Archive | August, 2021

Webster community mailbag

19 Aug

The primary reason for today’s mailbag is to remind everyone about a great new music event that’s happening this weekend. It’s called the Webster Jam on the Bay and it’s sponsored by the Damascus Shriners, those fine folks who host the huge Cruise Nights every summer.

The ticketed event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday Aug. 20 and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday August 21, at the Damascus Shrine Center, 979 Bay Road in Webster.

The two-day festival will feature five different blues, funk and R&B artists including national award-winning blues band The Gabe Stillman Band and local jazz favorite Prime Time Funk. Other performers will include Dave Riccioni and the Blue CatsMiller and the Other Sinners, and The Carolyn Kelly Blues Band.

In addition to the five bands, food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Advance-sale tickets for Friday night are only $10 ($15 at the gate). Tickets for Saturday cost $45 in advance ($50 at the gate). But you can also get a two-day pass for just $45. Proceeds raised will benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international hospital system devoted to transforming the lives of children through expert care and research.

Click here to get more information, see the whole schedule in detail, and order tickets.


This next event isn’t happening until Sept. 18, but it’s going to be so much fun for the entire family, I wanted to let you know about it ASAP.

I should actually be more specific. It’s going to be so much MUDDY, WET, SLIPPERY, LAUGHING, MESSY fun for the entire family.

It’s the first-ever Family Mud Run, obstacle course and fitness trail, sponsored by the Webster Recreation Center and Wegmans. The flyer with all the information is to the left, but basically, we’re talking a non-competitive, untimed, half-mile slog through water and mud, with some challenging obstacles. It’s only $5 per person, and there’ll be giveaways and snacks afterwards.

Can you imagine how delighted your kids will be if you tell them, “Hey guess what? Why don’t we all go down to the rec center, run through some mud puddles, and get super dirty…just for fun?!?!” Bonus points when they find out you’re going to do it with them.

You’ll want to register ahead of time, and choose a time slot between 10 a.m and noon. Register for program #301202 on the Parks and Rec website.

Make sure to get this one on your calendar. And of course, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining. ‘Cause you’re running through MUD anyway!


One quick note from the Webster Public Library today.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to knit or crochet, or improve your skills, check out the weekly Sit & Stitch gathering, Mondays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the library.

Bring your yarn and needles or hook, your knitting, crocheting, tattiong, needlepoint, lap quilting — whatever you’re working on — and the Sit & Stitch ladies will patiently answer all your questions, help you gain confidence and learn new skills.

All ages and skill levels are welcome. You don’t even have to register. Just show up! The library is located at the back of Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Rd.

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Webster Museum reopens this weekend with exhibit on Webster artist Ward Mann

18 Aug

If you think you know the Webster Museum, read on, because you haven’t seen the new and IMPROVED Webster Museum.

This Saturday Aug. 21, the museum is opening its doors to the public again after a long hiatus thanks to the pandemic. And boy, is it looking spiffy, both inside and out.

The first things that will greet visitors on Saturday are two gorgeous gardens that flank the front door. Volunteers worked for weeks weeding the overgrown and unsightly gardens, prepping the beds, then choosing and planting a beautiful variety of shrubs, annuals and perennials in anticipation of this week’s grand opening.

The spiffiness continues inside, where display cases have been refurbished, walls have been painted, and exhibit spaces have been re-imagined. Many of the tried-and-true exhibits, especially those representing Webster’s basket-making and apple industries, have remained pretty much the same. But several other exhibits have been updated or changed out, and new ones are being planned highlighting Webster’s bakeries, dairies and gas stations.

Webster Museum president Tom Pellett reports there have also been other, less evident changes. “The museum is also “revamping our attack … to be more educational,” he said.

“We (older folks) are getting to be the only people who actually went into the old stores in the exhibits,” he explained. “There are a lot of people who arrived late, like in the 70s, that have no idea what some of the older areas were like here.” Plans include adding audio-visual components to help support that mission.

