Archive | January, 2018

Casino night will raise money to fight rare cancers

21 Jan

 

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A Penfield-based non-profit organization called Be uninTIMidated has a fundraiser coming up in a few weeks which I want to tell you all about, because the organization and the people who run it are top-notch.

First, some background.

In April 2012, Penfield resident Tim Wesley was diagnosed with an advanced stage of a very rare form of appendix cancer. He was told that he would not be a surgical candidate, and was given only 12 to 18 months to live.

That was a prognosis he and his wife Denise simply would not accept, so they went on the offensive to see what they could do.

Through hundreds of hours of research, they found their way to visit three different cancer surgeons in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Buffalo who specialize in appendix cancer. They discovered that Tim was in fact a surgical candidate and that the surgery could save his life — or at the very least give him more time.

They had come so far and learned so much, as soon as the surgery was done, they decided they wanted to help educate, advocate and financially help people travel to see specialists. They created Be uninTIMidated.

In the last six years, the organization has shed light on appendix cancer and other rare cancers like it, helping more patients get diagnosed. The funds they raise through their special events go directly to support research and to help families pay for travel expenses as they seek medical options and treatment.

Here’s how you can help:

The 5th Annual Be uninTIMidated Casino Night will be held on Saturday, January 27 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Kodak Center at Eastman Business Park, 200 West Ridge Road.

The event will feature casino games, beverage tasting, appetizers, a cash bar, and lots more fun.

Tickets are $60 in advance and $65 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets online or send a check made payable to: BE uninTIMidated, 20 Thomlinson Circle, Penfield, NY 14526.

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Webster high school plays just around the corner

20 Jan

If you happened to see Saturday’s D&C, you might have seen my article about high school plays taking place this spring all over Rochester’s east side.

Of particular interest to my readers here in Webster, I was able to spotlight Webster Schroeder’s upcoming production of Les Miserables. Unfortunately, the parameters of the article did not allow me to include information about Webster Thomas’ spring musical, a slight I would like to correct now.

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Webster Thomas High School will present Pippin from March 22-24.

Director Brenda Nitsch writes,

This is the 10th anniversary (we did it 10 years ago!) but with a different spin. However, the basic plot line is the same. The story is about a boy who is trying to find the “extraordinary” in life but realizes in the end that you can find joy and fulfillment in the ordinary.

We like this show because it has lots of layers and makes you think. We will, and already have had, lots of discussions around the plot, characters, motive, etc. That is one of the cool things about this show–there aren’t really right answers. It is all perception. The choreography is in the style of Bob Fosse.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on March 22 and 23, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on March 24. Ticket information, when available, can be found at websterthomasplayers.com.

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As I mentioned, there was a short blurb about Webster Schroeder’s production of Les Miserables in Saturday’s paper, which read,

Les Miserables’ sweeping ballads and show-stopping tunes make it the perfect musical at which to experience the incredible vocal and acting talent of our high school students, which may make you question whether you’re in a high school auditorium or at the RBTL. Plus, we’re told, “there are some awesome wigs happening.”

Yes, that’s right: “awesome wigs.” But I was able to sit in on one of the rehearsals, and I’ll tell you right now, there’s a whole lot more awesomeness than just wigs happening on that stage. I am a huge fan of the music of Les Miserables, and from what I saw, I will not be disappointed.

Webster Schroeder High School will present Les Miserables on February 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.  For more information and tickets, visit websterschroedermusicals.com.

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An(other) update on the Filling Station

20 Jan

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The sign has been installed on the front of the building, the decorations and photographs are hung on the walls, and all of the video games and furniture pieces are ready to be pushed into place.

But if you were to stop into the new Filling Station Pub and Grill, which is (slowly) moving into the old Burger King/Original Mac and Cheez building at 77 East Main Street, you’d see that things are still in disarray, and you wouldn’t believe the owners were planning to open anytime soon.

When I visited last week, I was assured that even though things look amazingly disorganized, by Monday, everything will be assembled, installed, cleaned and looking beautiful. The only thing they’ll still have left to do is paperwork.

Even though making sure all the “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed has been a struggle at times, they’re hopeful that everything will finally be in place to open by the end of January. You’ll know when you see all the neon signs in the front window click on — including the big one that says “OPEN”!

I’ll also let you know through this blog, so stay tuned.

 

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Chip off the old blog

19 Jan

IMG_20180119_070716225There’s a new columnist in town, and it’s a proud mommy moment for me.

My daughter Erin has officially become a new columnist for the Webster Herald. Her column, which she is calling the “Village Beat,” will be published every two weeks in the Herald, and on the village website.

Erin is taking the reins from long-time Webster Herald columnist Carol Klem, who wrote the very popular “Village Focus” column for 12 years.  Knowing that there is really no way to replace Carol Klem, Erin explained in her first column, published on January 3, that she’ll be approaching the piece a bit differently.

