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Happy Bella’s Bumbas news and library stuff

29 Jul

Back in June, I posted a blog about how the Webster-based dance studio Dancing With Denise raised money and made a very generous donation to Bella’s Bumbas, a nonprofit grassroots organization which builds pint-sized “Bumba” wheelchairs for children with mobility issues.

The money was earmarked for a particular project Bella’s Bumbas was working on: building and shipping eight of the miniature wheelchairs to Algeria.

I found out several days ago that those chairs were shipped, have been received, and the children are already enjoying the Bella’s Bumba benefits of mobility, greater self-confidence and independence. (Check out those smiling faces in the photos below, sent from Algeria!)

Bella’s Bumbas is run by Webster residents Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr, dedicated to building miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. In the four years since Marty built the first Bumba for their niece Bella, they’ve shipped close to 2000 chairs to children in 46 countries (including ALGERIA), often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the parents only for shipping.

Rebecca and Marty could barely contain their excitement on Facebook, where they wrote:

Well, it was a bit of a learning curve and journey but all the chairs made it to ALGERIA and the 8 children.

We owe an amazing amount of thank you’s to Dancing With Denise for a majority of the funds, Aziz Anas Ziad that assisted the families in Algeria with sending in their request papers, Samir the gentleman who received and distributed the chairs (and put on an amazing little party complete with gifts and hats for the children), Mohamed who connected us to Samir, and the amazing Association El Kawther who also assisted Samir to recieve the chairs from customs … INDEED it has taken so much compassion and cooperation for this adventure.

The excitement in Algeria could also be felt across the miles, summed up in comments like this one: “Thank you so much for this. Those children really need to be happy and independent persons. Biiiig thanks from Algeria.”

Rebecca and Marty have earned the right to step back and rest a bit after this huge project. But I’m sure they’ve already ramped up production again, and will almost certainly notch a few more countries before the end of the year.

Read more about the Bella’s Bumbas mission and how you can help on their Facebook page and their website.


Lots of things happening at the Webster Public Library these days, and I’ve been remiss in letting you know about them. So here you go:

  • Project Homeless Connect Rochester is holding its annual coat drive event on September 15th at the Public Market in downtown Rochester, and the library is helping with the collection. Community members are encouraged to donate clean, new coats in the library collection box right now (don’t wait until September!) Donations can be dropped off any time that the library is open, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 pm and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Can’t make the morning live storytimes at the Harmony Park gazebo? The library has recently added some Wednesday evening storytimes on Aug. 4 and 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The park is located on Foster Drive off of Phillips Rd. No registration is required.
  • As part of the Tales & Tails Summer Reading theme, the library is partnering with Operation Freedom Ride by collecting donations for underfunded rescues and shelters through August. Their mission is to rescue homeless dogs and cats and find them adopters in NY. Donations will be collected through August. Each donation will earn a kernel of food in our dog dish on the bulletin board outside the Children’s Room. Watch it grow!

See a complete list of requested items on the Webster Public Library Facebook page.

All these items just scratch the surface of what’s going on down there at the library. Check out their beautiful, brand new website for details about these and dozens of other special things that happen there every month. The library is located at the back of Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Rd.

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Hot off the presses! Free concert!

13 Jul

My friends at the Webster Public Library wanted me to gve you all a heads-up about Wednesday night’s FREE Caring Community Concert at the Webster United Church of Christ, 570 Klem Rd.

This concert will feature the eight-piece contemporary band Allegro, and begins at 6:30.

This is the first of the church’s annual summer benefit concert series, and this one will be near and dear to any book lover’s heart, because it will benefit BookBox for Kids and Teens, the Webster Public Library’s summer mobile library at Phillips Village.

BookBox is a terrific program begun by Children’s Services Librarian Jason Poole several years ago. It’s designed to get books into the hands of kids who can’t easily make it to the library — specifically the 500 or so kids who live in the Phillips Village neighborhood.

Once a week, library staff members set up a tent in an open field and unload a couple of crates of books. Kids can stop by, scan the collection, sign out one book or several, and keep them for the entire summer if they’d like. They can even make special requests, and their favorite books might very well show up the following week.  

