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Fall in love with Webster, starting Wednesday!

30 Jan

The Village of Webster’s second annual Fall in Love With Webster month-long community celebration begins Wednesday, Feb. 1, featuring four weeks of merchant discounts and special events, all embracing the theme of love.

Almost three dozen business owners are participating, offering discounts or hosting special events all month, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Village Hall has even gotten into the act, lighting up the gazebo at North Ave. and 104 with red twinkly lights.

The idea is to promote a fun way to unify village residents and business owners. But it’s also all about helping community members get to know our village a little better, find out more about our many fine businesses, and encourage everyone to get more involved in all of the activities found here.

Here’s what’s coming up this week. Check back this weekend to see what’s scheduled for week 2, and get ready to Fall in Love With Webster!

All month: 20% off all plastic models at Performance Hobbies!

Performance Hobbies has hundreds of plastic model kits and for the month of February they will be 20% off! What a great time to check out the wide variety of items and start a new hobby!

Check out the Performance Hobbies website and be sure to stop in and talk to the owner, Tom.

All month: Brimont Bistro dinner specials

Brimont Bistro is offering ALL MONTH LONG their amazing Pork Tenderloin entree. Grilled Pork Tenderloin served with Basmati Rice Pilaf, Wilted Spinach and Sundried Tomato and a Cascabel Chili Honey Glaze. And back by popular demand, the Goat Cheese Napoleon appetizer. Phyllo dough, caramelized pear and apple cider granite.

All month: 30% off all in-store jewelry at Furnari Jewelers.

Furnari Jewelers is a full-service retail jewelry store and diamond broker located at 39 W. Main St. in the village of Webster. For the whole month, all in-store jewelry is 30% off. Check out their website for more information.

All month: Free dance classes at ROC Dance

Check out the flyer on the Fall in Love With Webster Facebook page for a schedule of days and times to participate in a free class. Reach out to the team at ROC Dance to sign up. ROC Dance is located at 30 E. Main St.

All month: 10% off massage therapy at Wellness 360

The friends at Wellness 360 Fitness are reinventing the healthcare model and offering $10 off a Massage Therapy Gift Certificate. See the flyer on the Fall in Love with Webster Facebook page for more details. They’re located at 191 W. Main St.

All month: Free classes for 2-year olds at ROC Dance

ROC Dance is sharing the love all month long with free classes for your two-year old little dancer. Contact the team at ROC Dance to learn more.

Feb. 3, 10:30 a.m.: SEWcial Day at the Village Quilt Shoppe

SEWcial Day is the perfect day to come hang out with your friends. Bring your sewing projects and use this time to get caught up without home distractions. Snacks will be available. Sign up is required due to limited space. Vanetta and Monique will be available for help and encouragement. 

Cost is $5. Call the Village Quilt Shoppe at 585-626-6916 to sign up.

Feb. 4, 9 p.m.: Knight Patrol at The Coach Sports Bar

Knight Patrol is rocking The Coach Sports Bar on Saturday, February 4 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Performing all of your favorite 80’s high energy rock hits including Journey, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Bryan Adams, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and many more. Visit The Coach website or call 585-872-2910 for more information.

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More details about all these events and what’s coming up the rest of the month at the Fall in Love With Webster Facebook page. Make sure to “like” the page to get regular updates, because new events are being added every day. 

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(posted 1/31/2023)

News from the Greater Rochester Peep Show

29 Jan

Good news for those of you who love those marshmallow Peeps candies. The 2023 Greater Rochester Marshmallow Peep Show is right around the corner.

If you’ve never heard about this really fun event, you’re going to want to keep reading, especially if you like eating those yellow (and now pink and purple and whatever other colors) marshmallow chicks and ducks. I’ve never been a big fan. I put them in the same category as those faux-orange circus peanuts. They squeak when you bite into them.

But I LOVE the Peep Show. This is a two-day event at the Webster Recreation Center, where at least four entire rooms are filled with incredibly creative sculptures, dioramas, and various other works of art created with Peeps. It’s simply the cutest thing ever.  Plus, there are craft vendors, a kids’ activity room, pizza and a snack bar.