She wrote,

I don’t live in the village like Carol does; I’m a Webster native, but I’m a few miles away from the center of town. For me, village life isn’t something I’ve spent my time surrounded by, at least not until the last few years. Still, that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt at home out on Main Street. The village is a place I go in order to meet with friends, spend time with family, have a pint. It’s where I go for experiences that are new and familiar at the same time. Every day is a different experience out there, but no less rewarding. Now I just have the privilege of being able to write down and share those experiences with you.

Now that the Village Beat is column is up and running (her second installment was published this week), Erin needs your help.

She’s going to need your press releases and emails, letting her know what’s going on in the village.  She’s going to want to know about your special events, important anniversaries, heartwarming village stories about village people and places. Let’s start flooding her email box with ideas for future columns, and help her share with everyone else all the things we love about the Village of Webster.

Email your news to webstervillagebeat@gmail.com.

And remember to check out the new column in the Webster Herald and online.

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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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Webster Community Mailbag

15 Jan

IMG_2261 (2)_LIBoy Scout Troop 110, sponsored by St. Martin Lutheran Church in Webster, has proudly announced that Jason Brown has earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Jason performed his Eagle Project for Friends of Webster Trails. Jason worked with the organization on their latest project, creating the new Hickory Bark Trail behind the Webster Public Library.

For his project, Jason:

  • built a large kiosk so people visiting the Webster Public Library, the playgrounds or softball fields would be aware of the trail.
  • installed two culverts on the trail to move rainwater off the trail which will prevent it from getting muddy.
  • created and installed information content for the kiosk.  nature found on the trail such as shag bark, iron wood and yellow birch trees, poison ivy (and its dangers) and foxholes.

Jason also helped improve the trails at Whiting Road Nature Preserve by filling in some of the low spots with stone.

The project, which was completed in 2017, took 225 hours to complete. Jason was assisted by 11 adults and five other Scouts.

Jason currently attends Webster Schroeder High School, where he has won several academic awards. Besides Scouting he enjoys volleyball, tennis, and playing the cello and jazz piano.

More About the Friends

Friends of Webster Trails (FWT) is an organization which serves as the volunteer division of the Webster Parks and Recreation Department. FWT has built and maintained 19.5 miles of trails located in Whiting Road Nature Preserve, Gosnell Big Woods Preserve, Four Mile Creek Preserve and other locations such as the Hojack Trail. These trails provide a place for hiking, mountain biking, running, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The Hickory Bark Trail behind the library  is the organization’s latest effort.

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The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser
will be held Saturday January 20, from 8 to 10 a.m.

The  menu includes pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more for just $5.00 per person.

All January proceeds will go directly to help support the Open Door Mission, a Christian rescue mission founded on the belief that with proper resources hope can be restored and lives of impoverished men, women and children of Rochester could be forever changed.

Breakfast is served at the church, 1862 Penfield Road. The venue is handicap-accessible. For more information, call 585-586-2876, log onto http://www.fbpenfield.org, or visit them on Facebook.

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The O’Connor Band, with Webster native Kate Lee, will perform at the Eastman Theatre on January 19.

There’s a great concert coming up Friday night which is worth mentioning again. It will be held at the Eastman Theatre, and feature the Grammy-winning O’Connor Band, with Webster’s own phenom fiddle player Kate Lee (Webster Schroeder ’10).

The O’Connor Band’s debut album, Coming Home, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart in 2016 and won Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017.

The band features legendary fiddle virtuoso and composer, Mark O’Connor, his wife Maggie O’Connor (fiddle/vocals), son Forrest O’Connor (mandolin/vocals), and Kate (fiddle/vocals), who last April officially joined the family when she married Forrest.

On Friday night January 19, the band will perform at the Eastman Theatre, beginning at 8 p.m. The show will feature music from the O’Connor Band’s Grammy-winning album as well as music from their 2017-released O’Connor Band LIVE! album.

Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre is located at 26 Gibbs Street in Rochester. For tickets, visit www.eastmantheatre.org/events/oconnor-band.

To learn more about the O’Connor Band, visit their website at www.oconnorband.com.

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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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More about Bella’s Bumbas

14 Jan

For those of my blog readers who don’t subscribe to the Democrat and Chronicle, I’d like to share with you my Our Towns East Extra story which ran in the paper this morning. It tells about an incredible Webster couple who have dedicated themselves to changing the lives of young children with disabilities all over the world.

It’s kind of a long read, but I think it will warm your heart.

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Webster couple’s love for their niece inspired tiny wheelchairs

Today, an update on Bella’s Bumbas, an organization I first wrote about last March. It’s a heart-warming story of a cause that began in Webster, but is now helping children all over the world.

