Archive | January, 2020

Local choruses make Valentine’s Day memorable for your sweetheart

28 Jan

Do you have a special person in your life who would appreciate a singing Valentine this year? Both of our Webster-based a cappella choruses would be happy to provide.


Entropy, one of Rochester Rhapsody’s outstanding quartets

Rochester Rhapsody, the Rochester chapter of Harmony, Incorporated, an international organization of female a cappella singers, will offer Singing Valentines on Friday, February 14 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Vocal ensembles will travel throughout the greater Rochester area to deliver Singing Valentines to sweethearts, co-workers, family members and friends at various locations, including assisted living facilities, workplaces, schools, hospitals and restaurants.

Recipients will be treated to Valentine music in 4-part a cappella harmony delivered by an ensemble in Valentine’s Day attire, along with a rose and card with the sender’s personalized message.

“Ringing Telegrams” (telephone singing valentines) are also available for recipients who live out-of-town.

Please call (585) 820-3062 for pricing information. Special prices for ordering early, or ordering more than one Singing Valentine, will also be offered. All proceeds will benefit women’s vocal and performance education for the non-profit chorus. Arrangements can be made by calling (585) 820-3062 or visiting

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CoG poster

Quartets from our local a capella men’s chorus, the Chorus of the Genesee, will also be traveling the county to offer their singing Valentines this year.

They’ll be delivered on Feb. 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., also complete with a rose and card. Cost is $50, and they can be ordered by calling (585) 734–1328.

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I just broke 1,000 posts

27 Jan


This was actually a bit of a shocker.

I was looking at my blog stats yesterday and saw that the blog I posted on Friday, about the Webster Rec ice rink, was my 1,000th post since beginning my Webster on the Web blog back in 2012.

And actually, that number is a bit misleading. It only reflects the number of posts I’ve published since the Democrat and Chronicle ceased its relationship with the community bloggers and stopped publishing us online and in the paper.

I’ve actually been writing a Webster blog since April of 2008 — almost 12 years ago now.

It’s been an awesome journey on which I’ve been able to spread good news about our town and village, met tons of great people, introduced new businesses and lamented the demise of old ones, helped the community through great loss and helped celebrate wonderful accomplishments, and basically had a terrific time discovering everything there is to know about Webster and sharing it with everyone. It’s like I’m having regular over-the-fence chats with thousands of neighbors and friends.

Only problem is, the conversations are usually one-sided and I rarely get to meet any of those neighbors and friends. Next month, I hope to change that.

You’ll be hearing more about this, but I’ve just arranged with the folks at the Webster Public Library to hold a kind of blogger meet-and-greet event on Friday Feb. 21 from noon to 3:30 p.m. My plan is to just hang out with my computer and work on some blogs, and anyone who would like to stop by and say hi is welcome to do so.

Have you ever wondered where I get my blog ideas? Do you have an idea for a great blog? Do you wonder if I’m actually on the payroll at Barry’s Old School Irish since I write about them so often? Please stop by and ask! More details to come about this.

Thank you everyone who has been on this journey with me, for the long haul or for just a short time. Please continue reading, and when I have my meet-and-greet event at the library, I hope you’ll come on by and say hi!

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Frozen comes to Willink!

26 Jan

Kayla Keeling, Kristina Fisher

Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Sven from your kids’ FAVORITE movie, Frozen, will come to life on the Willink Middle School stage this coming Friday Jan. 31 and Saturday Feb. 1, presented by the Willink Drama Club.

You know the story. It centers on two sisters, Princesses Anna and Elsa, who rely on the powerful bond of sisterhood (and some fun new friends) to overcome danger.

Frozen Jr. will feature musical favorites including “Love Is an Open Door,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, and “Let It Go,” some new songs from the Broadway production, plus magic, adventure and plenty of laughs. You’ll definitely leave the theater with a light heart and a song in your head.

More than 100 sixth, seventh and eighth graders have worked long and hard to bring this wonderful production to the stage, so let’s get out there and cheer them on! (Your kids will love you FOREVER.)

Here are the details:

Frozen Jr. will be performed at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway, on Friday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 1 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors. Children 3 and under are FREE.

Tickets will be available starting Monday Jan. 27 through the Drama Club website.

Here are some shots from the recent dress rehearsal:


Kayla Keeling, Kristina Fisher, Jamiee Schelkun and Faustina Compton


Julia Walters and Veronica Leistman


Lilly Benefante, Jamie McCarthy, Kayla Keeling and Kristina Fisher

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The Rec Center ice rink is open — and better than ever

25 Jan

IMG_2606Good news for ice skaters! It’s finally been cold enough for long enough this winter for the Webster Recreation Center to open its ice rink.

