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Webster community mailbag

16 Apr

I need to start today’s mailbag with something of an apology.

Many of you may have noticed that my blogs of late have been somewhat sporadic. I have not been my normal loquacious self. But I do have a good excuse. My husband and I are in the middle of purchasing a new house, and selling our family home of almost 23 years.

So naturally, I’ve been a little distracted. But there is light at the end of the tunnel with regards to both deals, and the move itself should commence sometime next week. So hang in there and I’ll soon be my normal, annoying self once again.

In the meantime, here’s what’s happening around town (and sorry again, some of these are repeats; I’m taking a few shortcuts even today).

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mailbag iconIf you’re interested in running for the Webster Central School District Board of Education, you’re reminded that petitions are due this Monday April 22. Packets can be picked up from District Administrative Offices at their new temporary location in Towne Center Plaza (Target/Kohl’s Plaza), at the former Paychex location.

For more information, visit the WCSD website.

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Earth Day 2019 is this coming Monday April 22. You can help the Webster Public Library celebrate the occasion by lending a hand on Saturday April 20, as they clean up their outdoor space and plant their garden.

The entire family is invited to join in from 1 to 3 p.m. Crafts and activities will be provided for the kids, and there will be information about the seed library. Don’t forget to dress for the weather!

Reminder that the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale happens Thursday April 25 through Saturday April 27.

Hardcover books are just just $1 each, paperbacks only 50 cents, and credit cards are accepted. Shopping hours are Thursday April 25 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a whole bag for just $4.

Visit the Webster Public Library website to get more information about these and lots more April programs. The library is located at 980 Ridge Road, on the back side of the plaza off of Van Ingen Drive.

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The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser at the First Baptist Church of easter rabbit in egg clipartPenfield, on Saturday April 20, is going to be a special one.

From 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage and more for just $5 per person. Plus, at 9 a.m., children up to fifth grade can also participate in an Easter egg hunt, rain or shine.

April proceeds will benefit the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, a supplemental food relief organization serving the 14526 and 14625 areas and families of children in the Penfield school district since 1997.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday April 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd., in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken, pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the school, or through the school’s website.

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It must be chicken BBQ season.

St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Road will host its Spring Chicken BBQ and kids’ FunFest on Saturday May 4 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The dinner will include a half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll, butter and beverage. Pie slices and other desserts will also be available for purchase. A hot dog dinner for kids is $2.00.

Dinners are eat-in or take-out. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved by calling the church office at 671-1899, or purchased at the event while supplies last. Proceeds support St. Martin’s Christmas Stocking Project, which reaches more than 500 youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

St. Martin is located at 813 Bay Road in Webster.

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Finally, here’s a reminder about the free English classes being offered the Pickled Paintbrush in the village, for adults looking to improve their English language skills.

The classes will run on Monday evenings from April 29 through May 20. Each session is 90 minutes long, and are designed to help adults improve their English skills through interactive activities, while getting to know people living in your community.

One of the best parts of the program is that childcare will be available during these sessions, for potty-trained children ages 4 and up. The Pickled Paintbrush will provide an art program for children while the adults are in class.

logoAll skill levels are welcome to join the classes. There’s no charge, but participants are asked to register in advance so they know how many adults and children to expect. Click here for more information and to register. You can also call The Pickled Paintbrush at (585) 704-8809 or email thepickledpaintbrush@gmail.com.

If you’d like to check out the Pickled Paintbrush ahead of time, owner Marissa Birke is hosting an open house on Monday April 22, where prospective students can meet the instructor and kids can check out our studio space. The adults will complete a brief questionnaire to get a better feel for their English needs. We’ll also provide an art project for the kids while their parents are meeting with the instructor. If they’d like to enroll, registration will also be available that day.

The Pickled Paintbrush is located at 36 East Main St. in the village of Webster.

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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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East Rochester race to benefit Webster girl

6 Apr

beat braina cancerYoung Vivian Stoch of Webster will benefit from this year’s Beat Brain Cancer 5K, scheduled for Saturday June 8 at East Rochester High School.

Vivian, just 8 years old, is battling medulloblastoma, a pediatric form of brain cancer. In an email, race organizers said this about the brave young lady:

Vivian was diagnosed on April 23, 2018 after having double vision. Vivian has under gone surgery, 31 radiation treatments, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. Vivian is working with occupational therapy and physical therapy as well as tutoring at home. Due to the location of the tumor, Vivian still struggles with her balance, which prevents her from participating in many of the activities she enjoys most. Vivian loves cheerleading and gymnastics and wants to be a dolphin trainer when she grows up. Despite the major obstacles Vivian has overcome, she still smiles and maintains a happy disposition. 

