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New veterans charity hosts open house for local heroes

15 Sep

Veterans, active-duty military, first responders and their families are invited to an open house this Saturday at Casey Park in Ontario to learn more about a brand new local organization, Heroes on the Water.  

Heroes on the Water, established in 2007, is a veterans charity which

creates alternative wellness programs to serve veterans, active-duty military personnel, first responders and their families. These experiential programs incorporate structured activities proven to improve the lives of these men and women. Each experience reduces the impact of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury while providing much-needed camaraderie and support. (from the Heroes on the Water website)

The primary therapy utilized by the program is kayak fishing, offered at free events hosted by more than 60 volunteer-led chapters around the country.

And THAT part — the kayak fishing part — is what reeled in Webster resident Tracy Holley. 

Holley, a technology and art teacher for the GOAL program at Webster Schroeder High School, has always enjoyed fishing. Last winter, when COVID was at its peak, he discovered kayak fishing and did a lot of it (there wasn’t much else to do, after all). Somewhere along the way he heard about Heroes on the Water. When he read about their mission to provide therapy for veterans and first responders through kayak fishing, he knew he wanted to get involved. 

When he called the national organization, however, he was surprised to learn there was no New York State chapter. He pondered that situation for just a few weeks before deciding to do something about it. 

“I’m not a veteran,” he said. “Never been a first responder. (But) I love kayak fishing. I know how peaceful and relaxing it is for me. It’s one little thing I thought I could give back to the folks that give so much to us.” 

“It’s one of the only veteran organizations that also directly supports the families of vets and first responders,” he added. “Being a schoolteacher, that’s very important to me.” 

After a few phone calls, he had recruited good friends Gordon Clarke, Ned Stromfeld and Justin Erdley for his administration team. Together, they established the Genesee Valley New York Chapter of Heroes on the Water, which was formerly chartered in March. 

This Saturday’s Open House is the Genesee Valley Chapter’s first big event. It’s kind of a “get-to-know-you” opportunity, Holley explained. Being brand new, the organization doesn’t have enough equipment yet to host a large-scale kayaking and fishing event for veterans and first responders. Instead, this will be a chance to meet the administrators, ask questions, grab some information and find out about volunteer opportunities. Holley will also have a few of his fishing kayaks there to try out, and volunteers will be on the water to offer support.

Fishing kayaks, by the way, are different from other kayaks in that you sit, or stand, on top of them. They’re more stable, easier to get in and out of, and easier to adapt for special needs.  

The open house will be held Saturday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Casey Park, 6551 Knickerbocker Rd., Ontario. Veterans, active-duty military, first responders and their families are all invited, as well as anyone who simply wants to learn more about volunteer opportunities.   

If you can’t make it to the event and would like to find out more about Heroes on the Water and the Genesee Valley Chapter, check out their Facebook page here. You can also email them at GeneseeValley.NY@heroesonthewater.org 

Interested in donating or volunteering? The new chapter is trying to raise $8,000 to purchase their first six fishing kayaks and all the equipment they need to hold larger events starting next spring. Click here to help out. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.

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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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Webster community mailbag

13 Sep

Busy weekend coming up, starting with the HUGE Webster Jazz Festival, which hits the pubs and streets on Friday and Saturday. Check back here tomorrow for more details about that, but here are a few other events coming up this weekend as well which might interest you:


The Webster Museum’s annual Barn Sale takes place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 394 Phillips Rd.

This really cool sale features vintage farm goods and furniture, toys, books, holiday goods, household goods, jewelry, glassware and more. You’re sure to find something to love.

The sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each of the three days, and on Saturday, everything is half price — or you can fill a bag for $5. This is the museum’s biggest operating expense fundraiser, so stop on by, find a treasure, and help them out.

ALSO, the Webster Museum’s outstanding Ward Mann exhibit, highlighting one of Webster’s most famous artists, will be closing soon.

The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30, and the last day you’ll be able to see the exhibit is Saturday Sept. 25.


The Webster Public Library has a very cool poster exhibit of its own right now. It’s called “September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed The World.”

The posters are provided courtesy of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which explains,

“This educational exhibition recounts the events of September 11, 2001, through the personal stories of those who witnessed and survived the attacks. Told across 14 posters, this exhibition includes archival photographs and images of artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection.”

