Archive | June, 2021

More good food coming our way this summer

19 Jun

I got a few emails the other day about some upcoming grab-a-dinner events that didn’t make it into my recent mailbag, so I wanted to feature them today.

The first is a fun event being hosted by the Webster Girl Scouts Service Unit on Tuesday, June 22. It’s a Food Truck Rodeo, held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Willink Middle School on Publisher’s Parkway. As you can see on the flyer, the event will feature four food trucks — Kona Ice, Macarollin, Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza and Stingray Sushifusion. But for added fun, several local entrepreneurs and businesses will also have tables for you to brouse. They include:

  • Color Street
  • Crowned Free
  • LulaRoe
  • Pampered Chef
  • Perfectly Posh
  • Tastefully Simple
  • Thirty-One Gifts
  • Simmons Custom Creations

And (this is exciting) if you didn’t get your fill of Girl Scout cookies earlier this year, they’re going to be sold as well, so you can stock your freezer.

All proceeds from the Food Truck Rodeo will go directly to Webster Girl Scouts to support their community service projects, STEM projects, camping, and more.

What an excellent way to celebrate the last day of school: go out to dinner and support a good cause all at the same time. Bring your lawn chairs!


I don’t often get calendar notices from the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, so I’m especially pleased to pass this news along to you.

The church will host a drive-through Taco Dinner Event on Friday, July 9 from 4 p.m. until gone. Customers will have a choice of beef and chicken Birria style street tacos along with rice and black bean sides. The meals, priced at $12 for the first one and $11 for each additional meal ordered at the same time, are prepared by Tacodero, of Rochester. Its owner and chef, Cordero Rivera, has worked as a private chef cooking for hip-hop artists and NBA players in NYC before moving to Rochester where he was recently profiled in the Democrat & Chronicle.

Orders can be placed when you drive into the event. Proceeds will support the church’s outreach efforts in the Webster community and the greater Rochester area.

The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd is located at 1130 Webster Road (Rt. 250) at the corner of State Rd.


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Kindness, delivered

18 Jun

Two examples this morning about how Webster kindness spreads throughout our community — and our world.

Yesterday, Schlegel Rd. Elementary School students received a special delivery from the Webster Thomas CARE Club: 228 brightly decorated, laminated bookmarks. Schlegel librarian Jamie Palmer will distribute the bookmarks to students at the beginning of next school year.

Some of the 228 bookmarks created by the Webster Thomas CARE Club

The hand-colored bookmarks were delivered to Schlegel by CARE Club representatives Ayah Silmi and Delaney McDonald, accompanied by club advisors Craig Johnville and Denise Warren. Delaney, a junior, is the club’s co-president and Ayah, a sophomore, is club secretary.

The Webster Thomas CARE Club is a group of about 15 Thomas students dedicated to spreading kindness and making our community better through community service projects. They do two or three projects a year, especially focusing on helping out those schools whose students feed into Thomas.

Other recent club projects have included assembling paint kits and Virtual Bingo supplies for Klem North Elementary, and making cards of encouragement for students at Willink Middle School. Check out the club’s Twitter page to learn more about the great things the Webster Thomas CARE Club is accomplishing.


Thanks to a donation from Dancing With Denise students and families, several mini-wheelchairs are on their way to Algeria (yes, that’s Africa), courtesy Webster-based Bella’s Bumbas.

The students presented the donation — more than $1,000 — to Bella’s Bumbas owners Rebecca Orr and Marty Parzynski at the school’s annual recital held on June 5. The donation covered the cost of building several of the pint-sized Bumbas wheelchairs to benefit children with mobility issues.

And now that kindness is touching young lives in Algeria.

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Webster community mailbag

16 Jun

A few of the items in today’s mailbag are reminders about events happening this weekend. But first, a note that the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market is officially open for business for the summer.

