Archive | February, 2023

Send some flowers, benefit the Webster Public Library

28 Feb

Hot on the heels of my Webster Public Library-centric mailbag a few days ago, here’s another easy way to help support the library in March.

Starting March 1, the Webster Library Foundation is teaming up with Kittelberger Florist for their Generosity in Bloom program. Kittelberger’s will be offering two floral arrangements –priced at $65 or $100 — and 20% of the proceeds of those sales will go towards growing the endowment of the Webster Library Foundation.

The Webster Library Foundation was formed in 2010 for the sole purpose of providing a long-term alternative revenue stream to support special projects for the Webster Public Library that are not in the regular library budget. Past projects have included such things as Wi-Fi hotspots, media signage, outdoor sound equipment for summer story times, senior space signage and reading lamps, and reading tablets for early literacy skills. All Foundation gifts are invested and the resulting earnings given to the library. To date the Foundation has funded more than $192,000 in projects.

Click here to order flowers through the Generosity in Bloom program. The program runs through the entire month of March.

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(posted 2/28/2023)

Help a Schroeder senior win Athlete of the Week honors

28 Feb

Hey friends, need to do something nice for somebody today? How about taking a quick moment to help a young Webster athlete become this week’s Bill Gray’s Athlete of the Week?

Webster Schroeder senior Colin Smith is the standout goalie for the Webster Schroeder hockey team. He recently helped the team win the Section V Class B hockey championship with two stellar performances, the first in a semifinal win against No. 2 Aquinas, where he made 40 saves. Then he made another 45 saves against No. 1 seed Churchville-Chili in Sunday’s championship game.

Colin is also an outstanding supporter of the Webster community — he serves as an Explorer in the Webster Volunteer Fire Department and is about to become a full member of the WFD.

Yesterday, WROC-TV named Colin their Athlete of the Week (click here to see the story and video). How about we also help him earn the title of Bill Gray’s Athlete of the Week?

It’s easy to vote. Just click here, scroll to the bottom and check the circle next to the name Colin Smith. And guess what? You can vote more than once!

Voting ends TONIGHT (Tuesday) at 8 p.m.

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(posted 2/28/2023)

The New York State Ballet is coming to Webster

26 Feb

The New York State Ballet, a classical ballet company based in East Rochester, will be returning to Webster Schroeder High School in March to present the ballet Sleeping Beauty.

Among the professional dancers and academy students who will be performing are several Webster students or alumni, including Webster Schroeder graduate Angela Wentling, who will be featured in a principal role.

Performances will be held on Saturday March 25 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday March 26 at 2 p.m. The evening performance on Saturday is especially designed for younger children and will be sensory-friendly. What that means is,

  • the program is shorter in duration
  • sales are limited to half the auditorium to allow patrons to spread out
  • patrons are free to move around during the show, or leave, no questions asked
  • patrons can vocally express themselves whenever they feel the need to
  • the house lights are not completely down
  • scary parts or loud, sudden instrumentation are kept to a minimum

Let me tell you how much I love to see these accommodations. These will really help sensitive children experience the arts.

Tickets start at $15, and can be purchased online here.

The New York State Ballet aims to preserve the classical art form of ballet by creating and performing exceptional productions that bring a refreshed appreciation and awareness of classical ballet to the New York state community and beyond. NYSB productions are designed to be affordable and accessible to community members from every background and socio-economic status.

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(posted 2/24/2023)

Webster community mailbag — library edition

25 Feb

There are so many great things happening at the Webster Public Library, so many great community programs and services, that I want to devote today’s mailbag to some of them.

For starters, this coming Saturday March 4, the library will be the special guest at the Webster Recreation Department’s regular Saturday “Stay ‘n Play at the Parks & Rec” program. Stay & Play is a way for children to have fun while their parents are using the recreation facilities.

From 9 to 10:30 on Saturday March 4, the Webster Public Library will treat children to an all-ages musical storytime, followed by a craft. Membership is needed to use the gym and attend classes, but general use of the facility and child watch is open to the public. Stay ‘n Play at the Parks & Rec is every Saturday from 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Registration is required. Click here to do so and to get more information. Webster Parks & Recreation is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

The library is participating again this year in the annual Neighborhood Forest free tree program. Since 2010, Neighborhood Forest has given away more than 90,000 free trees to be planted across North America.

If you’d like a free tree for your home, click here to register. Registration is only open through Feb. 28, so do it today!

Trees will be available for pick-up at the Webster Public Library during their Earth Day celebration on April 22.

Starting March 1, the Webster Public Library will be collecting formal dress-wear, shoes and accessories for high school students. The collection will last all month, and in early April (April 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. and April 8 from 3 to 5 p.m.), students will be invited in to try on outfits and take them home. Students in grades 9 to 12 are welcome, and no registration is required.

