Archive | March, 2019

This year’s Peep Show was speeptacular

31 Mar

IMG_0495The 2019 edition of the Greater Rochester Peep show happened this weekend, and it was bigger and better than ever.

This annual extravaganza is sponsored by the Webster Community Chest. I’ve been attending since it began several years ago, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many people checking out the entries before. I didn’t get a final official count, but there must have been easily more than 100 Peeps-themed entries spread throughout six exhibition rooms, the whimsical creations of dozens of local businesses and community groups who were vying for one of many “Peeple’s Choice” awards.

Live entertainment was provided this year for the first time, featuring demonstrations by local groups including the Rochester School of Irish Dance and DK Dance Studio. Organizers also brought back the children’s activity room this year, along with a snack bar, merchandise table and raffles.

Peep Show visitors purchase tokens to vote for their favorite displays. All funds raised through the voting, raffles and snack bar will be split among several local charities.

Thank you to all of this year’s sponsoring organizations, and everyone who spent so much time creating the spectacular displays. And congratulations to this yer’s organizing committee for a job well done. You have created an amazing event which touches all corners of our community and brings everyone together in so many ways. I am already looking forward to next year.

Here are a some photos from the show. To see a full gallery, click here.

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St. Patrick’s Day is back, this time for the kids

26 Mar


Count on Danny and Jessica Barry at Barry’s Old School Irish to come up with a fun event like this:

This Saturday March 30, Barry’s will be hosting a special St. Patrick’s Day celebration just for kids. From 2 to 4 p.m., the wee ones will enjoy arts and crafts, shamrock cookies and green Shirley Temples. Traditional Irish musicians will be providing the entertainment as they hold their weekly session in the bakery.

So basically, it’s St. Patrick’s Day all over again, except this time just for the kids!

The Barrys’ own three little ones, Maley, Rory and Patrick, will be the hosts, and I for one can’t wait to see them all again.

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Business is buzzing at The North Bee

24 Mar

north beeI haven’t written about The North Bee much since this cute little shop opened on North Avenue just in time for the Christmas shopping season. (And boy did I do some shopping there.)

As the name implies, The North Bee is all about honey and beeswax-related products. Owner Amy Stringer has been a beekeeper for about three years and loves pretty much everything about bees. Her shop has all sorts of honeys, of course, plus lots of creative products made from beeswax.

But even though I haven’t written about The North Bee recently, it doesn’t mean the shop has gone into hibernation.

Amy recently wrote to tell me that she currently has more than 20 different honeys on her tasting table (I didn’t even know there was more than one kind of honey). They include honeys from Central America, Chile and South America.

But she also told me about what she calls a “new, cool product” which will be arriving at the shop very soon.

Apparently, David Klein — the inventor of Jelly Belly jelly beans — has teamed up with Jeff Lewis of Haystack4life CBD (cannabis-infused) products to create the COOL BEANS CBD jelly bean. Amy is very excited to report that she will be carrying the jelly beans, and will be the only shop in New York — right now — to do so.

Stay tuned for a special event announcement when they finally arrive!

The North Bee is located at 27 North Avenue (right next to the entrance to the public parking  lot). Read more about her cute and unique little shop in this blog I wrote back in November.

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News from the library

23 Mar

The Webster Public Library is sponsoring some very community-centric events in the next few weeks, two excellent opportunities for you to give back.

blood dropThe first is an American Red Cross blood drive, on Thursday March 28 from 1 to 6 p.m. in the library’s community room, sponsored  by the Friends of the Webster Public Library.

The need right now for blood donations is at a critical level, so please consider taking an hour of your day to stop by. The people are friendly, and you can have as many cookies and juice boxes afterwards as you want. Donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds, come in and give the gift of life!

Walk-ins are welcome or you can make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or logging onto

On Wednesday April 3, the library will host a Community Volunteer Fair from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

If you’ve ever thought about spending an hour or two a week — or more — using your many skills to help out a worthy organization, this is your chance to find the perfect fit. You’ll be able to connect with almost a dozen local agencies including Friends of the Webster Public Library, Friends of Webster Trails, Heritage Christian Services, Maplewood Nursing Home, Never Say Never Foundation, Webster Comfort Care Home, the Webster Arboretum, Webster Museum and Historical Society, and the the Webster and West Webster fire departments.

No registration is required; you can pop in any time between 3:30 and 6 p.m.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road, on the back side of the plaza off of Van Ingen Drive.

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Congratulations to our local WBA champions!

22 Mar
Champions for WBA 2019

The Celtics (L to R): Coach Piwko, Nathan Scheirer, Ethan Krog, Brayden Piwko, Chase Lape, Sean Brooks, Aidan Tyler-Wood. (Not pictured: Mason Mikels)

I am pleased to pass along this release from the Webster Basketball Association about the very exciting conclusion of this year’s season.

The 2018 – 2019 Webster Basketball Association (WBA) season came to an end with an exciting championship game between the fifth and sixth grade boys.

The #1 ranked Boston Celtics captured the championship title this year with a win over the #3 ranked Los Angeles Lakers, 45 to 25.

