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Webster Museum hosts cemetery tour

7 Sep

 

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Just in time for the spooky season, the Webster Museum has put together a Webster Rural Cemetery tour for children and adults later this month.

(Actually, it’s not going to be the least bit scary, because it’s happening in the middle of the day, AND there’s a scavenger hunt involved. So basically, it sounds like it’s going to be a fun way to learn a little history.)

The tour will take place on Saturday September 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Webster Rural Cemetery, located at 1087 Ridge Road. Participants will begin in the chapel, tackle the scavenger hunt, and then walk around the cemetery, stopping at different graves to hear stories about some of Webster’s residents and the parts they played in the development of our community.

Cost is $5 for adults, with children 16 and under free. All proceeds will benefit the Webster Museum.  There’s no pre-registration; you can pay when you get there, so bring the whole family!

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Webster Garlic Festival returns this weekend

4 Sep
garlic banner

This year’s Webster Garlic Festival will be held on September 9 and 10. 

One of our town’s newest — and most aromatic — festivals returns this weekend.

The Webster Garlic Festival will return to the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, this Saturday and Sunday September 9 and 10.

This festival is basically a garlic-lover’s paradise. You can check out garlic-infused foods, garlic seed and garlic gadgets, and demonstrations about garlic foods and garlic gardens. There will be a dozen garlic vendors, and more than 50 other community agencies and craft and general vendors selling everything from cheese, honey and jams to hand-made jewelry and greeting cards. There are so many vendors that they’ll fill the gymnasium and spill out onto the Rec Center grounds.

There’s live entertainment all afternoon, and if it’s anything like last year, there will also be a handful of food trucks where you can get a great lunch.

Admission is just $5 for adults, with kids under 16 free. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This annual event is sponsored by the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary clubs. All proceeds will benefit Challenger Miracle Field, Hope House, Webster Community Chest, three outstanding local causes. So even if you’re not a big fan of garlic, come on out for some good eats, good entertainment, and great shopping.

For lots more details, and a list of all the vendors, entertainers and events, visit the garlic festival website at www.webstergarlicfestival.com.

Here are a a few photos from last year’s event , which benefited from awesome weather. Right now it looks like the sun might shine on the event again.

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Dinosaurs, laughter and play keep a boy’s memory alive

28 Aug

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The memory of young Jack James Heiligman is alive and well, embodied in the smiles and laughter of children at our area’s newest playground, Jack’s Place.

Jack’s Place is a a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It was built by a terrific organization called the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October.

Hundreds of people attended the official opening ceremonies Sunday afternoon, where Jack’s mother Anne spoke emotionally about her son and how the playground has helped fulfill the dream she and her husband AJ had to keep Jack’s memory alive.

She said,

We knew we could never forget Jack, but we didn’t want anyone to forget him. With that in  mind, we started the Jack Foundation the weeks after he passed and were overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit and resources. We encouraged acts of caring and kindness in Jack’s memory and the caring people jumped in and helped. 

People would ask them how they were able to continue after such a devastating loss, to which she responded with a quote from Fred Rogers:

When disaster strikes, look for the helpers. You will always find caring people in this world who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong. 

When the idea came to them to build a playground to honor their son, the support doubled-down. Friends, neighbors, family members and local businesses donated their time, effort and services to help make it a reality. Individuals, local companies, whole families, even children, all started raising money for the project, collecting more than $175,000 in just ten months.

The result of that outpouring of love and effort is a beautiful new play facility which incorporates all of the things that Jack loved most: dinosaurs, climbing and sliding, and the color blue. There’s even a Little Free Library, because Jack also loved books.

There are slides, of course — six of them by my count; spinny, merry-go-round thing that’s quite a bit updated from my day; a bouncy thing; a sand box where kids can “dig” for dinosaur bones; and lots and lots of places where kids can climb and crawl. There are also eight benches, where parents and grandparents can relax.

As I watched countless kids (young and old; I saw a few adults taking to the slides as well) clambering around the playscape, I could imagine Jack playing, smiling and laughing right along with them. I know that Anne and AJ imagined that as well, and I hope the thought gave them some comfort.

Here are some photos from the opening:

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Play ball!

27 Aug
field

A nice photo of Challenger Miracle Field snapped by Mary Holleran

I was honored to be on hand yesterday for the official opening ceremonies for Challenger Miracle Field, a beautiful new sports facility for young athletes with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities.