As far as I know, it’s the only outdoor public ice surface in town, and since it opened several years ago, it’s been very popular with families and hockey players. And this season, I’m happy to report, it’s even better than ever.

Thanks to the efforts of the Webster Rotary, this season the rink — which measures 52 ft. x 104 ft. — has a brand new liner AND a spacious warming hut where skaters can sit and put on their skates while protected from the weather.

The hut itself measures 16 ft. x 10 ft. Inside are two benches and thick rubber flooring to prevent damage to skates. There’s also a window in one side which allows for what meager sunlight we get in the winter months. 

As for the new liner, Mark Yaeger, Webster’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, calls it a “great addition in this climate when we have a thaw.”

He explained,

In the past we would lose the water seeping into the ground and we would have to start from scratch. With the liner the water stays and refreezes within a day or two. Building the ice rink from scratch takes about 4 or 5 days. 

The Webster Rotary Club purchased the new liner and sidewalls in 2018, and last year purchased the materials for the warming hut. Rotarian Rich Comins designed the building and enlisted support from Yeager and his Parks and Rec employees to construct the building.

The Rotary and Rec Center hope to have an official grand opening ceremony for the hut in the next few weeks. Watch for news of that!

The Webster Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive, just north of the Village of Webster. For updated ice conditions, call 872-7103, option 3.


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Barrys get VIP seats to McGregor fight

24 Jan


So this is cool.

You know how Danny and Jessica Barry, owners of my favorite Webster pub, Barry’s Old School Irish, have developed a pretty close relationship with Connor McGregor?

(Yeah, that Connor McGregor, the one who just gave a 40-second beating to some hapless opponent in the Fight Of The Century in Las Vegas.)

They’d been fans for a long time, and when McGregor introduced his very own Irish whiskey — called Proper Twelve — well, you can imagine how the Barry’s felt about that. The relationship has grown so strong that McGregor GAVE THEM TICKETS TO THE FIGHT. So they flew out, sat with the Proper Twelve team and even went to the after-party.

See the whole story here as reported by WROC Channel 8.

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Welcome to the new pastor of the Webster Baptist Church

24 Jan

David Spiegel, new pastor at Webster Baptist Church, with his wife Martha

A warm Webster welcome to the new pastor at the Webster Baptist Church!

David Spiegel officially began his duties last Sunday, January 19.

In his first church newsletter column, Dave told his congregants a little about himself:

I am Rev. Dr. David J. Spiegel, Sr. As proud as I am of the titles that I have earned the right to use, I prefer to be called Dave or David. I have been married to Martha for 35 years. We have 2 children, Shannon and DJ. Shannon, married to James, is the mother of William. DJ, married to Nicole, is the father of Delilah, Colton, Jack, Micah, Thea and Gideon.

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I have three sisters and a brother, Cindy, Lil, Becky and Rich, and they are each amazing people. My parents, Sid and Barbara, are both deceased.

I am a graduate of Northwestern College (BA), Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv.) and New Brunswick Theological Seminary (D. Min.). I love reading, cooking and sports. I am a fan of the New York Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers and the University of Arizona Wildcats.

I took the liberty of editing his comments, but if you would like his full column,  click here.

(And let’s see if we can turn him into a Bills fan.)

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The next Webster Museum docent?

23 Jan

Edison PoppHere’s a wonderful tidbit from our Webster Museum and how the folks there are changing young lives.

The photo above is of 7-year old Edison Popp. His grandmother, Marianne Ferrara, had taken him to the Webster Museum where Sharon Pratt and Lisa McNamara were serving as docents. They gave him a tour of the museum, and he was so impressed that, upon returning home, he set up his own museum and acted as docent.

As for me, I would love to know what some of those objects are and am very impressed that he had access to all of them. I see a college history major in the future.

Haven’t visited the Webster Museum yourself lately? Make sure to pop in soon to see their latest exhibits. Perhaps you will also be inspired, juts as Edison was. The museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster, open 2-4 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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It must almost be spring.

21 Jan


It MUST almost be spring.

The reason I say that is that I recently saw a blast of flyers from organizers of the 44th annual Community Arts Day, the Webster School District’s annual student show-off day.

Community Arts Day is our school district’s annual show-off day. Students from every one of our elementary, middle and high schools will have artwork on display, including . sculptures, paintings, collages, sketches, and more. There are dance exhibitions, music concerts and martial arts demonstrations. There’s face painting, sand and candy art for the kids, a bake sale, craft vendors, community group exhibits, and food and drink concessions. Most everything (aside from the food, of course) is free, which makes this event an awesome family activity for a (what will probably be) a cold, wintry day.

