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Produce and flowers and crafts, oh my!

23 Sep

Don’t let the slow creep of autumn scare you away; Webster’s Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market is still up and running every Saturday in the Towne Center Plaza, at the corner of Ridge and Holt (near Old Navy and the gazebo).

The market offers locally-grown fresh produce (including this season’s apples), baked goods, jams & jellies, honey, maple syrup, fresh meats, plants, spices and crafts. When I was there last weekend I grabbed some tomatoes and even started my Christmas shopping.

The market runs through the first week in November, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. For more information, check out their Facebook page. And scroll through the slideshow at the top of this blog to see more photos!

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Village block party brought music to the streets

14 Sep
The Red Hot and Blue Band performed a porch concert for about 100 village residents Saturday afternoon.

I have come to realize that one of the main things I miss most during this pandemic is the opportunity to see live music.

Fortunately, those opportunities have begun to present themselves again in the last several weeks. For example, the Village of Webster held three Friday night concerts at the gazebo, and Barry’s Old School Irish is back to hosting its regular traditional Irish music sessions every Saturday night.

I consider yesterday’s live music event a bonus, however. It was a village block party held on Park Ave., just around the corner from my house (OK, two corners).

A portion of Park Ave. was blocked off for the party.

I’m not sure who organized the event, but I’m sure my Park Ave. neighbor Doug Pucci had something to do with it. It was on his porch that his rockin’ Red Hot and Blue Band performed for almost three hours to an appreciative audience of almost 100 adults and children.

The organizers distributed flyers all over the surrounding neighborhoods, but everyone in the village was invited, regardless of whether they got one of the “invitations” before they ran out.

The sun was shining, the children were dancing and making chalk drawings in the middle of Park Ave., and neighbors were meeting neighbors. It was a quintessential village experience.

Thank you to everyone who helped pull this together. It was exactly the thing all us music-starved and socially-deprived people needed.

At one point, almost 100 adults and children were watching the concert, dancing, or playing in the street.

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Stories in the bandshell!

5 Sep

Count on the Webster Public Library to come up with yet another creative idea to bring the excitement of reading directly to young children.

Their latest brainstorm is outdoor, in-person storytimes at the amphitheater at Harmony Park on Phillips Rd. This month, the library will host six storytimes — three on Tuesday afternoons and three on Thursday mornings — each lasting a half hour. The event is geared to children up to age 5, but all are welcome.

The storytimes are scheduled on Thursdays Sept. 10, 17 and 24 from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and Tuesdays Sept. 15, 22 and 29 from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. The events are free, but registration is required, and spots are limited.

The Harmony Park amphitheater is better known as home to our Webster Village band.

Social distancing guidelines will be enforced at each storytime. Please bring a blanket that is large enough for all family members to sit on. Masks are required for all adults and children over 2. Please register all children in your group, including babies. Walk-ins will not be permitted.

These special events are being made possible in large part through the support of our village trustees. Usually the Village of Webster charges $50 each time a group wants to use the amphitheater, but the village has waived that charge for the library.

Harmony Park and the amphitheater are located on Foster Drive, off of Phillips Rd. just south of Ridge. For more information and to register, click here.

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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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Rochester Rhapsody offering free singing lessons

31 Aug

If you ever wished you could get some professional singing lessons, but didn’t know where to go, or were afraid of what they’d cost, here’s some great news:

Rochester Rhapsody Chorus, a Webster-based non-profit a cappella women’s chorus, will offer a free singing education workshop to men and women musicians, singers and choral groups to expand their musical knowledge and vocal skills.

The workshop, called “Enrich Your Voice: A Cappella Singing Workshop,” will be taught via ZOOM on three consecutive Monday evenings in September from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Participants may attend one or all classes.

The schedule is:

  • Sept. 14, “A Cappella 101: From Basics to Brilliance”
  • Sept. 21, “Voice Building: Techniques to Improve Your Singing”
  • Sept. 28, “The Heart of Singing: Authentic, Emotional Performances”

The workshops will be conducted by musical clinician Sue Melvin, Director of Rochester Rhapsody.

The workshop is free, but registration is required. To register go to facebook.com/RochesterRhapsody/events. Participants will receive a confirmation email with the ZOOM meeting link. For questions please email info@RochesterRhapsody.com.