This year’s show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday March 25 and 26 at the Webster Recreation Center. More details will come (but it’s free and great family fun). But for now, Peep Show organizers are looking for Peep creators.

Businesses, organizations or individuals are encouraged to enter a display for judging. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the show for the display that gets the most visitor votes.

Not feeling very artistic? You can support the event in other ways as well. You can hang a poster, donate a prize or become a partner in underwriting the show. Several levels of sponsorship are available, and all proceeds will benefit the Webster Community Chest.

I’ve posted some photos from last year’s show below. You can see more photos, check out last year’s winners, find out more about the show and how you can help by visiting the Rochester Peep Show website here, or email

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(posted 1/29/2023)

Jerry Christopher recognized as Webster Chamber of Commerce 2023 Business Person of the Year

28 Jan

Congratulations to Jerry Christopher from State Farm Insurance for receiving this year’s Webster Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year award.

The presentation was made at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting and was presented by Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber of Commerce and Carolyn Montanaro, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

The Businessperson of the Year is recognized as having set a standard of accomplishment in both business and the community. Nominations are from the Chamber’s business members who have made a significant impact on the role of business in the community. The nominee must be a member of the Chamber for at least 18 months. They must be an active member who is always willing to go above and beyond and be a leader that motivates others. They must have a level of community participation by contributing resources in the form of time, talent or money to our community via projects, clubs, churches and not-for-profits.

Jerry is an active member of the Webster Chamber of Commerce and the Webster community. He is a father, husband, business owner, volunteer and philanthropist. He sings often at church, local sporting events and Veterans Day ceremonies, and he led the National Anthem at the Chamber breakfast where he was honored. He is a regular attendee at Chamber events, a familiar face at breakfast meetings and sings his way through a multitude of community activities as a participant or supporter. 

Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber said, “Jerry always volunteers and never says no when asked. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and help with the heavy lifting. He has been a Webster Chamber member for 35 years, singing for us and the community for decades.” 

Jerry operates a State Farm Insurance agency located on Empire Blvd and has been helping Webster residents with their insurance needs since 1984.

Jerry’s singing gigs, in addition to church and the Chamber breakfast, include the Veteran’s Day ceremonies, Webster parades (including singing and marching with the Chamber in the 2022 Webster Parade of Lights), singing and bell ringing with a Salvation Army kettle, Webster Theatre Guild performances or a local ball game. If he isn’t singing, he’s supporting local theatre groups and Webster High School musicals.

Jerry is a member of the Penfield Rotary, where his service includes serving chicken barbecue to raise money for scholarships, bringing food to veterans at Nucor House and sharing the meal, judging singing contests for Rotary scholarships at Penfield High School, and working on the bike drive for R Community Bikes in the city of Rochester. Jerry also sponsors Wedge Wattle, raising money for St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, supports Boy Scout troops with their activities and award ceremonies, and is a regular blood donor.   

The Chamber presented Jerry with a plaque which read, “Businessperson of the Year presented by the Webster Chamber of Commerce to Jerry Christopher in recognition of your outstanding contributions to the Webster Chamber of Commerce and your commitment to the community – 2023.” The Chamber will also be making a contribution to a charitable organization selected by Jerry.

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(posted 1/28/2023)

Planning has begun for 2023 Webster village events

26 Jan

Despite the fact that we really haven’t had much in the way of winter, we’re definitely not anywhere near spring yet. But planning has already begun for a very busy spring and summer in the Village of Webster.

At their most recent meeting, members of the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) started sketching out the long list of special events our local merchants are planning this year. The BID is the organization, remember, that sponsors the very popular Trick or Treat TrailWinter WonderlandFriday Night Gazebo Concerts, Wine Walks and others. Those events are definitely returning this year, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Just about every month this summer, beginning in April, the BID has scheduled at least one entertaining, family-friendly event, and sometimes two or three or more.

Things kick off around Easter with the return of the very popular Easter Egg Hunt. More than 500 kids and their parents participated in last year’s first-ever event, which was successful in part because of the incredible support from local businesses. (Click here to read the blog I wrote about it.)