The museum kicked off its grand re-opening with a special members-only event last Sunday introducing the current exhibit, honoring the life and works of Webster artist Ward Mann. In a half-hour presentation, Ward’s son Craig — who flew up from North Carolina — and former art teacher Dick Kane detailed Mann’s early life, career as a Xerox engineer, and how he ultimately discovered his true passion: art.

Mann was a talented, versatile and well-known artist who lived and worked and painted in Webster from 1961-2005 and also had a studio in the artist colony at Rocky Neck, Massachusettes.

A team of 20 volunteers worked for months conducting research, coordinating with the Mann family, gathering the materials and compiling the exhibit. The result is an impressive presentation which includes 21 original Ward Mann canvases displayed throughout the museum, original sketchbooks, biographical information and a slideshow of many more pieces from Mann’s collection. The pieces on display represent all of Mann’s chosen media: sketches, watercolor, oil and pallet knife.

At the event, Pellett noted that it’s been 17 months since “the door slammed shut” back in March 2020. It was an unfortunate situation, but he added that being closed for so long “allowed us to do some things not normally done because of visitors.” Still, he added, “It’s so good to be back.”

Ironically, when the museum closed those many months ago, staffers were readying a brand new exhibit which would have introduced the community to a famous and highly respected local artist: Ward Mann.

“The public never saw it,” Pellett said. The downtime, however, clearly helped museum staff members build an even more in-depth and meaningful exhibit.

The Webster Museum will welcome the public back on Saturday, Aug. 21 from 2 to 4:30 p.m., then again on Saturday Aug. 28. Regular museum hours will resume in September, when the museum will be open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The Ward Mann exhibit will be here for just six weeks, so don’t miss it.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

Below are two of the paintings in the Ward Mann exhibit, and a slideshow of some of the other museum exhibits and gardens.

These two paintings are on display along with 19 other original works, memorabilia and hundreds of slide-show images of works not on display. Ward himself donated MINUTEMAN to the Webster Museum in 1977. Ward’s sons Craig and Kim donated ROCHESTER JUNCTION at the installation of the exhibit.

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Village lemonade entrepreneur raised funds for St. Jude

17 Aug

I make it a habit to stop at every lemonade stand I encounter when I’m walking or biking, or even driving. I like encouraging young entrepreneurs, and adding to the thrill they get from earning a few dollars. If you feel the same, then you’re going to enjoy hearing about this very special lemonade stand.

It was set up at the corner of South Ave. and Park Ave. in the Village of Webster, at the home of Doug and Patty Pucci.

It was no ordinary lemonade stand, however. Not only was it about the most official-looking stand you’ll ever see — complete with an American flag, pinwheel, umbrella for shade and an “open/closed” sign — it also raised almost $500 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Nixie-Blu and a thirsty customer

The proprietor was 6-year old Nixie-Blu Howes, who was in town this summer with her mother, visiting her grandparents. Like any kid, Nixie-Blu loves the idea of making money, even though she said, “I don’t know what I want to spend it on.” But it was also her idea to donate half of her lemonade stand proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in part because her aunt works there.

Just setting up shop in a highly visible location wasn’t enough, however. Nixie-Blu also made her own signs and posted them on trees throughout the neighborhood, pointing patrons to the stand.

Nixie-Blu first set up her lemonade concession when she was visiting in April. You may have noticed the stand and advertisements back then, and perhaps you even stopped by. This summer, however, she was really able to up her sales game when her grandpa Doug surprised her with the fancy new wooden stand.

The lemonade concession was open pretty much every day for the few weeks that Nixie-Blu and her mother were visiting. Business was steady; the stand attracted walkers and motorists nearly nonstop, paying what they wanted for their cup of lemonade. Nixie-Blu never set a price, instead asking her patrons to donate any amount they want to give. If they didn’t happen to have any money, she’d even give you some for free

Because kindness always begets kidness. And that’s the sweetest deal there is.