The exhibition is on display through during normal library hours. You can also download the exhibition digitally here.to see it online. The library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the rear of Webster Plaza.

The library, by the way, is conducting a search for a new director, and they’d like the community’s input. Click here to complete a short, three-question survey to let your voice be heard.


Here’s a reminder about a super-fun event coming up this Saturday at the Rec Center. It’s the first-ever Family Mud Run, obstacle course and fitness trail. The flyer with all the information is above, 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.

Click here to see a little teaser video giving you an idea of what the Rec has planned.

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.


Finally, here’s a useful tidbit from our friends to the south.

Penfield Rotary and Penfield Recreation will sponsor the annual Community Bike Drop on Saturday, October 2 at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd. from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Keep those old or unwanted bikes out of our landfills by donating them to a good cause. All bicycles collected will be donated to R Community Bikes, Inc. for repair and redistribution to needy children and adults in the Rochester area. All types of bikes are needed, including children’s tricycles, toddler plastic bikes and bike parts. Receipts will be available.

R Community Bikes, Inc. is a grassroots 501c3 organization that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to Rochester’s most needy children and adults. Its mission is to meet the basic transportation needs of those in the community who depend on bikes to get to work and training sessions, as well as for recreation.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Do you know anyone in these photos?

31 Aug

I know, that really sounds like clickbait, doesn’t it? But I really am trying to find some good homes for these photos which were part of my Webster on the Web photo exhibit at the Webster Public Library in August.

I chose 24 photos for the exhibit, representing kids, community and events. It was fun having them up, but alas, a few days ago they had to be taken down to make room for September’s installation, featuring the awesome Webster-based nonprofot, Bella’s Bumbas (more on that in another blog).

(P.S., if you didn’t get to visit the library and see it, I’ve posted all the photos on a link you’ll find at the right side of this page.)

So now I have all these photos, most of them 8″ x 8″ or 10″ x 10″, which are going to get tossed if no one wants them. I’ve already delivered a handful of them to some proud parents and grandparents, but there are many more really cute ones that have gone unclaimed.

So, please take a moment and take a close look at all of the following photos and see if you can help me give them good homes. There are even a few which have no human subjects in them, but if you like ’em, they’re yours. If knowing the dates will help identify the children, you’ll find them in the photo link to the right.

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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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An open letter to Danny and Jessica Barry

29 Aug

Dear Danny and Jess,

I wanted to send you this heartfelt congratulations and thank you for your wonderful Irish Festival yesterday.

Jack and I got there right when the gates opened to catch the early entertainment and right away were very impressed by what we saw. There were food vendors, the beer truck (of course), plenty of tables to sit at or hay bales to perch on, and lots more room to set up your chairs and blankets.

The entertainment line-up was packed with many of the pub’s most popular entertainers, and the Irish dance schools were a special treat.

I LOVED the kids’ lemonade stand (and Mom’s homemade cookies) and kids’ activity area. I didn’t try them out for myself, but I was tempted by the lawn games (giant Jenga, cornhole, and I even saw some hurling and Kan Jam in the back). And the vendors! So many of them with some really neat stuff. We were especially pleased to be able to reconnect with and support our old Irish Import Shop friends. (And I got some Christmas shopping done!)

Seeing old friends like that was one of the best things about the day. Of course all of the Barry’s regulars were there, but so were members of the Rochester Irish community whom we hadn’t seen in forever.

This day drew the Irish community together like no other I’ve seen in years. It had the comfortable, welcoming feel of the original Rochester Irish Festival back in the 1990s, and is something our community has needed for a long time. That was easy to see by scanning the crowd. Green t-shirts, dresses and leggings were clearly the uniform of the day as festival attendees proudly put their Irish heritage on display.

By the way, I don’t know how you did it, but you dialed up some ideal weather. Earlier in the week the weatherdudes said there was a possibility of thunderstorms, but clearly Irish eyes were smiling on you. Sure, the heat was a little oppressive when you were sitting out in the sun (can you work on that next year?) but all you had to do was keep moving your hay bale or quad chair a little more to the east to stay in the shade.

Thank you also to all the volunteers who helped set up, man the parking lot in stifling heat, provided security, checked guests in, handled concessions and managed a hundred other tasks. As far as I could see, there was nary a glitch in the planning.

