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Webster community mailbag: busy weekend ahead

20 Jul

Baseball and festival and ice cream. All perennial summer favorites, and you’ll find them all this weekend in Webster.

The fun all starts Saturday morning July 24 at Challenger Miracle Field of Great Rochester, during their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes for whom the field was built, and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. Visitors are invited to watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, and then hang around to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

It’s all free, there’s plenty of parking, and it’s going to be great family fun. Click here to learn more about Challenger Miracle Field.


The Waterfront Art Festival also returns to North Ponds Park this Saturday and Sunday after taking last year off (much like most everything else in life).

The Waterfront Art Festival is a fine art and craft show and sale that was started in 1973 on the Canandaigua City Pier. It was held in Canandaigua for 41 years before moving to Webster, where it has grown every year and become a highly anticipated summer event.

This year’s festival will feature almost 60 artisans displaying a wide variety of unique, high-quality pieces ranging from stoneware, beads and culinary items to jewelry, glassware and soaps… and so much more.

PLUS, there’s lots of live music (check the line-up here), a food court and wine/beer/cider tastings tent, all set up along the pathways and lawns of the picturesque, shady North Ponds Park.

Admission is $3, and kids 12 and under are free. There’s also plenty of free parking.


Here’s word of a unique new “summer camp” experience for kids who like to sew.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main Street in Webster, will offer a Stitch by Stitch Kids Summer Camp from Tuesday July 27 through Thursday July 29. Over the three days, young students will create their own drawstring backpacks, while learning more about sewing machines and techniques.

Classes will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. each day, and be taught by instructor Kelly Goodman. Cost is $60.

For more information, including a supply list, email The Village Quilt Shoppe through the contact page on their website, call them at 585-626-6916 or stop by their shop.


St. Rita Church in West Webster will be hosting their next “Saturdays at St. Rita” event this weekend.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on July 24, the community is invited to an ice cream social at the church, 1008 Maple Drive.

BUT THERE’S MORE THAN JUST ICE CREAM! You can also get dinner from Verno on the Roll, AND play miniature golf for free! There’s a book sale, gift basket raffle, and live music.

And of course, it’s all a warm-up to the annual St. Rita Fiesta, scheduled this year for Aug. 28. Stay tuned for more about that.


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Webster community mailbag

6 Jul

A couple of reminders this morning about upcoming events, plus a few new events for your consideration.

This Friday July 9, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, at the corner of Webster Rd. (Rt. 250) and State Rd., will host a drive-through Taco Dinner, beginning at 4 p.m. and ending when they’re sold out.

Customers will have a choice of beef and chicken Birria style street tacos along with rice and black bean sides. The meals, priced at $12 for the first one and $11 for each additional meal ordered at the same time, are prepared by Tacodero, of Rochester. Its owner and chef, Cordero Rivera, has worked as a private chef cooking for hip-hop artists and NBA players in NYC before moving to Rochester.

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


The Friends of the Public Library have added more dates for their Pop-Up Book Sales.

Four more sales have been scheduled for Thursday July 15, Saturday July 31, Thursday August 12 and Saturday August 28. They’ll be held in the Webster Public Library parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., weather permitting. (Cancellations will be posted on the library’s website and Facebook page or you can call the library at 585-872-7075.)

Prices will be $1 for hardcover, 2/$1 for paperback. On August 28, the last sale day, bring your own bag and fill it to the brim for just $3 (or two bags for $5).

By the way, remember that the library is holding Outdoor Storytimes at Harmony Park every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. No registration is necessary. The park is located just off Phillips Rd. on 10 Foster Drive. For more information, check out the library calendar here.

This tidbit also from the library: “Binge Bags.”

If you’re in the mood to take a break and binge on four or five movies — all with the same theme (like Star Wars or the best of Stephen King) — you can check out a “Binge Bag” at the library. It will be your own personal movie marathon. (Don’t forget the popcorn.)

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


The Webster Recreation Center’s next Family Fun Day will be on Saturday July 17.

The Summer Splash Family Fun Water Day will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the First Responders Splash Park, located on Chiyoda Drive adjacent to the Webster Recreation Center. Make sure to wear your swimsuits, bring a towel and some cash because there will be food trucks.

No registration is required, and the event is free for all ages.

And while you’re near the Rec Center, make sure to grab your copy of the new “Find a Way to Play” playgrounds passport. This is a new program from the Webster Parks and Recreation Department which encourages families to get outside and explore all of the great play areas we have here in Webster.

The 10-page passbook highlights many places right here in town where children and adults can be active and have fun. It encourages everyone to visit different facilities and discover each one’s unique amenities. The booklet provides a brief description of not just playgrounds, but two spray parks, the skate park and more.

You can read more about the program in this blog I wrote a few weeks ago.