Rochester Rhapsody Chorus is the Rochester chapter of Harmony, Incorporated, an international organization of female a cappella singers. Their focus is to empower women through vocal performance education. In addition to performing frequently for both public and private functions, Rochester Rhapsody is a competing ensemble and has qualified for International competition each year since inception. Friendship and FUN are also an important part of the group. The chorus welcomes women singers to contact them at info@rochesterrhapsody.com for information about visiting one of their Monday evening rehearsals.

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Our village summer is ending on a high note

29 Aug

If you happened to walk or drive by Veteran’s Memorial Park last night while the Friday Night Gazebo Concert was happening, you might have thought we were having a regular village summer after all.

That is, if you disregarded the fact that audience members were all grouped into individual, socially-distanced white squares spray-painted in the grass.

Regardless of how weird it looked, the arrangement didn’t seem to bother anybody; the large number of people who had gathered to enjoy the smooth jazz tunes from Judah Sealy just seemed very happy to be able to enjoy a Friday Night Concert again on a beautiful summer evening.

The last of this summer’s three concerts is scheduled for next Friday night, Sept. 4, featuring one of the Webster Jazz Fest favorites, the Bill Tiberio Band. The concert begins at 7 p.m., and you’re welcome to come earlier in the day to choose a square and set up your chairs.

Veteran’s Memorial Park is located on North Ave., just steps from the village’s four corners.

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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.

Find out more about Girl Scouts at this weekend’s fun day

25 Aug

Let’s hope this beautiful late-summer weather continues to hold through this weekend, because the Seneca Waterways Council has planned a pretty cool get-to-know-your-Girl-Scouts event this Saturday Aug. 29.

They’re calling it a “community fun day,” an opportunity for interested families to get a taste of the programs that Girls Scouts offer.

Local Scouts and BSA Girl Troops will host two hours of activities and events, this Saturday Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Penfield Wesleyan Church, 1580 Five Mile Line Rd. The event is free but participants are asked to register ahead of time (so they know how many people to expect). To do that, click here.

For more information, you can email Brendan Flaherty at brendan.flaherty@scouting.org, call him at (585) 241-8530, or check out the flyers attached here.

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Webster community mailbag

8 Aug

There are several ways for you to help out your community — and environment — in today’s mailbag.

Bottle and Can Drive

Capture

For starters, the Webster Marching Band will hold their next bottle and can drive on Saturday August 22 at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. 

Bottles and cans can be dropped off at the high school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day. If you have any that you’d like to have picked up before then, simply call the Bottle and Can Hotline at 234-8684, select option 1, leave a message, and someone will be in touch to pick up your returnables.

Food Drive

Capture2

That same day, Saturday August 22, Immanuel Lutheran Church at 131 West Main Street in Webster will host a non-perishable food drive. All donations will be used for the church’s Little Free Pantry and the WCSD Food Backpack Program.

Click on the poster above for more information about items they particularly need. The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Blood Drive

blood drive

Another local opportunity for you to help save lives with your blood donation will take place on Tuesday Aug. 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Webster Volunteer Fire Department Firemen’s Building, 172 Sanford Street. To set up your appointment, call 1-800-Red-Cross. 

Electronics Recycling

The next local electronics recycling event will be held at Xerox on Saturday August 29 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The last time one of these drives was held at Xerox, the line of cars stretched down Phillips Rd. So organizers are requesting that everybody pre-register for this drive. Click here to do that.

Items that will be accepted include cell phones, computers, monitors, printers, audio video equipment, and small devices. There’s a limit of four TV monitors per car.

Book Sale! 

The Webster Public Library will hold a pop-up book sale on Thursday August 13 from noon to 4 p.m. outside the library on Van Ingen Dr.

All books will be $1 each. Please bring cash, wear your mask, and follow the social distancing guidelines that are laid out at the sale.

Movies and Concerts Return!

The Village of Webster is squeezing as much summer out of this year as they can.

Movies in the Gazebo Park series will return with two showings in the coming week in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.

Monsters uniMonsters University will be shown on Tuesday Aug. 11, and Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman on Saturday Aug. 15.

Both movies will begin at dusk, around 9 p.m. To encourage social distancing, the park will be marked off with specific “family areas” spaced six feet apart in the grass. There will be plenty of room for chairs and/or blankets within each spot and facial masks must be worn when outside your family space. There will be room for about 60 family spaces and are first-come, first-served. You can place your chairs or blankets in a space to reserve it on movie or concert days anytime after 2 p.m. the day of the event.

