Archive | April, 2020

Making birthdays special, one parade at a time

16 Apr

birthday truck

Birthday parades seem to have become a “thing.”

The first one I heard about– and participated in — was for Josh Nodine, who back on March 28th was supposed to be leaving on a Dream Factory trip to Walt Disney World. When that trip was put on hold, his mother decided to organize a birthday parade past their State Rd. house instead, for her son who loves vehicles of all kinds.

Despite a chilly spring rain, more than 170 cars and trucks and fire trucks and emergency vehicles drove by the house while Josh and his family stayed dry under a canopy, drivers and passengers all honking and waving. (I wrote a  blog about it, which you can read here.)

Just last weekend, another birthday parade was arranged for a young Plank North Elementary student who was turning 10. That one included representation from the Webster Volunteer Fire Department; American Legion Post 942 Veterans, Sons, and Auxiliary members; Legion Rider Post 942 members; friends, teachers and family members.

Then yesterday morning, The WWFD, Webster police department and other first responders were out and about again, this time brightening the day for four-year old Tristan in the Hightower Way neighborhood.

After the event, his dad Tim posted this on Facebook:

We moved to Webster in 2016, just before Tristan was born. He was diagnosed with a rare, life threatening disease later that year and underwent a bone marrow transplant in July of 2017. Today is his fourth birthday and this wonderful community and first responders came by this morning to honor our little warrior. What a wonderful and caring community we are so lucky to live in.

These events are special not only for the children involved, but for everyone else in the neighborhood as well, judging from this message I received from Colleen Marino after seeing yesterday morning’s parade:

Our neighborhood was just treated to a wonderful drive-by that included many police cars, trucks and emergency vehicles. What a treat! Thanks to all that participated! I don’t know who it was for but a great morale boost for the neighborhood!

Finally, I’ve heard about yet another parade scheduled for Tuesday April 28.

This one is being organized by the daughter of a woman turning 90 years old that day, and will be traveling down Ridge Rd. just east of the village. Plans are to organize everyone at Holy Trinity Church before noon, with plans to parade past the mother’s house at noon. I know the Webster fire department has been contacted, so this one will also include emergency vehicles.

You’ll want to keep an eye out for this Ridge Rd. parade, but you probably won’t need to put up your lawn chairs the night before.

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Webster’s music program is tops — again

15 Apr

Here, for a change, is some “normal” news.

NF_BCME_2020_logoCMYKThe Webster Central School District music program has once again been honored as a Best Community for Music Education from The NAMM Foundation, for its outstanding commitment to music education. This is the 15th year the district has been recognized.

The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the district answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

We’re so very fortunate to live in a district which recognizes the critical importance of music education for young people, and which employs the kind of excellent teachers needed to make that connection with our students.

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The Easter Bunny was sighted!

12 Apr

Nothing is going to stop the Easter Bunny, not even a global pandemic.

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I caught up with him twice today, first at Wickham Farms in Penfield. This huge farm market usually does Easter up big time with a scavenger hunt, games and other special treats.  This year, of course everything had to be put on hold, but for a couple of hours this afternoon, the Easter Bunny was parked out front on a tractor waving to all the kids and parents who drove by.  (P.S. Their scavenger hunt this year has gone online. Here’s the link so your kids can try it.)

Then a bit later this afternoon, this fuzzy friend went by my house on a riding lawn mower, spreading joy throughout the Village of Webster. Thank you to Kyle Swingley and his family for making this very unusual Easter day a bit more fun.

Happy Easter my dear readers.

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Don’t forget the mulch!

9 Apr

I’ll bet many people, like me, are taking advantage of our extra “time off” to get a hand up on spring gardening. This is a reminder that there’s still plenty of mulch for Webster residents ready for the shoveling behind Town Hall on Ridge Rd.

I really like what the town has done this year as well to assure proper social distancing. They have separated what is normally one huge mulch pile into several smaller ones, and have coned off each pile as an individual shoveling station. Just back your car up to one and you have a personal mulch pile.

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Even more chalking and rainbows!

6 Apr

Here’s the latest gallery of inspiration and art from our neighborhoods!

Jenny Sanchez sent me a couple of her family’s creations, a cute little guy meant to brighten the day for delivery people, and a beautiful Easter egg!

Amy Weetman and her kids have been very busy in their neighborhood. She also shared with me that she got a lot of her ideas on this website if you’re looking for some.

And finally, here are some random I’ve seen in the village on my daily walks:

It looks like it’s going we have a nice couple of days coming up, so get out there and make art, then send me a photo to share!

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An update on Bella’s Bumbas

5 Apr

In March 2017, I first introduced my readers to Webster residents Rebecca Orr and Marty Parzynski and their incredible grass-roots organization Bella’s Bumbas when I wrote about them in my D&C East Extra column.  (And here is a follow-up I wrote in January 2018.)

Their niece Bella was born in 2015 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.

Bella’s Bumbas has grown steadily since those early days, and to date Rebecca and Marty have built and shipped more than 1400 chairs to children all around the world, still only charging families for shipping costs — when they can’t arrange to deliver them personally.

Marty, the master builder, has also continued to develop their product, coming up with design improvements specifically developed for children with particular disabilities.

I was thinking about these fine folks the other day and wondering how their “business” was faring in these difficult times. Rebecca filled me in, saying in her email:

Wow 3 years ????? Who would have thought we would still be “rollin” and growing the way we are…. We have been blessed with amazing volunteers, literally around the world now. We have made some amazing connections and have our little chairs in 36 countries.

