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Webster community mailbag

4 Jun

I’m kicking off today’s mailbag with this follow-up from the Webster Central School District about the Northeast Monroe County Special Olympics Track & Field Day, which Webster Schroeder High School hosted on May 23.

Athletes from Webster Schroeder, Webster Thomas, East Irondequoit, West Irondequoit, Penfield, Creekside, Mary Cariola, and Greece schools participated in this year’s event. They competed in track, field, and adaptive events including dashes, relays and distance runs, softball throw, long jump, shot put, 25m manual wheelchair, 25m electric wheelchair, and wheelchair softball throw.

Additional special events were offered for younger athletes to introduce them to sports movements and skills, including activities like an obstacle course, parachute games and target practice.

Special Olympics NY programs are designed to offer age-appropriate experiences to younger athletes that will prepare them for authentic Special Olympics competition. 

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St. Martin Lutheran Church’s annual Garage Sale returns on June 8 to 10 at the church, 813 Bay Rd.

This huge sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday June 8 and 9, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday June 10. Along with what you might consider “regular” garage sale items, there will be lots of picture frames, furniture, household goods, sporting goods and toys.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the church’s outreach projects, including their Little Free Pantry which stands at the edge of their parking lot.

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Great food is in store on Saturday June 17 when the Rochester Academy of Irish Dance Parents Association host a Chicken BBQ drive-through fundraiser. They’ll be set up at 780 Ridge Rd. in Webster (between Five Mile Line and Hatch roads).

Dinners will be served beginning at 4 p.m., until they’re sold out. They cost $15, which includes a half chicken, potatoes, cole slaw, rolls and butter.

Questions? Email

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This next notice is from our neighbors to the south.

On Friday June 9 from 4 to 8 p.m., the Penfield Recreation Center will host the annual PENFEST.

This is a great family event featuring food trucks, music, a KidZone, raffles, and lots of vendors and community agency displays.

The Penfield Recreation Center is located at 1985 Baird Rd.

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There’s always lots of great stuff happening at the Webster Recreation Center, but here are a few highlights:

The always entertaining Senior Singers will present a free performance on Tuesday June 6 at 11 a.m. in the lunch room. No registration is required and everyone is welcome.

Need a ride to the Rec Center? Good news! Anyone 55 or older can request a ride from your door to the Rec Center and back home again any Tuesday or Thursday. On Thursday, the ride home also includes a stop at the grocery store.

To schedule your ride, call the Rec Center at 585-872-7103 ext. 7385 no later than 8 a.m. the day of the ride. You’ll be asked to provide your name, address, phone number and requested date(s). Pickup will be between 9 and 10 a.m., and will return after Lunch Club 60, between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Rides cost $4 round trip per person/per day, payable at the front office upon arrival.

The Webster Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Dr.

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There’s always great stuff happening at the Webster Public Library also, but here are a few highlights:

  • Outdoor story times have returned to Harmony Park. Every Wednesday June through August, beginning at 9:30 a.m., bring the kids and a blanket and enjoy story time at the band shell. All ages are welcome and no registration is required. The park is located on Phillips Rd. south of Ridge.
  • June 12 is this month’s Make-it-Monday craft night. From 6 to 7 p.m. participants can make rainbow cloud hangings. Registration is required. Click here to register.
  • Kindness rocks! Stop by the library on Saturday June 24 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and decorate a rock or two with words or images of kindness. Then you can take your rocks and hide them around Webster.
  • The 2023 summer reading theme is “All Together Now,” so the library is celebrating friendship and kindness with a three-week Friendship Camp. It begins Wednesday June 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. with Friendship Bracelets and Button Making. Grades 4-12 are welcome. Registration is required.

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(posted 6/4/2023)

I’m baaaack! (at the library)

2 Jun

Time is fast approaching for the second in my very informative and (I hope) slightly interesting presentations all about me and Webster on the Web.

I’ll be heading to the Webster Public Library on Thursday night June 8 at 6:30 p.m. to blather on for about 45 minutes about things like my background, how I got started writing, how the blog came about, and more.

So if you’ve ever wondered about those things, please attend the presentation, and bring any questions and blog ideas you might have. There’s no charge, but it would be helpful if you could register so we kind of know how many people to expect. It’s easy to sign up. You can click here to do that. The library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

I look forward to meeting more of my readers and hearing firsthand what you think about the blog. Hope to see you there!