So start poking through your closets for some of those no-longer-used outfits, and drop them off at the library!

Check out some of these upcoming programs in March:

  • Healthy Eating Without Eating, Thursday March 9, 6 to 7 p.m.: Learn to make nutritious meals that are easy to prepare and don’t require any heat. Registration is required.
  • Women of Webster, Past and Present, Thursday March 30, 3 to 4 p.m.: Meet and hear the stories of some interesting Webster women including Ginny Nguyen, Esther Dunn and others (P.S. they even talked me into participating in this one!) Registration is required.
  • Books ‘n Bites Book Club, Thursday March 30, 6 to 7 p.m.: A fun and lively group who love to read fun and lively books. Bring your favorite book to share for this first meeting. Registration is requested.

These next two programs aren’t happening for a while, but you’ll want to get them on your calendar now.

The first is a Special Needs Resource Fair, scheduled for Saturday April 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. This is especially designed for parents, guardians or caregivers looking for more information about resources and opportunities in our community for children and adults with special needs.

Caregivers can come any time during the time of the fair and ask questions and get information. If you are unable to attend, information about the attending organizations will be available upon request. Registration is not required unless you would like to be reminded of the event. Click here to register.  

Three dozen organizations and agencies have already signed up. If you’d like to join the list, email

The very popular Volunteer Fair returns to the Webster Public Library on May 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. This great event is especially for teens and adults looking for volunteer opportunities across the Webster area.

Plenty of community groups have already signed on, but more are welcome. If your business or organization has volunteer opportunities you’d like to share, email for more information.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

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(posted 2/25/2023)

The Webster Garlic Fest is back!

23 Feb

I got some very exciting news the other day.

After a three-year hiatus, one of Webster’s most popular family-friendly festivals, the Webster Garlic Fest, will be returning to the Webster Recreation Center in September.

The Webster Garlic Fest was last held in 2019. In just a few short years, the event had grown so popular that the garlic growers and craft vendors filled the Rec Center’s gymnasium and spilled out onto the grassy areas outside. Plans were well under way for an even larger event in 2020, but then COVID hit, which put pretty much everything about normal life on hold indefinitely.

This year, however, an enthusiastic new group of volunteers has teamed up to bring the Garlic Fest back later this summer. Even at this very early planning stage, they’ve already got a lot of interest from garlic growers and other vendors. They’re also planning to bring back all kinds of demonstrations, information tables from community groups, raffles, crafters, and food trucks.

Basically, the Webster Garlic Fest is a garlic-lover’s paradise. And even if you’re not a huge fan of garlic, rest assured you’ll find plenty of vendors and activities for you and your kids to enjoy. Or, as committee co-chairperson Cherie Wood said, “We know everyone will have a stinkin’ good time, and have garlicious fun!”

One of the fun new twists this year will be the young “Cloves,” which Wood said are “vital to any serious garlic festival.” These are wee little garlic cloves scurrying around the grounds trying to keep “Vamp,” the friendly, garlic-fearing vampire at bay. Everyone is definitely going to want to meet these adorable little vegetables.

Another great new feature of this year’s festival is that all proceeds will benefit the Wreaths Across America effort in Webster, and the Blue Star Mothers Rochester NY8.

Wreaths Across America is dedicated to placing a wreath on the grave of every one of the 3,000 veterans who rest in Webster’s seven cemeteries. Proceeds will go toward sponsoring the wreaths, with a portion going back to the Blue Star Mothers to build care packages for our locally deployed servicemen and women.  

Right now, organizers are looking for vendors to participate in the festival. If you’re a garlic grower, craft vendor, demonstrator or community group, they want to hear from you. Visit the website for more information and to apply.

The Webster Garlic Fest will be held Saturday and Sunday September 9 and 10, at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr. Find out more here on the Facebook page and here on the website. Both will be updated regularly as details are finalized. You can also email if you have any questions.

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(posted 2/23/2023)

Spry Drama Club presents Footloose!

22 Feb

The talented performers of the Spry Drama Club will be putting on their dancing shoes in a few weeks when they present Footloose: Youth Edition in three shows, Friday and Saturday March 10 and 11.

Footloose! celebrates the exhilaration of youth, the wisdom of listening to one another, and the power of forgiveness. The youth edition is a one-hour show especially designed for young performers.

You undoubtedly remember the 1984 Oscar-nominated movie musical starring Kevin Bacon. The story follows a city teenager who moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned.  The new kid and his rebellious spirit shake up the town as he tries to bring music back into their drab lives … and win the girl at the same time.