It’s a great way to keep kids reading all summer long, and a great cause to support.

The Wednesday night concert is free, but a collection will be taken and donations will go to support BookBox.

The concert will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 570 Klem Rd.

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Webster community mailbag

6 Jul

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Fun and games with the Webster Public Library

25 Jun

No one can get kids excited about reading quite like the Webster Public Library.

That’s exactly what was going on last night at North Ponds Park when the library hosted its gala Summer Reading Kickoff Party. It featured games and crafts, raffle baskets and book drawings, a scavenger hunt, storytime with Jason and a special appearance from R2D2 himself (accompanied by some stormtroopers).

All the hoopla was designed to get kids (and adults) psyched about this year’s summer’s reading program. Called “Tails and Tales,” participants earn points by reading throughout the summer. There are three prize levels as you progress, and at 1000 points you get a handsome completion certificate and entry into the grand prize drawing.

The program runs through Sept. 3. Four different levels are offered so the entire family can participate: pre-K (0-4), children (5-12), teens (13-17) and adults. Participation can be virtual via Readsquared (click here to download) or in-person at the library. Stop by anytime during normal library hours to pick up your bookmark and start logging minutes.


And while you’re at the library, you HAVE TO check out the life-sized Candy Land game they’ve set up in the children’s room.

The game is just like the one you remember when you were a kid (and perhaps still play with your kids), but full-sized. Players each put on a headband and “become” a playing piece. They choose a card from the deck, then follow the large colored squares through the room, past the Chocolate Swamp, Lollipop Woods, Peppermint Field and more, leading to King Candy’s Castle. Staff members have done an amazing job decorating the room and bringing to life one of everyone’s favorite family games.

Families and small groups (no larger than 10) are invited to sign up for a time slot. It takes about a half hour to complete the game. It’s proved to be so popular that this week the library will be opening up more spots in the evenings and through August. Click here to find out more and reserve your spot.

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

One more thing I want you to notice when you’re at the library.

When you walk through the front door, take a look to the left at the amazing wall-sized library logo crafted completely out of cardboard.

The mural is the handiwork of library staff members Linda Liddle and Katrina Viza, and is really impressive. The photo below doesn’t do it justice. You have to get up close and personal to really appreciate it.

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Webster community mailbag

8 Jun

And the fun just keeps on coming.

If you live in or near the village, you may remember the Village Block Party held back in September on Park Ave. The event was hosted by The Red Hot and Blue Band, who set up on the porch of RHB band member Doug Pucci, who lives at the corner of Park Ave. and South Ave.

The band played for three straight hours, while community members sat around and listened (socially distanced of course), and children danced and made chalk drawings in the middle of the closed-off street. It was a much-needed and greatly appreciated respite from the depths of the pandemic.

Well, the Village Block Party is back again this year, and it’s going to be even better.

On Saturday June 12, Webster community members are all invited to come together to enjoy the rockin’ sounds of the Red Hot and Blue Band, beginning at 3 p.m. And bring some cash, too, because this time the party will feature two food trucks, Terry’s Tips and Beef and Netsins Ice Cream.

Aside from the food trucks, there’s no charge for this event. Just bring your quad chairs and join your neighbors for an afternoon of good music and good food. It all happens on Park Ave. between South Ave. (Rt. 250) and Lapham Park.


This week’s Friends of the Webster Public Library Pop-up Book Sale has become a Bring-Your-Own-Bag Book Sale!

On Thursday June 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., bring your bag to the library and fill it with gently used books for just $4. It’s an inexpensive way to stock your personal library for a summer-full of great reading for you and your family.

The sale will be held in the Webster Publc Library parking lot, at the rear of Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Rd. All monies raised will go to support library initiatives.

Don’t forget about this weekend’s Webster Summer Celebration, returning on Saturday June 12 to the Webster Recreation Center.

