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The annual Henderson Ford Toy Drive is ending in the next two weeks.

The dealership, along with six other business partners, are calling for the community’s help for new and unwrapped toys. Donated toys are being given to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots and The Furnished 4 Life Christmas Store at the Wedge Market.

The Henderson Ford annual toy drive is one of the largest collections in Rochester for both distribution campaigns. The toys delivered by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be distributed in Rochester. The toys delivered to The Furnished 4 Life Christmas Store at the Wedge Market will allow for parental selection and pride in gifting.

You can drop off your new, unwrapped toy donations for all ages at any of the following locations:

  • Henderson Ford, 810 Ridge Road, Webster
  • Steinmiller Insurance, 1223 Bay Road, Webster
  • The UPS Store, 1900 Empire Boulevard, Webster
  • Webster Chamber Health Insurance Service, 1110 Crosspoint Lane Suite C, Webster
  • RAMP (Rochester Area Music Project), 31 West Church Street, Fairport
  • Edge Advertising Group, 6 North Main Street, Suite 220, Fairport

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Blood drive will honor Schroeder student

14 Nov

Ed. note:

I received this important message on my blog earlier today from Nancy Ryan, which I wanted to add to the blog post:

Hi Missy. I wanted you and your subscribers to know that community members will also have the opportunity to register as an organ and tissue donor at the November 25th event at Webster Schroeder in honor of Colin Montesano.

As you mentioned in your blog, Colin was a registered donor and, because of his generous spirit, was able to save and improve the lives of several people through the gift of donation. I am the Director of Marketing & Community Relations for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and will be on hand to help people join the New York State Donate Life Registry, as well as answer questions about organ and tissue donation.

And now, the blog itself:

You probably know by now that I’m a huge supporter of Red Cross blood drives. Well, I wanted to especially tell you about one coming up in a few weeks, which is important for two reasons.

colinFirst, this special blood drive, scheduled for Saturday November 25 at Webster Schroeder High School, is being held in memory of Webster graduate Colin Montesano, who passed away last April at just 21 years old.

After graduating from Schroeder, Colin enrolled in the biology program at the University of Pittsburgh. He had wanted to dedicate his life to helping others by becoming a physician. Following his death, Colin received a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Summa Cum Laude, when the University of Pittsburgh determined he had completed the credits necessary in his three years of enrollment to earn the degree.

Colin was an active community volunteer. He volunteered at a hospice facility in Webster, and at a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh. He was a co-founder of Pittsburgh Attacks Cancer Together (PACT), a fundraising organization for cancer research. He was also a talented athlete, whose accomplishments include being on the Webster Schroeder High School ice hockey team that won the NYSPHSAA Division II championship in 2014.

After his death, Colin continued to help others by being an organ and tissue donor.

Colin’s family is hosting this blood drive to continue Colin’s legacy of helping others. “Colin was a very giving person,” said Tracy Montesano, Colin’s mother. “Hosting a blood drive is a way to keep his memory alive and give hope to other patients who need blood.”

“We hope that everyone who can donate blood, rolls up a sleeve and gives blood in Colin’s memory, especially his coaches, teachers, friends, and those who played sports with our son,” added Mike Montesano, Colin’s father.

Blood Drive in Memory of Colin Montesano
Saturday, November 25, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Webster Schroeder High School
875 Ridge Road, Webster

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged.
To make an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org or call
1-800-REDCROSS. Use sponsor code websterschroederhighschoolwebster.

Aside from this being a great thing to do in Colin’s memory, this is also a critical time of year for blood donations. Donations decline significantly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people get busy with holiday activities, so the Red Cross really needs your help.

It only takes about an hour of your day and would help lots of people. Just like Colin would want to do if he were here.

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Pay it forward this holiday: Help Make Spirits Bright

13 Nov

making spirits bright

There’s an awesome organization here in Webster doing awesome things for families in need this holiday, and they could use your help.

Making Spirits Bright, created by Jamie Buss, Colleen Bedford, and Jeanette Wittmeyer,  was founded in 2014 with one simple mission: to provide smiles for families in need during the holiday season. For many families in our area, the holidays are not a joyous time, as parents struggle put a decent meal on the table, let alone purchase Christmas gifts for their children.

The organization works with area school counselors and social workers to identify families that need assistance. Then they collect wish lists from each of the family members and begin collecting items.

To date, Making Spirits Bright has spread holiday joy to 90 families — almost 50 adults and children. This year they’re set to help almost 50 more.

That’s a huge challenge. So far many businesses (34 of them!) have already adopted entire families outright. But there are a lot of family lists left to fulfill.

This is where you can help.