Later in the spring and summer, these events will also be returning (although dates have still not been finalized):

  • Friday night concerts at the gazebo
  • Two Wine Walks
  • Webster Jazz Fest
  • Two Family Games Nights
  • Beer Walk
  • Bourbon Bash
  • Trick or Treat Trail
  • Webster’s Winter Wonderland

There was even some talk about perhaps adding a scarecrow contest to the mix. And who knows what other events the BID might pull out of their sleeves in the coming week.

And make sure not to forget about the month-long Fall in Love With Webster event, which will kick off on Feb. 1. I’ll be providing lots more details about this soon, so stay tuned.

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(posted 1/24/2023)

A toast to Barry’s, and a peek inside the new Woofs indoor dog park

22 Jan

Anyone who knows Barry’s Old School Irish knows how much Danny Barry likes to make toasts to just about anything, often handing out mini shots of whiskey to everyone in the pub when he does.

Last night was no exception, but the occasion was rather exceptional. Saturday night’s whiskey toast was to our Webster firefighters, and the occasion was to present a $1,000 check to the Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD), a portion of the proceeds from last August’s Barry’s Irish Festival.

As an illustration of the bond between Barry’s Old School Irish and the WVFD, Danny pointed out the Barry’s-emblazoned firefighter jacket hanging just inside the front door. “It’s one of our favorite things in this pub,” he said, “a reminder of the friendship we’ve had for the 12 years we’ve been open.”

WVFD Chief Andrew Vorndran accepted the check and spoke for the many firefighters assembled last night, thanking Danny and Jessica for “being family and for always being there for us.”

Barry’s also donated a portion of their Irish Festival proceeds to the Ancient Order of Hibernians in support of their efforts to build an Irish Center in Rochester.

When I stopped into Woof’s Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park on Thursday, things were still in significant disarray. So I was pleasantly surprised on Saturday, when I went back for the grand opening celebration and saw an amazing transformation and an impressive facility.

There’s a very large, astro-turfed area for large dogs to run around in, which owner Christine Gigante had sprinkled with some agility equipment. Fenced off to the side is a smaller area for smaller dogs, and both areas have benches along the walls for the pups’ parents to sit while their dogs play.

But what I really liked was the nice little cafe area and social area, designed for pet owners to relax while they watch their dogs play, and maybe even get to know others. There’s a small work-out area, some retail, and even dog-friendly baked goods.

A steady stream of dogs and their people were coming and going while I was there, and the opening even got some attention from the local TV stations.

On her Facebook page last night, owner Christine Gigante couldn’t hold back her excitement. She wrote,

“Wow! Just wow. We cannot thank you all enough for such an AMAZING DAY! Thank you to 13 WHAM ABC and WHEC TV for coming to cover our grand opening event and to our phenomenal neighbors and partners for supporting us.”

Woofs Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park is located at 187 West Main St. in Webster, in the old World Gym building. Official business operating hours will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Hours will be posted on the Woofs Facebook page, so check back there often for updates.

Here a look inside:

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(posted 1/22/2023)

Don Pedro Cantina is Webster’s new Mexican sports bar

21 Jan

I absolutely love Mexican food. So I’m probably more excited than most that not one, but two Mexican eateries have recently opened in our area.

I haven’t had the chance yet to stop by Corona’s Mexican Restaurant on Ridge Rd., but a little while ago I did visit the new Don Pedro Cantina and talk to the owner, Mauricio Hernandez.

Don Pedro Cantina opened last November in BayTowne Plaza (which technically is in Penfield, to be accurate), in the former location of WhichCraft Brews. I know for a fact (’cause I heard it from my daughter, for one), a lot of people were saddened when WhichCraft closed. But from what I saw during my visit, those same people will probably like Don Pedro just as much, for a lot of reasons.

This is actually the second Don Pedro in Rochester. The first, now closed, was downtown on East Ave. That Don Pedro, however, was first and foremost a restaurant, whereas this new location is most definitely a sports bar. It’s a smaller, more intimate space than the 10,000-foot East Ave. restaurant, making it more amenable for friends to gather for a few beers and some wings and to watch the game. It boasts 11 large-screen TVs and a huge 40′ by 30′ screen at one end of the room. It’s the largest one I’ve seen pretty much anywhere.

