Archive | Local businesses RSS feed for this section

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 1 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.

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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

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


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.


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

* * *

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. 


email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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

Webster community mailbag

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.

* * *

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

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.

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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

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

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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

End break week with some great library programs

22 Feb


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.

* * *

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.

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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



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).

* * *


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.

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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


The Filling Station is open for dinner!

7 Feb


After what seemed like forever, the news everyone has been waiting for has finally come — The Filling Station will finally be open for lunch — AND dinner — starting this evening.

That is, barring unseen complications or a snowstorm keeping them from driving to Buffalo and picking up their liquor license this morning. But Wendy assures me there’s no way that’s going to happen. Sounds like they would hire an actual snowplow to get there and back if need be.

For the last three days the new pub and grill at 77 East Main Street has only been open for lunch, lacking that magical liquor license. But even so, they saw a steady stream of customers, old and new friends showing their love and support.

And they’re very appreciative.

So starting today, the new Filling Station hours will be Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m to 11 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday 11 to midnight and Sundays noon to 11.

Connect with them on Facebook and on the web.

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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

Good news from the Filling Station

3 Feb


This is news everyone has been waiting for … sort of.

The new Filling Station Pub and Grill will open beginning tomorrow, Sunday February 4, for lunches only. They’re still working on getting a transfer of their liquor license, so thy can’t serve liquor yet, but hopefully that will also happen soon.

So for right now, hours will be Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

The Filling Station is located at 77 East Main Street in the old Burger King/Original Mac and Cheez building.

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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

An(other) update on the Filling Station

20 Jan


The sign has been installed on the front of the building, the decorations and photographs are hung on the walls, and all of the video games and furniture pieces are ready to be pushed into place.

But if you were to stop into the new Filling Station Pub and Grill, which is (slowly) moving into the old Burger King/Original Mac and Cheez building at 77 East Main Street, you’d see that things are still in disarray, and you wouldn’t believe the owners were planning to open anytime soon.

When I visited last week, I was assured that even though things look amazingly disorganized, by Monday, everything will be assembled, installed, cleaned and looking beautiful. The only thing they’ll still have left to do is paperwork.

Even though making sure all the “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed has been a struggle at times, they’re hopeful that everything will finally be in place to open by the end of January. You’ll know when you see all the neon signs in the front window click on — including the big one that says “OPEN”!

I’ll also let you know through this blog, so stay tuned.


* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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


More about Bella’s Bumbas

14 Jan

For those of my blog readers who don’t subscribe to the Democrat and Chronicle, I’d like to share with you my Our Towns East Extra story which ran in the paper this morning. It tells about an incredible Webster couple who have dedicated themselves to changing the lives of young children with disabilities all over the world.

It’s kind of a long read, but I think it will warm your heart.


Webster couple’s love for their niece inspired tiny wheelchairs

Today, an update on Bella’s Bumbas, an organization I first wrote about last March. It’s a heart-warming story of a cause that began in Webster, but is now helping children all over the world.

Bella’s Bumbas began by chance a year ago by Webster residents Rebecca Orr and her husband Marty Parzynski.

In 2015, their niece Bella was born with spina bifida, which caused paralysis of her lower limbs. Troubled by Bella’s inability to move around and interact with other children, they did a little research and found a posting on Pinterest about how to make a toddler-sized wheelchair using a commercially-available “Bumbo” infant seat and a child’s bicycle tires. Marty got to work, and before long had built one for his niece. He called it “Bella’s Bumba.”

When word started spreading about what Marty had done and how it had changed Bella’s life, he and Rebecca started getting requests for Bella’s Bumbas from other parents. So they set up a workshop in the garage and started to mass-produce the wheelchairs, using mostly donated parts. They asked families only to cover the shipping costs.

When I first wrote about Bella’s Bumbas, Marty had only built and shipped five of the chairs. But when local and national media outlets started to pick up the story, orders began coming in from all over the country.

Now, almost a year later, Marty and Rebecca have shipped about 250 of the chairs, to 40 states and nine countries, and orders are still coming in at an average of four or five a week.

Along the way, they built a new workshop and developed a lot of shortcuts to help streamline the operation, which helps them keep up with the demand. It only takes about 10 minutes now for Marty to cobble together a wheelchair, compared to the three hours it took for the first Bella’s Bumba.

They’ve also learned a lot about the unique needs of the children they’re serving. Their chairs are now being shipped to children not just with spina bifida, but also those with cerebral palsy, brittle bone disease, microcephaly, Dandy-Walker Syndrome, and about 30 other mobility issues.

Marty has also designed three new chairs specifically adapted to each child’s specific needs, including one with a basket to carry an oxygen tank and other medical devices.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how the Bella’s Bumbas are improving the lives of everyone they touch.

“It’s increased our compassion for children and their needs and families,” Marty said. “Not just for the children, but for the moms and dads who have been going through the disability with the child. This chair has given them such a freedom in their own lives ….It works both ways.”

“It’s just amazing where this has taken us,” he added.

And Bella, the little girl who started it all and whose parents were told she would never walk, is now two and a half years old. She still uses her Bumba to get around quickly, but with her improved upper body strength, she’s graduated to leg braces and a walker.

“She’s thriving,” Rebecca said. “The chair is now for her playtime. She may walk (with) just hand crutches someday.”

* * *

And here’s some  more information I didn’t have time the space to include into the article:

  • A few months ago, Bella’s Bumbas was featured on CBS News. You can see that video here. 
  • Rebecca and Marty have received incredible support from several local businesses, including 1) B&L Wholesale Supply in Rochester, who provides all of the Azack material for the chair bases, free of charge, 2), which has donated $12,000 worth of bicycle tires; and 3) Superior Solutions of Webster, which ships all of the chairs domestically for one, very reasonable, flat rate.  Rebecca also notes that “our Friday volunteer George is essential to helping “Sarge” keep up with the building.”
  • Bella’s Bumbas has shipped chairs to children in China, the Philippines, Czechoslovakia,  Argentina, Sierra Leone, Guatemala,  Greenland, Canada, and the UK. 
  • Becky and Marty’s efforts have inspired a man in Germany to start building the wheelchairs as well, setting up a similar organization he calls Lina’s Rollis. He has taken over several of Bella’s Bumbas European orders, building and shipping them at a much reduced rate.
  • In December, Bella’s Bumbas was honored to present four chairs to Golisano’s Children’s Hospital, donated in memory of Rebecca’s mom, Marilyn Baize Campagna. They were built with funds donated in her memory and will allow her to keep on helping children, something she loved to do.
  • Bella’s Bumbas still builds these chairs at no cost to the families, asking only that the shipping costs be covered. If you’d like to help, they could use cash donations to help purchase parts that have not been donated. To do so, log onto their GoFundMe page, or you can send a check directly to Bella’s Bumbas, 1170 Ridge Road, PMB 208, Webster, NY 14580.
  • They can also use packing materials — especially bubble wrap and pillow packs (not peanuts, please) — so if you regularly get shipments using these, start hoarding them!

I just heard from Becky this morning, who never slows down. She wrote, “I’m packing to ship eight chairs, and we have found transportation for two to go to China, one to go to India and one to Ireland, all by the end of March.”

If all that wasn’t enough to fill your heart, visit the Bella’s Bumba Facebook page, where you can see videos of many of the kids these chairs has helped. So many smiling faces, as these children discover mobility for the very first time in their lives.

* * *

email me  at“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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