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The Knuckleheads get ANOTHER award

14 May

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And the kudos keep rolling in for the Knuckleheads.

Last week Len Dummer and George Cline, owners of Knucklehad Craft Brewing in Webster, were presented with an award by Destination Finger Lakes for being voted 2018 Beer of the Year.

DestinationFLX’s annual “Final Pour” contest seeks to promote Finger Lakes breweries through an online beer bracket in which beer enthusiasts could vote for their favorite breweries. The contest was divided into two categories: “New School” (breweries less than three-years-old); and “OG” (four years and older).

First round voting for the 32 participating breweries started on April 14, followed by a second round, quarter finals, then finals.

In the finals, Knucklehead competed against Hopshire Farm and Brewery in Freeville (near Ithaca), winning by a wide margin, 884 votes to 106 votes.

Such a convincing win says a lot about Knucklehead’s loyal customers.

“We were very pleased to have won this competition,” Len said. “This is a blessing to us and we truly appreciate the support of our customers and loyal Knucklehead fans.”

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Barry’s isn’t #1 (yet), but……..

17 Apr

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The accolades just keep on coming for Barry’s Old School Irish. And this time, our little Irish pub has been recognized internationally.

A recent ranking published by the London-based Irish Post has ranked Barry’s Old School Irish #17 on a list of the “Top 32 Irish Pubs in America.”  Our lil’ Webster pub shares space on that list with ones in cities the likes of Atlanta, Houston, Honolulu and Las Vegas.

According to its website, the Irish Post is the “biggest selling national newspaper to the Irish in Britain.” It boasts 80,000 print circulation and 800,000 social media followers. I couldn’t figure out what the criteria were for pubs to make the list, but it’s a pretty impressive accomplishment nonetheless.

You can check out the listing yourself here. But if you’re just curious about which pub ranked #1, it’s McSorley’s Old Ale House in New York City.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main Street in the village of Webster. If you haven’t been there yet, you’re missing out on something special.

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We need more friends like these

27 Mar

signpostI happened to be reading through my most recent edition of the Friends of Webster Trails newsletter, and I came across something that made me stop in my tracks.

In his introductory notes, editor John Boettcher noted that “Treasurer Bill Polito and Membership Chair Denise Bilsback (have) our membership on the cusp of breaking 200.”

I stopped and read the passage again, thinking I might have missed a zero the first time through. But I hadn’t.

The way John wrote that, it almost seemed like he was a bit excited by that number.  I, on the other hand, am appalled. I have a hard time understanding why so few people — or families or couples — think enough about what the Friends of Webster Trails accomplishes to become members.

I KNOW that more than 200 people a year use Webster’s awesome trails — trails that are so awesome BECAUSE of the Friends — a dedicated team of volunteers who work every summer to create new trails, improve existing trails, remove invasive vegetation, install signage, build bridges…

And while the grunt work is completed by volunteers, a lot of the improvements cost money. So far the Friends have accomplished amazing things with the limited funds they have. Just think about what they could do if 100 or 200 more families would throw them $10 or $15 to become members. (P.S. that’s all it costs.)

So c’mon. Log onto www.webstertrails.org and become a member. Especially if you use our trails a lot. If you’re not familiar with the network of trails that surround us, this would also be a great way to learn about them. The newsletter alone is packed with information and updates. This month, for example, I read about

  • the Hidden Gems guided hikes
  • the 2018 Wegmans Passport to Family Fitness Program
  • proposed improvements to the Hojack Trail
  • a new bridge at Gosnell Big Woods Nature Preserve, and more.

Individual memberships are only $10 and family memberships are $15. It’s a great investment in Webster’s natural resources.

friends

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The Knuckleheads are at it again

26 Mar

Every time I turn around it seems that Len Dummer and George Cline, the owners of Knucklehead Craft Brewing in West Webster, are raising money for some deserving community agency.

Last Thursday, for example, they presented a check for $1,000 to Foodlink. Four four weeks, the Knuckleheads donated $1 for every pint of Kathy’s Kreme Ale they sold (that one is my favorite, by the way). The campaign was co-hosted by Schantz Homes, who matched every dollar donated.

Here’s a photo from the check presentation ceremony:

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While I’m here, let me tell you about a few other special events the Knuckleheads have planned in the coming weeks.