It’s located in Ridge Park, 1000 Ridge Road, behind Town Hall. It looks a lot like the Little League fields you’re familiar with, but it’s actually different in a lot of important ways.

It’s totally flat, for starters. There’s no dirt, and no grass. The pitcher’s mound and bases are not raised at all, but instead are painted into the brightly-colored rubberized artificial surface, which allows for all players to round the bases without fear of tripping, whether they’re walking, running, using a wheelchair or walker. The outfield fence is much closer to home than normally, allowing these children a real chance to hit a home run. And the fence is removable so the field can be adapted for other sports.

The field was built especially for the Challenger teams, who are typically given the lowest priority for field availability and only get to play if fields are not in use by other Little League, school or town teams. But the developers also made it clear that the field is available for use by the community; it’s for children and adults of all abilities.

There were a lot of accolades handed out at the almost one-hour long ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday, but one of the comments especially stood out.

At least one speaker called the new Miracle Field a “field of dreams.” That’s a phrase that’s tossed about a lot these days for lesser accomplishments, but I think it fits here.

In Challenger Miracle Field, these kids now have the chance to experience the thrill of playing on a baseball field that looks and feels like the stadiums they see on TV. Every weekend, they can put on a jersey and a baseball cap, step (or roll) up to the plate, raise a bat and be just like any other kid who loves sports.

Thank you to everyone who made this field a reality. Your efforts and dedication have been well rewarded and you are right to be proud.

The work is not done, however. Completely handicapped-accessible restrooms and playground, and a pavilion are still being planned for construction early next year. Fundraising continues to accomplish these goals.

Your next opportunities to help out are at the

Webster Garlic Festival, September 9 and 10 at the Webster Parks and Recreation complex on Chiyoda Drive. Food, fun, and lots of garlic. Hours are 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

3rd Annual Run, Walk & Roll, October 8 at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road. I’ll be running this one, so please come out and join me and my friends.

You can read more about Challenger Miracle Field — and donate directly through the website — by clicking here.

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Great weekend for two great events

25 Aug

ribbon cutting

Hey all my Webster and Webfield peeps, there are two important events this weekend that you don’t want to miss, if you can make the time, especially if you have children with challenges … or children at all.

The first is the grand opening of Challenger Miracle Field, which has been built in Ridge Park, just behind the Town Hall.

Webster is honored to have been chosen to be the home for this wonderful facility, which is basically a smaller version of a Little League field, where differently-challenged athletes from around the city will have a chance to hit a home run, and play other sports, just like everyone else.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Saturday August 26 at 11 a.m., followed by an exhibition game with local celebrities and Challenger athletes. Lunch will be provided by Wegmans.

Read more about Miracle Field in this blog I wrote a few weeks ago. Then see you Saturday!

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Wait! There’s more!

On Sunday August 27, another terrific facility dedicated to helping children have fun will have its grand opening ceremonies.

It’s called Jack’s Place, a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It’s been built by a the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.)

Jack’s parents, Anne and AJ, have worked hard to keep their son’s happy spirit alive by spreading laughter, happiness and love to other families. One of the ways they’re doing that is by building these playgrounds.

Since Jack loved dinosaurs, the new playground is filled with dinosaur-themed climbing and crawling apparatus, in addition to the swings and slides and towers. Its color is predominantly blue, which was Jack’s favorite color.

Grand opening ceremonies will be held Sunday August 27, from noon to 3 pm at Rothfuss Park, 1648 Five Mile Line Road in Penfield. There’ll be music and food, and lots of time to explore the new playground.

I’ll be at both events, so please say hi if you see me and my camera!

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Jack’s Place playground set to open

18 Aug

grand opening

The east-side’s newest playground, Jack’s Place, has been completed and will be officially welcomed to the community at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 27.

Jack’s Place is a a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It’s been built by a terrific organization called the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.)

Construction began only several weeks ago and continued at a record pace, assuring that the new playground would be completed with plenty of time for kids to enjoy it this summer.

The playground is a testament to the strength of Jack’s parents, Anne and AJ, and their commitment to keeping their son’s happy spirit alive by spreading laughter, happiness and love to other families.

Jack loved dinosaurs, so the new playground is filled with dinosaur-themed climbing and crawling apparatus, in addition to the swings and slides and towers. Its color is predominantly blue, which was Jack’s favorite color.

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Image of a dinosaur climb-y thing from the Jack Foundation Facebook page.

