Archive | Community events RSS feed for this section

Webster Community Mailbag

15 Jan

IMG_2261 (2)_LIBoy Scout Troop 110, sponsored by St. Martin Lutheran Church in Webster, has proudly announced that Jason Brown has earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Jason performed his Eagle Project for Friends of Webster Trails. Jason worked with the organization on their latest project, creating the new Hickory Bark Trail behind the Webster Public Library.

For his project, Jason:

  • built a large kiosk so people visiting the Webster Public Library, the playgrounds or softball fields would be aware of the trail.
  • installed two culverts on the trail to move rainwater off the trail which will prevent it from getting muddy.
  • created and installed information content for the kiosk.  nature found on the trail such as shag bark, iron wood and yellow birch trees, poison ivy (and its dangers) and foxholes.

Jason also helped improve the trails at Whiting Road Nature Preserve by filling in some of the low spots with stone.

The project, which was completed in 2017, took 225 hours to complete. Jason was assisted by 11 adults and five other Scouts.

Jason currently attends Webster Schroeder High School, where he has won several academic awards. Besides Scouting he enjoys volleyball, tennis, and playing the cello and jazz piano.

More About the Friends

Friends of Webster Trails (FWT) is an organization which serves as the volunteer division of the Webster Parks and Recreation Department. FWT has built and maintained 19.5 miles of trails located in Whiting Road Nature Preserve, Gosnell Big Woods Preserve, Four Mile Creek Preserve and other locations such as the Hojack Trail. These trails provide a place for hiking, mountain biking, running, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The Hickory Bark Trail behind the library  is the organization’s latest effort.

* * *

The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser
will be held Saturday January 20, from 8 to 10 a.m.

The  menu includes pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more for just $5.00 per person.

All January proceeds will go directly to help support the Open Door Mission, a Christian rescue mission founded on the belief that with proper resources hope can be restored and lives of impoverished men, women and children of Rochester could be forever changed.

Breakfast is served at the church, 1862 Penfield Road. The venue is handicap-accessible. For more information, call 585-586-2876, log onto http://www.fbpenfield.org, or visit them on Facebook.

* * *

OConnor-Band-PRESS-5-LO-RES-768x510

The O’Connor Band, with Webster native Kate Lee, will perform at the Eastman Theatre on January 19.

There’s a great concert coming up Friday night which is worth mentioning again. It will be held at the Eastman Theatre, and feature the Grammy-winning O’Connor Band, with Webster’s own phenom fiddle player Kate Lee (Webster Schroeder ’10).

The O’Connor Band’s debut album, Coming Home, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart in 2016 and won Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017.

The band features legendary fiddle virtuoso and composer, Mark O’Connor, his wife Maggie O’Connor (fiddle/vocals), son Forrest O’Connor (mandolin/vocals), and Kate (fiddle/vocals), who last April officially joined the family when she married Forrest.

On Friday night January 19, the band will perform at the Eastman Theatre, beginning at 8 p.m. The show will feature music from the O’Connor Band’s Grammy-winning album as well as music from their 2017-released O’Connor Band LIVE! album.

Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre is located at 26 Gibbs Street in Rochester. For tickets, visit www.eastmantheatre.org/events/oconnor-band.

To learn more about the O’Connor Band, visit their website at www.oconnorband.com.

* * *

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.

ROC & Soul Fitness opens this weekend

11 Jan

exterior

Webster’s newest business, ROC & Soul Fitness, is slated to open on Saturday, and the community is invited to check it out for free.

IMG_20180111_171819

Malena and Joe Guadagnino (E. Rosenberry)

Owners Joe and Malena Guadagnino call ROC & Soul a “boutique fitness studio,” offering barre, yoga, and other classes in their sparkling new studio at 43 East Main Street. You’ll find it tucked down in the new little “Shops at Main Street” plaza behind Prime, kind of where the OTB and Rubino’s once were.

Joe and Malena plan to start offering classes on Saturday (hopefully the weather isn’t too nasty). The first, Vinyasa Flow, is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., followed by a SOUL Barre class at 9 a.m. Four other Vinyasa and Barre classes are scheduled throughout the rest of the weekend. And every one of them is free, in  honor of their grand opening.

To register for the classes, and more information about their drop-in and package fitness class rates, visit their website and Facebook page.

* * *

Here’s an important program update from the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.

Thanks to the winter storm that’s headed our way, Saturday’s comedy hypnotist show at Webster Schroeder has been cancelled. The diocese hopes to be able to reschedule the event this summer sometime.

Eventbrite.com is issuing refunds for all tickets purchased through their website. Check there for more information.

* * *

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.