Bella’s Bumbas began by chance a year ago by Webster residents Rebecca Orr and her husband Marty Parzynski.

In 2015, their niece Bella was born with spina bifida, which caused paralysis of her lower limbs. Troubled by Bella’s inability to move around and interact with other children, they did a little research and found a posting on Pinterest about how to make a toddler-sized wheelchair using a commercially-available “Bumbo” infant seat and a child’s bicycle tires. Marty got to work, and before long had built one for his niece. He called it “Bella’s Bumba.”

When word started spreading about what Marty had done and how it had changed Bella’s life, he and Rebecca started getting requests for Bella’s Bumbas from other parents. So they set up a workshop in the garage and started to mass-produce the wheelchairs, using mostly donated parts. They asked families only to cover the shipping costs.

When I first wrote about Bella’s Bumbas, Marty had only built and shipped five of the chairs. But when local and national media outlets started to pick up the story, orders began coming in from all over the country.

Now, almost a year later, Marty and Rebecca have shipped about 250 of the chairs, to 40 states and nine countries, and orders are still coming in at an average of four or five a week.

Along the way, they built a new workshop and developed a lot of shortcuts to help streamline the operation, which helps them keep up with the demand. It only takes about 10 minutes now for Marty to cobble together a wheelchair, compared to the three hours it took for the first Bella’s Bumba.

They’ve also learned a lot about the unique needs of the children they’re serving. Their chairs are now being shipped to children not just with spina bifida, but also those with cerebral palsy, brittle bone disease, microcephaly, Dandy-Walker Syndrome, and about 30 other mobility issues.

Marty has also designed three new chairs specifically adapted to each child’s specific needs, including one with a basket to carry an oxygen tank and other medical devices.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how the Bella’s Bumbas are improving the lives of everyone they touch.

“It’s increased our compassion for children and their needs and families,” Marty said. “Not just for the children, but for the moms and dads who have been going through the disability with the child. This chair has given them such a freedom in their own lives ….It works both ways.”

“It’s just amazing where this has taken us,” he added.

And Bella, the little girl who started it all and whose parents were told she would never walk, is now two and a half years old. She still uses her Bumba to get around quickly, but with her improved upper body strength, she’s graduated to leg braces and a walker.

“She’s thriving,” Rebecca said. “The chair is now for her playtime. She may walk (with) just hand crutches someday.”

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And here’s some  more information I didn’t have time the space to include into the article:

  • A few months ago, Bella’s Bumbas was featured on CBS News. You can see that video here. 
  • Rebecca and Marty have received incredible support from several local businesses, including 1) B&L Wholesale Supply in Rochester, who provides all of the Azack material for the chair bases, free of charge, 2) HandicappedPets.com, which has donated $12,000 worth of bicycle tires; and 3) Superior Solutions of Webster, which ships all of the chairs domestically for one, very reasonable, flat rate.  Rebecca also notes that “our Friday volunteer George is essential to helping “Sarge” keep up with the building.”
  • Bella’s Bumbas has shipped chairs to children in China, the Philippines, Czechoslovakia,  Argentina, Sierra Leone, Guatemala,  Greenland, Canada, and the UK. 
  • Becky and Marty’s efforts have inspired a man in Germany to start building the wheelchairs as well, setting up a similar organization he calls Lina’s Rollis. He has taken over several of Bella’s Bumbas European orders, building and shipping them at a much reduced rate.
  • In December, Bella’s Bumbas was honored to present four chairs to Golisano’s Children’s Hospital, donated in memory of Rebecca’s mom, Marilyn Baize Campagna. They were built with funds donated in her memory and will allow her to keep on helping children, something she loved to do.
  • Bella’s Bumbas still builds these chairs at no cost to the families, asking only that the shipping costs be covered. If you’d like to help, they could use cash donations to help purchase parts that have not been donated. To do so, log onto their GoFundMe page, or you can send a check directly to Bella’s Bumbas, 1170 Ridge Road, PMB 208, Webster, NY 14580.
  • They can also use packing materials — especially bubble wrap and pillow packs (not peanuts, please) — so if you regularly get shipments using these, start hoarding them!

I just heard from Becky this morning, who never slows down. She wrote, “I’m packing to ship eight chairs, and we have found transportation for two to go to China, one to go to India and one to Ireland, all by the end of March.”

If all that wasn’t enough to fill your heart, visit the Bella’s Bumba Facebook page, where you can see videos of many of the kids these chairs has helped. So many smiling faces, as these children discover mobility for the very first time in their lives.

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ROC & Soul Fitness opens this weekend

11 Jan

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Webster’s newest business, ROC & Soul Fitness, is slated to open on Saturday, and the community is invited to check it out for free.