Grand opening ceremonies will be held Sunday August 27, from noon to 3 pm at Rothfuss Park, 1648 Five Mile Line Road in Penfield. There’ll be music and food, and lots of time to explore the new playground.

Read more about the Jack Foundation on their website here and their Facebook page here.

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Wednesday Webster mailbag

8 Aug

Summer is waning, but the village still has a lot of fun up its sleeve.

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The next Webster Wine Walk hits the village on Saturday Aug 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. This one is sponsored by Family First Federal Credit Union.

Enjoy sampling wines while strolling in and out of local merchants. Tickets are $15 and available at Family First Credit Union, 850 Ridge Road, or online at  www.websterbid.com.

This is shaping up to be one of the best of the wine walks; there will be live entertainment at the gazebo from 6:30 to 8:15, followed by a showing of the classic movie Casablanca. So basically, you can make an entire date night out of it!

 

ribbon cutting

Miracle Field Ribbon Cutting

Please make sure to mark your calendars and be there at the official ribbon cutting ceremony for Challenger Miracle Field, which is nearing completion at its home in Ridge Park, on Ridge Road behind Town Hall.

The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday August 26 at 11 a.m. More information can be found on the ticket above.

Webster is honored to have been chosen to be the home for this wonderful facility, which will give differently-challenged athletes from around the city the chance to play sports just like everyone else.

Read more about Miracle Field in this blog I wrote a few weeks ago. Then see you at the field!

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

This notice from Supervisor Nesbitt’s most recent column, which you can find on the .

The Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, the Town of Webster and the Town of Penfield has joined forces to hold an appointment-only Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection on Saturday, September 16, at the Webster Highway Department, 1005 Picture Parkway, from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To ensure safety and reduce waiting times, appointments are required at all HHW collections. Appointments for this HHW collection will be accepted until September 15. To schedule an appointment, Webster residents should call 872-1443 (Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.); Penfield residents can call 340-8710, or go on-line to http://www.monroecounty.gov/hhw to schedule your appointment.

This Household Hazardous Waste collection is open to all Monroe County residents. Waste from businesses will not be accepted.

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Jack’s Place playground will soon be a reality

4 Aug

 

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The construction on Jack’s Place has begun!

Jack’s Place is a a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It’s being built by a terrific organization called the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.) His amazingly strong parents have risen from their shock and grief to create a foundation dedicated to carrying Jack’s happy spirit forward, spreading happiness, laughter and love to other families, as Jack did for his.

The Jack Foundation hopes that the playground will be done just a bit later this summer, so watch for news about grand opening ceremonies. But in the meantime, stop by and check it out. Rothfuss Park is at 1648 Five Mile Line Road, just south of Embury.

(To help raise money for the construction, the foundation sold 116 engraved bricks which will be installed on the walk leading to the playground. Make sure to look for the one sponsored by Barry’s Runners.)

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Webster Tuesday Mailbag

31 Jul

mailbagLet’s start out today’s mailbag with a few fun events sponsored by our Webster Public Library. 

If you love LuLaRoe, you’ll want to attend the library’s pop-up boutique on Wednesday, August 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the meeting room. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the library.

On Wednesday August 16, learn how to make a rain barrel in a special one-hour workshop for adults, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Rain barrels help reduce storm water runoff to storm drains by collecting and storing rainwater runoff from rooftops. Connect your rain barrel to a gutter downspout on your house, collect rainwater, and conserve tap water by using the rainwater on your gardens and landscaping. You will make and take home your own 55-gallon rain barrel. All tools and materials will be supplied at the workshop.

These workshops are usually very popular, so make sure to sign up ASAP. The cost to attend is $15.00, payable at the time of the event. Please register by clicking here.

Webster Marching Band Bottle and Can Drive

The Webster Marching Band’s next Bottle and Can Drive takes place this Saturday August 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s pretty easy to help the band — just put all your returnables in a big bag, tie it up and leave the bag outside your home or at the end of the driveway no later than 9:30 a.m. Or, if you’re going to be out and about — or if the band folks If they happen to miss your pick up — you can drop off your donations at Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road, by 4 p.m.

This is also your chance to get rid of all those old electronics cluttering up your garage. Drive them all over to Schroeder’s back parking lot between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the friendly folks will even unload them for you.

Items accepted include desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, LCD monitors (not CRT monitors), laser printers (not ink-jet), and networking equipment. Please no CRT monitors, TVs or ink-based printers.