 

Comedy hypnotist brings show to Schroeder

9 Jan

jasonIt’s been a quiet start to the new year. Perhaps everyone — including me — has been hunkering down trying to will away the cold and snow. But now that the holidays are officially over, it’s time for me to get back to work…

 

Let’s start with this event, which promises to be very funny, and is a fund-raiser to boot.

The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester will be sponsoring nationally-known comedy hypnotist Jason Christopher, who will bring his show to Webster Schroeder High School on Saturday January 13 at 7 p.m.

Jason’s 90-minute show is totally family-friendly. No one gets singled out, and he only hypnotizes groups of people who want to be hypnotized. Proceeds will support 34 different mission projects throughout the diocese.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children under 12, and $15 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets online.

jason 2

* * *

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.

Kate Lee and the O’Connor Band are coming to town

4 Jan
OConnor-Band-PRESS-5-LO-RES-768x510

The O’Connor Band, with Webster native Kate Lee, will be coming to town the week of January 18.  Kate, second from left, is pictured with Forrest, Maggie and Mark O’Connor.

Grammy-winning bluegrass/Americana group the O’Connor Band– including Webster’s very own Kate Lee (Webster Schroeder ’10) — will be visiting from Nashville in a few weeks to perform at the Eastman Theatre and share their skills in our schools.

The O’Connor Band’s debut album, Coming Home, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart in 2016 and won Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2017.

The band features legendary fiddle virtuoso and composer, Mark O’Connor, his wife Maggie O’Connor (fiddle/vocals), son Forrest O’Connor (mandolin/vocals), and Kate (fiddle/vocals), who last April officially joined the family when she married Forrest.

Before their Eastman Theatre performance, the group will spend two days educating students through Mark O’Connor’s O’Connor Method: An American School of String Playing. The O’Connor Band will perform at both high schools for Webster Central School District instrumental and choral ensemble students in grades 4-12 and high school junior-level social studies’ students. Mark will provide educational narrative regarding the historical time and place of the band’s bluegrass genre across generations. The O’Connor Band will also be visiting Rochester City School District’s School No. 19 to give a performance and master class to the school’s Strings for Success program.

On Friday night January 19, the band will conclude their visit with a performance at the Eastman Theatre, beginning at 8 p.m. Singer-songwriter Chris Wilson will open the show, which will feature music from the O’Connor Band’s Grammy-winning album as well as music from their 2017-released O’Connor Band LIVE! album.

Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre is located at 26 Gibbs Street in Rochester. For tickets, visit www.eastmantheatre.org/events/oconnor-band.

To learn more about the O’Connor Band, visit their website at www.oconnorband.com.

* * *

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’s new Ploty’s Tavern strives for hometown feeling

29 Dec

bar 3

There’s a new tavern in town, and from the looks of it, its going to be a pretty popular place.

It’s called Ploty’s Hometown Tavern, and it’s located at 27 West Main Street, where the Vino Lounge used to be, in the lower level of shops behind The Coach and Mozzeroni’s.

eric and kourtney

New tavern owners Kourtney and Eric Plotzker

The unusual name is derived from the last name of the new owners, Eric and Kourtney Plotzker.  Both are Webster natives, and are excited about the opportunity to become an integral part of their hometown.

Kourtney said that owning a bar has been a long-time dream for Eric, who is stepping into the role after working for 11 years in the beverage industry with Pepsi. 

“Every year he’s been saying he’d like to do his own thing,” she said. “He’d always wanted to have his own local bar … in Webster. We have a lot of family and friends here.” 

They’d been looking around for about three months for just the right place, when one day a friend told them that the Vino location had been listed.

That’s when “the stars aligned,” Eric said. It was a great location, a nice size, and it came furnished. It was a done deal. 

Those who frequented the old Vino Lounge will see that Eric and Kourtney have pretty much changed everything to make the new tavern their own.

Everything is much brighter and …well, homier. The wall of dark curtains has been replaced with a hand-built wainscoting made from pallets. The new paint job throughout features pastel colors, and new lighting makes it easier for patrons to see each other while they chat.

True to its name, Ploty’s Hometown Tavern also has much more of a bar feel than the Vino. There are two dart boards and seven TVs, mostly featuring sporting events. There’s also a wall-mounted “Touch Tunes” digital juke box.

And of course there’s beer; 10 rotating taps hosting a variety of domestics and imports, lots of bottle beers and IPAs, and a wall filled with whiskey and spirits.

But as much as Ploty’s is a bar, Eric and Kourtney have made great efforts through the decor to give the place a hometown, rustic feel, in ways to help it create its own identity separate from Burke’s, The Coach and Barry’s.

“I wanted it to be a very comfortable place,” Kourtney said. “We wanted to be local and hometown and familiar. You come in and feel like you know people (and) feel at home.”  

Ploty’s Hometown Tavern will celebrate its official grand opening this weekend with three days of special events and special drink prices.