On April 4 they’ll hold what they call a “Russian Invasion,” when they offer a four-flight for $20. The flight will include Russian Imperial Stouts from 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
These are large ABV, barrel-aged beers, and there’s only a limited amount available, so get them while you can; they’ll be served first-come, first-served until they run out.

Finally, on April 17, Knucklehead Craft Crewing will host “Pints for a Purpose,” a huge fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease which one of the brewery’s employees is fighting.

Several local breweries will be donating beer, Heintzelman’s BBQ will serve up pulled pork, Marty Roberts and Donny C will provide live entertainment, plus there will be prize raffles and give-aways.

Tickets are $50 each and only 80 will be sold. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

For more details about the event, click here.

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Get well at ROC & Soul Fitness

21 Mar

roc & soulOne of the village of Webster’s newest businesses, ROC & Soul Fitness, has a special event coming up dedicated to helping us all get and stay healthy.

It’s their Open House/Wellness Day this Saturday, March 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will bring together several Webster and Rochester-area businesses to offer health tips and wellness inspiration.

Wellness Day participants will enjoy

– A FREE barre class
– Lunch catered by CoreLife Eatery
– Healthy treats from The Village Bakery
– Two informational speakers
​- plus representatives from RSalon, Oils by Erin, Athleta, ​Lorraine Staunch Art, and Arbonne Shakes.

It’s also a great chance to check out the new ROC & Soul studio. Owners Joe and Malena Guadagnino call their place a “boutique fitness studio,” offering barre, yoga, and other classes. It’s located at 43 East Main Street, down in the new little “Shops at Main Street” plaza behind Prime, kind of where the OTB and Rubino’s once were.

For more information about the ROC & Soul, and the Open House/Wellness Day, visit their website here and Facebook page here.

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Marshmallow Masterpieces on Display in Webster

19 Mar

Today I am pleased to step aside for a guest blogger, Justin Karnisky. Justin is a Boy Scout with Troop 110, and submitted this excellent follow-up article about an event that took place over the weekend.

Marshmallow Masterpieces on Display in Webster

by Justin Karnisky

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The Webster Public Library’s annual Book Sale… in Peeps. (J. Karnisky)

The Greater Rochester [Marshmallow] Peep® Show took place March 17-18 at the Webster Recreation Center on Chiyoda Drive and was a big hit. More than 1,600 people attended the event across the two days that it was held.

The cleverly named Peep Show consists of diorama-like displays of Marshmallow Peeps ® in various settings. Favorites included the Webster Public Library, a one-room schoolhouse full of Peeps sitting at desks made out of graham crackers, a Peep hair salon, a display from Lollypop Farm, local favorites such as Wickham Farms, and several displays of Peeps participating in events from the Winter Olympics. Free admission allowed families to attend and enjoy the displays at no cost, with an optional charity donation.

Several Girl Scout troops submitted displays for the event. Even some local news networks had displays of their newsrooms. Other displays included the Peep Eiffel Tower, Heritage Christian Stables, Peepble Beach putting green, Cherry Ridge playground, and even the brand-new Filling Station. For the older crowd, there was a Lawrence Welk Peep display, with a marshmallow Mr. Welk in front with his baton. Also new this year was a spring bonnet parade, with hats decorated with marshmallow creations. Many of the displays were quite detailed, in particular the Lollypeep Farm display, which included pigs, pine trees, ducks in a pond, sheep, and miniature animals inside pens. Genesee Valley Physical Therapy’s display featured Peeps doing various exercises, as did a Jazzercise display, which included free weights made out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows. For fans of the Netflix series Stranger Things, there was even a Stranger Peeps display. A local favorite, and winner of the Webster Dental Group award for Best Eatery Peep, was the Filling Station Pub and Grill display, which included Peeps on bar stools and at graham crackers booths, and even hamburgers and sodas.

The Peep Show is sponsored by the Webster Community Chest. Michael Granier, a member of the board of directors of the Community Chest and nicknamed “Head Peep” for the event, said the show “is funded by sponsors, donations from attendees, and merchandise sales.” Granier, a former member of Boy Scout Troop 110 himself, enthusiastically described the planning, setup, volunteer coordination, and community participation for the event. Volunteers range from students from both Webster High Schools to members of the Community Chest. “This exists as a fundraiser event for the Community Chest and for the charities involved, because all expenses go to the charities,” Granier said.