Annual Nick K 5K scheduled

nick K

The fourth annual Nick K 5K benefit race will take place on Saturday August 5 beginning at 8 am at the Webster Parks and Recreation Center.

Nicholas Kapusniak was killed on March 1, 2014 when a drive-by shooter fired into a group of college students in St. Louis, Missouri. Nick is a former resident of Webster and was attending school at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

The Nick K 5K hopes to draw attention to the violence that is becoming commonplace in our schools and cities. Part of the proceeds will go to local Crime Stoppers in Rochester and St. Louis, with the rest being put towards scholarships in his name at his high school in Waukesha, Wisconsin and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Runners and walkers can register by clicking here . Cost is $25, and includes a t-shirt and other giveaways. Walk-up registrations will be accepted the morning of the race beginning at 7:15AM.

Fun in the village

The next Webster Wine Walk hits the village on Saturday Aug 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. This one is sponsored by Family First Federal Credit Union.

Enjoy sampling wines while strolling in and out of local merchants. Tickets are $15 and available at Family First Credit Union, 850 Ridge Road, or online at www.websterbid.com.

This is shaping up to be one of the best of the wine walks; there will be live entertainment at the gazebo from 6:30 to 8:15, followed by a showing of the classic movie Casablanca. So basically, you can make an entire date night out of it!

Penfield First Baptist Vacation Bible School

The Penfield First Baptist Church has sent me notice of their Vacation Bible School, scheduled this year for August 14 through 18.

This year’s program, for children ages 4 to 11, is called “Taking Root,” and helps children make connections between growing their faith in God and practicing their faith in the world by serving our neighbors.

Classes run from 9 am to noon, and feature games, crafts, songs, snacks, and of course Bible lessons! The week will conclude Friday night with a spirit-filled celebration by the children followed by refreshments.

Cost is $25 per child, with a maximum of $50 per household. Contact the church office to register, and email communication@fbpenfield.org with questions.

Miracle Field ribbon cutting

challenger field

Don’t forget about the ribbon cutting ceremony for Miracle Field on Saturday August 26 at 11 a.m. Be one of the first to see the completed field, built especially to give differently-abled children and adults the opportunity to experience the benefits and joy of play!

This special celebration, which is free and open to the public, will include a delicious ballpark lunch, courtesy of Wegmans.

Click here to see the blog I recently posted about how great this field is going to be.

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Finally! Repairs to the bike path

30 Jul

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There’s happy news from the bike trail! The Town of Webster has finally decided to do something about fixing it up.

You know the bike trail; it’s the six-mile long path that runs from Bay Road to Salt Road, adjacent to Rt. 104. It’s well-traveled by bikers and walkers alike, and offers a scenic off-road route to and from the village.

As a frequent user of the bike path, I’ve been distressed for a long time about the condition of this trail. Lately, my husband and I have been avoiding it, mostly because we now have expensive bikes, and there are several places on that path that are in such disrepair — mostly from tree roots heaving the asphalt — it’s dangerous to bikes and bikers.

I took to my blog last August to decry the situation, with a posting I titled “Town of Webster: Please fix the bike trail.” In that blog, I described the various states of disrepair of each of the path’s sections (and included a few photos of some of the worst parts).

That blog did not sit well with Supervisor Nesbitt, to put it mildly. But perhaps it did have some effect, because last week as I was driving along Rt 104, I saw several pieces of construction equipment working on part of the trail between Hard and Holt roads.

My husband and I hopped on our bikes to investigate a few days later. Sure enough, several areas in that one-mile section have been smoothed out and patched.  The town workers had clearly been working on it for a while; as we continued to ride east toward Holt we saw many areas with long stretches of new asphalt. Plus, there were several other places where white markings on the path seemed to indicate repairs to come.

So thank you, Town of Webster, for finally paying some attention to a long-overdue problem. And when you’re done with the Hard to Holt Road section, please don’t stop there. There’s so much more work that needs to be done.

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The Hard to Holt Road section now has long patches of new asphalt

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Signs of more good things to come?

And by the way, while we’re talking trails, I want to give another shout-out to the amazing volunteers of the Friends of Webster Trails. My husband and I took a bike ride on the Hojack Trail today, from Hard Road all the way to Lake, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you again, Friends, for all the work you put into creating and maintaining our trail system.  You bring us all such joy. I am proud to be a member, and if you ever use any of Webster’s trails, I suggest you become a member and support this fine organization as well.

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