From 5 to 10 p.m., the whole family is invited to come out for dinner and snacks from some great food trucks (including Wraps on Wheels, Nancy’s Fried Dough, Effortlessly Healthy, Bay Vista Taqueria and Seabreeze Catering and Hot Sauce), while enjoying some great live music.

Festivities will conclude at 9:45 with a fireworks display. For more information, especially about parking for the fireworks, please visit the Webster Parks and Recreation webpage.


This Saturday also maks the opening of the Joe Obbie Farmers’ Market.

This blurb from the market’s Facebook page seems to indicate that exciting changes are in store:

Things are lining up for what we believe to be one of our biggest and best market years ever. We are happy to announce that the market has grown with new vendors being added. We are pleased to see many old faces return as well. And also very pleased to announce the addition of a food truck and a possible lemonade truck.

The market is located in Webster Towne Center plaza, in front of Old Navy and near the gazebo. It’s open every Saturday through November from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Several Village of Webster shops will be holding a sidewalk sale next week on Friday June 18 and Saturday June 19. Take a stroll through the village, pick up some bargains and visit with with some of our very friendly small business owners.

The shops that will be participating in the sidewalk sale include Lala of Webster, Nest Things, The North Bee, Yesterday’s Muse Books, and the Village Quilt Shoppe.

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

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.

Hickory Bark Trail platform back in action

7 Jun

Have you discovered Hickory Bark Woods yet?

This is a beautiful little natural area just steps from the Webster Public Library’s front doors, adjacent to the Ridge Park playing fields behind Town Hall. The stand of woods measures about 10 acres, and there’s a very nice, short trail that leads into the center of the woods, ending at a spacious deck.

At least it did for a while.

Last November, a large tree fell onto the platform, pretty much destroying it. But just about a month ago, the Friends of Webster Trails put a team together and repaired the platform. Many thanks go out to Eric Turberg, Steve Turberg, Bud Gearhart, Dennis Kuhn, Craig Hurlbut and John Boettcher.

These before-and-after photos came from the Town of Webster weekly newsletter:

I was especially happy to see that repairs had been made to the platform because I know the Webster Public Library likes to use the trail and deck for some of their programs.

I also remember when, last July, Doreen and Laureen from the library dedicated one of their Let’s Explore Webster videos to Hickory Bark Trail. You can see that video here, and click here if you want to read my blog about the trail (and the fairy houses I found there).

By the way, Doreen and Laureen have recently published their latest Let’s Explore Webster video, this one about three of Webster’s historic properties. Click below to see that video, then visit the Webster Library’s YouTube channel to see many more videos from this excellent series. (And all sorts of other neat stuff!!)

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Webster community mailbag

31 May

When it comes to blog ideas, I’ve found it’s either feast or famine. As it turns out today, it’s definitely a feast. I’ve got so many things to tell you about I need to throw them all into one big mailbag so they don’t get too stale.

So here we go….

Image courtesy Town of Webster website

The Town of Webster is hosting a series of open houses for anyone interested in finding out more about plans for redeveloping Sandbar Park and upcoming REDI projects (Resiliency & Economic Development Initiative) which will include, among other projects, raising a portion of Lake Rd.

There’s going to be a lot of information presented at these meetings, so if you’d like to read up on all the projects in advance, click here for a good overview of what will be happening and why.

The open houses will be held:

  • Wednesday June 2, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive
  • Tuesday June 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rec Center
  • Thursday June 10, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rec Center
  • Saturday June 12 at the Joe Obbie’s Farmer’s Market, in the Kohl’s Plaza

The Webster Museum needs your help

Webster Museum volunteers have scoured available online resources for information about Asa Bass and his family. Museum staff members think this family may have been the first black residents of what is now Webster.

Asa (1792-1872) was born in Vermont, was a pioneer who came here in 1812 and bought at different times three different properties between the northern sections of what are now Phillips Road and Route 250.  Among his neighbors were the Foster and Wright families.

Asa and his wife Matilda Fuller Bass (1790-1866) had at least two children, Jane Bass Gould (1820-1891) and Chester Bass (1724-1873). Jane married Charles Gould and they had three children:  Anna, Nelson and Elijah. Chester married Sarah Gracen and they had at least one child, Francis Bass Vond. One of Asia’s nephews, Asa Boyd, lived with the family for many years.