Basically — and I steal this thought from a friend — the Barry’s Old School Irish Festival pretty much was Barry’s West for a day. All of the friends, community, good food, good drink and good music we have come to expect from Barry’s were there, just like we find every week at the pub … just more spread out.

I know that was the vibe you were going for. So basically, you nailed it.

It’s no coincidence that as we turned off of 260 and followed the line of cars past the corn fields to your farm, the first thing I thought of was that scene from Field of Dreams. “If you build it, they will come.”

Well, you did, they did, and it was definitely a dream come true.

Well done, my friends. We’re already looking forward to next year’s festival, and hope to become more involved, with an eye perhaps to turning it into a two-day event?

Love, Missy


Here are a few photos from the wonderful day (taken from the Barry’s Old School Irish Facebook page). Visit the page to see more.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Barry’s Irish Festival just a week away

22 Aug

It’s almost time to get your Irish on at the Barry’s Old School Irish Festival, coming up next Saturday.

Danny and Jessica Barry — owners of Barry’s Old School Irish in the Village of Webster and two of my favorit-est people ever — have been working for months with a dedicated team of volunteers, pulling together a thousand little details in preparation for this second-annual event (if you don’t count last Covid year).

Organizing an Irish Festival was a dream of theirs since Danny and Jess opened their little pub 10 years ago. Just before their first festival in 2019, Jess told me (and I’m sure the sentiment hasn’t changed):

This has been a goal/dream of ours … having a fun-filled day celebrating our proud Irish heritage. A day where families can bond, kids can learn about Irish culture in an interactive setting, where friends can gather, where everyone can come away with new friends and make great memories together.

“Our most important goal,” she added, “is to take the warmth and love of our little Irish Pub on 2 West Main Street and bring it to our farm/our home for the day.” 

Barry’s Old School Irish Festival 2021 is scheduled for Saturday Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., on the Barry family farm out in Hilton, 2668 Brick Schoolhouse Rd., which they call the “Barry Patch.” Highlights include arts and crafts vendors, food and beer trucks, and live music all day long.

True to its family-friendly nature, there will also be a great kids’ area, with farm animals, something which Jess is really looking forward to.

Click here  for lots more details, but on Saturday you can expect:

  • entertainment from Kevin Reynolds, Himself, Dave North, Everheart, Celtic Cross, 1916 and a live Irish jam session
  • dancers from the Jamieson School of Irish Dance and the Young School of Irish Dance
  • food trucks and ice cream
  • an Irish beer truck, bottled beers and wine
  • kids’ activities
  • lawn games
  • Irish whiskey samples
  • giveaways and other specials

Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the gate (children 15 and under are free). Presale tickets can be purchased at the pub, 2 West Main Street in the Village of Webster. You can also purchase tickets online here. (Use the promo code “pints” for a special discount!)

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept. and the future Rochester Irish Community Center.

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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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Adorable new book is based on a local farmer

2 Aug

If you’ve ever driven down Lake Road in Ontario, perhaps you’ve occasionally seen a farmer standing by his fence giving you a huge smile and wave. If so, then you’ve “met” Bob, the main character of a brand new children’s book written by Pultneyville resident Keith Herman called Baby Donkeys for Sale.

Bob and his wife Karen own Wychmere Farms, a large, picturesque farm about a half mile east of Ontario Center Rd. For years, whenever Bob’s been out tending to his land and donkeys, he’s tossed a friendly wave to each passing car. For folks who frequently travel along Lake Road, Farmer Bob has become kind of a local hero. His friendliness has brightened the day for thousands of travelers, usually eliciting smiles and hearty waves in return.

Keith Herman is one of those thousands whose life Farmer Bob has touched. He has smiled and waved back along with everyone else. But he also decided to write a book about the farmer’s kindness.

Herman remembers when he started seeing the friendly farmer.

I would drive from Pultneyville to my office in Webster on a daily basis. After a while I started noticing a couple of things. There’s this majestic farm, cobblestone with silos, barns, split rail fences and some livestock. On occasion I’d see this sign out by the road in front of their house that said “baby donkeys for sale.”

But then something slowly started happening over time. If the farmer was out he would give me a wave. He didn’t know me. He would just give me a wave. And not just a wave. A kind of big wave.

