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Diane McClure is Webster’s 2020 Business Person of the Year

14 Feb
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Diane McClure receives her award from Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber of Commerce

Congratulations to Diane McClure, a partner at Edge Advertising Group, who was just named Webster’s 2020 Business Person of the Year by the Webster Chamber of Commerce.

The Business Person of the Year is someone who is recognized as having set a standard of accomplishment in both business and the community. Nominations come from the Chamber’s business members who have made a significant impact on the role of business in the community.

A nominee must be an active member of the Chamber who is always willing to go above and beyond, be a leader who motivates others, and show a commitment to community building by participating their time, talent or money to our community via projects, clubs, churches, and not-for-profits.

McClure is a founding partner in the Edge Advertising Group, based in Fairport. In their press release, the Chamber describes her as

a very active Chamber member, a wife, a mother, a business partner, an Angel Mom, a passionate mentor, full of energy and digitally charged. She is a familiar face at Chamber breakfast, active in the Webster business community.

The presentation was made at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting. Diane was presented with a plaque, and a contribution was made in her name to a charitable organization of her choice.

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Officers + autism community = awareness

11 Feb
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Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy Mike Ottley and his K9 companion Peak.

An adorable and oh, so droopy and cuddly bloodhound puppy recently paid a visit to the Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts in the Village of Webster.

Accompanied by his handler, Deputy Mike Ottley of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the four-month old bundle of floppy skin and monstrous paws happily played with a crocheted dragon and endured much petting while Ottley chatted with the students about his role as a deputy.

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Sheriff’s Office SCUBA Commander Lt. Chris Fay helps Colton Sprague into a SCUBA suit at a recent No Gi Jujitsu class. 

It was a fun event for the students in class that day, but it had a serious purpose. It was one of a series of visits by law enforcement officers organized by Strike Back Martial Arts owners Dave Nicchitta and Mike Palmer.

Over the past several weeks, Nicchitta and Palmer have invited local law enforcement officers to visit the studio’s jujitsu classes for special needs children and adults. Officers visited three of the studio’s classes: Strike Back Fitness for kids and teens with Down syndrome, No Gi Jujitsu for teenagers with autism, and most recently, Jujitsu Buddies for younger children with autism.

The goal of the visits has been to give both students — especially those with autism — and officers a chance to ask questions get to know each other a little better.

“Autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities in America,” said Nicchitta, who is himself a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy. “The way it presents itself can be misinterpreted as inappropriate or criminal behavior.”

“Data tells us that one in five teens with autism will be stopped and questioned by police before age 21, and people with disabilities, including autism, are five times more likely to be jailed than those without disabilities.”

Those with autism in particular often have a hard time looking people in the eyes or following multi-step directions. They can also become extremely agitated in the presence of flashing lights, sirens and loud radios, and may not like being touched. In a high-pressure situation, an officer might misinterpret such behaviors as combative or non-compliant.

Nicchitta hopes that through programs like these, and through additional opportunities he’s offering to the Rochester-area law enforcement community, he can help raise awareness.

“When an officer encounters someone who is acting unusually, we hope we can get the officer to just take a moment and think, is there something else going on here?”

The class visits are as beneficial for the students as they are for the officers.

“I wanted to create a non-stressful environment where our students can interact with law enforcement in a positive way,” Nicchitta said. “That way the students can keep that experience in the back of their heads if a situation occurs where they have to interact with officers.”

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main St. in the Village of Webster. The studio offers offers adaptive jujitsu classes designed for children and adults with autism, Down syndrome and other physical and emotional disabilities, as well as non-adaptive jujitsu classes.

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Students in Strike Back Martial Arts’ Jujitsu Buddies class listen — and watch Peak — as Deputy Ottley talks about his job.  

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Your mug on a mug of Guinness?

7 Feb

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So I was at Barry’s Old School Irish last night (I see that shocked and surprised look on your face) and was talking with Jess about plans for tomorrow’s Great Guinness Toast. (If you’re a Guinness lover and haven’t heard about this event yet, read more here. You don’t want to miss it.)

One of the highlights of the evening will be a visit by Guinness representatives, who will have what Danny and Jess called a “Guinness design machine.”