There’s a very special event coming up later this month which I’ll write more about at a later date. But it’s something I think you’ll want to get on your calendar right now, especially if you’re not familiar with Rochester Challenger Miracle Field.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

On Saturday July 24, Miracle Field will host their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. You can watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, then stay to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot. It should be a great morning of family fun.

More to come about this event later. But in the meantime, you can visit the Rochester Challenger Miracle Field website for details.


Also coming up later this month, a brand new event from the Webster BID, those folks who bring you White Christmas in the Village, Trick or Treat Trail, Wine Walks and more.

It’s being called the Family Games Night & Beer Garden, scheduled for Friday July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. on West Main Street in the village.

The BID website promises sidewalk chalk art, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four, Cornhole and a free yoga class. Beer and wine will be served up by the Coach Sports Bar and food from Webster Hots (including a kids’ menu). Live acoustic music will be provided by Steve Bartolotta from 6:30 to 8:00.

Details are still being hammered out, so stay tuned. You can also check the BID website for updates.

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More good food coming our way this summer

19 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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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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Webster community mailbag

9 Mar

Two opportunities to help our neighbors in today’s mailbag, and some reader memories from the ice storm of ’91.

Immanuel Lutheran Church at 131 West Main St., in the Village of Webster will hold a food and underwear drive on Saturday March 20 from from 10 a.m. to noon.

The food collected will be shared with needy families via Immanuel’s Weekend Backpack Food program and their Little Free Pantry.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Weekend Backpack Food program. It began with 16 students at one elementary school, and was just a 6-week commitment. It currently supports more than 70 students across all seven Webster elementary buildings.

In his recent email, Ed Huehn from Immanuel explained,

A referral from a teacher, school nurse or social worker and consent from a guardian/parent makes (a student) a part of the program. The food provides support to the student on the weekend. Some, but not all of the kids receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch during the week. The foods included are kid-friendly and easy to prepare. Each bag contains 4-6 food items for meals or snack. They are a supplement for the weekend and easy to prepare. …The Webster School District transports the food from the church to each building and a coordinator there distributes the bags! Many thanks to all involved in this program and their support over 10 years.

Immanuel also maintains one of the many little free pantries in the Webster area, located in the parking lot. The concept is “take what you need and leave what you can.” Some of the donations collected on the 20th will be used to restock the pantry. If you choose to bring donations at other times, please limit them to commercially prepared, non-perishable goods.

Oh, yeah! And remember they need underwear, too. Underwear is one of the most needed and least donated items in community programs. Pleease bring only new underwear and socks, in orginal packaging.


If you happen to be closer to Penfield’s four corners on that Saturday, Penfield First Baptist Church is also holding a drive-up, drop-ff food drive that day, also from 10 a.m. to noon. They’ll be set up in the church parking lot, 1862 Penfield Rd. Donations will support the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf “feed the kids” program.


The Webster Public Library has a Puzzle Swap Shelf!

I’m actually bouncing in my chair as I write that, because I am an off-again on-again jigsaw-puzzler (when I can find the time and space) and have burned through all the ones I own. And I fear my good friend Patty will get tired of loaning me ones from her expansive collection.

So when I heard that I can take some of my old standbys (some of which I have done several times) and swap them out for new ones, I was delighted. So grab your ond ones and stop by the library for some new ones. I might just see you there!

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

Finally, I would like to share with you a few reader responses I got after my blog on the 30th anniversary of the 1991 ice storm. I invited everyone to send in their memories from that day, and I received a few. Thank you for sharing!

At that time we lived in Country Manor apartments. And we were lucky because power was restored to that complex quickly. (Xerox was busy back then and I think that our close proximity to the plant helped get the power back later that day on the 4th) But it was one heck of a night listening to the branches cracking and falling in a nearby wooded area and also seeing the flashes of the transformers blowing up. I would rate this storm as probably the worst storm that I have experienced in this area in my life. The blizzard of ’66 was wild, but we did not have the loss of power or the outright destruction that the ice storm of ’91 had. Our county looked like a war zone for sure ! — Bob B.

We were living in the Maplewood area of the city. A branch in our backyard took out our power but we were able to run a large extension cord from our neighbor’s garage for minimal power. We were low priority for the power company so didn’t get power back for a week. My sons wanted to take a walk so I made them wear football helmets because of the ice falling from trees. It was beautiful! — Karen T.

We had moved to Irondequoit by 1991. … Our ice storm experience in Irondequoit similar to yours. Had power, so Greece family moved in. Crowded but fun. Lost some trees, no house damage. Beautiful wind-chime sound of ice-laden branches moving in wind until wind picked up and turned into crashing sounds as branches and limbs fell. — Kathy T.

On a side note, it was fun to discover through these memories that Kathy and I were apparently neighbors back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, living perhaps 10 houses away from each other on the same city street.