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(posted 6/3/2023)

Oh Bella Co opens this weekend in the village

31 May

The Village of Webster’s business scene just keeps getting better, with the opening of another new shop on East Main St.

Oh Bella Co, located at 24 East Main, is a charming shop featuring clothing items and accessories especially for young women, but really perfect for most any age.

Owner Isabella Proietti is excited to bring her store to the village, after operating an online shop for five years.

“I’ve always wanted to open a retail shop,” she said. “I like the personal connections you can make. Online for clothing is a little hard because no one can feel the material and try it on. … Although I’ve done well online, I think it would be awesome to have a space, have people come in, talk to them,” she added.

A lifelong Webster resident, Isabella is especially excited to have found what she calls “the perfect space” right on Main Street.

Isabella describes her offerings as

kind of based on my style. I love traveling. I’ve been to different boutiques in Boston and Florida. So it’s a weird mix of beach vibe with a city Boston-girl vibe. I have both of those styles so I’m going to mix them. Cute and comfortable, based on what I look for when I go to the store, with lots of different options, for all ages.

Even though the storefront has been vacant for several years, she and her very helpful family members didn’t have to do too much to fix it up. Just some painting, updating the restroom and installing the changing areas. This week she’s been working hard to get all of the clothing racks set up and her merchandise tagged and ready to go.

That will officially happen this Saturday morning June 3 when Oh Bella has its grand opening celebration — complete with ribbon cutting ceremony — beginning at 10 a.m. The rest of the day, shoppers can browse Oh Bella’s charming selection of clothing and accessories, and grab some delicious desserts and treats made by @OliviaBrynCakes while you shop. Madison Sophia Jewelry will also be on hand with a selection of her beautiful jewelry items.

Take a moment to stop in on Saturday to welcome Oh Bella to the village!

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(posted 5/31/2023)

A beautiful Webster Memorial Day, in photos

29 May

The weather could not have been nicer for Monday morning’s Memorial Day Parade. As it does every year, it began at Spry Middle School and would its way west through the village, ending at Webster Rural Cemetery for a remembrance ceremony.

This is always a nice little parade. Befitting the solemn occasion that it celebrates, there are no business floats or politicians, no throwing of candy or dancing to hip hop music, and the fire engines don’t blast their horns nonstop. But because many of those things were missing, it WAS a little parade.

This year and last year it has actually been quite a bit smaller than in previous years, especially pre-pandemic. Very few Scout troops participated, for example. It was nice, however, to see a few Boy Scout troops, the always awesome Webster Marching Band, and representation from both Webster Volunteer and West Webster fire departments. Ross Willink acted as Grand Marshal this year, riding proudly in one of several fine-looking old cars and trucks.

And of course it’s always an honor to see the veterans who are able to walk or ride in the parade, receiving from the crowd the applause and heartfelt thanks they duly deserve.

The ceremony at Webster Rural was probably longer in duration than the parade itself, but nonetheless meaningful. I counted about 200 community members in attendance. I was encouraged to see there are still many families out there who appreciate the meaning of the day and take the time to attend this post-parade event.

Perhaps because there were so few Scouts in attendance, this year’s annual planting-of-the-flags-by-the-crosses did not take place. I was disappointed by that. Always makes for a nice photo.

Thank you to all the groups that participated in the parade and for all of the community members who lined the streets and came to the remembrance ceremony. It would be great to see even more Webster support for this important parade next year.

Click here for more photos.

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(posted 5/29/2023)

Checking out the Michael Johnson trail

28 May

There’s a brand new trail in town, and judging from the reaction I got from the recent blog I wrote about it, people are pretty excited.

The Friends of Webster Trails have recently completed work on the new Michael A. Johnson Nature Preserve Trail, the entrance to which is about halfway between VanAlstyne Rd. and Drumm Rd. on the Hojack Trail. The Friends are planning to introduce the new trail to the community at a dedication ceremony and inaugural community hike on Saturday June 3 beginning at 9 a.m. (Participants are asked to park at Gosnell Big Woods and meet at the Hojack Trail entrance off of Drumm Rd.)

I’m not going to be able to attend that event, so on Sunday my husband and I rode our bikes over there to hike it and check it out for ourselves.