The museum has many facts, but few stories about Asa and his farm and family lives. They’re hoping to hear from relatives of people who may have been friends or neighbors as well as descendants of this family.

Any information, even the smallest clue, would be greatly appreciated. Please send to Kathy at ktaddeo5@icloud.com

Yee haw! Challenge your kids at this rodeo!

The Monroe County Office of Traffic Safety will host a Bicycle Skills Rodeo on Saturday June 5 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr.

Children will learn, practice and demonstrate their bicycle handling skills. Make sure to bring your bicycle and helmet to participate in this family-friendly event for kids age 4-14. (There will be a few helmets available if you need one.)

The event is free, but registration is required. Visit the Webster Parks and Recreation website and look for program #201000. Four half-hour time slots are available beginning at 10 a.m.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides hosts Open House via Zoom

This note from some of our neighbors to the south.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides is hosting an open house via Zoom for those who might like more information about driving for the service.

Bri-Pen Senior Rides is a volunteer-based service that provides rides to adults 65+ in the Penfield and Brighton areas who do not have transportation to medical or other essential appointments. They are urgently seeking volunteers to drive or offer their assistance in dispatching rides to clients.    

The group will hold an Open House via Zoom on Thursday, June 10 at 4 p.m. to answer questions about how to get involved, as well as to share the history of the program.

Drivers are trained by Lifespan, and qualified drivers are offered additional umbrella insurance to drive for the service.

A link to the Zoom meeting can be found on the Penfield Recreation website calendar, or call 340-8655 for details. 

Help sustain our Webster forests

The Friends of Webster Trails is looking for a few good volunteers to help with a pressing problem.

Our treed and open space areas in Webster offer peaceful places to enjoy and explore, places that Friends of Webster Trails helps preserve for future generations. The future of our trees is threatened, however. Emerald Ash Borer. Wooly Adelgid. Oak Wilt. Beech Tree Canker. Those are just some of the challenges our green infrastructure faces.

Friends of Webster Trails is in the early stages of identifying how to address the problem, and they’re putting together a committee to work on it over the next several months.The goal is to enter 2022 with concrete plans to put into action. 

If you’re interested in joining their efforts, contact Norma Platt at normap1@rochester.rr.com.

Would you like to make some beautiful music?

The Webster-based Rochester Rhapsody chorus, an organization of female a cappella singers specializing in the barbershop harmony style, is excited to report they’ll be returning to live rehearsals, which were on hold for a long time thanks to COVID.

To kick off the summer, they’ll be spreading their love for music with a grand reopening for women of all ages.

Female guests can attend Rochester Rhapsody chorus’ “A Cappella Lives!” open rehearsal on June 14 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at Temple Beth El, 139 S. Winton Road, Rochester.

Women of all ages can enjoy an evening of music in a relaxed environment and participate in a cappella 4-part harmony, vocal skill building, singing a variety of music, and meeting with other women singers. Information about the chorus’ audition process will also be provided.

This is a great opportunity for women who love to sing but have never tried a cappella.

Registration is requested. To do so, and find out more details, visit the group’s Facebook page, email info@rochesterrhapsody.com or call 585-721-8369.

What’s a mailbag without news from the library?

There’s SO MUCH COOL STUFF happening at the Webster Publc Library. Here are just a few snippets just for your kids:

  • This year’s Summer Reading Kickoff takes place at the North Ponds Park pavilion on Thursday June 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

There will be games and crafts, raffle baskets and book drawings, a scavenger hunt, and Star Wars costume characters! No registration is required. The event will include a 20-minute storytime with Jason at 6:15, so bring your blankets!

  • Your kids’ next craft challenge: create an animal habitat!

For the Animal Habitat Challenge, kids will use supplies provided, and/or anything else you have at home. The library will provide the animal, some fun crafting supplies and a box for your diorama.

Pick up your kits from the library between June 7 and 11 and submit a photo of the completed habitat by June 18. Voting will take place on Facebook from June 21 to 27. Click here to register.