It was hit and miss, but I would look forward to seeing him again.

One day, Herman decided to stop, pull into the farmer’s driveway and thank him for taking the time to wave. It was the beginning of a long friendship.

The more Herman got to know the farmer, the more stories he’d hear about others who stopped to say thank you. Like the neighbors who tucked a note into his mailbox which read, “You don’t know us, but know how grateful we are that you keep waving to people.” Or the woman who stopped and handed him an apple pie, telling him how much his waves made her day.

It was about three years ago that Herman decided to turn the heartwarming story into a children’s book. The idea came to him when he and his daughter Emily were doing some offshore sailing, working toward a goal of sailing around the world. It’s a sport which Herman characterizes as “99% boredom and 1% sheer terror.” It was during one of those exceedingly boring spells when he decided that writing a series of children’s books would help pass the time and give more purpose to their sailing quest.

Oliver visiting with a donkey

Baby Donkeys for Sale draws on Herman’s experiences and the stories Farmer Bob told him. It’s told through the eyes of Grampy (Herman himself) and his real-life grandson Oliver. (Oliver, naturally, is more interested in the donkeys than chatting with the farmer.) It’s beautifully illustrated by one of Herman’s Pultneyville neighbors, nationally-known watercolor artist Roland “Chip” Stevens.

It’s a simple story about how a small kindness can make a big impact, even though it might be subtle.

“I think the message would be … if you extend yourself and show kindness to people, it comes back to you in unexpected ways and you’re going to have a better life,” Herman said.

Herman says he’ll probably wait until he’s back on the sailboat, “bored out of my mind,” before he starts working on his next book in earnest. In the meantime, however, you might see him walking with his golden retriever around his Pultneyville neighborhood, waving at everyone who passes by.

Baby Donkeys for Sale can be purchased on Amazon.com and Bookbaby.com.


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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page

A delicious Pittsford/Webster connection

24 Jul

My husband Jack and I like to ride the Erie Canal Trail between Pittsford and Fairport, and we do so frequently, usually rewarding ourselves with a pint at one of the many fine pubs on either end of the trail.

But at least once every summer we make that ride with the explicit purpose of stopping for lunch at Harladay Hots in Pittsford.

Harladay Hots is an unassuming hot dog cart which every weekday from May through October can be found at the Main Street entrance to Pittsford’s community parking lot. Owner Charlie Harladay and his wife Bernie have been operating the cart in Pittsford since 2010. I first discovered the food cart and met Charlie back in 2017, and got to know him better when I featured Harladay Hots in my D&C column.

From the first time I stopped by the cart, I fell in love with Charlie’s chicken sandwich slathered in his homemade hot sauce. I order it every time we return. But as I explained to him on our most recent lunch visit, I’m not really ordering chicken with a side of hot sauce. I’m ordering his hot sauce with a side of chicken, because it’s that good.

I was singing its praises so much that Jack had to try it. “This is the best hot sauce I’ve ever tasted,” he reported, adding that it reminded him of the hot sauce he used to get in a Buffalo restaurant as a child.

Apparently I’m not the only one enamored with the hot sauce. Just recently, Charlie told me, he started bottling the sauce for sale. (Of course I came home with a bottle of it, since he had some on hand.)

And finally, the Webster connection.

I was pleased to hear that the Harladay Hots Spicy Meat Sauce is available at Hegedorn’s (along with some Pittsford locations). So here’s my totally uncompensated endorsement: you gotta try this hot sauce. And if you really like it, take a ride down to Pittsford some weekday for lunch and see what it’s like on one of Charlie’s burgers or sausages or chicken sandwiches.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Letterboxing: the perfect family hobby

14 Jul
The “Webster Borwnies” letterbox, with a stamp pad, hand-carved rubber stamp and logbook.

If you’ve never heard of letterboxing, please read on. I’d love to introduce you to this very family-friendly hobby which, when my children were young, was one of our favorite things to do.

In a nutshell, letterboxing is kind of like a treasure hunt. Each “letterbox” (usually some sort of Tupperware or other plastic container) contains a rubber stamp, stamp pad and a logbook. There are literally thousands of these hidden all over the country — and world. Searchers go online for clues, then follow the clues to track down the letterbox. (The site I like best is Atlasquest.com)

Once the box is retrieved, each searcher uses their own personal rubber stamp to stamp the box’s logbook (adding the date and a personal note if they’d like). Then they take the box’s stamp and imprint that into their personal logbook to keep track of their progress.

