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Webster community mailbag

4 Jul

mailbag iconToday’s mailbag is so packed that it’s taken me two days to pull it together.

Let’s start with a reminder from the Webster school district, which would REALLY like you to register your kindergartner, or new student,  early. Having an accurate count of how many students to expect this September will help the planning process immensely.

For details, please go to Student Registration at www.websterschools.org.

Local business updates 

The North Bee, one of our newest and cutest businesses, has some new hours: Tuesdaynorth bee 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday 11 to 3,  Friday 10 to 2 and 6 to 8, and Saturday 10 to 3. They’re closed Monday and Wednesday.

The shop will be available on Sundays for private events, and (this sounds like fun) on Tuesday nights in July and August starting on July 9, owner Amy Stringer will have a tent set up outside her shop with kids activities and free honey sticks for each child.  Remember that starting next Tuesday, the village will be starting their Movies in the Park series just across the street at Veterans Memorial Park. So stop by before the movie for some fun and honey!

The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave. in the village.

Exercise has its rewards

ROC & Soul Fitness, 44 East Main St., has a lot of cool classes this month, but one in particular jumped out at me.

unnamedThey call it “Barre in the Beer Garden,” a free, 45-minute barre class held Saturday July 13 at K2 Brewery on Empire Blvd. (21 and over please!)

It’s being held in K2’s spacious new beer garden behind the brewery. If you haven’t been to K2 yet this summer and seen this gorgeous new facility, this would be a great opportunity to check it out.

The class will begin at 10 a.m., and of course you’re invited to stick around for a beer, wine or cocktail afterwards.

July’s Webster Public Library programs are out of this world!

For starters, their galaxy-themed summer reading program is up and running, and all ages can participate.

All you have to do is complete a galaxy game board or a galaxy reading bookmark. Each complete board or bookmark earns you an entry into the weekly prize drawing plus a free book of your choice. Plus, all completed boards will also be added to the grand prize drawing at the end of the summer!

Your kids might also be interested in these two galaxy-themed programs:

  • Race Through Space With American Girls & Boys, Friday July 19 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Learn all about the history of the Space Program in America through the eyes of eight American Girl and Boy characters starting in the 1940s through 2018 where LUCIANA is featured in her real space suit from Space Camp! Don’t forget to bring your favorite doll or stuffed animal to learn right beside you! This program is for boys and girls.

All ages welcome, both boys and girls, and no registration is required.

Teens and tweens have several opportunities to make some Galaxy Crafts:

  • On Friday, July 12, make your own galaxy t-shirt. Please bring a black or very dark colored t-shirt, but all other supplies will be provided.
  • On Friday, July 26, make your own galaxy jewelry. All supplies will be provided.
  • On Friday, August 9, make you own galaxy painting. All supplies will be provided.

All three of these programs run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and all youth entering grades 6-12 welcome. Registration is required (and limited) and is going on now.

Find out more about these programs on the Webster Public Library website. The library is located at 980 Ridge Rd. at the back side of Webster Plaza.

And don’t forget to visit representatives from library when they set up shop at Webster’s Joe Obbie’s Farmers Market on Saturday July 13. They’ll have raffles, free giveaways and summer program brochures.

The market is located at Webster Towne Center on Holt Road near the gazebo, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October.

Makin’ Music at Cherry Ridge

The next (and last) concert at Cherry Ridge is this coming Tuesday July 9, Featuring Ruby Shooz, beginning at 6:30.

St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge is located at 900 Cherry Ridge Blvd. (off Ridge Road near Five Mile Line Road), Webster. Bring your lawn chairs and/or blankets, and if you need dinner, picnic fare will be available for purchase beginning at 5 p.m.

The concerts are free and open to the public. For details and rainy day information, call (585) 697-6700.

Softball clinic held

softballSome of our stand-out Webster athletes will be lending a hand when the Rochester Lady Lions hold a youth softball clinic on Tuesday July 9 from 5  to 8 p.m. at Mercy High School on Blossom Rd. in Rochester.

Webster Schroeder Varsity pitcher Sydney Bolton will be there, along with program coaches and college softball players to facilitate hitting and fielding stations. The clinic will help girls fine-tune and improve their current skills. Players attending will receive a free clinic t-shirt as well as a tasty frozen treat from Kona Ice.

Girls ages 9 to 13 of all skill levels are welcome. Cost is $20. Click here to visit their website for more information and a registration form.

More to come

I’m working on a few other blogs about upcoming events of interest, including a food truck rodeo at Webster Schroeder High School to benefit the Webster Marching Band, the Strive for 5 school bus safety event for new kindergartners, and the return of the Garlic Festival. There’s also a brand new business in town that I need to let you now about. So stay tuned!