It’s really a beautiful little trail. And I say “little” because it’s actually much shorter than I thought it was, covering only .33 miles. It does connect to the John Ungar Nature Trail, which itself is .34 miles, so you can extend your hike by doing both trails at once.

As usual, the Friends have done a nice job blazing the trail, and have placed a few maps along the way to guide you. It’s an easy trail to hike; there are a few hills, but nothing too obnoxious, and I think kids could manage it quite easily. It’s far enough away from any major roads to be wonderfully peaceful, and very beautiful, filled with birdsong.

As an added bonus, hikers will get an up-close look at some of the wonderful work the Friends have been accomplishing with their ReTree Project. The trail passes about a dozen brand new trees planted recently to help keep our open space areas healthy.

I encourage everyone to check out this beautiful new trail, either at the June 3 community hike or some other time. Then consider showing how much you appreciate everything the Friends of Webster Trails volunteers do to create and maintain all of our beautiful trails, by becoming a member. It’s just $15 a year per family, $10 for an individual. Your support will go a long way to help this great group continue to do great things for Webster.

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(posted 5/28/2023)

Webster community mailbag

26 May

I’m starting off today’s mailbag with a Webster resident whose name is in the news. (Or at least in the press release I received from Centenary University.)

Equestrian Benjamin Hoban of Webster helped his Centenary University team take top honors at the 44th annual ANRC National Equitation Championships recently held in Aiken, SC. The team, which also included Caroline Mancini of Bradford, RI and Morgan Munz of Califon, NJ, won the title of National Collegiate Reserve Championship Team and the National Collegiate Individual Reserve Championship.

The competition for collegiate, junior, and adult amateur teams, sponsored by the American National Riding Commission, is judged and scored on equitation skills and sound horsemanship practices.

Centenary University’s main campus is in Hackettstown, NJ, with its equestrian facility in Washington Township.

From the Library

The Friends of the Webster Public Library have an exciting new offering for anyone who loves books. It’s their very first Vintage and Collectible Book Sale on Saturday June 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will offer more than 140 books in good or better condition at very attractive, fixed prices. There are lots of first editions or first printings, published anytime from the late 19th century to the previous decade of the 21st century. Books from authors in the Library of America series and from the NY Times Best Seller list will be displayed. You’ll find books about Rochester and upstate New York; a good-sized assortment of books about war and its weapons; a few Tolkien items; some juvenile fiction ranging from the Bobbsey Twins to Harry Potter; many, many books about music, art, popular culture, animals, health, business, history, biographies and more.

The sale will be held in the library’s Community Room, 980 Ridge Rd.

Also happening at the Webster Public Library is what should be a very interesting talk about the upcoming solar eclipse.

On Thursday June 1 from 6 to 8 p.m., Dan Schneiderman, the Eclipse Partnership Coordinator at the RSMC, will discuss the science and history of solar eclipses, and how to prepare for the total solar eclipse which we will experience her in Rochester on April 8, 2024.

This is going to be a very popular event, so registration is required. Click here to do so.

Time to clean out your garage

If you’re like me, you have a huge garbage bag or two of returnables hanging out in your garage, awaiting your motivation to take them back to the store. Well, the Webster Marching Band will be happy to take them off your hands.

The band’s next Bottle and Can Drive happens this Saturday June 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All you have to do is place those bags outside your house or at the end of the driveway, with a little note indicating they’re for the band, and they’ll be whisked away for a good cause.

Or, if you plan to be out and about on Saturday, you can drop them off at the collection site, Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road, by 4 p.m.

OR, you can call the Bottle and Can Hotline (234-8684, option 1) ANYTIME to arrange a pickup at a time convenient for you.

The Market is Back!

Webster Joe Obbie’s Farmers’ Market returns for the summer on Saturday June 10, at Webster Towne Plaza, in front of Old Navy. It’ll be there every Saturday through the fall from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with fresh fruits, vegetables, specialty food items, flowers, plants, crafts and more.

Can’t make it on Saturday? Beginning Wednesday July 19, the market will also be set up at Charles Sexton Park (formerly North Ponds) from 4 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday.

I’ll post a more detailed blog soon about the market, but make a note on your calendar now.

Celebrate Summer

The Webster Recreation Center‘s annual Summer Celebration takes place Saturday June 10 from 4 to 10 p.m.