This early in the season, you’ll mostly find specialty items like syrups and honey, flowers and crafts. There were a couple of fresh produce stalls last weekend — opening weekend — with some beautiful strawberries. But the number of vendors and selection will expand every week, so make sure to check back regularly. And there was a food truck as well, which organizers have said will be a regular feature.

The market is located in Webster Towne Center plaza, in front of Old Navy and near the gazebo. It’s open every Saturday through November from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., will hold a huge garage sale this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday (June 17-19). Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. All proceeds will benefit the church’s local missions and neighbors in need.

The Webster Thomas Players will present their spring musical, Cabaret live and in person this year at the Penfield Amphitheater, 3100 Atlantic Ave., in three shows June 17 to 19.

The production will be PG-13, but the subject matter is most appropriate for mature audiences, addressing issues around anti-Semitism and political fanaticism. Audiences will recognize many legendary musical numbers including “Willkommen,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Maybe this Time,” “Money,” and of course, “Cabaret.”

Cabaret will be presented in three shows:

● Thursday, June 17, 7:30 p.m.
● Friday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
● Saturday, June 19, 7:30 p.m.

The rain date for all shows will be Sunday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Reserved seating tickets are available for $12 in advance, and can be purchased online here. On the day of the show, reserve tickets will be $15 (if available). General admission “bring your own” lawn chair ($10) or blanket ($25) options are also available. You can see more details about these options on the website (websterthomasplayers.com).


It’s Sidewalk Sale Weekend in the Village of Webster.

Five village shops will be setting up some tables outside their stores this Friday and Saturday and offering some great bargains both outside and in.

At Yesterday’s Muse Books for example, all items outside will be 50% off, and inside everything is buy two get one free. The Village Quilt Shoppe will have lots of fabric, patterns and kits for 40% off. You’ll also find some great deals at Nest Things, The North Bee and Lala of Webster.

So take a stroll downtown this Friday and Saturday and meet some of our very friendly small business owners.


Webster doesn’t have an Independence Day parade, but you don’t have to go very far to enjoy one.

Penfield’s Independence Day Parade will be held Saturday July 3, beginning at 10 a.m. It steps off at Penfield High School, proceeds south on Five Mile Line Road to Route 441, east on Route 441 to Baird Rd., and north on Baird Rd. to end at the Penfield Community Center.

The town is dedicating the parade to all the people who helped the town’s resisdents make it through a very difficult 2020, and who may still be helping them cope. Help came in many forms during the pandemic: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial and more.

Penfield residents who wish to contribute a name, or names, to the banner may submit them on the Town of Penfield website at www.penfield.org. Names may also be submitted via phone at (585) 340-8655, option 0. The audience at Penfield’s Independence Day will also have the opportunity to add their heroes’ names to the banner as it is walked through the parade.

The banner will be displayed in a prominent location after the Independence Day festivities, so the heroes can be recognized beyond the holiday.


Here’s this month’s Webster Museum History Bit:

Now and Then: Webster Baseball

Today’s baseball in Webster differs from the early days in so many ways.

Ball fields are all over town now. There are school fields and town fields and park field and fields owned by philanthropic organizations and pick-up games in empty spaces. There are many varieties of bats, balls, mitts, caps, helmets, uniforms and protective equipment, many of them tossed on grassy fields while players wait their turns.

Nineteenth century Webster baseball teams were loosely organized, equipped with one homemade bat and one hard rubber ball (that’s it!) and used the underhand swift pitch. Games were played on borrowed private property for at least ten years before the first organized high school game was played in 1888. Since then, Webster has fielded many excellent school teams and a number of players who went on to careers in professional baseball.

In the 1890s local businessmen organized teams and rented land now bounded by Lapham Park, Park Ave., Dunning Ave. and Elm Street. They fenced it and added a grandstand and ticket office. Uniformed and equipped, the teams from the town and from Nine Mile Point played teams from Rochester, Brockport, Parma and Penfield.

