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Halloween in the Village is coming!

18 Oct

halloween

It took a while, but I finally have gotten into the Halloween mood. Perhaps it was visiting Victor last weekend, seeing all of their light pole scarecrows and making plans with friends to attend Victor’s very adult trick-or-treating Spooktacular in a few weeks. Maybe it’s that the weather has turned very fall-like (OK, downright cold) and the trees are really beginning to change.

In any case, let’s talk Halloween.

The Village of Webster’s annual Halloween in the Village is coming up on Saturday October 27. The highlight of this event is the Trick-or-Treat Trail, where kids can get into their costumes and trick-or-treat all through the village, stopping by dozens of businesses for treats.

Here are the details:

  • A costume contest will kick off the day’s activities from 11 a.m. to noon at the Community Meeting Room, 29 South Ave. (adjacent to the fire house). Prizes will be awarded for best costumes. To be entered into the contest, you must arrive between 11 and 11:30.
  • The Trick-or-Treat Trail itself will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Look for the orange pumpkin in the windows of the participating businesses. (Or just follow the crowds of kids.)
  • The Webster Museum on Lapham Park will host an open house and usually has a fun scavenger-hunt for the kids.
  • The Fire Department will also have an open house, which is always very popular with the kids. Along with candy and other treats, the firefighters will be handing out fire hats and goodie bags and will have lots of demonstrations and hands-on activities.
  • The village’s Festival Wagon will also be making the rounds if you’d like to enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride around the village.

I’ll be there with my camera, as I am every year, snapping photos of as many cute kids as I can. If you’d like to check out last year’s gallery of photos, click here.

Several other events you’ll want keep on your radar include the Friends of Webster Trails’ annual Hot Cocoa Hike the evening of Oct. 27; Barry’s Old School Irish’s 7th anniversary party on Saturday Nov. 3; a craft show at Schlegel Elementary School also on Nov. 3; and a magic show to benefit Miracle Field on Saturday Nov. 24. More details to come about all these soon.

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I wish Webster had scarecrows

17 Oct
Turning Point

Probably my favorite scarecrow in Victor, created by The Turning Pointe dance studio.

Fairport does it up big. This year Victor is doing it, too. Business owners all along the town’s main streets are lashing scary and whimsical scarecrows to the lamp posts near their shops.

Fairport’s done it for years, and they’ve become such an important part of the village’s Scarecrow Festival that it’s even named after them. Victor is doing it for the first time this year as part of their second annual Spooktacular Victor event. In both cases, the scarecrows are a main festival feature. But they also will draw families to town at other times, which means more foot traffic for local business owners.

I really wish Webster would do this to. Or more accurately, I wish Webster would do it AGAIN. As recently as five years ago the village did organize a scarecrow contest, and even invited community members to vote. You know what that means: people actually had to COME INTO TOWN to look at them, and that can only mean good things.  And what nice decorations they made for when thousands of adults and children descended on the village for the Trick-or-Treat Trail.

So c’mon, Webster BID. Can we do this again next year? Think of how nice they would look alongside those beautiful planters, and what a nice addition they would be to our village’s Halloween events.

Here are photos of a few others in Victor:

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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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What did YOU do this weekend?

15 Oct

IMG_9635

Boy, wasn’t Sunday just a picture-perfect autumn day?

The firefighters at the West Webster Fire Department really lucked out with the weather for their open house, allowing them to pull all their rigs out of the bays, set up SO MANY food tents and give-away tables, and give little wanna-be firefighters a chance to go through an inflatable fire-safety house (never seen one of those before) and use a real fire hose to extinguish some not-so-real flames.

I popped by the event and snapped some photos, making sure to give a wide berth to the free hot dog table and free doughnut table. Click here to see a gallery.

IMG_9574

The annual Webster Fall Festival held Saturday afternoon didn’t have quite as good weather. An already cool day was made even more so by a lot of clouds and a stiff wind. But the brisk temperatures didn’t seem to bother the large numbers of families who attended.

The event was held at Gosnell Big Woods Preserve on Vosburg Road, which provided plenty of open space for kids’ games, pony and wagon rides, classic cars, food trucks, a live entertainment stage, and a few community agency information tables.