Anyone who liked the food-truck-on-the-serving-floor concept that WhichCraft had will be pleased to know that Mauricio has embraced the idea and will continue to serve his Mexican-inspired menu from the food truck. However, instead of having to walk up to the truck and wait for your meal, a wait staff will take your order and bring the food to your table.

The menu offers a wide variety of Mexican specialties from tacos to burritos, quesadillas to fajitas. And for those who might not be a huge fan of Mexican, there are burgers, wings and nachos.

There are 16 beers on tap, and plenty more canned and bottled selections in the cooler. Plus, for anyone who misses WhichCraft’s craft brews, here’s some exciting news: very soon, Don Pedro will become the first Mexican brewery in Upstate NY and begin rolling out their own craft brews, so stay tuned for more news about that. Trivia fans will also be pleased to know that Mauricio is hoping to start hosting weekly trivia, like WhichCraft did, maybe some karaoke and regular live music.

Mauricio named the business after his father, Don Pedro, and is drawing from his memories of going to a sports bar with his father to personalize the experience.

“My father and I used to go and watch the games. At halftime … the owner would send out a lot of tacos and chips for free. I’m trying to do the same. I’m trying to get to where I can give something back. I think it’s always nice (for fans) when they come and you drop something for free. You feel like they’re taking care of you.” 

That “giving something back” is a big part of Mauricio’s business plan. He’s committed to giving back to the community and helping other small businesses and organizations.

“I try to help as much as I can in the community. My thing is helping out anybody who’s local, who’s maybe not involved in the restaurant world.”

“For example let’s say someone has a local gym. … If they want to buy new machines for the gym, it’s coming out of their pocket because they’re not part of a chain. So we work with them to do a fundraiser … We cut them a nice check so they can invest it in their own business. … I can give back to them and we all can help each other.”

That also goes for sports teams, he added.

“I can be doing some fundraisers for them so they can get some money for whatever they need. … They can spread the word, come in and I’ll do the rest of it. Anybody that wants to make an event so they can make money, my doors are completely open. We work with anybody.” 

“We try to give back a little to society from here.”

Welcome to the Webster/Penfield community, Don Pedro Cantina. Clearly you’re going to be a huge community supporter. (And serve incredible Mexican food, to boot.)

Don Pedro Cantina is located at 1900 Empire Blvd., Webster, in BayTowne Plaza. Click here for their Facebook page and here for their website.

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(posted 1/21/2023)

Woofs Indoor Dog Park is opening, and more mailbag news

19 Jan

Leading today’s mailbag is the exciting news that Woof’s Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park will be hosting its grand opening celebration this Saturday Jan. 21 from 1 to 6 p.m.

Woofs Canine Club is located at 187 West Main Street, at the corner of Barrett Dr., in the former World Gym. Like all good dog parks, it’s BIG (5,000 sq. ft), has separate areas for large and small dogs, and lots of agility equipment. But it has the added benefit of actually being INSIDE, on artificial turf, out of the rain, snow and cold typical of our Upstate New York winters.

But unlike your average dog park, Woofs will also offer a social component for owners, including a cafe, pool table and dart board, and even a small workout area. Visit this blog I wrote back in November to learn more.

According to the Woofs Facebook Page, the grand opening celebration will include food by roc city empanadas food truck and BC’s Chicken Coop, dog treats by Buster Browns Snick-Snackery, doggy cupcakes by BONES BAKERY, and custom balloon decor by Balloons by Kenz.

Pups and their people are welcome to visit anytime between 1 and 6 p.m. Leashes will be required for this one-time only open house walk-through, and canine vaccinations will be required to enter. Proof of vaccinations can be submitted to A full list of required vaccinations can be found at

Regular hours of operation for off-leash playtime will begin Wednesday, January 25. Find out more at the Woofs Canine Club Facebook page and website.