On Saturday December 30, Matthew Stephens, lead guitarist from the Zac Brown Tribute Band will play beginning at 9:30 p.m., and patrons will enjoy $2 Genny Lite bottles, $2.50 well drinks and $3 drafts, plus free appetizers.

Sunday will be their New Year’s Eve Hometown Bash with drinks and free appetizers from 5 to 8 p.m., a special cocktail menu featuring whiskeys and martinis, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Monday is NCAA Bowl Game Day. Bloody Marys and mimosas will be served beginning at noon, pitchers will be just $6 and pizza and wings will be served.

You can read more about Ploty’s and get more details about their grand opening weekend festivities at their Facebook page and website.

* * *

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 CSD to study school start times

28 Dec

If you’ve ever had to cajole, whine, plead, yell at, or pour water on your high-school aged child to extract him or her from bed in time for school, you’ll be interested in this news: the Webster school district is going to take a serious look at changing the high school start times to something more reasonable.

To that end, I share with you this column written by Webster Supervisor Carm Gumina:

“I think it’s time.” Those are words I shared with the Webster CSD Board of Education during its November 2 meeting. I had just returned from a conference on mindfulness and neuroscience, and the topic of school start times came up once again in a forum filled with scientists, educators, and most importantly, individuals who really care about the overall health and wellness of young people.

As a district, we strive to educate the whole child in all that we do both inside and outside the classroom. There is an abundance of undeniable scientific evidence supporting the fact that our middle and high schools start too early for teens whose changing biological sleep patterns require them to sleep later in order to maximize their ability to learn. Medical studies also show that a lack of sleep for older students can negatively impact their physical and their mental health. That fact alone got my attention and the attention of so many of us in the district who care for your children.

The possibility of later start times for secondary students in our district is a critical one that deserves a mindful, in-depth study. The science is convincing regarding sleep research and the biological and neurochemical effects that adequate rest has on the physical and emotional states of our teens. That said, Webster CSD, along with other districts throughout our region, state, and country, still grapple with the challenges of changing school start times. This will be a year-long process of exploration, study, and problem-solving, and it involves all of us in the One Webster community.

During that November 2 meeting, the board of education asked me to design a process and gather feedback that would explore this important issue. I invite any of you who are interested in learning more to attend an initial Webster CSD Start-Time Study Group meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. at the Spry Middle School auditorium, 2nd floor, 119 South Avenue, Webster. We’ll hear from a University of Rochester researcher, local pediatrician, and district administrators during that initial meeting so you can begin to learn more. If you would be interested in attending, please RSVP by e-mailing Larry_Wahl@webstercsd.org. Mr. Wahl is WCSD’s coordinator of strategic initiatives and will be leading the group’s work.

In all honesty, I have no idea what conclusions and solutions will come from this study group’s formation; I can tell you this is not a short-term study. If the group determines that changes in our district are necessary and possible, those changes wouldn’t take place until fall 2019 or 2020, however, it is important that we begin to research this critical issue.

Again, I do think it’s time.

Once again, that informational meeting is Tuesday January 9 at 4 p.m. at Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue.

* * *

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.

Here we go a’caroling…

20 Dec

group shot

The streets of Webster were alive with the sound of music earlier this week as two separate groups strolled the neighborhoods, caroling at businesses and houses along the way.

The first of the musical meanderings took place Monday night, when BID president Robyn Whittaker hosted almost 30 friends, business acquaintances and assorted other local residents on her second annual village caroling party.

And a party it was. Participants first gathered at The Coach, where Robyn had provided plenty of soda, beer, hot cider (spiked if you wanted to) and pizza. When 7 p.m. rolled around, everyone filed out of the pub, and that took a while because there were about 30 of us. First stop was for a group photo in front of the Coach. Then it was off to do some singing.

The stops were pretty much determined on the fly, depending on what businesses were open and what homes seemed to be occupied. In about an hour, the tuneful group had visited the Webster Barbershop, Rubino’s, Brimont Bistro, and about a dozen homes. The business owners were tolerant; some of the homeowners were hesitant to come out, but most others happily stood on their cold porches — occasionally with small babies or children in tow — to enjoy the music.  But no matter who the group was singing for (or not singing for), the enthusiasm and the singing never waned, continuing even as everyone walked from house to house on the streets and sidewalks.

The very next evening, I joined the Chorus of the Genesee for their annual Soup & Carol Night. Unlike Robyn’s event, which is brand new, the Chorus has been hosting this evening of caroling for at least 24 years. There were also a whole lot more people at this event. I counted about 60 men, women, children and dogs. I was told that it was more than double what the Chorus usually draws. It helped, I think, that the weather was pretty pleasant.

Everyone gathered at the Harmony House, enjoying coffee and cookies, sheets of music and Santa hats were handed out, and when 7 p.m. rolled around, everyone filed out into the street.