And please drop me a line if your organization has something coming up you’d like help promoting … or even if you want to send me a photo of your kids’ lemonade stand. I’d love to hear about them!

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Webster native & GRAMMY winner Kate Lee will play at Eastman

2 Jul

Kate Lee & Forrest O'Connor at Kilbourn Hall Info

Americana duo Kate Lee and Forrest O’Connor of the GRAMMY Award-Winning Mark O’Connor Band will be performing a show at Eastman Theatre’s Kilbourn Hall on July 10.

Kate is a Webster Schroeder High School alumna (class of  ’10) and one of the best fiddlers I have ever met. She attended Schroeder with my son, and they occasionally played together at musical events. She was an amazing talent those many years ago and has only gotten better.

Over the last three years, she and Forrest have earned national recognition as the lead singers and primary songwriters of the Mark O’Connor Band, which features O’Connor’s father, seven-time CMA Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor. Lee and O’Connor wrote the majority of the band’s first album, Coming Home, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and won a GRAMMY Award in 2017. The group spent the past summer opening for the Zac Brown Band, including two appearances at Fenway Park.

Lee (vocals, violin) and O’Connor (vocals, guitar, and mandolin) began performing together in 2014 under the name Wisewater, whose EP, The Demonstration, reached #13 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart.

O’Connor is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard and former Tennessee State Mandolin Champion, while Lee is a Belmont graduate and violinist who has frequently backed up stars ranging from John Legend and Kelly Clarkson to Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood at the CMA Awards shows.

For their upcoming show at Kilbourn Hall, Lee and O’Connor will be accompanied by Eastman School of Music graduate Geoff Saunders on bass, who has performed with Chick Corea, Gloria Estefan, and Bobby McFerrin, among others. They will also be joined by two-time national mandolin champion Isaac Eicher and Americana-Country vocalist Mallory Eagle.

The show is a double-bill with singer-songwriter Chris Wilson and begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through eastmantheatre.org or by calling (585) 274-3000.

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Summer events really get going this weekend

19 Jun
joe obbie

You’ll find farm-fresh produce at the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market (photo courtesy the market’s Facebook page)

The Town and Village of Webster’s summer events calendar really starts this weekend, with the beginning of the Friday night concert in the park series, the Summer Celebration and the third week of the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market.

Now the details:

The Village of Webster’s Friday Night Concert series begins this Friday June 21 at 7 p.m., when Steve Bartolotta takes to the gazebo stage in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.  Bring a blanket, quad chairs, and a cooler, and enjoy some music, absolutely free.

These weekly concerts run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. through the summer, except when events like the Jazz Fest and Firemen’s Carnival get in the way. The rest of the schedule looks like this:

  • June 28: The Thigh Masters, a Rochester-based party band offering a high-energy mix of classic, alternative and dance.
  • July 26: Gallows Road, classic soft rock
  • August 2: the 22-piece Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, playing big band tunes
  • August 9: The Germano Bros., an acoustic blend of classic rock, soft rock and blues songs.
  • August 16: Burnt Cane

The Tuesday evening Movies in the Park series begins July 9, and the always great Webster Jazz Fest will return on July 19 and 20. Stay tuned for more information about both of those. You can also keep up to date by visiting websterbid.com.

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summer celebrationThe Town of Webster’s annual Summer Celebration takes place this year this Saturday June 22 at Webster Parks and Recreation, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

This family-friendly event kind of serves as our town’s Fourth of July celebration, including fireworks. It begins at 4 p.m. and features live music from Brass Taxi and State Line, food trucks, games, crafts, inflatables and more. The fireworks will begin at about 9:45 p.m.

For more information, click here.

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The Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market is up and running for the 2019 summer season. You’ll find it every Saturday through the fall at Webster Towne Center (Target/Kohl’s Plaza), featuring locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, jams and jellies, honey, maple syrup, fresh meats, plants, spices and crafts.

Special events this year include live music, balloon fun with Mr. Wally, the Christmas in July celebration on July 20 (Santa will be there), and more.

I’ll be highlighting several of these special events as they draw near, so stay tuned.

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One last tasty event to add:

St Martin Lutheran Church is holding a Pulled Pork Drive Thru BBQ on Saturday, June 22  from 4:30 until gone at the church on 813 Bay Road, Webster.  Pull into the parking lot, place your order, and the dinner will be delivered to you in your car.

The take-out dinner  includes pulled pork, roll, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cookie for $9.00.  Proceeds support the church’s annual Christmas Stocking Project reaching over 500 children and teens in Monroe and Wayne  counties.