The event benefited Rochester Challenger Miracle Field, which is a great cause not only because it’s right in our own Webster back yard, but it’s simply an awesome facility for the differently-abled.

Click here to see a gallery of photos from that afternoon.

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Community blood drive successful — but glitchy

12 Oct

Webster has done it again. Our community continues to show how much we care about others, this time through a very successful two-day blood drive.

Both days of the drive, held on Wednesday at St. Paul’s Church and Thursday at the Recreation Center, surpassed the ambitious goals set by the Red Cross, ultimately collecting about 180 pints.  That’s enough blood to save up to 540 lives.

The drive wasn’t without its glitches, however. Unfortunately, a lot of people experienced longer-than-usual wait times at the Webster Recreation Center. Even I had to wait 45 minutes after arriving before being ushered into the interview area (and I had an appointment) and I know others who waited even longer.

That was an unacceptable situation. The Red Cross knows that they dropped the ball, and are addressing the issue.

Having said that, I want to extend my personal thank you to everyone who carved out a chunk of their day to come out to the drive, especially those who patiently weathered the long wait times yesterday (or even weathered them with some grumbling). And a big thank you also to the amazing Webster businesses who faithfully support this drive not once, but two times every year.

IF YOU COULDN’T DONATE at this drive for some reason — you were deferred, couldn’t find the time, or just got tired of waiting —please consider attending the next local drive, coming up soon in the village.

Our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department will host a “Battle of the Badges” donation drive on Thursday October 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the village fire station, 35 South Avenue.

Firefighters are touting this drive as a friendly competition among all local first responders to see which department can donate the most units. But of course they’re also hoping that all eligible donors in our community will come out and “answer the call,” and give blood in honor of our everyday heroes.

Zoom in on the poster to see how you can make an appointment, but of course walk-ins are always welcome.

 

WVFD blood drive

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A shout out to Webster businesses

10 Oct

Hopefully you know by now that the bi-annual Webster Community Blood Drive is back in town. And that this drive is faithfully supported by more than a dozen local businesses, whose owners donate prizes for the raffle, or just simply hand out gifts to donors.

Today, the American Red Cross did something really neat to recognize those businesses.

The PR person at the Red Cross came out to Webster and stopped by several of the sponsoring businesses to thank them for their support, AND posted photos of them to Twitter. Here are the ones from today, and I expect there will be more tomorrow:

Brusters

Garage Sale Store

Goodie Shoppe

Shutts

Smith Insurance

And here’s a photo of all the raffle prize bags set up at St. Paul’s Church for today’s drive, and a photo of the very first prizewinner, Bill Scahill, who took home a fruit basket courtesy Schutt’s Apple Mill:

Remember that every donor is handed ten raffle tickets, which you can use for chances at more than two dozen prizes including restaurant gift certificates, a grumbler gift pack, Kobalt tools, and more. Plus every single person gets a free int of ice cream from Brusters and a long-stemmed rose from Kittleberger’s.

There’s still a chance for you to win. The second day of the blood drive is Thursday October 11 from noon to 7 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1380 Chiyoda Drive. Stop on in when you can, spend just hour to help save lives, and maybe win something for your efforts!

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Webster businesses show amazing support for Community Blood Drive

6 Oct

blood drive prizes

Our Webster small business people continue to amaze me.

Allow me to explain. For probably six or seven years now, I’ve been helping organize and publicize the bi-annual Webster Community Blood Drives which happen here in town every April and October. In part, I’ve been in charge of contacting local businesses for support. In previous years, that support meant offering some sort of coupon, which were all combined in a booklet handed out to each donor.

More recently, we decided to replace the coupon booklet with a raffle. So now when I go into these businesses it’s a bigger ask: can we have a gift certificate, or a product which we can raffle off?

And this, finally, is where the amazing part comes in. Without fail, when I contact a business, the answer is always yes. The only hesitation — if there is any — is when they ask, “how much do you want me to make it out for?”