The first stop, as it has been every year, was Webster Eyecare Associates, which is pretty much across the street from the Harmony House. The folks there have come to expect this annual visit by the Chorus carolers, and this year — for the first time — had donut holes and hot chocolate for the chilly singers.

I hope you had a chance to enjoy, or even participate in, one or both of these caroling events. This is what small-town life is all about.

This is truly Webster.

family 2

* * *

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.

Garlic Fest checks presented

20 Dec
Miracle Field

Representatives from the Webster Garlic Festival and the Kiwanis Club present a check to Miracle Field for $2,000. Miracle Field would also received an additional $14,000 from this year’s proceeds. 

I was honored to be present last Saturday when representatives from the Webster Garlic Festival distributed the proceeds from this year’s festival to three very deserving local agencies.

As in the previous two years, the festival’s three organizing agencies — the Rotary Club, Lions Club and Kiwanis — planned to donate the majority of the proceeds to Challenger Miracle Field.  In addition, however, this year each club also chose a different community agency to receive a check.

So, on Saturday morning, Hope Ministry received $2,000 from the Rotary Club; the Webster Community Chest received $2,000 from the Lions Club; and Miracle Field received $2,000 from the Kiwanis Club.

Following that presentation, representatives from all three clubs presented Miracle Field chairman Ron Kampf with an additional check for $14,000.

The Webster Garlic Festival has grown quite a bit from its first year in 2015, when it poured pretty much nonstop for both days. In the last three years it has become one of the town’s most popular festivals, and has raised $43,5000 for local charities.

Organizers are looking for more volunteers to help the festival continue to grow. Planning has already begun, so if you’re interested in lending a hand, contact Richard Comins at recomins @frontiernet.net.

* * *

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 sparkled for White Christmas in the Village

3 Dec
electric parade

The Electric Parade, photo courtesy Sarah Rosenberry

For, like, the third year in a row, there wasn’t much “white” about Webster’s White Christmas in the Village celebration on Saturday.  Temperatures were unseasonably warm, so the village’s beautiful new streetlight decorations were the only snowflakes anyone saw that afternoon and evening.

However, things did look very Christmas-y. The shop windows were all decorated and sparkling, carolers strolled the streets singing holiday favorites, and hundreds of people took the opportunity to wear their Santa hats and reindeer antlers, and drape themselves in colored lights.

As usual for this event, things got off to slow start. But anyone who got there early got first crack at visiting with Santa at the Village Hall and taking a ride on the horse-drawn festival wagon. As dusk fell, though, Main Street started to fill with holiday cheer as thousands began to line Main Street in anticipation of the always popular Electric Parade.

There was plenty to do in the meantime. Kids enjoyed a bounce house, adults enjoyed sampling and voting in the chili cook-off (and later in the evening could get samples of Root Stock cider). The ladies of Rochester Rhapsody delighted everyone with original and classic Christmas carols. Barry’s Old School Irish was pouring free cups of hot cider and hot chocolate (and even though it was pretty warm out, they had a long line). There was cookie decorating, storytelling, and one of my favorites, the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir.

Basically, if you weren’t there, you missed a great time. Make sure to put it on your calendar NOW for next year.

The lighting was tough, but I tried my best to get a nice bunch of pictures. Click here to see the whole gallery.

And thank you to the members of the Webster Business Improvement District for sponsoring this delightful event.

IMG_6944

IMG_6986

* * *

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.

Santa has arrived in Webster

2 Dec

 

Santa arrived in Webster last night! I got a chance to visit with him, and nabbed a cookie to boot.

He had come to St. Martin Lutheran Church for their holiday event, where he took lots and lots of photos with children and sat with them for a Christmas story.  Kids also could make their own Christmas cookies, play board games, do some caroling and even write a letter to Santa which they could deliver in person. Plus, everyone enjoyed free pizza all night long.

As a bonus, the “cost” of admission was a food item to be donated to a food cupboard, and by the time I arrived, a whole cartload of food had been collected.

On that same note, St. Martin Lutheran is introducing a fun new idea this year: a reverse Advent calendar.

The way it works is this: Instead of getting a calendar and opening a little door every day this month, get a box (one from the liquor store works best), and every day this month put a can of food INTO it. By Christmas Day, you’ll have a box filled with food, which you can then deliver to the church for them to pass along to a worthy agency.

What an easy and fun way to spread the love and joy of the season.

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

Your next chances to meet with Webster’s Santa are today (Saturday Dec. 2) at the Harmony House (East Main Street) for Breakfast With Santa until 11 a.m.; at Towne Center Plaza (Target Plaza) from 12-3:30; then at Webster Village Hall (West Main Street) from 3:30 to 6 p.m. for the village’s White Christmas event.

* * *

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.