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Library, Hope House collaborate on successful clothing drive

13 Jan
HOPE Ministry Director Margery Morgan with a carload of donations. (Photo provided)

The Webster Public Library and HOPE Ministry joined forces recently to bring a little bit of happiness and warmth to local families during the holidays.

The organizations teamed up to host a two-month long winter clothing drive to benefit the families who rely on Hope House, located at Holy Trinity Church, for food and clothing.

The library hosts this giving event every year, and library patrons and staff members always come through in a big way. This year, enough hats, mittens, scarves, coats and socks were collected to fill a large SUV floor to ceiling.

“There was just SO much,” said Margery Morgan, Director of HOPE Ministry. “A lot of it was hand-knitted and hand-crocheted,” she added, and seemed especially pleased with all of the socks and brand new items they received, items they can’t always offer to their clients. All of the donations will be distributed to low-income Webster families during the Hope House’s regular food distribution hours.

This year’s clothing drive has ended, but the Hope House continues to accept donations of personal hygiene items, cleaning items and food. The need is especially great as the pandemic continues to devastate families’ lives. Illness and unemployment have driven many people into a place they never dreamed they’d be: needing assistance just to put enough food on the table.

If you’d like to help out, visit the Hope House website or Facebook page to see a wish list of items the ministry especially needs. Contact-less drop-off for donations is available. And if your family needs the kind of support the Hope House provides, give them a call at 585-265-6694 to discuss your situation, or stop by during their normal hours of operation.

“We’re here because we want to help people,” Morgan said. “Nobody should be hungry.”

Hope House is located at Holy Trinity Church, 1450 Ridge Rd., Webster. Hours are Monday 4 to 7 p.m, Tuesday 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesday 2 to 5 p.m.

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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

3 Sep

It pains me just a little bit to post this first notice, because it’s a tacit admission that winter is not too far off, but it’s a very important message.

The Webster Public Library is hosting its second annual COAT DRIVE, to benefit Homeless Connect Rochester.

A large box has been placed in the library’s lobby, where you can donate your gently used (and clean!) coats of all sizes and types. The collection will run through Sept. 15 and the coats will be distributed to those residing in shelters and on the streets of Rochester.

For more information, visit the Homeless Connect Rochester website, and if you have any questions, email webster.reference@libraryweb.org.

Beginning Sept. 8, the Webster Public Library will have new hours, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Here are a few other updates/reminders about the library’s services:

  • Curbside Service continues to be available whenever the library is open. Contact the library with questions by email at webster.reference@libraryweb.org or by phone at 585-872-7075.
  • Online programs are being offered. Check the website calendar for details. Any updates will be posted on the website slider and the WPL Facebook page.
  • Donations of books, DVDs, and music CDs are being accepted, but NO magazines, textbooks, or computer books. Two boxes maximum per day.
  • NO DMV at the library for the remainder of 2020.
  • Remember to wear your mask!

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Webster Parks and Recreation has cooked up a fun way to say goodbye to summer. 

It’s a socially-distanced food truck picnic on Wednesday, Sept. 9 (the day before school starts) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Miracle Field playground, 1000 Ridge Rd., Webster. Kid-friendly meals will be available from The Meatball Truck and Wraps on Wheels. The playground will be open, so you can buy lunch, relax on your last day of summer freedom, and play. 

Picnic tables will be socially distanced or bring a blanket to sit on. All ages are welcome and registration is not required. Please note: Masks are required, however, while ordering.

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More good food will be on the menu when St. Martin Lutheran Church hosts its fall drive-through chicken BBQ on Saturday Sept. 19 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Dinners of half-chicken, salt potatoes, coleslaw, roll, and butter are available for $10. The event this year will be drive-through only. Cars will enter the parking lot, follow the signs, and purchase tickets using exact payment. Cars will then proceed to the front entrance to pick up boxed dinners. Dinners will be assembled according to CDC recommendations. Due to current health restrictions, pie slices and other desserts will not be available.

Proceeds will support St. Martin’s our Christmas Stocking Project, which reaches more than 500 local youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

St. Martin Lutheran Church, is located at 813 Bay Rd. in Webster. 

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Immanuel Lutheran food drive a big success

28 Aug

Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by Immanuel Lutheran Church last weekend to donate to the church’s food drive. Ed Huehn, one of the drive’s organizers, reports that it was a great success.

Immanuel Lutheran, located at 131 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster, has been a longtime sponsor of the Webster Schools’ Weekend Food Backpack Program, which provides bags of food for more than 70 children in all seven of the district’s elementary schools.

The church also is home to one of the town’s several Little Free Pantries. These tall cabinets, which resemble very large Little Free Libraries, are placed in parking lots or other public places, and packed with food and toiletry items. Based on a “take what you need, leave what you can” philosophy, community members in need can stop by at any time and help themselves to whatever they can use.