During the regular season the Celtics were undefeated and beat the Lakers twice. In the first half of the championship game the Celtics jumped out to a large early lead 14-0 before the Lakers put the ball in the basket. The Celtics were paced by quick guard play from Nathan Scheirer and Ethan Krog. Both players scored multiple times on dribble drives to the basket.

The Celtics had many opportunities to score but it was just an off shooting night for them. Celtics big man Brayden Piwko was able to use his length to alter many of the Lakers shots in the paint. The big man converted on a pair of offensive rebounds for easy buckets. The Lakers started to gain a little momentum as guards Nathan LaBarbera and Blake Shattuck-Seaver were able to connect on mid-range jump shots. At halftime the Celtics held the lead 26-12.

Entering the second half, the Celtics continued their red hot shooting as Sean Brooks, Chase Lape and Aiden Tyler-Wood all connected on short jumpers. The Lakers lacked solid communication on the defensive end, allowing of the Lakers players to score at least one basket.

The Lakers gained a little momentum in the second half as Andrew Biehler was able to score off an offensive rebound. The Lakers began to put on a full court press that stunned the Celtics for a short period of time. Lakers guard Dakota Sylvester provided a spark on defense with a steal and an easy lay-up. He was also able to connect on a pair of dribble drives. However, the quick guards on the Celtics were able to quickly figure out how to break the press as Krog and Scheirer was each able to dribble the length of the floor for easy buckets.

The Celtics were crowned the 2019 WBA Champions defeating the Lakers 45-25.

The playoffs and championship game are times when players are giving it their all and emotions are running high. Both teams displayed excellent sportsmanship! League Commissioner Joe Canori would like to thank all the players, parents, and volunteer coaches that helped with another successful WBA season.

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Webster community mailbag

20 Mar

cinderellaMeet Cinderella in person!

Today’s mailbag leads off with an exciting opportunity for you and your kids to meet Cinderella in person.

She’ll be joining Disney Princess of all ages at breakfast on Saturday March 23 at Webster Thomas High School, to help promote the school’s upcoming performance of Cinderella the following weekend.

Breakfast seatings are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10 and reservations are required in advance. Click here for more details.

And don;t forget to get your tickets early for the Webster Thomas Players’ production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella scheduled for March 28 to 30. The show will feature songs from the original television version, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago.”

Showtimes are:

● Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m.
● Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m.
● Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $12.00 at the door, and online now at Webster Thomas High School is located at 800 Five Mile Line Road.

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Don’t forget about the big model train show this weekend at the Webster Recreation Center, sponsored by the Webster Association of Senior Program Supporters, a not-for-profit senior transportation group.

Vendors and model train enthusiasts will fill the Rec Center’s gymnasium on Saturday and Sunday March 23 and 24 with displays and accessories. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children, and free for kids under 12.

The Webster Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

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Now that spring is finally here (thought it might not completely feel like it yet), here’s news of a spring holiday party coming up on March 30.

The Spry Middle School Builders and Elks Clubs will host a party on Saturday March 30 including an egg hunt and breakfast. Rumor has it that the Easter Bunny will also make an appearance.

Families are asked to arrive between 10 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday March 30 at Spry Middle School, 119 South Ave. in the Village of Webster. The egg hunt will take place from 10 to 10:45, followed by breakfast, which will feature pancakes, sausage and juice. (If it’s nasty out, the egg hunt will take place inside.)

Best part of all? It’s all absolutely free! But they would like to know how many people are coming, so registration is required by MARCH 21. To register or if you have any questions, call the Spry Middle School main office at (585) 216-0093.

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Webster Thomas grad in the news

18 Mar


Proud momma Maria Sutera sent me this update on one of Webster’s own, Phil Sutera, who is making his mark in the field of science.

Phil, a 2010 Webster Thomas grad, is the first author of a cancer-focused research study, which was published in the January edition of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

Maria reported in her email that the study focused on “findings regarding stereotatic radiation therapy for oligometastic cancer (one to five metastases).” The clinical trial indicated that “a newer, more aggressive form of radiation therapy – stereotactic radiation – can extend long-term survival for some patients with stage-IV cancers while maintaining their quality of life.”

At least a half dozen news outlets have reported on the findings (you’ll see a few of those links below).  In addition to his recent publication, Phil recently received American Society of Radiation Oncology’s “Best of Astro” award for this research, chosen from more than 2,000 entries.

After graduating from Webster Thomas, Phil attended the University of Rochester, where he received dual Bachelor of Science degrees with highest distinction, in chemistry and neuroscience. He is currently studying at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and will graduate in May. Philip hopes to match into a radiation oncology residency program.

“WCSD played an important role in Philip’s success,” Maria wrote, adding,

The teachers and staff at Webster laid a strong educational foundation, helped foster his scientific curiosity, advised him regarding his educational future, reinforced strong character traits, such as the desire to aid others (staff at Willink encouraged/recognized this with their annual Make a Difference Award, circa 2005), as well as awarded him various academic scholarships, which helped alleviate some educational expenses. We are extremely grateful and fortunate Phil had his start at Webster Central.