And I’m sure you remember the music. (I’ll bet the title song is dancing around in your brain right now.)  The production will revisit many of the songs in the Tony-nominated top-40 score, plus some new songs developed specifically for the stage musical.

Spry Drama Club brings this feel-good musical to the Spry Middle School stage on Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 11 at 2 and 7 p.m. Reserve tickets are $8 each and will go on sale Monday, February 27. Purchase them online here.

Spry Middle School is located at 119 South Ave., in the Village of Webster.

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(posted 2/22/2023)

Bygone blog — It’s time to update the Wegmans Game

20 Feb

This is the latest in my on-again, off-again series of Bygone Blogs, in which I’m re-posting some of my favorite blogs from the last 15 years. This one was originally published on March 21, 2010.

It’s time to update the Wegmans Game

Chances are good you’ve played the Wegmans Game.

You know what I mean. When you and a companion go to Wegmans, each of you counts how many people you know. Whoever sees the most people wins.  It’s a fun and easy game, since if you hang around Wegmans long enough you’ll see just about everyone in the community walk through the doors.

I’ve been playing this game for years with my kids, and I must say it’s getting a little predictable. So this morning as I shopped at the Holt Rd. Wegmans, I began to think of ways to spice up the game for the next generation of Wegmans shoppers.

Here’s what I came up with.  Feel free to add your own.

The Wegmans Game (21st Century Rules)

  • Wegmans employees are only worth a half point each. They’re required to be there for long hours anyway, so seeing them is not terribly serendipitous.  And you’ll really appreciate this rule if you’re shopping with your high school-aged child, since he or she will know every one of the checkers.
  • Talkers and stalkers can earn bonus points. These are the people who always seem to shop when you do, and assume you want a half-hour description of their gall bladder surgery. One point for seeing them, a bonus point for successfully avoiding them. Five bonus points for being caught and having to listen to the surgery story.
  • One point for a teacher if you have that teacher this year. One additional point for every decade back you had that teacher. (For example, one extra point for the 00s, two points for the 90s, three for the 80s, and so on. So Mom or Dad, if you see your grade school teacher, it’s almost a guaranteed win.)
  • You must know the person’s name to earn a point. Otherwise you don’t really “know” the person, do you? (Whether you need to know both first and last names can be considered a house rule.)
  • If both players know the same person, point goes to the one who sees that person first.  It rewards acute observation skills.
  • If you skunk your opponent, you must spot said opponent three people at the beginning of the next game.

So I think we have a good start here. Anyone else have a suggestion?

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(posted 2/20/2023)

Fall in love with Webster! (Week 4)

19 Feb

The Village of Webster’s Fall in Love With Webster month-long community celebration is almost over! All month, residents and visitors have been enjoying merchant discounts and special events, all embracing the theme of love.

The goal is to promote a fun way to unify the village residents and business owners. But it’s also all about helping community members get to know our village a little better, find out more about our many fine businesses, and encourage everyone to get more involved in all of the activities found here.

Here’s what’s coming up this week. Check back this weekend to see what’s scheduled for week 5. And for a whole list of the month’s events, visit the Fall in Love With Webster Facebook page.

All month: Random Acts of Kindness at the Village Hall

Kick off your Fall in Love With Webster experience this week by stopping by the Village Hall, 28 West Main, to reach into their “Random Acts of Kindness” jar and select a slip of paper suggesting a random act of kindness you can do this week. And while you’re there, check out information about the wide variety of services the Village Hall offers.

All month: Blind Date With a Book event at Yesterday’s Muse

Come into Yesterday’s Muse bookshop anytime this month and choose a mystery book — wrapped in brown paper — for just $5. Each has a description on the front hinting at what the book is about. All you have to do is find your perfect match, unrap the book and enjoy your blind date! This was a hugely popular Fall in Love With Webster event last year.

Feb. 22, 5 to 7 p.m.: Tap Takeover and Tasting with Other Half at Roc Style

It’s a tap take over! Have some fun with the folks at Roc Style Chicken & Burger and Other Half. Free beer sampling, bogo wings and draft specials.

Feb. 23, 10:30 a.m.: Intro to Wool at the Village Quilt Shoppe

Have you been wanting to play with wool? We love wool here at the Village Quilt Shoppe and are always looking for new wool patterns and kits. In this class Michelle will teach you how to work with wool and some simple embroidery stitches. You will go home with a beautiful Needle Case. Kits are $18.99, and include the pattern and wool. There are only 6 kits available so sign up soon. Instructor is Michelle Coon.

Cost is $40. Call the Village Quilt Shoppe at 585-626-6916 to sign up.