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Strike up the (Village) Band!

16 Aug

It’s so great to see life returning back to normal, bit by bit. One of the more recent signs of that is the return of Webster Village Band to the Harmony Park bandshell in a concert scheduled for Thursday Aug. 26.

The Webster Village Band is one of those hidden gems in our community. I mean, the performances are free, and they’re held in a park where you can stretch out a blanket or set up some chairs and enjoy the music while sipping some wine and juice boxes. And the music is superb.

Normally there are several concerts every summer, held on Thursday nights. But because of … well, you know … things have been on hold for a while. But next Thursday Aug. 26, beginning at 7 p.m. the band is back, with a beautiful performance that will remind us of how much we missed them. And did I mention it’s FREE?

In the event of rain, the concert will be held at Cherry Ridge Senior Center, 900 Cherry Ridge Blvd. in Webster (across from Webster Schroeder High School).

Here’s a little bit of Village Band history, if you’re interested:

In 1967, at the behest of Village Councilmember Gerry Barrett, the Webster Village Board agreed to create the Webster Village Band as a Village entity and asked Stan Maruszak to lead it. In the following years, Sue Siegmund began to assist Stan in Music Direction as the Associate Director and Marcia Naukam assisted in Band Administration.

When Stan passed away in late 2004, a group of band members worked together to continue the operation of the band and establish a band management relationship with the Village Board. Currently, the band has about 60 members and is led by conductor Tom Indiano and associate conductor Sue Siegmund. In 2017 the band celebrated its 50th anniversary.

See you at the concert!

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Some quick mailbag items

13 Aug

Tomrrow’s going to be a fantastic day for a garage sale. Or better yet, a GIVEAWAY.

St Martin Lutheran Church 813 Bay Road, is holding a used furniture giveaway on Saturday, August 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They’ll have several items from displayed in the parking lot, free for the taking. Items will include chairs, a leather sofa and love seat, lamps, end tables, coffee tables, wall shelves, and a dining room hutch. Come explore and take away.

Get there early because you know they won’t last long.


Spooky & the Truth

Tonight’s (Friday night’s) concert at the gazebo has been rescheduled for tomorrow night (Saturday Aug. 14) due to the threat of rain.

The concert will feature Spooky & the Truth, and will begin at 7 p.m. at the gazebo on North Ave. Bring your quad chairs, blankets and coolers and enjoy the beautiful evening of free music.


Looking ahead, the Village Quilt Shoppe is marking its second anniversary. Plans are to hold their celebration on Friday and Saturday, September 10 and 11. Among other events those days, Ruthann Stillwell will be doing a trunk show of some of her and Susan Rooney’s patterns. There will be a demo on a curved table runner, refreshments, and specials.

Visit the Village Quilt Shoppe website for more inormation.

The Village Quilt Shoppe is located at 21 E. Main St. in the Village of Webster.

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Edna Struck Memorial Park is looking beautiful again

12 Aug

Edna Struck Memorial Park is the charming little grassy median where Lapham Park makes a slight jog at the corner of Elm St, on the east side of the village. It’s named in honor of Mrs. Struck, who made it her passion to tend the plants on the island for years.

In February of 2019, someone was driving down Lapham Park much too fast and — instead of navigating the jog in the road — decided to drive right through the park, mowing down the trees and plants, and inflicting significant other damage.

For two years now, the village has been working to refurbish the median, including planting more trees and flowers and reinstalling the large stone and memorial plaque honoring Edna Struck. The repairs began in earnest last fall when workers leveled the plot and put down some new topsoil. Then the trees were planted, and finally this spring, flowers and a new boulder.

The work is finally nearing completion. About the only thing left to do is reinstall the memorial plaque, but that, too, should be happening soon.

So, the little pocket park is looking nice again. I think Edna herself would be pleased.