The Stoch family has experienced a loss of wages and continues to receive medical bills for treatment. Please join us in supporting Vivian, her parents Mark and Kelly, and her little sister, Laila in this long and difficult journey against this horrible disease…. All of the money raised from this event will go to the Stoch family.

Vivian

Vivian Stoch

The annual Beat Brain Cancer 5K was created in memory of Desiree Stockholm, a nurse practitioner who passed away from a rare form of brain cancer at only 31 years old. Eveyr year the event raises funds to help other families in need offset the very expensive costs of fighting this disease. Last year, the race raised an amazing $17,000.

The race will feature a 5K run, 1 mile walk and a kids’ obstacle course. Registration is $20 through May 6, then goes up to $25 through June 7 and $30 on the day of the race.

For more information, to register, or just make a direct donation, click here. You can also send a tax-deductible donation to Beat Brain Cancer 5k, 31 Captiva Crossing, Fairport NY 14450. Please make checks payable to Beat Brain Cancer Inc.

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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.

Webster Community Mailbag

2 Apr

mailbag iconThe Webster Central School District invites community members to complete an engagement survey to help guide the district’s strategic plan.

The Community Engagement Survey, which is now available online here, will help guide the district’s implementation of new district initiatives and evaluate ongoing programs that impact all students and families.

The survey can be accessed on the school district website, and will be available through Thursday April 11. WCSD staff members and students will complete a different version of this survey in school.

The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Paper surveys will also be available at all 11 school buildings, the Webster Aquatic Center, Webster Recreation Center, Webster Public Library, and Penfield Public Library. Accommodations can also be made if you would like the survey translated into another language. Visit the WCSD website for more information.

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The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser at the First Baptist Church of Penfield, on Saturday April 20, is going to be a special one. 

From 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage and more for just $5 per person. Plus, at 9 a.m., children up to fifth grade can also participate in an Easter egg hunt, rain for shine. 

April proceeds will benefit the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, a supplemental food relief organization serving the 14526 and 14625 areas and families of children in the Penfield school district since 1997.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday April 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd., in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken, pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the school, or through the school’s website.

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It’s April, so all sorts of fun events are popping up at the Webster Public Library. Here are a few:

The Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale happens Wed. April 24 through Sat. April 27. This is an excellent opportunity to stock up on some new books for your home library, for just a few bucks!

Hardcover books are just just $1 each, paperbacks only 50 cents, and credit cards are accepted. Members of the Friends are invited to beat the crowds at special hours, Wed. from 5 to 8:30 p.m. (If you’d like to join the Friends that night, memberships will be available at the door.)

The general public is invited to shop on Thurs. April 25, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a whole bag for just $4. 

And here’s a quick reminder about the library’s Volunteer Fair, taking place Wed. April 3 at the library.

If you’ve ever thought about spending an hour or two a week — or more — using your many skills to help out a worthy organization, this is your chance to find the perfect fit. You’ll be able to connect with almost a dozen local agencies including Friends of the Webster Public Library, Friends of Webster Trails, Heritage Christian Services, Maplewood Nursing Home, Never Say Never Foundation, Webster Comfort Care Home, the Webster Arboretum, Webster Museum and Historical Society, and the the Webster and West Webster fire departments.

No registration is required; you can pop in any time between 3:30 and 6 p.m.

Visit the Webster Public Library website to get more information about these and lots more April programs. The library is located at 980 Ridge Road, on the back side of the plaza off of Van Ingen Drive.

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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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News from our neighbors to the south

3 Mar

penfield logoI’d like to pass along a few notes from Penfield, which I think will be of interest to Penfield and Webster residents alike.

First, anyone who’s been keeping tabs on the town’s purchase of the Shadow Pines property might be interested in this:

The Penfield Trails Committee will sponsor a free guided hike at the former golf course on Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will get a first-hand look at the current state of the hiking trail development, and survey the south end of the property.

Hikers are asked to meet at the parking lot near the Clark House off of Whalen Road. Look for the “Hike” signs. The hike is free, but participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 0.

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food shelf

The Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf is gearing up for its annual Easter dinner distribution, which will be held on Saturday April 20. They’ve sent out a call for donations of certain food items to be included with the dinners.