If you click here, you can see the Google spreadsheet where Jamie has organized all of the families’ wish lists.  Just scan the list, find a gift (or two, or more!) that you’d like to purchase, and fill in that blank on the list. You can sign-up to purchase as many items as you wish, from as many different people as you wish. Jamie will arrange collection and delivery once the gifts have been purchased.

This is a great holiday activity for the entire family, or for your small business, by the way.

If you have any issues connecting to the list (it’s not very mobile-friendly), email makingspiritsbrighter@gmail.com for help.

Making Spirits Bright will also gratefully accept monetary donations, which go to purchase any items on the lists which were not adopted. If you prefer to help out in that way, click here to go to the Making Spirits Bright GoFundMe page.

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Photos from Barry’s anniversary

12 Nov

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Barry’s Old School Irish hosted another epic party last night, this time in honor of the little pub’s 6th anniversary.

As the Barry’s pub family has grown, it’s become commonplace for these occasions to be rather well attended, and last night was no exception. Even before Barry’s Crossing took to the stage (er, corner) at 7:30, the place was shoulder-to-shoulder with well-wishers, and it pretty much stayed that way until I left around 11:30.

Add Jack the bagpiper, some Jamieson Irish dancers, free whiskey, and a bizarre green man into the mix, and it made for a terrific evening.

Here are a few photos from the evening, and you can click here to see many more.

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Veterans Day in the village

11 Nov

As I was heading into the Webster this morning, I happened across the village’s Veterans Day ceremony, taking pace at Veterans Memorial Park on North Avenue. It was a very solemn ceremony, and I was pleased to see that it was fairly well attended.

I love that our village does these things, and that so many residents come out in support.

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Dewitt students enjoy a visit from the WWFD

10 Nov

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Here’s a quick — yet adorable — post about a recent visit from some real firefighters at Dewitt Road School.

About a week ago, the school’s first graders were treated to a lesson in fire safety from volunteers from the West Webster Fire Department. They got to see what a firefighter looks like all suited up, check out all of the tools on a fire truck, and even sit inside of the truck for a few minutes.

Many thanks to firefighters Phil Vanderlee, Pat Manfreda, and Gene Kohlmeier for taking the time to share this important information with these students.

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Memories of Barry’s on the occasion of the pub’s 6th anniversary

10 Nov
main photo

Danny and Jessica Barry, the new owners of Barry’s Old School Irish, two days before the pub’s soft opening in September, 2011.

It’s no secret that Barry’s Old School Irish, in Webster village, is one of my favorite places in the world. From the day I first walked through the door and met baby-faced Danny and his even younger wife (Jessica wasn’t even 21 yet), I knew the place was going to be special.

Turns out, I was right. Thanks to the simple passion these two young people have for creating a truly family-oriented, traditional Irish pub, Barry’s has become a cornerstone in the village of Webster’s social scene for people who come for the friendly welcomes, excellent food, Barry’s Runners, perfectly poured pints, weekend live music, Irish whiskies, outdoor patio, Irish music sessions, folk music sessions, euchre, Notre Dame football, trivia, book club, Boondock Saints, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, New Year’s Eve parties, Wren Day parties, and so much more.

Tomorrow — Saturday, November 11 — Barry’s Old School Irish , 2 West Main Street in Webster, will turn six years old. In those years, I’ve tried several times to explain here just what makes it so special. What makes it different from other “Irish” pubs. Rather than try to do so again, I thought I’d re-post a few blogs I wrote in honor of previous anniversaries, which kinds of sum things up rather well.

If you’ve known the pub for a while, they should make for some interesting reading and bring back some nice memories.

This first one was for their first anniversary, posted on October 27, 2012.

This evening, Barry’s Old School Irish Pub and Bakery on Webster’s 4-corners will celebrate its one-year anniversary. In anticipation of that happy event, I sat at my computer last night, poised to craft the perfect blog about what has become my very favorite Webster hangout.

Fingers at the ready, I started to think. What exactly IS it about Barry’s that makes the place so special? The beer? The to-die-for Guinness chocolate cake? The live music? There are just so many things about Barry’s that make it a pleasant place to be. But what is it that makes Barry’s unique?

It took me a little while, but finally it dawned on me. I realized why I go back there every Friday night. And some Saturdays and Wednesdays. And the occasional Sunday afternoon. It’s Mary Jane, Mike and Patrick. Tim, Jerry and Robyn. Debbie, Sarah, Chris and Julie. Kim, Mac and Maura, Brendan and Gordon. These are the people of Barry’s, and every single one of them has become part of my extended family.