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Sensory issues? The Library’s got your back.

10 Aug

I get a lot of emails from the Webster Public Library, and I joke with my friends over there about that. (It’s really not their fault. They just have SO MUCH cool stuff going on.) Sometimes the emails come so fast and furious, I can’t keep up with them, and they languish in my inbox for a few weeks, or until the next batch comes in.

BUT, having said that, one I received recently deserves some special attention. It read:

The Webster Public Library has partnered with KultureCity to make the library sensory inclusive!

This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with a sensory issue that visit the library. Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other similar conditions.

The certification process entailed the staff at the Webster Public Library be trained on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads will also be available to all guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. These individuals will also be able to have use of a dedicated sensory area with a sensory station for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment.

Prior to visiting the library, families can download the free KultureCity App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while visiting the library.

This. Is. Huge.

So many in our community silently struggle with sensory issues. Their prevalence is masked in large part by the fact that people with these sensitivities often avoid places where they anticipate having issues, and when children are in a potentially troubling environment, hyper-aware parents are on guard to steer interactions in a safe direction.

No one should have to worry that sensory overload will ruin a fun and educational trip to the library. Every adult and child should be able to enjoy the library as the welcoming, comforting, nurturing place that it is.

Thank you, Webster Public Library, for being so understanding and accommodating.

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Some nifty upcoming events means summer’s not over yet

9 Aug

Every time I hear about some event coming up in our neck of the woods, I add it to my blog notebook so I remember to mention it in a blog, or at least in a mailbag.

But four of those events are pretty big ones, and they’re all happening on successive weekends: the Webster Jam on the Bay, the grand re-opening of the Webster Museum, the St. Rita Fiesta, and the Barry’s Old School Irish Festival. Rather than give them relatively short shrift in the same mailbag, I want to break each one out into a blog of its own.

The Gabe Stillman Band is Friday’s headliner.

I’m going to start with the Webster Jam on the Bay, a brand new music festival brought to us by the Damascus Shriners, those fine folks who host the huge Cruise Nights every summer.

The ticketed event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday Aug. 20 and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday August 21, at the Damascus Shrine Center, 979 Bay Road in Webster.

The two-day festival will feature five different blues, funk and R&B artists including national award-winning blues band The Gabe Stillman Band and local jazz favorite Prime Time Funk. Other performers will include Dave Riccioni and the Blue Cats, Miller and the Other Sinners, and The Carolyn Kelly Blues Band.

In addition to the five bands, food and beverages will be available for purchase. (And we all know how good the eats are at the Cruise Nights!)

Advance-sale tickets for Friday night are only $10 ($15 at the gate). Advance tickets for Saturday cost $45 in advance ($50 at the gate). But you can also get a two-day pass for just $45. Proceeds raised will benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international hospital system devoted to transforming the lives of children through expert care and research.

Click here to get more information, see the whole schedule in detail, and order tickets.

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Library + Chorus of the Genesee = sweet music

7 Aug

If you love barbershop music, and music in general, you’ll will want to mark Thursday Aug. 12 on your calendar. At 6 p.m. that evening, members of Webster’s own Chorus of the Genesee and several local barbershop quartets will present an after-hours concert at the Webster Public Library.

The library has featured the barbershop quartet community a few times this year, most recently on National Barbershop Quartet Day in April when they posted a video to their Facebook page. And in February, Laureen and Doreen highlighted the Chorus of the Genesee and their home base, the Harmony House, in one of their outstanding “Let’s Explore Webster” videos.

The videos are great, but it’s nothing like seeing these guys in person. The harmonies will blow you away.

The concert begins at 6 p.m., but you’ll want to get there a little early because that’s when the library closes. There’s no cost, and registration is recommended, but not required. You can register here.

Here’s a taste of the groups you’ll be seeing:

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Some Village business notes and mailbag stuff

6 Aug

Here are a some positive village business updates to start off our morning.