Specifically, they’re asking for canned sliced pineapple, boxed jello mix, and brownie mix. They’ll also need 40 sliced ham steaks, 60 smaller hams, enough for 2-3 people, and 50 medium to large hams, enough to serve 4-6 people. (Local grocery stores often have sales in the few weeks prior to Easter, which would be a good time to get an extra ham.)

The smaller items are needed by Monday, April 8., and the ham drop-off is scheduled for Saturday April 20 in the parking lot of the Dolomite Lodge.

If you can help — or if you’d like more information — email penfieldfoodshelf@gmail.com.

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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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The need is critical

7 Feb

blood dropAs a regular blood donor and a firm believer that everyone who canshould donate blood, I have more than once helped the American Red Cross spread word that blood supplies are at critically low levels.

But thanks to the widespread Polar Vortex (and, locally, the big snowstorm that preceded it), things are worse than they pretty much have ever been.

The cold snap sparked power outages, work and school closings, and as a result, many blood drives had to be cancelled. Even if they weren’t, many regular donors haven’t been able to make it to their appointments, or worse, figured it was too cold to venture out.

So blood supplies took a heavy hit and donors are needed immediately to help maintain a healthy stock.

If you’ve been considering donating blood – or even if you haven’t thought of it in a while – now is the time to act. 

Two local opportunities are coming up just next week:

Monday, Feb. 11: Holy Trinity Church, 1460 Ridge Road, Webster, from 1 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd, Webster, from 1 to 6 p.m.

Can’t make those? Consider heading out to the Brighton Fire Department, 3100 East Avenue, on Saturday Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You’ll even get a $10 gift certificate to top merchants by mail just for coming out to help. Click here to make an appointment, or just stop in. Either way, the friendly folks there will be happy to see you!

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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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Teachers “Plunging” for a cause

5 Feb

polar plungeI work with some pretty crazy colleagues. Crazy dedicated to students, that is.

Several of my colleagues at Schlegel Road Elementary School — and at least two others from Schroeder and Plank North — are teaming up to participate in the Polar Plunge this coming Sunday, which takes place annually at Ontario Beach Park.

In this very, very cold event, participants raise money for Special Olympics by “plunging” into Lake Ontario. There’s no swimming skills involved; even dipping a toe in counts as a plunge.

The Rochester Polar Plunge is the largest Polar Plunge in New York and one of the largest in the entire U.S. It’s part of the Special Olympics New York Polar Plunge series. There are over 15 Polar Plunges statewide and the event serves as the signature fundraising initiative to benefit the athletes and programs of Special Olympics New York.

The first Plunge in Rochester was held in 2001 and had 75 plungers with $15,000 being raised. It has since grown tremendously, drawing 2,300 plungers in 2016, who raised more than $300,000.

Here are the current team members (maybe one of them has taught your kids):

From Schlegel: Meg Dugan, Bill Ambler, Dan DeStephano, Jill Mancini, Janet Gibson and Becky Plouffe. Joining them are Dan Crowley from Plank North and Linda Law from Schroeder.

The team members are still looking for donations to encourage their efforts. You can click this link to support one specific team member or the entire team. And if you’re not doing anything this Sunday at noon, come on down to the lake and watch your WCSD teachers take the Plunge!

(Believe it or not, I’m seriously considering joining them……)

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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.

 

My blood went to Syracuse.

11 Jan

truckThe Red Cross is doing this new thing, and I kind of like it.

They sent me an email the other day, a few weeks after I donated blood at St. Martin’s Church, to tell me where my donation had been used.

The email read,

Thank you for giving blood with the American Red Cross on 12/11/2018. After first ensuring that local needs were met, your blood donation was sent to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, NY to help a patient in need. Your donation is on its way to change lives!

Now, if you’ve ever given blood, you’ve seen how many times they scan the donation materials and ask you to repeat your name, so I think that tracking information is probably accurate. And believe it or not, the news about where my pint was sent made me feel kinda good.

I’m a regular blood donor, so I don’t need an incentive like this to encourage me. But reading that email gave me a little bit of closure and confirmed what I already knew: my blood and the hour I took out of my day to donate it, were making a difference.

I hope that you recently got an email like this, thanking you for a recent donation. If not, please consider becoming a regular donor. It’s especially critical at this time of year when supplies are very low.

Your next local opportunity is on Monday Jan. 14, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Browncroft Community Church, 2530 Browncroft Blvd. And BONUS, you’ll get a $5 Dunkin gift card by email when you give blood at this drive.

Click here to make an appointment, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Or just pop in. They’d love to see you either way.

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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.

Holiday lights benefit AutismUp — an update

7 Jan

house

Here’s a quick update this morning.