Rochester Challenger Miracle Field hosts Valentine’s prom

Challenger Miracle Field‘s annual Valentine’s Day dance has been scheduled for Friday Feb. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Webster Golf Club, 440 Salt Rd.

The Night to Shine Valentine’s Prom, open to Challenger participants, will include a DJ, dinner, dancing and a photo booth. Suggested donation at the door is $10. One chaperone per participant, please.

RSVP by Feb. 3 to secure a spot, and include the names of those who will be attending and any special diet requests. Email

Fall in Love With Webster returns

Do you remember last year’s Fall in Love With Webster event? The month-long community celebration, sponsored by the Webster Business Improvement District, featured daily discounts and special events at businesses all through the Village of Webster, all embracing the theme of love.

The goal was to promote a fun way to unify the village residents and business owners. But it was also all about helping community members get to know our village a little better, find out more about our many fine businesses, and encourage everyone to get more involved in all of the activities found here.

Basically, it encouraged people to … well, fall in love with Webster.

Last year’s Fall in Love with Webster event was so hugely popular, the BID will be doing it again, kicking off a month’s worth of special events and savings on Feb. 1. I’ll be posting weekly blogs here highlighting all of the fun things happening, but you can keep tabs on all the plans by “liking” the Fall in Love with Webster Facebook page, which will be regularly updated.

Stay tuned!

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(posted 1/19/2023)

Library helps make donating easy

16 Jan

There are so many great causes and community agencies in our area that desperately need community support to continue doing the great things they do. For folks who really want to help out by making some kind of donation, sometimes it’s hard to sift through all the opportunities out there.

The Webster Public Library has found a way to help with that dilemma.

They’ve recently created what they’re calling a “Donation Station” right next to the circulation desk, with information about three local organizations, including a list of what they need, and a box for each where you can deposit your donations.

Currently, the Donation Station is collecting items for:

  • Bella’s Bumbas: packing material (bubble wrap, air pillows, packing paper) that Bella’s uses to ship their chairs to recipients around the world
  • Hope House: non-perishable foods, toiletry items, cleaning supplies, new underwear and socks for all ages, gently used clothing

The station is also collecting used cell phones, ink cartridges and eyeglasses.

If you’d like to ask the library to include your non-profit organization to be featured at their Donation Station, click here to fill out a form. Space will be considered on a case-by-case, first-come, first-served basis.

To learn more about the Webster Public Library’s new Donation Station, click here.

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(posted 1/16/2023)

Webster Union Cemetery named business of the month

28 Dec

I would be remiss to let any more days pass before congratulating Webster Union Cemetery on being named December’s Business of the Month by the Webster Chamber of Commerce.

You’ve been hearing a lot about Webster Union Cemetery recently in my blog. Just a few weeks ago, it played host to Webster’s very first Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 17, when hundreds of folks gathered to lay wreaths at the gravestone of every veteran who rests there.

It’s a beautiful cemetery, made even more so by the additional 650 wreaths which were placed that day. Hosting that ceremony might have been one of the reasons it was chosen as Business of the Month. But there were others as well.

The cemetery has a long and rich history, for starters.

Farmland was donated for the first known burial in 1817, when a Webster child needed a place to rest. It was originally called The Burial Ground, Lakeside, Union Cemetery of Webster. Since this caused some confusion between other areas near Webster, especially Union Hill Cemetery, the name was officially changed to Webster Union Cemetery in April 1954.

In 1859, Webster’s first settler, Abram Foster, was buried there at the age of 90. He was the first of many prominent families to come, including the Burnetts, Curtices, Fosters, Pelletts, Woodhulls, Whitings, and Wrights. Veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are buried there as well. Consequently, Webster Union Cemetery is one of the richest historical sites in Webster.

The cemetery is also stunningly beautiful. In 2008 it was awarded the Historic Landscape Award from the Landmark Society of Western New York, and was listed on the National List of Historic Places in 2022. In July 2022, Webster Union Cemetery hosted a ceremony where two Revolutionary War soldiers were honored with bronze plaques placed on boulders at their gravesite. First responders and our military members were also honored, and two World War II veterans received plaques.