There are three levels of sponsorship for the Peep Show. At the Sponsor level, the company gets a banner displayed at the event, a prize sponsorship, and a table. At the Support level, the company gets a prize and table sponsorship. Finally, at the Friend level, a company gets to sponsor a prize.

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Angie Fish, Alicia Solis, Edwin and Abby Fish (J. Karnisky)

Several families were in attendance throughout the event. The Fish family, originally from Massachussetts, was seeing the show for the first time. Abby, Edwin, and Angie Fish, together with their mother and their friend Alicia Solis, really enjoyed the displays. “It’s like they took our world and turned it into candy,” Abby Fish said. Her favorite was the Webster Public Library display. Angie Fish said the show was “very creative,” and their younger brother Edwin said he liked that “all the stuff was made out of Peeps.”

Now in its third year, the Peep show has gained publicity through posters, social media, news articles, and sites such as Kids Out and About. For more information on how to create a display for next year, see http://www.rochesterpeepshow.com/.

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KarniskyScout2018Note: Justin Karnisky is a Star Scout in Boy Scout Troop 110 from St. Martin’s Church in Webster. He is 14 years old, and a 9th grader at McQuaid Jesuit High School. .Justin is working on the communications merit badge one of the required badges for Eagle Scout. 

 

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Webster community mailbag

1 Mar

The brand new ROC & Soul Fitness studio in the village has a few fun events coming up this month.

roc & soul

The first is a St. Patrick’s Day special class on Saturday March 10. Katie, one of the studio’s barre instructors, will combine her love of barre and Irish dance to teach something she calls a Barre Jig. The class will begin at 8 a.m. and there’s no dance experience needed.

Next, the studio will host its first Open House/Wellness Day on Saturday, March 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.  It will bring together many Webster and Rochester businesses to give health tips and wellness inspiration to our community.

Some of the events that day include:

  • A FREE barre class
  • Lunch catered by CoreLife Eatery
  • Healthy treats from The Village Bakery
  • Two speakers (Sarah Ormsby- a mental health counselor and Sarah Goodenough who owns Kitchen-Verde and was featured in People Magazine).
  • Other local businesses including RSalon, Oils by Erin, Athleta, ​Lorraine Staunch Art, and Arbonne Shakes.

ROC & Soul Fitness is located at 43 East Main Street in Webster, in that little plaza behind the Prime.

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Hey parents: If one of your kids is thinking about college, this news is for you, brought to you by the Webster Central School District:

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) will host the Rochester National College Fair, on Sunday, March 18 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and Monday, March 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Attendees can meet one-on-one with admission representatives from public and private colleges and universities, including some international institutions. Both two- and four-year schools will be featured. Gap-year programs have also been invited to exhibit.

Participants will receive tips on how to navigate the college selection process, and learn more about admission requirements, financial aid, course offerings, and campus life. Students and parents can also discuss individual needs with college experts at the fair’s counseling center.

Complete information about the fair, including free student registration, can be found at www.nacacfairs.org.

The event is free and open to the public.

WFD facebook

Finally, If you’ve ever wanted to get a peek behind the scenes at a working firehouse, it just got a lot easier.

The Webster Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page is enjoying a kind of rebirth. It’s recently come alive with news and photos from all aspects of the department’s day-to-day operations.

Just in the last few days, for example, there have been photos of the new recruit class and one from a training session, and a link to a TV news story about a local fire to which the WVFD responded.

That’s just the beginning. You’ll want to like the page to stay up to date on what’s happening with your local firefighters. I think you’ll be surprised how busy they are (even when they’re not out on call) and how connected they are with our community.

Check out the WVFD Facebook page here.

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Strike Back Martial Arts joins national registry

24 Feb

STRIKE+BACK+Logo+Extra+SmallCongratulations to my friends and colleagues at Strike Back Martial Arts, which has recently been accepted as a member of the Adaptive Martial Arts Association (AMAA).

The AMAA is a national organization which describes itself as

a resource for students and instructors to gather and share ideas, curriculum and other adaptive training information while promoting disabled inclusion and helping to break down martial arts training stereotypes associated with the disabled.