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You’ll want to bee at this event

17 Jun

bees

Bet you didn’t know that this week is Pollinator Week!

I learned about this internationally recognized celebration the other day from Amy Stringer at The North Bee, and since I had never heard about it before, I went looking for more information.

This is a real thing. According to the Pollinator.org website, the week was officially designated 12 years ago by the U.S. Senate as a “time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.” They call it a

necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

As individual, no-beekeeper people that most of us are, there’s not much we can do to show our support for the important job these creatures do, aside from learning more about them and respecting their role in our world. There’s no better place to do that this week than at The North Bee, one of Webster’s newest and cutest shops, located on North Ave. in the village.

north beeOwner Amy Stringer is celebrating the occasion all week, with an extra special event planned for this coming Saturday June 22. At her Pollinator Party on the Ave., Amy will be set up in a tent outside her shop with her observation beehive, pollinator information, activity sheets for the kids, and soil, seeds and pots for the kids to plant some pollinator seeds. Plus, she’ll have a real extractor, so kids (and adults) can try their hand at spinning out some honey, and you can even try honey straight off the frame right out of the hive.

The event will run from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday June 22, and is sure to be educational and fun for kids and adults alike.

The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave. in the Village of Webster, across the street from Veterans Park and the gazebo. For more information about the event and The North Bee, click here.

There is a event posted on Facebook. Pollinator Party on the Ave. Saturday the 22nd at The North Bee from 12-4.

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A great event for a great cause

16 Jun

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It was a rather dreary late spring day yesterday. That is, everywhere but under the tent set up outside Ploty’s Hometown Tavern, where laughs and smiles brightened the day for several hours yesterday afternoon and evening.

Hundreds attended a very special and heart-warming fund-raising event yesterday in support of Bella’s Bumbas, an incredible Webster-based organization that is changing the lives of children all around the world.

IMG_20190615_165812734_BURST000_COVER_TOPBella’s Bumbas is a non-profit organization run by Webster residents Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr, dedicated to building miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. To date they have shipped 850 chairs to children in 27 countries, often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the families only for shipping.

You can read more about this great cause in this blog I wrote back in 2017, and this follow-up blog.

And if you really wonder if this organization is truly making a difference, consider this: parents of Bella, whose diagnosis with spina bifida inspired the creation of the first Bella’s Bumba, were told she would never even sit up. Today, thanks to the strength she has gained from her Bumba, she is not only using a walker, but has even taken several steps on her own.

Folks who attended yesterday’s event were treated to pizza, drink specials, DJ music, and lots of raffles, including SO MANY GIFT BASKETS spread on tables inside and outside the tavern that I couldn’t even count them all. 

I’ve put more photos from the event on a small gallery here. Thank you so much for Eric at Ploty’s Hometown Tavern for hosting!

If you weren’t able to make yesterday’s event but love with what Rebecca and Marty are doing to change children’s lives, you can still help to provide some much-needed cash to keep their cause rolling (so to speak).  

Visit their GoFundMe page to read more about Bella’s Bumbas and throw them a little cash. Because they really ARE changing children’s’ lives.

IMG_20190615_170219163

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Ploty’s fundraiser will benefit Bella’s Bumbas

12 Jun

Got no plans for this Saturday night? I have a great idea. Head on out to Ploty’s Hometown Tavern in the Village of Webster for great drinks, music and prizes, all to benefit one of my favorite local agencies, Bella’s Bumbas.

Bella’s Bumbas is a non-profit organization run by Webster residents Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr, dedicated to building miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. In just their first year of operation, they shipped more than 300 “Bella’s Bumbas” around the world, often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the families only for shipping. You can read more about it in this blog I wrote back in 2017, and this follow-up blog.

poster

At Saturday’s Ploty’s fundraiser, participants will enjoy drink specials, basket raffles, a 50/50 drawing, live music, and more. All monies raised will go to directly support Bella’s Bumbas’ mission to provide mobility to children with disabilities.

It’s sure to be a good time with friends new and old, and helping out such a wonderful organization as Bella’s Bumbas is just a bonus.

The event takes place from 4 to 9 p.m. at Ploty’s Hometown Tavern, 27 West Main Street in the Village of Webster.

Please bring cash because they don’t have any way to accept credit cards. (Bring lots of cash!)

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Miracle Field opens Saturday with a family-friendly celebration

7 Jun

challenger miracle field

Saturday is going to be a BEAUTIFUL day for a baseball game!