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Remember to tell me about some great teachers

14 Jun

As this weird and very challenging school year draws to a close, I would really like to send some shout-outs to some of the teachers who made the best of a really stinky situation.

As I wrote in my blog a little more than a week ago,

Tell me about a teacher who has made a difference in your child’s life. Someone who has gone above and beyond to make sure this unusual school year was the best it could be. Perhaps it’s the science teacher who spent an extra hour after school to help your daughter finish a tough lab. Or the fourth grade teacher who has a knack for getting to know each student in his class on a personal level. How about that remote teacher who somehow made virtual learning FUN?

Ask your kids who they think their best teachers are, and why. Or better yet, have your kids write to me themselves. It doesn’t even have to be a teacher they had this year. I’d love to hear from seniors who remember their favorite elementary school teachers.

Email me your thoughts and I’ll post them sometime next week. I haven’t heard from many people yet, which is a little disappointing. This year more than any other, I think we need to show our teachers how much we appreciate and respect the job they’re doing.

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Loving life in the village

13 Jun

I love living in the Village of Webster. The people are friendly, the streets are extremely walkable, there are parks within walking distance, and great restaurants and pubs just around the corner. We live on a street, but feel like we are part of a neighborhood.

Saturday (June 12) was a great example of what’s to love about Webster. For starters, that afternoon our Park Ave. neighbor Doug Pucci hosted his second annual Village Block Party, featuring two food trucks and a free concert by his Red Hot and Blue Band, playing from Pucci’s spacious porch.

Everyone in the village was invited, and more than 100 answered the call. Adults spread their quad chairs across the lawn and closed-off street and listened to the music, or stood in small groups visiting with neighbors. Children chalked in the street, played with bubbles and danced in the grass.

It was the perfect opportunity for long-time neighbors to reconnect after a long pandemic. It was also a chance for new residents to meet their new neighbors and start to to know the feeling that they are part of the village community.

It was the quintessential village experience.


Earlier in the day, I was riding my bike and happened upon a woman setting up chairs and a table in the lawn of the apartment complex near my house. She was taping some kind of sign onto the table. Curious (and being who I am), I stopped to find out what was going on.

Her name was Jennifer Martinez, and she explained that she was setting up the table for her son and his friends, who were going to hold a Free Lemonade stand later that afternoon.

Apparently every year since her son Emilio was very young, Jennifer’s mother Gail had held a garage sale. And every year during that sale, Emilio would set up a lemonade stand. This year, Gail wasn’t able to hold her sale, so Jennifer suggested that Emilio simply set up his stand outside their home instead.

In years past, Emilio had charged for his lemonade. But not this year. When I asked Jennifer about that, she said that the idea to hand out the lemonade for free was “just to be kind.” Then, after giving it a bit of thought, she added, “It’s nice to be among people again.”

Emilio and his fellow business owners Will Brunswick and Owen Knapp, all 7th-grade friends at Spry Middle School, were enthusiastic lemonade hawkers, even though they weren’t earning any cold, hard cash. They stood out on the sidewalk yelling “free lemonade!” to all the cars driving by on busy South Ave, and any time a biker, walker or runner got within 50 yards of the table, one of them (usually Owen, wearing a flag cape), would chase them down “selling” their wares at full volume.

At first the salesmen were only getting a lot of honks and waves from passing cars. But while I was there (getting my free lemonade), they were able to wave down a passing FedEx delivery truck, whose driver gratefully accepted the refreshment. And if yelling to someone didn’t work, they would take the lemonade to their customers, at one point skittering across South Ave., two-fisting cups of lemonade, to deliver them to people who were setting up for the block party.

The highlight of the day was probably when the boys were able to attract the attention of a passing police car. The officer didn’t stop, but she did come back a few minutes later and invited another colleague to join her. So at one point two Webster police officers were standing at the table enjoying some lemonade.

The kids even earned a little money after all. Some patrons couldn’t resist throwing a dollar on the table, and one family brought them some fresh-picked strawberries.