There’s live music, family fun, food trucks, and fireworks to end the evening. There’s no admission charge, so come on down for some great family time.

The Webster Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive, and there’s plenty of parking.

Caring Community Concert series returns

Here’s another reminder that the United Church of Christ’s Caring Community Concert series is returning this summer, beginning July 12.

These concerts benefit local nonprofit organizations through free-will donations. The first one will feature Allegro, and proceeds will benefit the Webster Hope Food Pantry. The rest of the summer features:

  • July 19: Ruby Shooz
  • July 26: Prime Time Brass
  • Aug. 2: Dady and Ryan
  • Aug. 9: 8 Days a Week

There’s no admission charge, but each week the church collects a free-will offering benefiting that week’s chosen non-profit organization.

The UCC has been sponsoring these concerts for almost 20 years now, and through free-will offerings have raised tons of money for local non-profit organizations. People are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic if they wish. There’s also a concession stand selling soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork, and a weekly “special.”

The concerts all begin at 6:30 p.m., and food concessions begin at 6. The concerts are held on the United Church of Christ front lawn, at 570 Klem Rd. (In case of rain it’s moved indoors.) So put these concerts on your calendar now and plan to enjoy some great music for a good cause.

For more information about the concerts, click here.

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(posted 5/26/2023)

St. Rita Fiesta returns next weekend

25 May

St. Rita’s 68th Annual Fiesta returns to West Webster on Friday and Saturday June 2 and 3.

Festivities start on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., and continue Saturday from 2 to 9 p.m. All of your favorite St. Rita Fiesta features will be back, including the famous Fiesta Food Tent, Fish Fry (Friday only), Chicken BBQ (Saturday only) and Sweets Booth; live music by Rugburn, Count It All Joy, and It’s a Mystery; $1.00 Carnival Games with prizes; inflatables for the kids; the money wheel, pull tabs, plant sale, book sale, corn hole competition, contests, 9-hole mini golf, and more.

There will also be a great selection of themed gift baskets along with the BIG raffle drawing for $5,000 cash. Click on the images below for more information about even more activities you’ll find. A portion of the proceeds benefits Webster HOPE ministry, which responds to the emergency needs of Webster residents.

This is a terrific family-friendly event with plenty to do for kids and adults alike. There’s lots of on-site parking, including handicap spaces. For more information, please visit the St. Rita Fiesta website or Facebook page.

St. Rita Church is located at 1008 Maple Drive in West Webster.

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(posted 5/25/2023)

A new trail and great news from the Friends of Webster Trails

21 May

The Friends of Webster Trails have made two exciting announcements recently which I want to share with you today.

The first is that the Friends are introducing a brand new trail, leading into the new Michael A. Johnson Nature Preserve, which was added to Webster open space in 2022. The wooded area is adjacent to the John Ungar Nature Trail, just north of the Hojack Trail between Drumm Rd. and Van Alstyne Rd. The Dombovy family donated funds for the purchase of the land in memory of their late husband and father, Michael A. Johnson.

The new loop trail created by the Friends leads off the Hojack Trail about 1/4 mile east of Drumm Rd.

Community members are invited to help dedicate the new trail, when the Friends of Webster Trails hosts a grand-opening group hike on Saturday morning June 3 at 9 a.m. Meet at the intersection of Drumm Rd. and the Hojack Trail at 9 a.m. From there, the group will hike to the entrance of the new Michael A. Johnson Trail. The total distance will be about 2 miles.

Parking is available at the Gosnell Big Wood parking lot at the intersection of Drumm and Vosburg. From there you can walk down Drumm Rd. to the Hojack Trail entrance on Drumm. Hiking boots or good sneakers are recommended.

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The Friends of Webster Trails also recently announced that the organization has received a $1000 grant from the Rochester Birding Association for their ReTree Project.

The Friends began the ReTree Project last year to address habitat loss, with a particular focus on trees. The project has two objectives:

  • to improve the ecological resiliency of forested habitat within the Webster Open Space area, and
  • to increase public knowledge of the threats to local forest ecology and ways we can collectively mitigate these risks

The project has especially focused on planting native tree species in areas where other native species have previously been lost or are currently under threat. The supplemental plantings will increase overall canopy cover while enriching the mix of tree species, age, and physical structure, resulting in a more robust and resilient ecosystem.