Funny thing about these extended family members, though, is that I couldn’t tell your most of their last names. Plus, I didn’t know ANY of them a year ago. But thanks to Barry’s, I’m now closer to these people than to most of my “regular” extended family members.

You see, any Irish pub can serve a Guinness. Any restaurant/bakery can serve up great dinners and desserts. But there aren’t many places where you can walk in and immediately feel like family.

But that’s the way it is at Barry’s. The feeling in this little place is just … different. It’s like everyone there is only a stranger because you haven’t met them yet — but by the end of the night you probably will. I’ve heard people refer to it as a “family bar,” which is a really weird phrase, but sums up the atmosphere perfectly. Just like the pubs in ol’ Ireland, Barry’s Old school Irish has become a community gathering place, in the mornings for coffee, scones or breakfast buffet (bring the kids!), lunchtime for some incredible Shepherd’s Pie, and evening for a pint and some live music. …

Oh, yeah, totally forgot to mention the momma and papa of this extended family of mine. Danny and Jessica Barry own this little slice of Ireland in the middle of the village. If you ask me, when they moved in and transformed what used to be a very ugly and embarrassing “Living Waters” property, they transformed the village of Webster as well. I am blessed to be able to call them friends. Tonight I will not be toasting their success as much as thanking them for being a part of our lives.

And this one, posted November 12, 2015.

Believe it or not, sometimes I am at a complete loss for words.

That’s been the case these last few days as I’ve been pondering what to say about Barry’s Old School Irish. You see, my favorite Irish pub is turning four years old this weekend. And as I think about how far Barry’s has come in those years, so many great memories try to elbow in for my attention that it’s tough organizing them all.

So I decided to go back to the beginning.

I still clearly remember the first time I walked into Barry’s. Like most Webster residents, I’d been keeping a close eye on the building at the corner of Main and South Ave., pleased to see the old plumbing shop getting cleaned up, and wondering exactly what an “Irish pub and bakery” would look like.

On a Thursday afternoon in September, two days before Barry’s was to officially open, I stopped in to check out the new place, and met Danny and Jessica Barry for the first time.

They struck me right away as very friendly, very enthusiastic and very young. They talked to me of their passion, how they wanted to model their new pub after the public houses (a.k.a. “pubs”) they had frequented in Ireland on their honeymoon just months before. The walls were bare, the taps hadn’t been installed yet, and they had little more than coffee to sell in the bakery. Yet they envisioned that their little corner pub would someday become a genuine community gathering place.

It didn’t take long for Danny and Jessica to realize that dream, and they continue to live it every day, by nurturing the kind of atmosphere that makes Barry’s unlike any other place in the world.

It’s a place where pretty much every patron is welcomed by name, with a smile and a wave; where the owners KNOW if it’s your first time, and make a point to introduce themselves; where young couples get engaged and older couples celebrate their anniversaries; where patrons will clear space at their table on busy nights and pull up an extra stool for a stranger, and new friends are made over pick-up games of euchre; where there’s an actual COUCH in the bar for people to curl up in with their pints, and on New Year’s Eve, the pub crowd cheers each time a new patron comes in; where the owner will order-in pizza at 1 am for the handful of remaining patrons, rather than kicking them out for the night; where celebrating Irish heritage through music, dance and literature is an opportunity, not a gimmick; where the entire pub will toast to birthdays, special events, happy occasions, sad occasions, or just because Notre Dame is winning.

Where everyone who walks through the door is instantly part of the family.

Sure, there have been a lot of changes over the last several years, as Barry’s Old School Irish has matured. Dear old friends have moved away, and so many new friends have discovered the pub that it’s hard to find a place to sit on many nights. The food and drink menus have expanded, and the walls are now crammed with photos, knick knacks and memorabilia. Danny and Jessica have welcomed two beautiful daughters, Maley and Rory, and are now expecting their first son.

But one great truth has remained constant. It’s all about the people.

“One thing that Jess and I have stayed with since we’ve opened is that the people that come in here come first,” Danny Barry said. “We take pride in everything we do, whether it be food or drinks or the events that we’re lucky enough to host, but everything is second to the people that fill these walls. The memories that we get to create together, the moments that happen in here, happy and sad, those are all because of the people that fill these walls.”

On Saturday, November 11, Danny and Jessica Barry will celebrate their little pub’s sixth anniversary. Anyone who has ever walked through its doors, and therefore has immediately become pub family, is encouraged to attend and raise a pint in honor of the occasion. Be sure to wear GREEN — Dan and Jess want to make the evening a GREEN-OUT.