When the schools all closed in March, and backpack food deliveries could no longer be made, the church community shifted distribution to the Little Free Pantry in their parking lot.

Before last Saturday’s food drive, Ed said, both their pantry and storeroom were almost empty. But by the end of the day, they were full again thanks to the generosity of our Webster community members. All the donations will be used to restock the pantry daily, and start up the Weekend Food Backpack Program again when school buildings reopen.

WHAM-Channel 13 stopped by and posted a short story on the effort. You can see that here.

How you can help

If you missed the food drive but would still like to help out, the church continues to accept donations for their hunger ministry initiatives. According to their website,

Items that can be donated to the pantry include non-perishable foods such as pasta, cereal, pancake mix, soups, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, sugar, and flour. Personal hygiene and toiletry items such as soap, tooth paste, deodorant, toilet paper and diapers. Children’s coloring books and crayons can also items that can help out a family.

Just recently, Immanuel Lutheran added a large produce stand next to their pantry. If you have an extra garden vegetables this summer, they would also be very welcome.

Immanuel Lutheran Church’s Little Free Pantry, located in the church’s parking lot, with a brand new companion produce stand.

Webster’s other Little Free Pantries are located at St. Martin on Bay Road, Webster Baptist Church in the Village of Webster and the United Church of Christ on Klem Road. Any one of these organizatons would greatly appreciate your donations.

St. Rita’s to host blood drive next week

24 Jul

blood-dropTwo opportunities to help save lives through blood donation are just around the corner.

The first is Thursday, July 30 at St. Rita Catholic Church, 1008 Maple Drive in West Webster.  The drive will run from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. To make your appointment, go to redcrossblood.org and search for sponsor code 9390nyp.

Cherry Ridge Assisted Living Community, 900 Cherry Ridge Blvd. (across from Webster Schroeder High School) will host a drive on Thursday Aug. 6, from 1 to 6 p.m. For this one, search for sponsor code cherryridgecommunitycenterrochester.

As you can imagine, the Red Cross is in desperate need of whole blood and platelet donations right now, so please consider donating.

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Birthday parade honors former St. Rita principal

13 May

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Birthday parades seem to be popping up every week these days, but this one was an extra special one.

On Monday evening, a parade of cars of cars honoring Sister Katherine Ann Rappl streamed through the St. Rita parking lot, offering gratitude and 80th birthday wishes to the school’s former principal.

It was a complete surprise for Sister Rappl, who clearly enjoyed the parade, which numbered about 140 cars. Thank you so much to Julie Schillaci for passing along the included here.

Julie also sent this write-up about the school’s beloved former principal:

No matter how many years pass, alumni of St. Rita School in Webster will always be “God drops” to Sister of Mercy Katherine Ann Rappl.

Exceptional students at the school are recognized with this honorary designation and receive raindrop-shaped sun catchers to hang in their windows to remind them 84CD1B72-D0E9-48EF-96F8-E6E6EF5CF9F9of how they capture God’s love.

The phrase “God drops” was one that Sister Rappl picked up during a National Catholic Educational Association Conference workshop years ago

“A raindrop is fully made up of what a cloud is made up of,” she always said, noting that people are God drops because they are made up of the same substance as God. God’s life is inextricably intertwined with their lives, she said.

And for the past 30 years, the lives of the students at St. Rita School have been intertwined with Sister Rappl, who began working there as principal in 1983.

She taught at St. Andrew and St. John the Evangelist, Rochester; St. Salome, Irondequoit; St. Louis, Pittsford; and St. Patrick Junior High School and Notre Dame High School, Elmira.

Formerly known as Sister Mary Benedicta, her home parish was St. Thomas the Apostle in Irondequoit, and she attended the parish school. She said the Sisters of Mercy who taught her at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Brighton were very influential in her discerning her vocation, and she became a Sister of Mercy in 1958.

Sister Rappl loves being in Catholic education because she has been able to teach children both academics and their faith, and she has gotten the chance to see students grow.

“That’s a big joy in seeing how they learn to take responsibility and control of their behavior from kindergarten to sixth grade,”

And, she always points out, J.O.Y. — an acronym that stands for Jesus, others and yourself — is the school’s theme.

“I always tell students don’t let anyone take your joy away from you,” Sister Rappl received the “Lighting the Fire Award” from the Catholic School Administrators Association of New York State for her 50 years of service in Catholic education.

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You may have heard some commotion last night in the village around 7 p.m. That was yet another birthday parade, this one for Fritz Sierk, owner of The Coach Sports Bar on West Main.

This one featured not only a fire engine and other emergency vehicles, but also the WFD’s antique engine, and that huge Teamsters semi, blasting music.

Hard to tell if Fritz saw it all; he seemed to have something in his eye for part of it.

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