Feb. 25, 10:30 a.m.: Running with Scissors at the Village Quilt Shoppe

You’ll love this handy zip-up Tool Case to store and carry a variety of tools, from rotary cutters and scissors to markers, turning tools, small rulers, and more. A variety of easy-to-access pockets in vinyl, mesh, and quilted fabric can be customized to fit the tools you use and love. The finished project is 9½”H x 12½”W x 1½”D when closed and opens to 12½”H x 20½”W. Instructor is Michelle Coon.

Cost is $55. Call the Village Quilt Shoppe at 585-626-6916 to sign up.

 Also, all month you’ll find specials at Orville’s Home AppliancesPerformance HobbiesBrimont Bistro, Furnari Jewelers, Wellness 360, ROC Dance, and heart-shaped red velvet pancakes at Golden Boys.

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More details about all these events and what’s coming up the rest of the month at the Fall in Love With Webster Facebook page. Make sure to “like” the page to get regular updates, because new events are being added every day. 

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(posted 2/19/2023)

Webster community mailbag

15 Feb

I’ve heard about a couple of R.L. Thomas High School reunions coming up I want to start off with. Well, one’s a reunion, and the other is kind of a … birthday party.

The R.L. Thomas Class of ’71 will be holding a 70th Birthday Bash on Saturday June 24 at Schutt’s Apple Mill from 5 to 7 p.m. Thanks to COVID, the class was unable to hold its 50th reunion, so they’ve decided to celebrate their 70 birthdays together instead.

The festivities will begin at 4 p.m. and will include a cornhole tournament, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle, hay rides and more. Dinner will be provided by Wraps on Wheels. There’ll be a cash bar with beer and wine, and live entertainment. Admission is free.

Organizers are asking for everyone to register by May 15, by emailing

The R.L. Thomas Class of 1973 will be holding their 50th reunion on the weekend of September 15 to 17. There will be a dinner on Friday and a casual picnic on Saturday. I don’t have a lot of information about this one, so to find out more, ask to join the “RLT73WebsterNY” private Facebook group or email

The Webster Public Library is hosting a Cat Food Drive to benefit Habitat for Cats. Any donations of dry food, canned food, litter and cat treats would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be dropped off during the library’s regular open hours. You’ll see the drop-off area across from the circulation desk.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

Here’s another reminder about the free Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, hosted by St. Martin Lutheran Church on Tuesday Feb. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The dinner is being served to thank the community for supporting the church’s missions throughout the year. The menu will include sausage and applesauce, unlimited pancakes and syrup. Beads will be handed out, and you can even make your own masks. You’re invited to come dressed in Mardi Gras style, too.  

This is an event for the whole family, and while the dinner is free to all, a free-will offering to support the church’s Little Free Pantry can be made, or bring boxed and canned goods.  

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Rd.

Got hazardous waste? The Town of Webster will be holding a Household Hazardous Waste recycling event on Saturday Sept. 16 from 7:45 a.m. to noon at the Webster Highway Garage, 1005 Picture Parkway.

Items that can be accepted are listed on the poster below. The event is open to Webster and Penfield residents, and appointments are required. Sign up online now to guarantee your spot.

Finally, the Webster Comfort Care Home has published their most recent wish list, which you can also see below. This amazing organization relies entirely on donations to keep the home running, so let’s help them out!

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(posted 2/15/2023)

Register now to display at Community Arts Day 2023

14 Feb

A few days ago when I was taking my morning walk, I couldn’t help but think that this unusually mild February weather we’re having this week feels a lot like April. So it’s fitting that on that same day I received my first email of the year from the Community Arts Day organizers.

I’m sure you already know about this great family event which takes place every April. It’s basically a show-off day for our district’s schools, showcasing the musical and artistic talents of our Webster School District K-12 students. It was created as a collaborative effort to raise money to encourage and enhance fine arts programs throughout the district. 

In addition to the art displays, it’s also a great opportunity for community groups to set up tables and spread the word about their organizations. That is what the email was all about. It read,

We invite you to join us for the Annual 2023 Community Arts Day sponsored by the Webster Central PTSA, Saturday, April 15, at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road, Webster. …Community groups that wish to exhibit are required to pay a participation fee of $30, which is payable at the time of registration. …Community groups/vendors can sell their goods with advanced approval from the Community Arts Day planning committee. A $55 vendor selling fee applies, which is payable at time of registration.

Clilck here to register. The deadline to register is April 1, with a $5 late fee applied after that date (if the registration is even accepted). All registrations and payments must be received by April 7 at 5 p.m.

It sounds like the committee has some exciting plans this year, including having Garth Fagan Dance as a headliner. Stay tuned for more information about Community Arts Day 2023. You can also follow the CAD website here or Facebook page here.

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(posted 2/14/2023)