Strike Back, owned by Mike Palmer and Dave Nicchitta, is a perfect fit for the organization. In 2015 the jujitsu dojo introduced their Jujitsu Buddies class, designed for children with autism, and just last year began a brand new Strike Back Fitness program specifically designed for children and teens with Down syndrome. Both programs have been very well received and have grown since their introduction.

After they had established those programs, Nicchitta said,

We had been looking to align ourselves with organizations that coupled martial arts and special needs (adaptive) programs. This seemed to be exactly what we were looking for so I reached out to them regarding membership. …We received approval a few weeks later and as a result are listed on their national registry along with other schools across the country.

“We are the only Upstate NY martial arts school on their national registry,” he added.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street in the village. For more information about these and other programs they dojo offers, visit their website or Facebook page.

You can also ask me — I am pleased and proud to say I am part of the Strike Back family, and help teach these exceptional young people.

 

strike back

I love my Saturday morning Jujitsu Buddies

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End break week with some great library programs

22 Feb

family_night

If your kids are beginning to get a little bored with having so much time on their hands this week, here are a few great kid and family-friendly library programs you’re gonna love.

Friday night Feb. 23, bring the family to the Webster Public Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for an after-hours evening of fun. Enjoy a family craft, retro video-gaming, minute-to-win-it challenges, live music by Bach to Rock and more. Snacks will be served.

Registration is required for this program, and there are only a few spots left, so make sure to log onto the library website to register ASAP.

On Saturday Feb. 24, your kids will help kickoff the spring season with the library’s IMG_5766“Seedy Saturday” program.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., both kids and adults can take part in a variety of spring gardening activities, including participating in a hands-on demonstration of worm composting; making plant labels out of a variety of materials; seeing an example of square foot gardening; making seed balls and seed starting containers; and learning how to start plants from seed.

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And here’s a heads-up about an important event hitting our town in April.

The second annual Challenger Miracle Field Fete has been scheduled for Friday April 13 at the Arbor Loft in downtown Rochester.

Anybody who’s anybody will be attending this festive, fancy celebration, which will feature food and drink, a live and silent auction, and entertainment. You’ll also hear a lot about what a great facility Miracle Field already is, and how your support can make it even better by helping build a pavilion, concession stand, accessible restrooms and a Play with Possibilities Playground.

I am pleased to also report that my close friends Jim, Mary and Katie Holleran are honorary chairs for the event.

Tickets are $100 each and can be reserved by clicking here.

Challenger Miracle Field is located in Ridge Park, behind Town Hall on Van Ingen Drive.  To read more about this tremendous facility, click here.

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Help out puppies in need next week

16 Feb

A couple of fun events coming up I want to throw out there today.

I just saw this notice on Facebook from Knucklehead Craft Brewing in West Webster:

Did you know Friday February 23 is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day? To celebrate, stop in to Knucklehead on Wednesday, 2/21/18 and bring a pre-packed dog biscuit treat for your chance to Spin The Wheel and win a prize. No cost needed other than your donation of a pre-packed dog biscuit treat. We will donate all packages to Lollypop Farm to share with their dogs!

Remember that you’ll only be able to spin the wheel if you bring in your dog biscuits on Wednesday February 21. But it’s OK if you want to bring them on International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day on Friday as well. I mean, you gotta celebrate, right? And I’m sure they’ll go to a good home.

Knucklehead Craft Brewing is located at 426 Ridge Road in West Webster (at the corner of Bay).

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Some of the cast: (Front) Ryan Parody and Carenza Glastonbury. (Back) Anna Holley, Lizzy Clark, Cameron Stone, Madeleine Tischner, Analiesse Brown, and Lily Ippolito. 

Rock & roll comes to the Spry Middle School Stage on March 9 and 10 when the Spry Drama Club presents Bye Bye Birdie Jr.

Broadway audiences have been long familiar with this family-friendly, upbeat comedy about rock & roll idol Conrad Birdie and his star-struck fans. The dancing is fun, the music is infectious and the laughs are plentiful.

Bye Bye Birdie Jr. will be staged in three performances on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 10 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Spry Middle School Auditorium, 119 South Avenue.  Advance tickets are $7 each, and the shows are expected to sell out (it’s a small auditorium). Tickets go on sale February 26. Click here to get yours. If any remain, they will be sold at the door.

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