That’s why my spare bedroom is piled high right now with raffle prizes. I recently posted on my Facebook page a photo of the incredible Kobalt tool set that the Garage Sale Store donated. But that’s just the beginning. Here’s an almost complete list of the prizes so far:

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
  • Flaherty’s

Plus, these prizes:

  • Gift basket from Schutt’s
  • Beauty products from Beyond Cuts Salon
  • Growler gift pack from Knuckleheads
  • Gift basket from Hegedorn’s
  • That Kobalt tool set from the Garage Sale Store

And there’s more! Each donor will receive a free rose from Kittleberger Florist, a free pint of ice cream from Bruster’s, chance for a cool $100 from Gerard P. Smith Insurance, a $5 coupon from Superior Solutions … and I don’t think we have all the prizes in yet.

See? Amazing, right?

Please join us at the blood drive next week, Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church on Hard Road, and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from noon to 7 pm each day. 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.

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Webster community mailbag

4 Oct

mailbag iconSome important local business news leads today’s mailbag.

Another business lost

I learned just a few days ago that Metro Sports Brokers in the Village of Webster is closing.

I don’t know much more about the story, as I haven’t had a chance to talk with owner Tom Spoonhower yet, but on the shop’s Facebook page, he’s using the term “retirement/closing sale” for the deals you can get in the store this week.

I’m sorry to see another long-time business leaving the village, but I wish Tom the best in everything.

News from the Knuckleheads

knucklehead-logoOn a happier note, changes are in the wind for one of my favorite brew stops, Knucklehead Craft Brewing.

Owner Len Dummer sent out a message a little while ago that co-owner George Cline and his family have decided to leave the business.

Len wrote,

We have decided to go in different directions. The Dummer family will be continuing on with Knuckleheads … We thank the Cline family for all of their hard work and dedication to Knucklehead and we wish them the best in their future endeavors.

These last 3 1/2 years have been fun and a learning experience for all of us. We never expected to meet and create such wonderful friendships with our customers.  It is tough for us to look at you as customers…..we see you as friends and fans of Knucklehead!

As Knucklehead approaches its fourth anniversary, the brewery is making plans to be even bigger and better. The Town Zoning Board recently approved their plans for an expansion to the current space. More to come about that.

You can read more about both these announcements in this article posted yesterday in the D&C.

Webster Fall Fest

The Town of Webster and Webster Parks and Recreation will kick off fall with the annual Webster Fall Festival, on Saturday October 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at Gosnell Big Woods, 680 Vosburg Road.

This is an awesome family-friendly event with donuts, cider, wagon rides, children’s crafts and games, pony rides, food trucks and live entertainment. Admission is free and there’s plenty of parking.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

UCC Oktoberfest

After enjoying the Webster Fall Fest, head on over to the United Church of Christ on  Klem Road for their annual Oktoberfest, from 6 to 9 p.m.

This festival is as much history as celebration for the folks at UCC. They said in their press release,

Oktoberfest is a German celebration that takes place when the late summer/early fall crops are harvested, it is also a time to tap barrels of wine and brew that had been sealed the year before. Communities gather to give thanks for blessings received. There is music for singing and dancing, tables are laden with food and drink – and a feeling of “gemutlichkeit” rules the day!

The forbear denominations that merged to create the United Church of Christ were from the German Evangelical and German Reformed traditions. The Oktoberfest will honor those traditions with live music, singing and dancing, and a performance by members of the Rochester Schwaben Verein, a German dance club!

Tickets are $5.00 per person, and German specialties like Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Potato Salad, Bratwurst, and desserts like Apple Strudel and Black Forest Cake will be available for purchase. Tickets are available at the church between services, or you can call the church office at 585-671-3757.

The Oktoberfest is Saturday October 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 570 Klem Road, Webster.

Library book sale — and important news

Let’s start with the important news part.

Next Monday October 8, the Webster Public Library will be CLOSED for staff training. Plus, they’ll be closing early on Halloween, October 31, so make sure you stop in for all your spooky needs before 5 p.m. that day!

Now on to the more fun stuff: The Webster Library Fall Book Sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Webster Public Library, Thursday Oct. 11 through Sat. Oct. 13.

This is a great time to stock your library. Hardcover books are only $1 each, and paperbacks only 50 cents. Credit cards are accepted.