Webster Union Cemetery has been an active burial ground for 198 years. In addition to being an active member in the Webster Chamber of Commerce, they support Wreaths Across America, work with Blue and Gold Star Families, support Boy and Girl Scout ventures, work with the Veteran Headstone Preservation Project, and many other community projects. 

Congratulations to Webster Union Cemetery President George Baker and his staff members for this well-deserved honor, and thank you for being such a valued part of our community.

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(posted 12/28/2022)

New Webster fitness studio strives to make you, and our community, stronger

26 Dec

A funny thing happened when I went to visit the new M/Body studio in the Village of Webster the other day.

M/Body Webster moved into the former Roc & Soul Fitness studio at 44 E. Main St. in November. Curious to find out more about the new studio, I sat and chatted with owner Molly Flaherty for almost an hour. Our conversation ranged all over the map, but after I left I realized that in all that time, we hadn’t once talked about the studio’s workout spaces, equipment, classes, or instructors.

So I had to send her an email a few days later so she could fill me in about all that. About the 3500-feet of studio space, high-energy instructors, three different kinds of cycle classes, and all sorts of challenging programs like the Pilates and ballet-inspired M/BodyBarre; M/BodyHIIT for cardio and strength conditioning; M/BodySculpt light-weight workout; DanceFusion, Pilates and yoga.

But all of the beautiful equipment, experienced instructors and wide variety of classes are really just part of the greater purpose Molly Flaherty has in mind for her new studio. THAT is mostly what we talked about — her personal commitment to community, and her vision of how she wants her business to become an integral part of our town.

M/Body Webster is actually the studio’s second location in our area. The first, M/Body Rochester, is located on Clinton Ave., having moved there just a few months ago after operating for many years on University Ave. The city-based studio has long been known for its welcoming, inclusive atmosphere, and its close alliances with the city of Rochester.

“I’ve always been a cheerleader to create a strong city,” Molly said, so she’s helped create free, community-based programs like Yoga for a Good Hood and the Roc Free Fitness Initiative to encourage city residents to get out and get fit. The studio also frequently teams up with other fitness studios for special community-wide events.

Molly wants to bring that community-based focus to Webster, and has already begun to get involved in Village events, partnering with her business neighbors, and even her competitors.

As soon as she knew she’d be opening a studio in Webster, she said, “The first thing I (did) is simply introduce myself to competing entities like Burn Bootcamp and Element Yoga…. I’m not looking to poach, I’m looking to enhance. The more options, the fitter the community, the better it is for everybody.”

Then she introduced herself to her business neighbors in the village. “I tell them what we’re doing, what we’re for, get any concerns they may have. We build relationships and potential collaboration.”

“It’s always about working together, not against,” she added. “Community over competition.”

Expanding to a second location really wasn’t even on Molly’s radar, especially immediately after relocating her city studio. But when she found out that the Roc & Soul studio was becoming available, the timing just seemed right. Plus, Webster is Molly’s hometown, and where she opened her first studio many years ago. So expanding to a location in the village, she said, “seems like coming home.”

“I would not have done this for any other location, not this soon after that massive move,” she said. “This is home. I just love the familiar faces I’m seeing. … It seems like it’s all culminating, how everything worked out as it should have worked out.” 

Molly knows, of course, that customers come through her door to take her fitness classes. But she’s committed to making sure they also feel like they’re part of a larger community, because community and fitness are integral partners. She said,

Our whole goal is always to be the most inclusive, welcoming, albeit challenging, environment in which everybody can come in and define themselves. … What’s right for you might not be right for someone else, so let’s find what works. It’s all about making sure people are taking care of themselves, in a long-term way that fits them.

If we’re truly in it to make sure people are healthy and well, especially post-Covid, then we really have a responsibility. It’s not just about making a ton of money. It’s not about us. I’ve felt that from my toes forever. If what M/Body offers isn’t right for somebody, I’d like to help them find what is.

M/Body Webster is located at 44 E. Main Street in the Village of Webster, in the lower parking lot. Click here to see their website for more information and a full schedule of classes.  

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(posted 12/26/2022)