Most of the clues are simply step-by-step directions and are pretty easy to follow. Occasionally a clue might also include locating a particular compass direction, or require counting off a number of paces, both of which kids love to do. If you really get into it, you can come up with your own trail names (I’m Mama Rose) and carve your own rubber stamps (which is actually pretty easy).

Here’s a good example.

Tuesday morning I went to Atlasquest.com, searched for letterboxes in Webster and downloaded some simple directions to an easy-to-find letterbox hidden in Webster Park. It’s called “Webster Brownies,” and was likely hidden by a Webster Brownie troop.

Here are what the directions look like:

The directions were spot-on, and I had no trouble finding the box tucked inside the tree. (However, I was a little concerned about the folks siting on a nearby bench wondering why I was climbing up into the tree.) I didn’t have my personal stamp with me, so I just signed my name and the date into the logbook, put everything back in the waterproof baggies and dropped the box back where I found it.

Sometimes you might come across an extra surprise on your adventure, like I did Tuesday. Tucked inside the tree along with the letterbox was a large stone with the instructions to “paint a square and re-hide it.” I don’t know if the same Brownie troop created this little treat as well, or someone else added it to the site. In any case, I have to find my watercolors and get to work.

There are so many things to love about letterboxing. Unlike geocaching, you don’t need a GPS unit or your phone to track down coordinates. It costs basically nothing (aside from buying a stamp and a logbook), and it incorporates puzzle-solving, following directions, and even a little orienteering, all while discovering new parks and trails and getting some exercise.

Try it yourself; you might become addicted like my family did. All you need when you first get started are some clues, a small personal notebook to record your finds, and a stamp pad in case the box doesn’t have one. You don’t even need to have a rubber stamp of your own. You can just sign your names and date into the logbook. But check in your kids’ rooms, because they probably have some rubber stamps in there somewhere.

You can download clues from Atlasquest.com. Search for Webster and Penfield if you’d like to start local. Even that limited a search will show dozens in our area. But think big! Are you going to the Thousand Islands this summer with the kids? Download some clues and do some exploring up there. Just make sure you have a dedicated family letterboxing logbook, because you’ll be filling it up. (We also liked to record each find with a photo which we pasted into our logbook.)

Here are some more photos from the day:

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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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You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

31 May

When it comes to blog ideas, I’ve found it’s either feast or famine. As it turns out today, it’s definitely a feast. I’ve got so many things to tell you about I need to throw them all into one big mailbag so they don’t get too stale.

So here we go….

Image courtesy Town of Webster website

The Town of Webster is hosting a series of open houses for anyone interested in finding out more about plans for redeveloping Sandbar Park and upcoming REDI projects (Resiliency & Economic Development Initiative) which will include, among other projects, raising a portion of Lake Rd.

There’s going to be a lot of information presented at these meetings, so if you’d like to read up on all the projects in advance, click here for a good overview of what will be happening and why.

The open houses will be held:

  • Wednesday June 2, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive
  • Tuesday June 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rec Center
  • Thursday June 10, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rec Center
  • Saturday June 12 at the Joe Obbie’s Farmer’s Market, in the Kohl’s Plaza

The Webster Museum needs your help

Webster Museum volunteers have scoured available online resources for information about Asa Bass and his family. Museum staff members think this family may have been the first black residents of what is now Webster.

Asa (1792-1872) was born in Vermont, was a pioneer who came here in 1812 and bought at different times three different properties between the northern sections of what are now Phillips Road and Route 250.  Among his neighbors were the Foster and Wright families.

Asa and his wife Matilda Fuller Bass (1790-1866) had at least two children, Jane Bass Gould (1820-1891) and Chester Bass (1724-1873). Jane married Charles Gould and they had three children:  Anna, Nelson and Elijah. Chester married Sarah Gracen and they had at least one child, Francis Bass Vond. One of Asia’s nephews, Asa Boyd, lived with the family for many years.

The museum has many facts, but few stories about Asa and his farm and family lives. They’re hoping to hear from relatives of people who may have been friends or neighbors as well as descendants of this family.