  • Step into the magical world of Candy Land! Between June 14 and June 30, families and small groups will be able to register for time slots to make their way through a live-action version of this popular family game. Venture through the enchanted storytime room full of gumdrops, candy canes, lollipops, and so much more. Do you have what it takes to make it to King Candy’s castle first? Click here to register.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of the plaza. Make sure to check out their website for all of the great youth and adult programs they’ve put together. I’ve just scratched the surface.

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This “Little Free” location draws art lovers and book lovers alike

22 May

Certainly most everyone by now is familiar with the concept of Little Free Libraries, mini libraries installed outside homes and schools, packed with books and magazines free for the taking.

A few months ago I posted a blog about one family who turned their little library into a puzzle exchange. Recently I was delighted to discover another extremely creative twist on the Little Free Library idea: the Little Free Art Gallery. In this case, instead of books, visitors will find pocket-sized pieces of fine art neatly arranged on miniature easels inside the box. Anyone is welcome to leave a piece, take a piece or just enjoy the artwork that others have left.

Even better than learning about these whimisical, pint-sized art galleries is finding out there’s one only a few minutes east of Webster.

Julie and Jim Gocker live on Ontario Drive, about a half mile north of Lake Rd. in Ontario. About three years ago, Jim built and installed a Little Free Libray in front of their lake-side home. It was the perfect way for Julie, a retired school library teaching assistant, to share her love for books with her neighbors.

Last year, just as the pandemic started, Julie read somewhere about Little Free Art Galleries, and hatched the idea to build one of their own. Given her background and having raised a family of artists and teachers, the library expansion seemed like a natural next step.

“It’s such an important thing to appreciate, either having a book to read or a picture to look at,” Julie said. “Those are important to us, and because we live in a walking neighborhood we just thought it’d be kind of cool.”

“I have to say that the plus to the whole COVID thing is seeing kids on bikes, swimming in the lake, and walking with their parents instead of being off on the soccer field or lacrosse field,” Julie added. “They’re home doing family things and taking books. So we thought it’d be a perfect year to do our Little Free Art Gallery.”

Building the gallery kept Jim busy for a while in the depths of the pandemic. When it was done, they waited for the weather to turn, and installed it on May 1.

This was the very first piece of art submitted to the new gallery. By Emilee, future artist extraorindaire.

Julie and Jim stocked the new gallery with their own creations until other people started adding their own. Their first artist in residence was a young neighborhood girl named Emilee, who filled her canvas with a large pink, green and yellow flower.

Perhaps it’s because the gallery is fairly new, but Julie said they haven’t had a lot of submissions yet, even though they keep restocking the gallery with several blank canvases every week. “They all disappear, but nobody’s been bringing any more paintings back to us,” Julie said. “We think Emilee’s probably going to have an art show.”

Of course the Gockers would love to see more artists contribute to the gallery, but they also encourage visitors to help themselves to a pint-sized painting at any time. Most of them are only 3″ square, the perfect size for your desk at work or home. But if you just want to stop by and admire the artwork — just like you would in any art gallery — you’re perfectly welcome to do that as well.

You’ll find the Gockers’ Little Free Art Gallery at 697 Ontario Drive in Ontario. And while you’re there, how about showing some love to their Little Free Library, too? They’ve already got a good stock of adult books, but could really use some children’s books.

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You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

16 May

The Webster Marching Band could REALLY use your returnables this year.

Due to the pandemic, the band hasn’t been able to do any of their usual fundraisers this year.  But they’re planning to at least hold their bottle and can drive, as a drop-off event.

So start saving up your bottles, then on Saturday June 5, swing by Willink Middle School on Publisher’s Parkway between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to drop them off. There will be plenty of worker-bees there to help you, so you won’t even have to get out of the car.

If you’re not able to go to Willink that Saturday, they’ll come to you. Simply call the Bottle and Can Hotline, 24/7 at 234-8684 (option 1), leave a message and they’ll call you back for details. You can also drop off their returns at any time to area bottle return companies (Can Kings, Nickleback, Upstate Bottle Return) and just tell them to credit the Webster Marching Band for the return.