A friendly neighbor who didn’t mind at all a random stranger stopping to chat. Free lemonade and kids having fun doing something other than sitting in front of a screen. Just two more things I love about village life.

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Discover Webster through play!

12 Jun

Here’s a great idea for some inexpensive, healthy family fun this summer.

It’s called the “Find a Way to Play” playgrounds passbook. This is a new program from the Webster Parks and Recreation Department which encourages families to get outside and explore all of the great play areas we have here in Webster.

The 10-page passbook highlights many places right here in town where children and adults can be active and have fun. It encourages everyone to visit different facilities and discover each one’s unique amenities.

The booklet provides a brief description of not just playgrounds, but two spray parks, the skate park and more. It includes:

  • First Responder’s Playground
  • First Responder’s Spray Park
  • Recreation Center Obstacle Course
  • Karpus Family Playground at Miracle Field
  • Ridgecrest Park Playground
  • Ridgecrest Splash Park
  • Ridgecrest Skate Park
  • Kent Park Playground
  • Finn Park Playground

The challenge is to visit each one of these play areas, and record in the booklet the date you visited. Then take your completed passbook to the Recreation Center. Each child who completes the “tour” of Webster playgrounds will receive a token of accomplishment.

What a great way to encourage healthy activity, while learning a little bit about our town along the way. Make it a challenge for the whole family!

Passbooks are available right now at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

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Learning about the birds and the bees

9 Jun

Our friendly neighborhood pollinators are getting some respect and attention these days thanks to the efforts of Daisy Girl Scout Troop 60344.

Earlier this spring, the Scouts, all kindergarten or first graders, made posters about why pollinators are important to our ecosystem. It was the “Take Action Project” part of their year-long “Welcome to the Flower Garden” journey badge.

The young artists shared their posters with each other at their meeting on May 17. Each girl then had to find a place in the community to display her poster, and take a photo of the final location.

Keep an eye out for these posters, because they’re all around town (or soon will be). The Scouts, and where they’ve hung their posters (if decided), are:

  • Alayna Henrichs
  • Alexa Weber: her father’s office
  • Claire Frisk: Gosnell Big Woods trailhead (TBD)
  • Harper Bozzelli: Four Mile Creek trailhead (TBD)
  • Julia Meyers: Maplewood Senior Living Community
  • Kennedy Kleps: Whiting Nature Preserve trailhead (TBD)
  • Natalie Wigton: her father’s office
  • Penelope Patterson: her grandfather’s office
  • Sophia Elias

The girls’ troop leaders are Linda Meyers and Daniela Viavattine.

  

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Webster community mailbag

8 Jun

And the fun just keeps on coming.

If you live in or near the village, you may remember the Village Block Party held back in September on Park Ave. The event was hosted by The Red Hot and Blue Band, who set up on the porch of RHB band member Doug Pucci, who lives at the corner of Park Ave. and South Ave.

The band played for three straight hours, while community members sat around and listened (socially distanced of course), and children danced and made chalk drawings in the middle of the closed-off street. It was a much-needed and greatly appreciated respite from the depths of the pandemic.

Well, the Village Block Party is back again this year, and it’s going to be even better.

On Saturday June 12, Webster community members are all invited to come together to enjoy the rockin’ sounds of the Red Hot and Blue Band, beginning at 3 p.m. And bring some cash, too, because this time the party will feature two food trucks, Terry’s Tips and Beef and Netsins Ice Cream.

Aside from the food trucks, there’s no charge for this event. Just bring your quad chairs and join your neighbors for an afternoon of good music and good food. It all happens on Park Ave. between South Ave. (Rt. 250) and Lapham Park.


This week’s Friends of the Webster Public Library Pop-up Book Sale has become a Bring-Your-Own-Bag Book Sale!

On Thursday June 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., bring your bag to the library and fill it with gently used books for just $4. It’s an inexpensive way to stock your personal library for a summer-full of great reading for you and your family.