During this this “social distancing”  time , we are missing our volunteers greatly . Uncle Marty is slowly but surely still making chairs, aunt Becky is learning, and has made her first chair. Our granddaughter Sage has been helping since we started and has become proficient enough for us to send parts to her home and volunteer her time remotely. She is assembling chassis then will drop them off (via her mom’s help) and we will attach the seats.

Even with everything else going on in the world today, requests for Bumbas are still “trickling in,” Rebecca said. But, she added, Corona has affected them in one big way: they’re beginning to run low on the shipping boxes that are usually donated to them regularly by businesses which are now closed.

The perfect sizes are 50 cm. x 45 cm. x 28 cm. (Rebecca uses two of these for the small chairs); 28″ x 20″ x 14″, and 29″ x 14″ x 24″ are great for the large chairs.

If you’re getting Amazon deliveries regularly, you might also have the boxes they need; the ones that say P5 on the bottom are perfect (25.75″ x 20.75″ x 16.5″).

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Bella, the little lady who inspired Bella’s Bumbas

So if you have any boxes that are the right size, and would like to donate them, please connect connect with Marty and Rebecca through the Bella’s Bumbas Facebook page or email bellasbumbas@gmail.com. They also still have a GoFundMe page if you’d like to send a direct donation.

And little Bella herself? She’s now almost 5 years old, and thanks to the strength she was able to build with her Bella’s Bumba, she’s now walking with help from a walker, and is even taking a few independent steps. This for a young lady whom doctors said would never walk, and maybe even never sit up unassisted.

Here are several other photos from the Bella’s Bumbas workshops:

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Corona or not, we need our fish fries

3 Apr

It’s Friday, it’s Lent, and world-stopping virus or not, we need our fish fries.

The D&C actually ran an article this morning (which can be seen online here)  about afish fry lot of places around town where you can get a fish fry today. I’d like to add to that list these three Webster Village restaurants, who feature these options on their websites, all which can be ordered for take-out:

Barry’s Old School Irish, 2 West Main St.

Fish n’ Chips ($13) — Irish cider-battered cod served with pub chippers and wrapped in local newspaper. Served with choice of either Irish curry sauce or homemade tartar sauce. Barry’s only serves this on Fridays and they always sell out, so call well ahead.

Carl’s Pizza Kitchen, 9 South Ave.

* Fish Fry ($13.99) 12 oz. panko-breaded haddock with french fries, mac salad or coleslaw and tartar sauce (Friday only!). Carl’s also has seafood bisque.

Pub 235, 235 North Ave.

* Haddock Dinner ($15) — a choice of beer-battered, panko-breaded or broiled. Served with a choice of two sides.

* Haddock French ($20) — Lightly egg-battered and sauteed in a sherry, lemon and wine sauce, over spaghettini pasta. Served with a side salad.

Webster Hots, 55 East Main St.

* Fish Sandwich ($5.99) — Beer-battered haddock on a hard roll

* Pub-style fish and chips ($8.99) — Platter with 8 oz. beer-battered cod and a double order of fries

* Fish Fry ($11.99) — Large beer-battered haddock fillet with fries and mac salad or cole slaw

Brimont Bistro (24 West Main) also offers fish, but not a traditional fish fry. And of course, there are plenty of places outside the village but in Webster where you can get one, so check online and let’s continue to support our local restaurants!

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Making lemonade out of lemons

2 Apr

I pulled that headline from the email I received a few days ago from one of my readers, Andy LaManna, who wanted to share with me a positive story that’s come out of this crisis we’re all facing.

Andy is on the board of directors at the Webster Ice Rink which, like pretty much every other business and sporting venue, has had to close.

When the board was doing their final inventory, they discovered they still had more than 20 cases of soda and vitamin drinks. Rather than pour them all down the drain, they reached out to Teamsters local 118 to see if that organization would be interested in accepting them as a donation.

“It was a small token of appreciation from the rink for all of the work that the transportation industry is doing in this extraordinary time,” Andy said.

Teamsters president Paul Markwitz responded almost immediately, Andy continued, and was very thankful.

Markwitz wrote,

Thanking Andy and the entire Board of Directors at the Webster Ice Rink is not enough. Rochester area Teamsters are working in many essential functions through-out our area. To have the Webster Ice Rink leadership recognize these employees is just amazing! The product donated was immediately delivered to one of our law enforcement agencies where we have first responders working very long extended shifts. This expression of generosity is certainly heartfelt!

On Tuesday, the Webster Ice Rink Board of Directors orchestrated the delivery (keeping proper social distance, of course).

soda

Andy LaManna, right, delivering more than 20 cases of soda and vitamin drinks to Teamsters Local 118 president Paul Markwitz. Photo courtesy rink manager John Tuite.

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More chalking and rainbows

1 Apr

Thank you to everyone who’s been sending me photos of their children’s artwork! I know it’s brightening people’s days.

This first one, very stained-glass-window inspired, could be found on Sweet Creek Circle (before the rains, of course):

sweet creek circle Melissa Bolton sent me these photos of artwork and the effort to photograph it:

My friend Charlene saw this on one of her recent runs:

charlene

Another friend sent me these photos from a chalking session on Wood St.:

And finally, these:

It’s lookin’ good in the neighborhoods!

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