You may remember the blog I wrote a few weeks before Christmas about a tremendous holiday lights display hosted by Cora and Charlie Venishel in Penfield. This year, in addition to their twinkling spectacle of lights, the Venishels decided to also solicit donations to AutismUp from the many people who stopped by.

A1486150458holiday-thank-you-clip-art-free-clipart-images-4fter the blog — and a column I wrote in the D&C about the display — Cora and Charlie reported they definitely saw an increase in traffic. And a lot of those people chose to drop some dollars in the donation box.

Cora sent a thank you note to everyone the other day. She wrote,

On behalf of the Venishel family, we would like to express our gratitude for the donations made to Autism up during our Holiday Light display this year. Because of all of you we were able to raise $480.00. You truly did a wonderful thing. Your generosity will benefit the families afflicted with Autism

Wishing you all Happy New Year!

And an additional thank you from me as well for taking the time to read my blog and deciding to help a neighbor who’s trying to make the world a little bit better place.

Hoping your new year has been a great one so far!

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Don’t miss this holiday light display

10 Dec

house

If you and your family like traveling around the neighborhoods during the holidays to see the different Christmas light displays, read on, because I want to tell you about one that you shouldn’t miss.

It’s at the home of Charlie and Cora Venishel, 100 Henderson Drive in Penfield (across from the library and Penfield Recreation Center).  For years, in addition to an incredible front and back-yard light display, the Venishels hosted a magical Christmas town inside their home, with a gingerbread house toy shop, miniature villages, hundreds of nutcrackers, electric trains, exquisitely decorated dining rooms, and more. For a small donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, families could enjoy the front yard decorations, tour the village, then wander out into the backyard where thousands more lights twinkled. (Click here to read the D&C column I wrote about it.)

The couple hosted the event for ten years, raising more than $30,000 for Ronald McDonald House. After the 2015 season, they decided to hand off the villages to their children. But they’ve continued to set up their amazing front yard display in the years since, and have added something new every year.

Visitors will see all varieties of Christmas trees, trumpeting angels, icicles, lighted walkways, huge “Season’s Greetings” sign on the roof, Santa’s mailbox, and an Ice Princess’ castle, all illuminated with somewhere around 25,000 twinkling lights. There are also giant candy canes and life-sized snowman, and an antique, refurbished sleigh with Santa and Mrs. Claus, led by eight reindeer (and Rudolph, of course).

Like many private home Christmas light displays, the effect is breathtaking. But what’s different is the Venishels’ continued commitment to helping others. They’re encouraging visitors to help them raise money for AutismUp, a local organization dedicated to supporting those with autism spectrum disorder. They’ve put a mailbox at the end of the driveway for anyone who might like to drop in a dollar or two for the cause.

So make sure to stop by the Venishels’ display, 100 Henderson Drive. Park for a bit and actually wander down the sidewalk to the Ice Princess’ castle. Then tuck a few bucks into the mailbox before you leave. It’s a great way to share the joy and love of the holiday season.

 

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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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Rec Cross has announced a severe need for blood. Here’s how you can help

24 Nov

You have an opportunity TODAY to honor a life ended too soon, while helping to save others.

A blood drive being held today (Saturday) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School honors the memory of Schroeder graduate Colin Montesano, who passed away suddenly last year at just 21 years old.

colinColin had wanted to dedicate his life to helping others by becoming a physician and studied at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also an active community volunteer and talented athlete.

Here are the details of today’s drive:

Blood Drive in honor of Colin Montesano
Saturday, November 24, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Webster Schroeder High School
875 Ridge Road, Webster. Walk-ins are welcome.

Aside from this being a great thing to do in Colin’s memory, this is also a critical time of year for blood donations. Donations decline significantly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people get busy with holiday activities, so the Red Cross really needs your help.

If you can’t make today’s drive, here are several other local opportunities coming up in the next several weeks:

  • Fairport/Webster Elks Lodge, 1066 Jackson Rd., Webster: Thursday Nov. 29, from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., Webster: Tuesday Dec. 11 from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Webster Knights of Columbus, 70 Barrett Drive: Wednesday Dec. 12 from 1 to 7 pm.
  • Kent Park Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd., Webster: Thursday Dec. 20 from 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Visiting Nurse Service, 2180 Empire Blvd., Webster: Friday Dec. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Dunkin Donuts, 2100 Empire Blvd., Webster: Sat. Dec. 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd.: Friday Dec. 21 from 1 to 6 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged (and help you get in and out a little faster). Call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or log onto RedCrossBlood.org.

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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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