When I was there last night I had to ask her what the heck that was.

Apparently, Guinness has this machine that can imprint a sepia-toned photo on the foam of your freshly-poured Guinness. They call it a “STOUTie.” It’s created with a natural malt extract that’s added to the top of the beer, and since it’s malt, it won’t alter the taste of the beer.

Guinness only introduced this technology in November at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin when they hosted the International Stout Festival. So it’s just now making it over to this side of the pond, and chances are, Barry’s is one of the first pubs to experience it.

And that’s because Barry’s — our little corner pub in our little village — sells more Guinness than any other pub or restaurant in the Greater Rochester area and beyond.

So you can be one of the first to get your head on a head of beer.

Tomorrow’s Great Guinness toast will also feature free Guinness for everyone, entertainment by Billy Herring and other fun stuff. Click here for more information.

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Time to warm up that pint-raising arm

31 Jan

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Webster’s favorite little Irish pub will be hosting its annual Great Guinness Toast (a.k.a. “St. Practice Day”) a week from Saturday.

As one of the top Irish pubs in the country (no exaggeration — read this blog here from 2018 for proof), Guinness representatives return every year about a month before St. Patrick’s Day to raise a pint of Guinness with everybody. The event happens all over the world, so participants know they’re part of something very big.

Guinness representatives especially like to come to Barry’s because — I believe — our little pub sells more Guinness than any other establishment in the Rochester area.

It all happens on Saturday Feb. 8 from 7 to 11 p.m. The official toast takes place at 10 p.m., when everyone will get a pint on the house. There will also be lots of giveaways, and a special Guinness design machine will be in the house to create pictures on top of the pints. Billy Herring will provide live Irish music from 7:30-10:30.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main Street in the village of Webster.

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Barrys get VIP seats to McGregor fight

24 Jan

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So this is cool.

You know how Danny and Jessica Barry, owners of my favorite Webster pub, Barry’s Old School Irish, have developed a pretty close relationship with Connor McGregor?

(Yeah, that Connor McGregor, the one who just gave a 40-second beating to some hapless opponent in the Fight Of The Century in Las Vegas.)

They’d been fans for a long time, and when McGregor introduced his very own Irish whiskey — called Proper Twelve — well, you can imagine how the Barry’s felt about that. The relationship has grown so strong that McGregor GAVE THEM TICKETS TO THE FIGHT. So they flew out, sat with the Proper Twelve team and even went to the after-party.

See the whole story here as reported by WROC Channel 8.

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News from Heritage Christian Stables

10 Jan

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I’m pleased to pass along this press release from one of Webster’s finest community organizations, Heritage Christian Stables.

Heritage Christian Stables, located at 1103 Salt Road, offers therapeutic horseback riding programs to children and adults with disabilities. Their programs have proven results, improving riders’ physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

Late last year, Heritage hosted a holiday party for their outstanding group of dedicated volunteers. More than 70 attended, and spent the evening playing games and enjoying food, drinks, and desserts. Volunteers received special gifts and prizes, and a chance to redeem their “volunteer bucks” (earned for every hour spent volunteering) for items like apparel, gift cards, and lessons.

There are lots of opportunities for you to become a volunteer as well. You can volunteer one time at special events, commit regularly for a whole season to help with gardening, staff the thrift store, or become a therapeutic riding volunteer as a side walker, horse leader or other helper.

For more information about all these opportunities and more, log onto the Heritage Christian Stables website.

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The Village Quilt Shoppe is back!

8 Jan

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Vanetta Parshall, Monique Liberti and their cute little quilt shop are back in business on East Main St.

They’ve been closed for a little more than a month, thanks to a water leak in the apartment above them which significantly damaged the shop and destroyed a good chunk of their inventory. Along with many friends and family members, they’ve been working hard in recent weeks to bring the shop back up to par. (Check out the photos to see for yourself!)

Vanetta and Monique have even managed to turn a very negative event into a lot of positives.

When I stopped in yesterday, their first day back in business, I saw that the shop is not only back in full swing, but in many ways is better than before. The ladies saw the forced-renovation opportunity to add more and better shelves, increase their inventory, and put down a whole new floor. This week they also introduced their new loyalty program and a monthly gift certificate drawing for customers who pay with cash or check.