The community is invited to join the celebration as Challenger Miracle Field officially opens for the season with a free Family Day from 1 to 4 p.m. There’ll be all sorts of kids’ games and activities including a bean bag toss, soccer darts, can smash, face painting, balloon animals and a bounce house. Plus, at 2 p.m., you can watch the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Karpus Family Barrier-Free Playground.

The concession stand will be open for purchases with free Popcorn in a souvenir stadium cup. You’ll also be able to purchase a variety of new Miracle Field “swag” including t-shirts, car magnets, chap stick, and more.

There’ll be plenty of free parking and seating for the festivities and to watch the game. So come on down and help cheer on our challenged athletes at the field built especially for them.

Challenger Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This brand new facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and or cognitive challenges and fully wheelchair accessible. The idea was to give people 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.

Click here to find out more about this amazing facility and organization.

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Almost 40 raffle prizes up for grabs at this week’s community blood drive

3 Jun

IMG_20190603_183032065

How badly do our Webster business owners want you to donate blood at this week’s Community Blood Drive? So much that they’ll give you PRIZES just for showing up.

Ok, you might consider that bribery, but they’re willing to help do what they can to encourage community members to attend this week’s two-day community blood drive on June 5 and 6, because the need is critical. Right now the Red Cross is operating on only a 3-day supply of blood, which is kind of scary.

That’s why my spare bedroom is piled high right now with raffle prizes. You’ll see some of them in the photo above, including an incredible gift basket from LaLa of Webster worth more than $225.

Every donor who walks through the door will be handed ten raffle tickets, which can be used to take chances on almost 40 raffle items donated by some very generous local businesses.  In addition to the LaLa raffle basket, donors can also try their luck on these prizes:

Gift certificates from:

  • Barry’s Old School Irish
  • Ploty’s Hometown Tavern
  • Webster Hots
  • The Filling Station
  • ROC & Soul Fitness
  • The Chicken Coop
  • Eastway Liquor
  • Rubino’s
  • Natural Alternatives
  • The Goodie Shoppe
  • Carl’s Pizza
  • The Pickled Paintbrush (PLUS a cool kids’ craft)
  • Abbott’s
  • The North Bee (PLUS gift bags)
  • Best to You Spa (PLUS a bottle of wine)
  • Kittleberger Florist
  • Strike Back Martial Arts

Plus, these prizes:

  • Gift basket from Schutt’s
  • Beauty products from Beyond Cuts Salon
  • Growler gift pack from Knuckleheads
  • Gift basket from Hegedorn’s

And there’s more! Each donor will receive a free pint of ice cream from Bruster’s, a chance for a cool $100 from Gerard P. Smith Insurance, a $5 coupon from Superior Solutions … and there might be a few other things I’m forgetting.

Basically, you do NOT want to miss this blood drive. Here are the details:

The drive will be held on Wednesday June 5 at St. Paul’s Church on Hard Road, noon to 7 p.m. and Thursday June 6 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from noon to 7 p.m. You can make an appointment by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by logging onto http://www.redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to our newest business sponsors this year, LaLa of Webster, The Pickled Paintbrush, The North Bee and The Best You Spa! Thank you SO MUCH for your generosity. 

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Luncheon concludes first collaborative community reading project

31 May
IMG_20190530_125407367

Webster community members and their student reading partners.  

I had the privilege to attend a very nice event on Thursday afternoon, the culminating luncheon of the first-ever community reading project.

Organized by Webster Schroeder English teacher Eileen Connolly, the project paired 25 adults from the greater Webster community with 25 students in Connolly’s 10th grade Here and Now English class. Every participant read the same novel — My Dog Skip by Willie Morris — over a period of four weeks in May. Reading assignments were assigned each week. Participants answered questions related to each assignment, recording their answers in a spiral notebook. The book and notebook were then delivered back and forth between adults and students every week so each could see what the other had written.

At yesterday’s luncheon, the adults and students met each other for the first time. My student partner was Kaylee Ziemniack, and I was pleased to be able to spend a few minutes getting to knew her at the luncheon.

Because it was just the first time for the program, there were a few glitches. But in general, it was a terrific experience and clearly adults and students alike got a lot out of it.

I asked Connolly to provide her thoughts on how things went and if she plans to run the program again next year. Allow me to quote her email directly:

Especially because it was our first time through, I was exceptionally pleased with how the program went. While we had a couple of bumps with delivery, every student and every adult read and responded to all parts of the novel. The opportunity to meet the people they’d been corresponding with was a little scary, but students enjoyed meeting and talking to their partners. Once we finished our luncheon, some of the participants also tried their hand at some blackout poetry using text from the novel.