Click here for more details about the upcomoing festivities, but you can expect:

• Live Irish Music by Barry’s Crossing from 7:30-11 p.m. (You may remember this was the very first band to play at Barry’s, back before they were even a band and Danny billed them as “Irish musicians.” They ultimately named their band after Barry’s and  have played every anniversary party since.)

• Irish Whiskey toast on the house @ 9:45 p.m.

• Irish dancers and Jack the Piper

If you’ve read this far, you might also be interested in reading the very first blog I wrote about Barry’s.

I leave you with a few more memories from the pub’s six years:

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House of Hamill brings Irish music to Plank North

9 Nov

hamill 2

Students at Plank Road North Elementary School were bouncing to an Irish beat on Wednesday as Rose Baldino and Brian Buchanan of the House of Hamill, a Philadelphia-based folk/Irish/rock group, spent the day conducting Irish music workshops.

Toe-tapping music filled the school all day as the musicians discussed different facets of Irish music, including the difference between a violin and a fiddle, and how to tell a jig from a reel.

Brian and Rose not only shared their exceptional musical talents with the students, but also an important lesson on perseverance, especially for anyone struggling to learn an instrument.

When he started playing the violin, Brian remembered, “I was terrible for a very long time. It sounds bad at first. It’s hard to make it sound good, but little by little you start getting better.”

At the end of each lesson, the musicians opened up the floor to questions. A lot of hands shot up, and a lot of the “questions” were more like very important (to a grade-schooler, anyway) informational-sharing statements (“My cat is named Pete!”). But several clearly showed the students had been listening, and were very engaged and entertained.  And when Brian and Rose challenged them to distinguish between a jig and a reel, they were pretty much spot-on.

Brian and Rose are visiting Plank North again today for more workshops, and will conclude their visit this afternoon with a school-wide concert.  Tonight, they’ll travel to Lovin’ Cup near the RIT campus, where they’ll perform from 8 to 11:00 p.m. Click here to see more information about that.

House of Hamill

Brian and Rose teach fourth graders the tempo difference between a jig and a reel as Plank North music teacher Sarah Rosenberry helps the students count out the beat. (Provided)

 

Below is a short clip of House of Hall playing for the students. Click here to see the video.

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Click here to see a short clip of Brian and Rose playing for Plank North students. 

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Eagle Scout creates memorial garden at Comfort Care Home

6 Nov
Connor's Eagle Project

Fellow scouts help Connor Lazzaro (left) refurbish a picnic table. (Provided)  

Hot on the heels of the blog I posted yesterday about one new Eagle Scout, I bring you news of another fine young man doing great things for our community.

As part of his Eagle Scout project, 16-year old Connor Lazzaro, a member of St. Rita’s Troop 163, completed a very involved, multi-faceted project for Webster Comfort Care Home (WCCH).

Connor developed a plan, secured donations and led 30 volunteers to build and cultivate a Memorial Garden. As part of the project, he renovated a gazebo, picnic table and three benches, edged the landscape, mulched the berm and removed a tree from the home’s grounds.

The team effort involved more than 255 hours of service and involved Scouts from Troop 163 Scouts, with additional help from many of Connor’s family members and friends.

The project was a labor of love. When Connor was just nine years old, his grandfather became terminally ill, and spent his final days as a Webster Comfort Care Home resident.

Connor recalled,

I remember visiting my Papa there and spending time with him playing games.  I also received letters from the volunteers at the home sharing stories of conversations they had with him.  The volunteers planned a Super Bowl Party for us that year and Papa had such a great time.

When it came time to start my Eagle Scout Project, I knew WCCH was the organization I wanted to help because they were there for my family when my Grandfather needed around the clock comfort and care.  The services they provided were free of charge and the support they provided not only helped Papa but also our family.  And, Papa enjoyed gardening all his life, so building a memorial garden seemed to be the perfect project to pay tribute to him.

“We are so grateful to Connor and his team of volunteers for their tremendous efforts, said WCCH Executive Director Janet Jones-Brower.  “We now have a beautiful garden for our residents and their families and also for our Webster neighbors and our volunteers to enjoy.  It’s a place to reflect and pay tribute.”

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Community members can help make the new Memorial Garden even more special by making a gift this holiday season in honor or memory of a family member or friend. Gifts will be used to help purchase plants, trees and fertilizer for the garden, plus signage for those honored.

To make an honor or memorial gift, visit http://www.webstercomfortcare.org or contact Janet Jones-Brower at (585) 872-5290.

The Webster Comfort Care Home provides a warm, loving and home-like atmosphere for residents during their final days of life.  Care is provided around-the-clock by more than 75 volunteeConnor's Eagle Projectrs and nurses at no cost to the residents or their families.  They also provide support and encouragement to loved ones through the end-of-life journey.

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

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