Also, during the month of January for every sale over $25 customers will receive a sealed Red or White Fabulous February envelope, which can then be returned (unopened) in February to find prizes inside like gift certificates and discounts.

To celebrate their reopening, The Village Quilt Shoppe will host a “We’re Back” party this Saturday Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be raffles, sales, treats and a hot chocolate bar.

The shop is located at 21 East Main, at the corner of Lapham Park. Find out more on their website here and Facebook page here.

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Great news from the Village Quilt Shoppe

29 Dec

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As many of you know, the Village Quilt Shoppe on Main St. in Webster, which only opened in September, has been closed for almost a month because of water damage caused by a leak in the ceiling. It was very unfortunate timing, because the shop missed out on White Christmas in the Village, an excellent opportunity for the community to discover this charming new business.

But GOOD NEWS, quilters and cute-new-business lovers: the Village Quilt Shoppe will be re-opening on Tuesday January 7.

Owners Monique Liberti and Vanetta Parshall are celebrating the occasion with what they’re calling their “We’re Back Party,” complete with sales, raffles food and a hot chocolate bar. (Read more about that on their website here.)

Even if you’re not a quilter, it’s worth stopping in to check out this new shop. Monique and Vanetta are incredibly nice people who have created a wonderfully welcoming shop. Please consider popping in during their We’re Back Party just to say hi and welcome to Webster! (Then buy a late Christmas gift for that quilter in your family.)

The Village Quilt Shoppe is located at 21 East Main St. in the Village of Webster. Visit their website here and their Facebook page here for more information.

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The Village Quilt Shoppe is closed — but NOT FOR LONG

21 Dec

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Earlier this month, during the Village of Webster’s White Christmas celebration, I stopped by one of our newest businesses, the Village Quilt Shoppe, which is located at the corner of Lapham Park and East Main.

When I looked through the window, my jaw dropped and my heart sank.

The place was stripped bare. No rolls of fabric. No cutting tables. No … anything … except bare walls and a few commercial fans. I was flabbergasted. What could have happened to them? Their business was (seemingly) thriving! I  mean, every business struggles a bit when they start, but had they failed already? Had they skipped out on their rent in the middle of the night?

Then I saw a sign on the front door which explained everything. The apartment above the shop had a water problem, which leaked down into the shop and did a lot of damage. Sure enough, I looked up and saw several ceiling tiles missing. So they’ve had to close for a while to do some clean-up and renovations.

The timing was unfortunate, right during one of the busiest village days of the year. I am disappointed they were not able to be open for even more people to discover what a wonderful shop this is.

BUT THEY WILL BE BACK. Owner Monique Liberti told me that they’re still trying to nail down some contractors to do the work and hope to open again in early January.

So they’ll be seeing everyone again soon!

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Photos from White Christmas

8 Dec

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Perhaps it was because it wasn’t raining, or windy, or bitterly cold, but it seemed like last night’s White Christmas in the Village festival was the best attended in recent memory.

At least the parade was. Early on, when activities like the book shop mini-concert and story-time started and the festival wagon started making its rounds, the crowds were a little thin.

But as night fell, families started streaming into town in anticipation of the main event, the Electric Parade.

Kudos to Robyn Whittaker and the Webster BID for pulling together another nice event. I especially liked the brand new idea of the gingerbread house-making contest for the businesses and I look forward to this being expanded next year.

It’s unfortunate that more people don’t realize that this celebration is not JUST the parade. More people should make White Christmas in the Village an entire afternoon and evening event. Come into the village early when you can actually GET a parking space somewhere, do some shopping, visit the museum, have some dinner, and actually  take part in all of the great family activities.

As usual, I took a ton of photos. Together with a bunch that I received from a few other people, here’s a gallery of more than 150 photos from last night’s activities and the parade. (If you have any additional photos that you would like to share, like of your kids, please email them to me — address below — and I’ll add them to the gallery!)

And by the way, just because White Christmas is over does NOT mean that our village businesses are closed for the holidays. Make sure to come into town and check out all of the gorgeous decorations, and stop by the museum to vote for your favorite Christmas tree!

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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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