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Malena and Joe Guadagnino (E. Rosenberry)

Owners Joe and Malena Guadagnino call ROC & Soul a “boutique fitness studio,” offering barre, yoga, and other classes in their sparkling new studio at 43 East Main Street. You’ll find it tucked down in the new little “Shops at Main Street” plaza behind Prime, kind of where the OTB and Rubino’s once were.

Joe and Malena plan to start offering classes on Saturday (hopefully the weather isn’t too nasty). The first, Vinyasa Flow, is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., followed by a SOUL Barre class at 9 a.m. Four other Vinyasa and Barre classes are scheduled throughout the rest of the weekend. And every one of them is free, in  honor of their grand opening.

To register for the classes, and more information about their drop-in and package fitness class rates, visit their website and Facebook page.

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Here’s an important program update from the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.

Thanks to the winter storm that’s headed our way, Saturday’s comedy hypnotist show at Webster Schroeder has been cancelled. The diocese hopes to be able to reschedule the event this summer sometime.

Eventbrite.com is issuing refunds for all tickets purchased through their website. Check there for more information.

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Comedy hypnotist brings show to Schroeder

9 Jan

jasonIt’s been a quiet start to the new year. Perhaps everyone — including me — has been hunkering down trying to will away the cold and snow. But now that the holidays are officially over, it’s time for me to get back to work…

 

Let’s start with this event, which promises to be very funny, and is a fund-raiser to boot.

The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester will be sponsoring nationally-known comedy hypnotist Jason Christopher, who will bring his show to Webster Schroeder High School on Saturday January 13 at 7 p.m.

Jason’s 90-minute show is totally family-friendly. No one gets singled out, and he only hypnotizes groups of people who want to be hypnotized. Proceeds will support 34 different mission projects throughout the diocese.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children under 12, and $15 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets online.

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Kate Lee and the O’Connor Band are coming to town

4 Jan
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The O’Connor Band, with Webster native Kate Lee, will be coming to town the week of January 18.  Kate, second from left, is pictured with Forrest, Maggie and Mark O’Connor.

Grammy-winning bluegrass/Americana group the O’Connor Band– including Webster’s very own Kate Lee (Webster Schroeder ’10) — will be visiting from Nashville in a few weeks to perform at the Eastman Theatre and share their skills in our schools.

The O’Connor Band’s debut album, Coming Home, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart in 2016 and won Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2017.

The band features legendary fiddle virtuoso and composer, Mark O’Connor, his wife Maggie O’Connor (fiddle/vocals), son Forrest O’Connor (mandolin/vocals), and Kate (fiddle/vocals), who last April officially joined the family when she married Forrest.

Before their Eastman Theatre performance, the group will spend two days educating students through Mark O’Connor’s O’Connor Method: An American School of String Playing. The O’Connor Band will perform at both high schools for Webster Central School District instrumental and choral ensemble students in grades 4-12 and high school junior-level social studies’ students. Mark will provide educational narrative regarding the historical time and place of the band’s bluegrass genre across generations. The O’Connor Band will also be visiting Rochester City School District’s School No. 19 to give a performance and master class to the school’s Strings for Success program.

On Friday night January 19, the band will conclude their visit with a performance at the Eastman Theatre, beginning at 8 p.m. Singer-songwriter Chris Wilson will open the show, which will feature music from the O’Connor Band’s Grammy-winning album as well as music from their 2017-released O’Connor Band LIVE! album.

Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre is located at 26 Gibbs Street in Rochester. For tickets, visit www.eastmantheatre.org/events/oconnor-band.

To learn more about the O’Connor Band, visit their website at www.oconnorband.com.

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Oak Tree Award nominations still being accepted

2 Jan

oak leafAs students and staff members head back to school again, this important reminder about the Oak Tree Award.

Nominations are still being accepted for the annual Oak Tree Recognition, given to an outstanding WCSD teacher.

Co-Sponsored by the Webster Teachers’ Association (WTA) and the Webster Central PTSA, the Oak Tree Award recognition program is an annual award that is designed to recognize teacher excellence in Webster Central Schools.

Any Webster resident or district employee, current or former student, parent, teacher, or administrative colleague may nominate a teacher for the Elementary or Secondary Teacher of the Year Oak Tree Award.

Award nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently teaching in a full-time position in Webster Central School
  • Have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience in Webster Central Schools
  • Plan to continue to teach the next school year in, or retire from Webster Central Schools
  • Be a member of both the Webster Central PTSA and the Webster Teachers’ Association

Nominations must be submitted by February 1, and must include a 1-page typed narrative describing:

  • How the teacher has demonstrated expertise in the subject matter, connects well with students, engages students using a variety of teaching methods and strategies, and/or incorporates a variety of teaching approaches to best benefit all learners.
  • Special talents or commitments of this teacher, including extracurricular or school community endeavors.
  • How has the teacher touched your life or the lives of his or her students.

Click here for the nomination form.

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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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