The program gave students a low stress opportunity to do some reading and having adult feedback kept them interested. Students were always excited to open their envelopes and see what their partners had written. Many adults shared their own memories of childhood and provided some context for kids whose experiences are sometimes, but not always, very different from their own. Even the chance to see that people (other than teachers) actually write in cursive was an eye-opener for some students. Student readers had a chance to view how skilled and mature readers and writers interacted with the text. That provided excellent models for all of our students. …

We hope to expand the program to some English 10 classes at Thomas High School as well. I am thrilled that almost every adult said they would not only participate again but promised to get a friend or two involved.

I am so grateful for the many people who supported the program including our Principal Mr. Benz, Secondary Director of ELA, Larry Wahl, District Courier Jimmy Lehman, and my colleague Linda Law. … (Also) the staff of the offices at all the school pick up and drop off points. They didn’t have any advance notice and were very supportive too! At Schroeder, the front office staff, Kelly Dinsmore and Emily Zicari, were wonderful too!

Most of all, I want to extend my genuine gratitude to each and every community member who accepted our challenge to participate. The program taught my students that there are community members who care enough to take an interest in their work and lives. They gave of their most precious gift: time. There is no way to measure the value (short and long term) of that gift.

I would also like to add a thank you to the staff at the Webster Public Library. I arranged to have my packet dropped off there several times, and they were very accommodating.

I’m already looking forward to next year, and encourage others to come on board when Connolly ramps up the program again.

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At the luncheon: Me and my reading partner Kaylee Ziemniak; Noah Vercruysse and his partner   Meredith Feary. Claire Belmont is photo-bombing. 

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Webster community mailbag

30 May

mailbag iconThere’s a whole pile of great events coming up in the next few weeks, starting this coming weekend.

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The Webster Marching Band will hold their annual spring bottle and can drive this Saturday June 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. They’ll come to your street, so all you have to do is bag up your returnables and put them outside your house, near your house or garage, making sure they’re visible from the street. DON’T leave them out at the street, and DON’T put them out overnight, so no one else decides to make the rounds and snag them.

You can also drop off your donations before 4 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. And remember, the band operates a 24-hour bottle and can hotline. Call 234-8684 any time and leave a message. Someone will be back in touch to arrange a pickup time.

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Grab your kids and their bikes and head on out to the Bicycle Skills Rodeo on Saturday June 1 from 10 a.m. to noon, hosted by the Webster Police Department.

Held in the Town Court parking lot at 1000 Ridge Road, the event will give kids a chance to practice bicycle safety skills and learn about proper helmet fit.

Make sure to bring your bike and helmet. There will be a few extra helmets on hand for children who do not have them, but — really? All kids should own helmets and use them.

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The Webster Aquatic Center will host its Webster Youth Triathlon this Sunday June 2.

The event, which includes a swim, bike and run, is for children from kindergarten through age 16, and is scaled according to age. Kindergartners, for example, will swim 25 yards, bike a mile and run a 1/4 mile. Older kids will swim 150 yards, bike 4 miles and run a mile. There’s also a team relay option.

The swim will take place at the Aquatic Center and the run and bike portions on the Webster Schroeder campus.

Cost is $15 before June 2, $20 the day of the event. The first 200 participants will receive a goody bag and t-shirt.

To register and for more details, call the Webster Aquatic Center at 585-670-1087. You can also email race director Missy Whipple with questions, at missyw26.2@gmail.com.

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Microsoft Word - Spry Evening Of Jazz Concert.docx

Prime Time Funk (provided)

The Webster community is invited to the annual Spry Evening of Jazz on Friday June 7 beginning at 7 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd.

 

There’s no admission charge for this concert, which will include a performance by special guest Prime Time Funk.

This should be a great evening of incredible music from our talented youngsters and outstanding Prime Time jazz artists. All for free!

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Webster’s Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market will open for the season on Saturday June 8. Many of your favorite vendors will be returning, and several new ones are also expected.

The market is held at Webster Towne Center Plaza (Kohl’s Target Plaza) near the gazebo in front of Old Navy. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October. You’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods, jams, honey, maple syrup, plants, herbs and flowers and crafts.

Also, this Saturday look for a Town of Webster booth where you can meet and chat with many of your town and county officials, first responders, and community organization representatives.

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BARBARA KILLIP-2

Barbara Killip (Adrian DeJesus Photography)

Finally, congratulations to school bus driver Barbara Killip, who was recently named the Webster Central School District Transportation Department’s Employee of the Year. 

Barbara and transportation colleagues from throughout the area were recently honored at a brunch hosted by the Rochester Area Transportation Supervisors Association.

Our bus drivers do an amazing job keeping our children safe and aren’t always fully appreciated, so I love to see this recognition.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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