The Webster Aquatic Center will host its Webster Youth Triathlon on Sunday June 6.

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, 875 Ridge Rd., and the run and bike portions on the Webster Schroeder campus.

Cost is $15, and registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Webster Aquatic Center. The first 250 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.


This is an interesting bit of history which I recently received from the Webster Museum, where the folks are anxiously awaiting society’s return to normal so they can share this kind of stuff with everyone in person again!

WEBSTER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE BECOMES MAYOR OF ROCHESTER…

….. in 1895. That was just the beginning of a forty-year political career.

Born in Webster to farmers Chadwick and Rhonda Lewis, Merton Elmer Lewis (1861-1937) studied law with James B. Perkins. He fathered six children during his two marriages and some of his family remained in the Rochester area.

A staunch Republican, Merton would serve as Rochester mayor, delegate to the New York State Assembly and Senate, New York State Attorney General, United States Attorney and was considered by his party for nomination as a New York State gubernatorial candidate. He returned to private practice in 1919.

The Webster Museum and Historical Society thanks Frank Calandra, local political historian and collector, for introducing us to this Webster resident and to Mr. Lewis’ illustrious career.

When we can safely open, museum volunteers will return to welcome you all to stop in to “meet” other interesting Webster residents of yesteryear.


Finally, a few notes from the library, the first one well timed for this week’s beautiful weather when everyone wants to get out and start planting.

  • Small Space Gardening: A Zoom Program, Tuesday May 18, 7 p.m.

Gardening requires planning and preparation, especially if your garden is as big as a match box! This program will cover small space gardening techniques and tips to help maximize your garden’s productivity. Also covered will be site selection, vegetable varieties, soil preparation, and crop rotation to assure fresh and nutritious food for you. Presented by Jarmila Haseler, an Ag & Food Systems Educator from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County.

Registration is required. Click here to do so. The Zoom invitation will be sent the day before the program.

  • Webster Public Library is now offering the streaming service called HOOPLA for all Webster library patrons. You can use Hoopla to access music, TV shows, movies, audiobooks, ebooks, and comics/graphic novels. Just download the materials straight onto your phone or tablet, or even stream them to your TV instantly!

Click here to learn more and get started.

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Webster community mailbag

2 May

Grab a cup of coffee and settle in. This is a long one.

Webster Arboretum Plant Sale returns

The Webster Arboretum Association, together with local growers and local garden clubs will host the 2021 Webster Arboretum Plant Sale on Saturday May 8 from 8 a.m. to noon.

A tremendous variety of beautiful, healthy plants from standard to uncommon will be available including annuals, dwarf conifers, hostas, geraniums, tomatoes, and more. It’s a great way to celebrate spring and get some live plants perfectly suited for your garden. And don’t forget … Mother’s Day is Sunday!

The sale will be held at the Webster Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd. Webster.

Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery needs you!

The Webster Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery is looking for photos of skyscapes, landscapes, waterscapes or artwork depicting the many beautiful places in Webster. Your photos will be featured on the museum website alongside other works of photographic art from your Webster neighbors.

The gallery is getting everyone’s art appreciation juices flowing for the Ward Mann exhibit, being readied for when the museum can safely open again.

Send your photos to the gallery by email to photos@webstermuseum.org or upload directly on the museum website.


Speaking of art…

The Webster Art Club’s Spring Art Show is now on display at the Webster Public Library through May 27. Stop in during the library’s normal business hours to view the nice variety of artwork created by your fellow Webster community members.

Pop-up Book Sales

Also coming soon to the Webster Public Library, the Friends of the Library will be holding Pop-up Book Sales in the parking lot beginning next week and running for several weeks this summer and even into the fall, weather permitting.

These sales are full of surprises and unexpected treasures. Hardcover books are $1, and paperback books are 2/$1. Cash and checks will be accepted, and please bring your own bags.