The patio tables and chairs are finally in place the Cobblestone on Main restaurant, and they’re already very popular.

The patio was completed several weeks ago along the front of this fabulous new village restaurant, but it took a while for the area to be ready for service. The new tables and chairs are a beautiful addition, especially since the Cobblestone has been seeing steady business every since it opened in April, and can really use the extra seating.

Cobblestone on Main is located at 109 West Main St. Check out their Facebook page here and their website here.

It’s been a long time coming, but Village HandWorks finally has an opening date … sort of.

Village HandWorks is the Village of Webster’s newest shop, going in at 19 East Main St., right next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe. It will feature original hand-crafted goods, and offer a place for crafters to practice their skills, take a class or two, or just gather to sit, stitch and share their projects.

Originally scheduled to open last month, there were some unexpected delays, as there often is with a brand new business. But a few days ago I noticed that owner Jenn Ratcliffe posted a message in the front window indicating she’s planning to open in mid-August.

In the meantime, it’s fun to peek in the window and see the spinning wheel and loom she’s set up and will be using once the shop opens, so anyone who’s walking by can watch her work.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Here’s a brand new family event happening this Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park (Gazebo Park on North Ave.).

Village of Webster dance studio Roc Dance is partnering with Roc and Soul Fitness to present a Webster Village Family Activity Open House Sunday afternoon Aug. 8 from noon to 3 p.m.

The event will include kids’ dance and soccer classes and adult barre and yoga classes. All of the classes are free to attend, and if you participate in any one, you’ll receive some free goodies.

Click on the flyer above for more information and schedule details, or visit the Roc Dance Facebook page.

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There’s still time to register for the 2021 Miracle Field Hitting Derby and Year-End Picnic, beginning Saturday, August 7.

The month-long event is a fun and friendly competition held over four sessions, which will benefit Challenger Miracle Field. In addition to bragging rights on the field, participants can also earn cool prizes through several fundraising levels.

For more information and registration forms, click here.

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RL Thomas 1970 grads, mark your calendars now for your next class of 1970 reunion, scheduled for Friday and Saturday Sept. 17 and 18. Details are still coming together, so for updates or questions, email RLT1970Alumni@gmail.com. Or make sure you’ve joined the Class of 1970 Facebook group.

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There’s still plenty of August left, and the Village of Webster has packed in a lot of events.

For starters, the Wine Walks are back! Coming up Saturday Aug. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m., join your friends and neighbors, sample some wines and check out some businesses you’ve never visited before.

Glass pick-up will be at Finn’s Automotive 45 East Main St., where they’ll also give you a map of the participating shops. Cost is $15. Click here for more details.

The gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. will host concerts each of the next three Friday nights.

Tonight (Aug. 6) features Judah Sealy Smooth Jazz. Next week (Aug. 13) will be the “Acoustic Americana” sounds of Spooky & the Truth, and on the 20th, Jimmie Highsmith Jr. takes the stage with his unique blend of smooth urban jazz.

All concerts begin at 7 p.m. Bring your own chairs, blankets, and coolers. For more details, click here.

Finally, the next Tuesday night Movie in the Park will feature Sing on Aug. 10 in Veterans Memorial Park.

Here’s the summary:

In a world of anthropomorphic animals, koala Buster Moon owns a theater, having been interested in show business since his father took him to his first music show as a child. To raise money following some financial problems, Buster plans a singing competition with a prize of $1,000. But Buster’s assistant accidentally appends two extra zeroes, and the promotional fliers showing $100,000 are blown out of Buster’s office into the city streets.

Click here for more details about this showing and upcoming movies in the park.

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Here’s a late addition to my mailbag:

The Webster Marching Band will hold a Bottle and Can Drive on Saturday Aug. 7 at Willink Middle School. Please bring your returnables between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and they’ll even take them out of your car for you.

Willink is located at 900 Publisher’s Parkway, adjacent to Thomas High School.

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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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