Any information, even the smallest clue, would be greatly appreciated. Please send to Kathy at ktaddeo5@icloud.com

Yee haw! Challenge your kids at this rodeo!

The Monroe County Office of Traffic Safety will host a Bicycle Skills Rodeo on Saturday June 5 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr.

Children will learn, practice and demonstrate their bicycle handling skills. Make sure to bring your bicycle and helmet to participate in this family-friendly event for kids age 4-14. (There will be a few helmets available if you need one.)

The event is free, but registration is required. Visit the Webster Parks and Recreation website and look for program #201000. Four half-hour time slots are available beginning at 10 a.m.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides hosts Open House via Zoom

This note from some of our neighbors to the south.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides is hosting an open house via Zoom for those who might like more information about driving for the service.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides is a volunteer-based service that provides rides to adults 65+ in the Penfield and Brighton areas who do not have transportation to medical or other essential appointments. They are urgently seeking volunteers to drive or offer their assistance in dispatching rides to clients.    

The group will hold an Open House via Zoom on Thursday, June 10 at 4 p.m. to answer questions about how to get involved, as well as to share the history of the program.

Drivers are trained by Lifespan, and qualified drivers are offered additional umbrella insurance to drive for the service.

A link to the Zoom meeting can be found on the Penfield Recreation website calendar, or call 340-8655 for details. 

Help sustain our Webster forests

The Friends of Webster Trails is looking for a few good volunteers to help with a pressing problem.

Our treed and open space areas in Webster offer peaceful places to enjoy and explore, places that Friends of Webster Trails helps preserve for future generations. The future of our trees is threatened, however. Emerald Ash Borer. Wooly Adelgid. Oak Wilt. Beech Tree Canker. Those are just some of the challenges our green infrastructure faces.

Friends of Webster Trails is in the early stages of identifying how to address the problem, and they’re putting together a committee to work on it over the next several months.The goal is to enter 2022 with concrete plans to put into action. 

If you’re interested in joining their efforts, contact Norma Platt at normap1@rochester.rr.com.

Would you like to make some beautiful music?

The Webster-based Rochester Rhapsody chorus, an organization of female a cappella singers specializing in the barbershop harmony style, is excited to report they’ll be returning to live rehearsals, which were on hold for a long time thanks to COVID.

To kick off the summer, they’ll be spreading their love for music with a grand reopening for women of all ages.

Female guests can attend Rochester Rhapsody chorus’ “A Cappella Lives!” open rehearsal on June 14 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at Temple Beth El, 139 S. Winton Road, Rochester.

Women of all ages can enjoy an evening of music in a relaxed environment and participate in a cappella 4-part harmony, vocal skill building, singing a variety of music, and meeting with other women singers. Information about the chorus’ audition process will also be provided.

This is a great opportunity for women who love to sing but have never tried a cappella.

Registration is requested. To do so, and find out more details, visit the group’s Facebook page, email info@rochesterrhapsody.com or call 585-721-8369.

What’s a mailbag without news from the library?

There’s SO MUCH COOL STUFF happening at the Webster Publc Library. Here are just a few snippets just for your kids:

  • This year’s Summer Reading Kickoff takes place at the North Ponds Park pavilion on Thursday June 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

There will be games and crafts, raffle baskets and book drawings, a scavenger hunt, and Star Wars costume characters! No registration is required. The event will include a 20-minute storytime with Jason at 6:15, so bring your blankets!

  • Your kids’ next craft challenge: create an animal habitat!

For the Animal Habitat Challenge, kids will use supplies provided, and/or anything else you have at home. The library will provide the animal, some fun crafting supplies and a box for your diorama.

Pick up your kits from the library between June 7 and 11 and submit a photo of the completed habitat by June 18. Voting will take place on Facebook from June 21 to 27. Click here to register.

  • Step into the magical world of Candy Land! Between June 14 and June 30, families and small groups will be able to register for time slots to make their way through a live-action version of this popular family game. Venture through the enchanted storytime room full of gumdrops, candy canes, lollipops, and so much more. Do you have what it takes to make it to King Candy’s castle first? Click here to register.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of the plaza. Make sure to check out their website for all of the great youth and adult programs they’ve put together. I’ve just scratched the surface.

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