All the books are new to the sale, so don’t think you’ve seen it all before. There will also be DVD’s, Blue Ray, music CD’s and LPs — definitely something for adults, teens and children. including cooking, gardening, hobbies, biographies, religion, history, sports, travel, foreign language, performing arts, humor and more. There will even be a chance to win a book gift basket raffle.

The sale hours are Thursday, October 11 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a bag for just $4.

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

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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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Webster community mailbag

27 Sep

A handful of quick notes in today’s mailbag.

The first is from our friends at ROC & Soul Fitness in the village.

stretch for a causeThis Saturday Sept. 29 they’re hosting a special Mommy/Daddy and Me yoga class to benefit a local Webster family. It’s called Stretch for a Cause, will be about 45 minutes long and will be for all levels of yoga. It’s especially designed for children ages 5-12, who will also be able to get some yoga warrior tribal face paint.

All proceeds from this special class will benefit Claudia Chateauneuf, a 7-year old Webster child who is battling PANDAS Syndrome, a pediatric autoimmune disorder. Donations will help defray the cost of Claudia’s upcoming treatment in New York City.

Hosting a Mommy/Daddy & Me (family) yoga class will allow Claudia and her friends to participate in class. It will begin at 1:30 p.m.. ROC & Soul Fitness is located at 43 East Main Street in Webster (next door to Village Bakery).

For more information, visit Claudia’s GoFundMe page with more information about her story.

Oak Tree Award

Here are a few items from the schools:

Nominations are now being accepted for the Oak Tree Award, recognizing exceptional teachers.

Co-sponsored by the WTA and Webster Central PTSA, the Oak Tree Award recognition program is an annual award that is designed to recognize teacher excellence in Webster CSD. Any Webster resident or district employee, current or former student, parent, teacher, or administrative colleague may nominate a teacher for the Elementary or Secondary Teacher of the Year Oak Tree Award.

Award nominees must meet the following criteria:
~ currently teaching in a full-time position in Webster Central Schools
~ have a minimum of five years teaching experience in WCSD
~ plan to continue to teach the next school year in, or retire from WCSD
~ be a member in both the Webster Central PTSA and the WTA

Teacher nominees who meet these criteria will receive an Oak Tree Award application and directions for completing the application process.

Nominations may be made via the Google form found here or on the WCSD website. You may also print the form and send it in print form or request an alternate format, if Google forms are not an option.

Veterans Dinner

Veterans and active duty service members and their families are cordially invited to a free dinner in their honor. on Thursday November 8.

Spry Middle School Student Council and Spry Builders Club, along with the Webster-Fairport B.P.O. Elks #2396 are sponsoring the meal as a way of showing their appreciation for our nation’s servicemen and women. The event will take place November 8 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Spry Middle School, 119 South Avenue, Webster.

Reservations are appreciated; please call Ms. Ritzmann at Spry Middle School at 216-0093.

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The best blood drive EVER is back

25 Sep

blood drive

Plans are coming together for October’s Webster Community Blood Drive.  

This is the one you all know for those big white signs that pop up all over town the weekend before the drive in front of several of the sponsoring businesses. This year’s drive will be Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center.

This is always one of the most popular and well-attended drives of the entire year, and stands out among all others because of the tremendous support it receives from Webster businesses.

Once again this October, every presenting donor will be handed ten raffle tickets, which can be used to take chances on more than two dozen prizes being donated by local businesses.

The complete list of prizes is still being finalized, but some of the sponsors already include:

  • Barry’s Old School Irish
  • Beyond Cuts Salon
  • The Chicken Coop
  • Gift cards from Eastway Liquor
  • Kittelberger Florist
  • Knucklehead Craft Brewing
  • Natural Alternatives
  • Rubino’s
  • Schutt’s Apple Mill
  • Strike Back Martial Arts
  • The Garage Sale Store
  • World Gym
  • La Bella Vita
  • Hegedorn’s

We’re pleased to welcome a brand new sponsor this fall as well, Flaherty’s Three Flags Inn.

One of the most popular coupons of all — from Bruster’s — will be returning. Every presenting donor will receive Bruster’s “Pint for a Pint” coupon, good for a free pint of ice cream or a free ice cream cone.

The Webster Community Blood Drive is scheduled for Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church, 783 Hard Road, and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from noon to 7 pm each day.