Lots of details are still coming together, but here’s what the organizers need right now to help make this year’s event run smoothly:


Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or exhibitor for this year’s event can click here  for more information and a registration form. Cost is $25 for exhibitors, $50 for vendors.

Performing groups:

Got a music or dance group you’d like to see on stage at Community Arts Day? Click here for more information and to register. Cost is $25.

Talent Show performers:

The “Webster’s Got Talent” talent show is also one of the most popular attractions at Community Arts Day. Singers, dancers and musicians are invited to participate. Acts should be 2-3 minutes long. So get your act together and register by April 7 by clicking here.  If you have questions, email the talent show coordinator,


CAD sponsorship levels have been established to help offset the cost of the event. Sponsors at all levels will recognized in signage at both hostess stations at the front and back entrances, on the website’s main page and in several other ways. Sponsorship levels are Bronze ($75), Silver ($125) and Gold ($250). If you’re interested, click here for more information.


This event does not happen without a large number of volunteers. There are several ways you can lend a hand, including donating store-bought baked goods for the sweet-treats sale or working a morning, mid-day or afternoon shift in one of the activity areas, lunch counter, arts and crafts, face painting and others. Volunteer sign-up will begin the first week of March. In the meantime, you can find out more by clicking here. 


I know this is repetitive. But it’s really important. Please consider helping out, and get your teenagers to join you!

Stay tuned for more information about this terrific family and community event.


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The 2020 Greater Rochester Peep Show has been announced!

20 Jan

peeps 3Good news for those of you who love those marshmallow Peeps candies. The 2020 Greater Rochester Marshmallow Peep Show is right around the corner.

If you’ve never heard about this really fun event, you’re going to want to keep reading, especially if you like eating those yellow (and now pink and purple and whatever other colors) marshmallow chicks and ducks. I’ve never been a big fan. I put them in the same category as those faux-orange circus peanuts. They squeak when you bite into them.

But I LOVE the Peep Show. This is a two-day event at the Webster Recreation Center, where at least four entire rooms are filled with incredibly creative sculptures, dioramas, and various other works of art created with Peeps. It’s simply the cutest thing ever.  (Click here for a small photo gallery from 2019.)

This year’s show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday March 28 and 29 at the Webster Recreation Center. More details will come (but it’s free and great family fun). But for now, Peep Show organizers are looking for Peep creators.

Businesses, organizations or individuals are encouraged to enter a display for judging. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the show for the display that gets the most visitor votes.

Not feeling very artistic? You can support the event in other ways as well. You can hang a poster, donate a prize or become a partner in underwriting the show. Several levels of sponsorship are available, and all proceeds will benefit the Webster Community Chest.

This is a banner year for the Greater Rochester Marshmallow Peep Show, its fifth annual. It’s come a long way since it began, but I can’t see how it can be further improved. (Although I believe this is the first year they included “marshmallow” in the official name, perhaps dissuading those who walked away disappointed that the “Peep Show” offered a different kind of entertainment.)

This is a must-see family event, folks.

You can see more photos, and find out more about the show and how you can help by visiting the Rochester Peep Show website here, or email

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Webster community mailbag

16 Jan

mailbag iconJust a few things in my mailbag this morning.

The first is a reminder about the monthly Flapjack Benefit Breakfast hosted by our neighbors to the south, the First Baptist Church of Penfield.

It happens this coming Saturday Jan. 18 from 8 to 10 a.m. For $6 enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, real maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more. All January proceeds will go directly to help support Cameron Community Ministries, which provides emergency services, engagement, education and empowerment, offering after-school and summer programs, meals, an emergency pantry, and a clothing house.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Rd., steps from four corners.

Fun stuff at the library

PWDF2079 for website

The current exhibit gracing the main lobby is Photographers in our Midst, highlighting the work of 13 Webster photographers. It runs through January 31 and features images snapped by Joe Zelazny, Mike Donovan, Cathy Smith, Marcia Lewis, Dan Mack, Karen Soanes, Pamela Agliata, John Bustard, Ken Corpus, Larissa Mitchell, Lou Cardinale, and Laureen Anthony-Palmer and Barbara Sullivan.

Got all sorts of holiday photos and don’t know what to do with them? This coming Monday Jan. 20 from 6:30 to 7:30, learn how to use an online photo site to organize them and share them with family members.

The program, which runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. will also provide an overview of the main online photo sites and the organization tools they provide.  Registration is required.


And finally, get this great service the library now offers!

You can now get pick-up service for hold items at the front door. Just call the library when you arrive, library staff members will grab your items from the hold shelf, charge them to your account, print your receipt, and bring them to you.

What a great service if you have mobility issues or sleeping children in the car. (Or if the weather is stinky!)

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road, at the back of the plaza.

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