No popcorn will be served so feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks.

And the (abbreviated) Friday Night Concert Series is back, too!

Friday Aug. 21 will feature Super Mini Prime Time Funk with Ronnie Leigh on vocals and sax, Dave Cohen on drums, Andy Calabrese on keys and Ron France on bass.

Friday Aug. 28, the Juday Sealy Band will take the stage. Recently Judah, a School of the Arts grad,  released his highly anticipated single called “Off The Charts” which spent two months on the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart. The group also features Webster HS graduate Deepak Thettu on guitar.

The Bill Tiberio Band returns Friday Sept 4, with Bill Tiberio on alto and tenor sax, Scott Bradley on trumpet and keyboards, Vinnie Ruggiero on guitar, Phil Lake on drums and Geoff Smith on bass.

The concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information visit websterbid.com.

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This family-friendly Webster Village history tour is like no other

31 Jul

A Webster resident and geocache aficionado has devised a fun way for entire families to learn a bit more about village history.

I’m sure you’ve heard about geocaching. This extremely popular hide-and-seek challenge uses GPS coordinates to guide participants to hidden “caches.” Each one includes a logbook and some trinkets. You choose one of the trinkets and leave one of your own.

I’ve never been a big fan of geocaching, being a letterboxing gal myself. But this brand-new Webster Walkabout” history geocaching challenge created by my friend Gerry Sander is something I would recommend to anyone and everyone, especially families.

Screenshot_20200726-154611

The Webster Walkabout is not your typical geocache puzzle, where you download the coordinates for one cache and then search for a physical, hidden box. Instead, this activity is part of the relatively new “Adventure Lab” geocaching platform, which guides participants to a series of virtual caches — in this case, historically significant properties within the Village of Webster.

At each stop, the game prompts you to answer a question by typing in a word that can be found on a sign or plaque nearby. The correct answer unlocks the clue to the next location. Some of the walkabout stops even include videos, which is cool.

Then the whole experience gets even better. Once you complete the Adventure Lab, you’ll be given a code to unlock a special bonus puzzle geocache located at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park.

When Gerry started planning out his Adventure Lab series, he immediately thought of a historical tour, and first considered making it a town-wide hunt. But after discussing his idea with Webster Village Historian Lynn Barton, he narrowed his focus.

I met with Lynn Barton and the Webster Museum and she gave me all kinds of ideas. Just talking with her that initial time, we decided to limit the focus to just the village. There were enough places around the village which have historical significance. Since it’s only five (stops), we could basically make it a walking tour so people can come to the village, visit these historical places, get the feel of the village, maybe visit Barry’s or some of the restaurants, and drive people to the museum. 

It kind of meshed really well. 

Gerry also got support from Webster Village Mayor Darrell Byerts and Webster Supervisor Tom Flaherty, both of whom recorded videos for the walkabout.

Gerry has been hunting geocaches for 14 years, has found more than 2800 of them and placed another 24 of his own. This, however, is his first Adventure Lab challenge.  If it’s successful and people seem to have fun with it, perhaps he can follow it up with one that teaches us even more about the Town of Webster.

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Outside the Webster Museum with the newly installed gadget box are Museum President Tom Pellett, Gerry Sander, and Museum board member Jill Kraft. The box can be unlocked only after completing the 5 virtual caches in the Webster Walkabout Adventure Lab.

Want to try the Webster Walkabout? Here are the details:  

The Webster Walkabout guides participants to five historically significant Village of Webster buildings, on a walk that’s about 1.5 miles. The route is entirely along village sidewalks, so it’s handicap accessible and great for all ages. It should take about an hour.

After the last stop, you want to stroll over to the Webster Museum at 18 Lapham Park. There, attached to the front of the building, you’ll find the ultimate geocaching award, a “gadget box.” This is a bonus puzzle cache which the kids especially are going to LOVE. You’ll need a combination to get into the lock on this one, which is provided once you complete all five stops.

Participants need a smart phone (Android or iPhone), with the Adventure Lab app installed (it’s free). Because it’s multi-media and location based, you’ll need to use your data and have location services enabled.

To open the Webster Walkabout Adventure Lab in the mobile app, click on this URL:  https://labs.geocaching.com/goto/WEBSTER

Have fun!

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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.