Walk-ins will most certainly be welcome, but the best way to get in and out quickly for this über-popular drive is to make an appointment by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by logging onto http://www.redcrossblood.org. 

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Bella’s Bumbas gets a boost

24 Sep

IMG_9381

I am tickled pink to tell you all about the latest good news from Webster’s very own Bella’s Bumbas, one of the most caring organizations I have ever known, run by two of the most caring individuals I have ever met.

I won’t go into much background into this great organization. You can read more about it in this blog I wrote back in 2017, and this follow-up blog earlier this year. But briefly, 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.

Since starting Bellas Bumbas in 2017, the couple had been working out of their small Webster home. Rebecca handled the administrative chores on a laptop at their kitchen table, and Marty assembled the chairs in a cold, cramped workshop behind the garage, which doubled as storage for all the Bumba seats, wheels, platforms and hardware.

But thanks to the kindness of a friend, those days are finally behind them.

IMG_9386Last Saturday afternoon, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Bella, her family and  several volunteers, Marty and Rebecca celebrated the official opening of their brand new workshop. The new space is actually a house belonging to a longtime friend and Bella’s Bumbas volunteer.

“Miss Lee,” as Rebecca and Marty call her, is a 97-year old woman who has been helping the couple out since they began, folding brochures and informational materials which were sent out with each chair. Recently, she had to move from her home into assisted living. When she did, she offered the use of her house to Rebecca and Marty to use as Bella’s Bumbas’ center of operations, asking only a little bit of rent in return.

It took a couple of weeks to move all of the building equipment, supplies and inventory to the new workshop, but by last week everything had been schlepped, sorted and set up. The house’s kitchen is now a workshop, the dining room is inventory storage, and the living room is the shipping center.

It’s really a dream come true for Marty and Rebecca.

“We have room to function now,” Marty said. “When we built (the wheelchairs) before we had no place to put them but on the floor. Picture 15 Bumbas on the floor. You had to move everything to get to them. It was getting to be more and more effort. It’s still a huge effort, but it’s a little more effortless because we have the space.”

Production barely slowed down during the move. These days they’re shipping out 15 to 20 chairs every week, all over the world. This week they’re shipping ones to Malaysia and Indonesia.

The chairs have come a long way since the first Bella’s Bumba. The seats are much more supportive, the wheels bigger, and very often they’re adapted specifically for a child’s special needs. A recent model, for example, was for a child with no legs and only one arm with which to drive it. Another was for a child whose legs are frozen in a frog-like position and can’t fit in a regular seat. 

“So far every challenge we’ve been given, we’ve met,” Marty said. 

When Miss Lee offered them use of her house, Rebecca said “I was surprised but not surprised.” Apparently, only a month after they had created Bella’s Bumbas, Miss Lee told her about a dream she had had.

“She told me, I had a dream,” Rebecca said. “You guys would have a building, and someday I hope it’s my home.” 

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Miss Lee had another surprise for them. “I had another dream,” she said. “You’ll have a big building that will take care of everything —  workshops, all the things we need. Room to box it up.”

Let’s hope she’s right.

Here’s a short slideshow of photos from Bella’s Bumbas new space:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bella’s Bumbas could really use your help to continue their good work.

Since the organization officially began in early 2017, Marty and Rebecca have shipped almost 600 of the custom-made mini wheelchairs all around the world. Since they charge families only for shipping, they rely on donations of building and shipping supplies, and cash to purchase hardware. Now, even though the rent on their new workshop is reasonable, it means additional overhead.

There are several ways you can help.

  • Make a direct donation through the GoFundMe page;
  • If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, you can select Bella’s Bumbas to receive a percentage of your purchase price through the AmazonSmile program.
  • Donate through PayPal
  • Donate shipping supplies
  • Send a check directly to Bella’s Bumbas, 1170 Ridge Road, #208, Webster, NY 14580
  • You can even buy some of the chairs for them. There are three different places you can get them: 1) This design from Kmart, 2) this other design from Kmart, and 3) this one at Amazon.com.

You can connect with Marty and Rebecca through the Bella’s Bumbas Facebook page if you’re not sure how to help or have any questions, or email bellasbumbas@gmail.com.

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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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