The Friends plan to use the funds to clear areas overgrown with invasive plants and to purchase native trees and shrubs and browse-protection materials in the Whiting Road Nature Preserve.

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(posted 5/21/2023)

The Village of Webster’s first Wine Walk is in two weeks

19 May

The first Village of Webster Wine Walk for 2023 is coming up fast. It’s scheduled for Saturday June 3 from 4 to 7:00 p.m.

This is always a great time to get together with friends and stroll the streets of the Village of Webster, popping into businesses and sampling so. much. wine. Tickets are $15 each (plus Eventbrite’s $2.85 mark-up) and available only online. You’ll need to register ahead of time (click here), then bring your digital ticket (or paper copy) to the BACK entrance of JoJo Bistro beginning at 3:30 p.m. to sign in. You’ll get a bracelet and a wine glass and a map to guide you on your tour. (Pick up your glass before 5:30.) DO NOT FORGET YOUR ID. It is REQUIRED.

Some of the stops will include Barry’s Old School Irish, Brimont Bistro, The Coach Sports Bar, Woodland Silkscreen and Embroidery/OHHH, LORDEE! Sauces, and Finns Automotive. This is a great chance to visit several of the village’s newest businesses as well!

The Wine Walks are brought to you by the Webster Business Improvement District (BID). A portion of the sales will be donated to Webster HOPE, a Social Justice Ministry.

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The Wine Walk is just the first in a whole list of great summer events the BID will be hosting. Here’s what’s in the works:

Right on the heels of the first one, a second Wine Walk will take place on Saturday July 8. Tickets will be available for that soon.

The Friday Night Gazebo Concerts begin July 7 with a performance by the Red Hot and Blue Band featuring Americana music.

Coming up at the gazebo later in the summer:

The Gazebo Concerts are held from 7 to 9 p.m. and are free.

There’s a Family Games Night tentatively scheduled for August 11, but that may change.

The Webster Jazz Fest is scheduled for August 18 and 19, with “Jazz in the Pubs” on Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Jazz in the Street” on Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m.

The Webster Fireman’s Field will be hopping in September, with a Fireman’s Field Evening/Coach’s ALS Fundraiser on Sept. 9; the Oktoberfest Sept. 15 to 17; the Zach Brown Tribute Band on Sept. 21; and an all-day cornhole tournament on Sept. 23 (actually, I think this national tournament will run for two weekends, but more info to come about that later).

This year’s Beer Walk is scheduled for Saturday, October 14.

Two brand new events have been added to the calendar this year as well: the Webster Village Bed Race will take over Main Street on Saturday Sept. 16, and a Health Fair is also in the works, but the date for that has not been set.

And of course, watch for blogs about the Trick or Treat Trail in October and Webster’s Winter Wonderland in December.

Whew. I hope you had your calendar out.

More information about all these events, when it becomes available, can be found at

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(posted 5/19/2023)

Memorial Day Parade details

18 May

I’m noticing that people are beginning to search for information about the Village of Webster’s annual Memorial Day Parade, so I thought it would be best to post all the details I know about it sooner rather than later.

Basically, everything will be running as it has in every other (non-COVID) year.

  • 9:00 a.m.:  All groups participating in the parade will assemble at Spry Middle School on Sanford Street. All active duty and ex-service men and women are invited to take part in the parade. Any veterans who would like to ride in the bed of an Army truck are asked to be at Spry by 9 a.m.
  • 9:30 a.m.:  Parade moves out from Spry, down South Avenue, turning west on Main Street and proceeding to Webster Rural Cemetery.
  • 9:50 a.m. (approx.): Parade arrives at Webster Rural Cemetery.
  • The Remembrance Ceremony will begin at approximately 10 a.m., or whenever everyone arrives and gets settled.

This is always a very nice parade, and the ceremony that follows it at Webster Rural Cemetery is always moving. I highly recommend bringing your children to see both the parade and the ceremony, so they might begin to understand the huge debt we owe our servicemen and women.

And don’t forget that after the parade, everyone is invited to lunch at the Cottreall-Warner American Legion Post #942, 818 Ridge Rd. There’ll be hot dogs, ice cream and drinks for everyone.

The parade is organized by the Cottreall-Warner American Legion Post. Click here for a gallery of photos from last year’s parade.

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(posted 5/18/2023)