The sale will be held in the Webster Publc Library parking lot, at the rear of Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Rd. All monies raised will go to support library initiatives.

Don’t forget about this weekend’s Webster Summer Celebration, returning on Saturday June 12 to the Webster Recreation Center.

From 5 to 10 p.m., the whole family is invited to come out for dinner and snacks from some great food trucks (including Wraps on Wheels, Nancy’s Fried Dough, Effortlessly Healthy, Bay Vista Taqueria and Seabreeze Catering and Hot Sauce), while enjoying some great live music.

Festivities will conclude at 9:45 with a fireworks display. For more information, especially about parking for the fireworks, please visit the Webster Parks and Recreation webpage.


This Saturday also maks the opening of the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market.

This blurb from the market’s Facebook page seems to indicate that exciting changes are in store:

Things are lining up for what we believe to be one of our biggest and best market years ever. We are happy to announce that the market has grown with new vendors being added. We are pleased to see many old faces return as well. And also very pleased to announce the addition of a food truck and a possible lemonade truck.

The market is located in Webster Towne Center plaza, in front of Old Navy and near the gazebo. It’s open every Saturday through November from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Several Village of Webster shops will be holding a sidewalk sale next week on Friday June 18 and Saturday June 19. Take a stroll through the village, pick up some bargains and visit with with some of our very friendly small business owners.

The shops that will be participating in the sidewalk sale include Lala of Webster, Nest Things, The North Bee, Yesterday’s Muse Books, and the Village Quilt Shoppe.

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Hickory Bark Trail platform back in action

7 Jun

Have you discovered Hickory Bark Woods yet?

This is a beautiful little natural area just steps from the Webster Public Library’s front doors, adjacent to the Ridge Park playing fields behind Town Hall. The stand of woods measures about 10 acres, and there’s a very nice, short trail that leads into the center of the woods, ending at a spacious deck.

At least it did for a while.

Last November, a large tree fell onto the platform, pretty much destroying it. But just about a month ago, the Friends of Webster Trails put a team together and repaired the platform. Many thanks go out to Eric Turberg, Steve Turberg, Bud Gearhart, Dennis Kuhn, Craig Hurlbut and John Boettcher.

These before-and-after photos came from the Town of Webster weekly newsletter:

I was especially happy to see that repairs had been made to the platform because I know the Webster Public Library likes to use the trail and deck for some of their programs.

I also remember when, last July, Doreen and Laureen from the library dedicated one of their Let’s Explore Webster videos to Hickory Bark Trail. You can see that video here, and click here if you want to read my blog about the trail (and the fairy houses I found there).

By the way, Doreen and Laureen have recently published their latest Let’s Explore Webster video, this one about three of Webster’s historic properties. Click below to see that video, then visit the Webster Library’s YouTube channel to see many more videos from this excellent series. (And all sorts of other neat stuff!!)

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Dancing for fun, and a cause

6 Jun
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The weather was gorgeous yesterday — albeit a little warm — for the 36th annual Dancing With Denise recital, held this year in the large grassy yard behind the school’s Gravel Rd. studio.

All day, young ballerinas strutted their stuff for an adoring audience who watched from quad chairs spread across the lawn, braving the hot sun for hours. At the end of the day the dancers extended their love even further when they made a donation to Webster-based Bella’s Bumbas, a nonprofit grassroots organization which builds pint-sized “Bumba” wheelchairs for children with mobility issues.

The generous donation was enough to cover the cost of building several of the pint-sized Bumbas.

Kudos to Denise Baller for taking her lessons beyond just dance, and teaching her students to think about others. Or, as she wrote on the Dancing With Denise Facebook page, teaching them “how spreading compassion and love can make little ones who aren’t as mobile ‘feel better when they are dancing’!”

Thank you to Rebecca Orr for providing me with a lot of photos for this gallery from the event:

Read more about Bella’s Bumbas and the great work they do on their Facebook page and webpage.

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