Click here to see the whole article, “Initial Results of a Multicenter Phase 2 Trial of Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy for Oligometastatic Cancer.” And here are a few links to some news reports about their findings:

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Ramping up the summertime music scene

15 Mar

village band 2

One of Webster’s most welcome harbingers of spring has returned: the Webster Village Band has announced its 2019 rehearsal and performance schedule.

village band 1The all-volunteer band is marking its 52nd year of entertaining Webster with its weekly concerts under the band shell in Harmony Park on Phillips Road. The group also performs at a few special events throughout the summer, including the Firemen’s Parade, and a joint concert with Willink Middle School. The performances themselves begin in mid-July, but the rehearsal schedule begins on March 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Willink.

New members are encouraged to become part of the fun by attending an upcoming rehearsal. You can visit the Webster Village Band website or email Harvey Cohen at for more information.

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It’s St. Patrick’s Week. Barry’s is SO ready.

12 Mar


It’s St. Patrick’s Week, so you know that Barry’s Old School Irish Pub in the village is gearing up big time for Sunday’s festivities.

As usual, there’s a whole slate of special activities planned all week. But I’d like to highlight one in particular, because on Thursday night Barry’s will be hosting some extra special visitors.

As part of the the 100th anniversary celebration for the Rochester Police Department’s Emerald Society, five officers from Ireland’s Garda will be in town. They’ll be stopping into a different pub every night through next Monday. This Thursday, Barry’s is the chosen pub.

The Garda visit is just another honor bestowed on our local Irish pub, which has gained a reputation of not only the premier Irish pubs in the county, but also one of the best in the country.

Here’s a rundown on everything else Danny and Jessica have planned for this week. For more details about any of these, and to keep tabs on exactly when the Garda will be there, visit Barry’s Facebook page.

Tuesday March 12:

The weekly Barry’s Runners/Walkers gathering takes off for what will be a warmer-than-recent-days run at 6:30 p.m. This would be a great evening to join the grouo, because every participant get free Guinness give-aways after the run. PLUS Guineess will be handing out free personally-etched pint glasses.

Wednesday March 13:

Barry’s weekly Trivia Night begins at 7:15 p.m.. This week it is sponsored by Guinness, and prizes will be handed out for first, second, third place and best doodle. This has become such a popular event that tjable reseverations are required. Email

Thursday March 14:

In addition to the visit by the Garda, Thursday night is Open Mic Night. Beginning at 7 p.m. musicians of all genres are invited to sign up and sing (or play) us a tune or two.

Friday March 15:

Kevin Reynolds of The Wild Geese will be on hand to perform Irish tunes. Printed lyrics will be handed out so that everyone can sing along.

Saturday March 16:

It’s Parade Day! Doors open at 8 a.m. with Irish coffee and breakfast, and won’t close until 2 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day. There’s music all day, Irish dancers, whiskey tastings, and the pints will be pouring outside as well, so there should be plenty of room for

St. Patrick’s Day:

Pretty much a repeat of Saturday. You’re going to want to check the Barry’s Old School Irish Facebook page for details about both of these days.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main Street in the Village of Webster.

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Some thoughts on the Tour de Cure

8 Mar


Last Tuesday night I joined a few friends at the gala kick-off event for the 2019 Tour de Cure, a day of walking, running, but mostly biking events to benefit the American Diabetes Association. It’s a huge event, drawing a few thousand participants, which has been taking place in Rochester for years.

The kick-off pep rally itself was equally huge. Organizers had to cut off registrations at 500 people, who packed the Holiday Inn Downtown ballroom. Vendors and sponsors lined the walls, offering give-aways and raffles. Balloons floated everywhere, and a fine dinner was served.

It was a party atmosphere, buoyed by the additional knowledge that Rochester’s Tour de Cure has become the largest in the nation. Last year almost 2,000 riders raised more than $1 million to fund diabetes research and help send children with diabetes to summer camp. 

But the reason I decided to write about this today is this: “Rochester’s” Tour de Cure is actually hosted in Webster.

This huge annual event begins and ends at one of the Xerox parking lots off of Chiyoda Drive. And you want to talk about a party atmosphere? The day of the ride, that lot is filled with tents and music and fire trucks and food trucks, thousands of bikes and people. Webster can be very proud to be hosting this, the biggest Tour de Cure in the whole country.

This year’s Rochester Tour de Cure is Saturday June 8. It will feature a 3.5-mile run or walk, and six different cycling routes ranging from 3.5 to 100 miles. Organizers are hoping to grow the event even bigger in 2019, aiming for 2,500 participants. There’s a distance and event for everyone — even walkers. Click here for more information. 

My friends and I will be joining the event for the very first time this year, challenging ourselves to ride 25 miles. We invite you to join us and our Amiel’s The Original Submarine Team. I met a few of my new teammates Tuesday night and can already tell it’s a great group of people.

If you can’t take part but would like to support the cause, feel free to log onto the Amiel’s team page or my personal page to make a donation. Every penny goes to support the American Diabetes Association.

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