The first pop-up sales will be Thursday May 13 and Saturday May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, masks and social distancing will be required. All monies raised will be used to support library programs and initiatives.

Brighten your mood, borrow a lamp

The Webster Public Library never ceases to amaze with the variety of things you can borrow. They now have portable light therapy lamps available for borrowing for up to three weeks.

The Verilux light therapy lamps (or “Happy Lights”) imitate outdoor natural light and are intended to improve mood and overall sense of well-being. It’s amazing what a little bit of light can do. Sunlight improves our mood, makes us feel more optimistic, gives us energy, and promotes better sleep. And we all know how little sunlight we get here in Rochester.

Ask for the lights at the circulation desk, and borrow a little sunshine.

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

Absentee Ballot Applications Available for Budget Vote, BOE Election


The Webster CSD’s Annual Budget Vote and Election of Board of Education Candidates is slated for Tuesday, May 18. All voting is scheduled to take place in-person, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gynmasium, Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road.

Qualified voters of the district who will be unable to attend the polls on the day of the vote may wish to use an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the district clerk at least seven days before the vote (if the ballot is being mailed to the voter) or the day before the vote if it’s being picked up in person.

Absentee ballot applications are available online at or from District Clerk Cynthia Cushman, 119 South Avenue (third floor of the Spry Middle School), Webster.

Spry Student Council Donates to Dream Factory of Rochester

The Spry Student Council recently made an impressive donation to the Dream Factory of Rochester.

COVID didn’t stop these middle school go-getters from hosting two fundraisers to benefit the local non-profit. They tapped into people’s taste buds by having a fundraiser at Chipotle, netting $1,123.41. Then they challenged their peers and the Spry faculty and staff to take part in a fun Jar Wars competition during Spirit Week. Participants put coins (and larger bills) in jars to earn points for their team or take away points from another team. The spirited competition raised another $1,505.41.

Student Council representatives Jack Frenzel (co-president), Maya Pascuzzi (co-president), Lauren Roberts, Sarah Hellems, and Jayna Zimmerman presented an oversized check (and a real one) in the amount of $2,628.82 to Laura Walitsky, area director of the Dream Factory of Rochester. Also on hand were Michelle and Brian Schilling with their children Ella, a Dream recipient, Matt, a Spry seventh grader, and Nathan, a Webster Schroeder freshman.

The Spry Student Council donation is enough to enable one child to have her entire dream fulfilled.

Webster Marching Band seeks members


The Webster Central School District’s highly respected marching band will begin its 36th year competing in the New York State Field Band Conference during the summer and fall of the 2021-22 school year. The Pride of Webster is currently recruiting dedicated 7-11 th grade WCSD students who play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. The band is also looking for dancers and color guard members.

Interested students and their parents/guardians are invited to attend a new member night on Monday May 3 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Webster Schroeder High School auditorium. Current 7-11th graders can sign up by scanning QR codes that can be found on posters in all four middle and high schools or by emailing Jerbrel Bowens, Webster Marching Band Director, at jerbrel_bowens@webstercsd.org.

For more information about the Webster Marching Band, click here.

Webster CSD Updates School Calendars


The Webster CSD has made several changes to the calendars for the current school year and next year.

For the 2020-21 (this year’s) school calendar:

  • Regents exams will take place June 17, 22-24 but there will be changes in attendance on these days. On June 7, 21, and 22 ALL secondary students will have school, be it in-person, asynchronous, or remotely depending on the choice parents/guardians previously made for them. On June 23 and 24, students will attend according to their individual Regents exam schedules.
  • The last day of classes for ALL students (grades UPK-12) will be Tuesday, June 22. This is a change for secondary students and UPK students.
  • Graduation ceremony dates have been set. The Webster Schroeder Class of 2021 will graduate Wednesday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Schroeder Stadium. Rain date is June 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Webster Thomas Class of 2021 will graduate Thursday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Thomas Stadium. Rain date is June 25 at 7:30 p.m.

For the 2021-22 school year (next school year), only one change has been made. The start of the school year will be Wednesday, September 8. The full calendars are available on the district calendar web page found here .

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

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.