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Webster Hots joins Spry MS to recognize students

31 Dec

Bill and Kelly Mutschler, owners of Webster Hots in the Village of Webster, have teamed up with Spry Middle School to recognize star students.

Once a month, Spry administrators will choose a CARE Student of the Month, randomly choosing from a collection of CARE cards. The cards are submitted by staff members, who use them to nominate students for the award, based on students’ exhibiting CARE behaviors (cooperation, accountability, respect and excellence).

One winner each month will be awarded a $20 gift card from Webster Hots. Here’s a video explaining the whole program:

The first honoree will be announced on Webster Hots’ Facebook page on Monday, Dec. 31. Winning students will also be posted in a special spot reserved on Webster Hots’ wall for CARE Program honorees.

Webster Hots is located at 55 East Main Street in Webster.

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Sharing Christmas joy in the village

19 Dec

The week before Christmas has become one of the most musical weeks of the entire year in the Village of Webster.

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On Monday night, Robyn Whittaker, hairdresser extraordinaire, special event organizer, village cheerleader and all around good egg, hosted her third annual Christmas Carol Debacle. Robyn provides pizza and assorted spiked and non-spiked beverages for the event, which drew a big crowd of about 20 people this year, despite the promise of bracing winter winds .

The tuneful group stopped first at Rubino’s to serenade the employees and diners there. Then they wandered through a few east-side village streets, stopping at perhaps a half dozen other houses before heading back to The Coach via Burke’s Grill and The Bistro.

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The following evening, the Chorus of the Genesee took to many of those same streets for their annual Soup and Carol Night. The group was quite a bit larger — numbering maybe 30 or more (I never got an actual count), the weather much more comfortable and the signing voices much more in tune.

The first stop, as it has been every year, was Webster Eye Care Associates, which is pretty much across the street from the Harmony House. The folks there have hosted the annual visit from the Chorus carolers for 24 years, and this year greeted the singers with doughnut holes, hot chocolate and gift bags.

A second regular stop is the Cataldi home, where there’s always hot cider for the Chorus carolers. These folks always have a holiday party that evening as well, complete with instruments, and gather on the porch to perform a carol of their own (this year it was Mele Kalikimaka, accompanied by ukuleles).

My running club, Barry’s Runners, also helped spread some holiday spirit Tuesday evening, with our third (maybe fourth) JACK Foundation Run.

The JACK Foundation, formed in memory of young Jack Heiligman who lost his life in a tragic accident in October 2016. The foundation’s goal is to remember Jack’s giving spirit by passing on random acts of kindness.

Tuesday night, the Barry’s Runners did that — literally. We collected $200 in gift cards from places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Yolickity, CVS, the Apple Store, Wegmans and of course Barry’s Old School Irish, and while we ran through the village neighborhoods, we handed them to strangers or hung them on doorknobs and mailboxes. Perhaps you were one of the lucky people to find one this morning. If so, please make sure to pass on the kindness.

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Knucklehead Craft Brewing is having a birthday!

13 Dec

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Knucklehead Craft Brewing in Webster turns four years old this weekend, and the entire beer-loving public is invited to help them celebrate.

The party takes place this Saturday Dec. 15 from 3 p.m. to midnight at the brew pub, 426 Ridge Road. And the Knuckleheads are planning quite the shindig.

For starters, there’s going to be a special food menu, and live music by Marty Roberts and Donny C. from 7:30 till 11:30 p.m. Plus, one of the pub’s most decadent beers — the Russian Imperial Stout — will make its annual return appearance, joined by the award-winning Tainted Haze IPA.

Webster’s first and only craft brewery has grown up a lot since it opened in 2014. They updated their kitchen and expanded their menu, added merchandise, more equipment to streamline their brewing process, more staff, and regular live music.

Check it all out for yourself at Knucklehead Craft Brewing’s fourth anniversary party, Saturday December 15 from 3 p.m. to midnight, and wish the Knuckleheads a happy birthday!

Knucklehead Craft Brewing is located at 426 Ridge Road in West Webster, at the corner of Bay. Check out their webpage here and their Facebook page here. They’re open Wednesday and Thursday 4 to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 3 to 11 pm, and Sunday 2 to 7 p.m., and the kitchen is open every day.

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Another anniversary in the village

6 Dec

ploty'sHot on the heels of the anniversary blog about Yesterday’s Muse which posted on Tuesday, here’s more news about yet another anniversary being celebrated in the village this week.

Ploty’s Hometown Tavern turns one year old this week, and owner Eric Plotzger has a pretty exciting anniversary celebration planned for Saturday.

Ploty’s is located at  27 West Main Street, on the lower level of shops behind The Coach and Mozzeroni’s. You may remember The Vino Lounge being there for a few years.

I met Eric the first time at a table he’d set up on Main Street during 2017’s Halloween in the Village. His new pub wasn’t even open yet, but he had a big “coming soon” sign and was handing out beer cozies. It was just after Christmas that I made arrangements to visit the newly opened tavern and meet Eric and his wife Kourtney. Here’s the blog I wrote introducing Ploty’s to the village.

Ploty’s has since become my second-favorite pub in the Village of Webster (y’all know what my favorite pub is). The people are always friendly, the service is fast, there’s a nice selection of reasonably priced beers, the bar snacks are top-notch and there are a lot of sports on the TVs, if you’re into that.

Ploty’s anniversary celebration takes place this Saturday Dec. 8. It’s officially Pajama Night, so everyone is invited to wear their finest (appropriate) PJs. Amanda Ashley will provide live entertainment beginning at 8 p.m., there will be giveaways, drink specials and a cake to celebrate both the anniversary AND Eric’s 41st birthday.  Check out their Facebook page for more details.

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Yesterday’s Muse turns 10

5 Dec

One of my favorite village businesses is turning ten years old this month, and they’re planning a big celebration to mark the occasion.

Yesterday’s Muse, purveyors of used, rare and collectible books, opened the day of the 2008 White Christmas in the Village. I was thoroughly charmed and impressed by this little shop from the first day I walk through the doors later that month met the owner, Jonathan Smalter.  The reading nerd in me geeked out at the large, well-organized and attractively priced collection of used books.

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Since that day, Jonathan has continued to grow his impressive collection of first editions, signed editions, and rare volumes, along with the more “mundane” used books more in line with my interest and price range. He has also continued to be very involved in our community, always participating in village special events like White Christmas and the Trick or Treat Trail.

But the best change of all was when Jonathan married Kristine.

On his website, Jonathan reflected on the last ten years, writing:

Ten years. In a way it seems like it came and went in a flash; in other ways, I feel like the shop has been a part of my life forever. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, encouraged me, and guided me along the way.

My reliable staff members, Robert and Holly, deserve a hearty thank you for their hard work and dedication. My wonderful wife, Kristine, deserves an abundance of credit for putting up with the demands running a small business has put on me over the years, and for teaching me to how to keep smiling, and how to be patient on those inevitable days of frustration. She even took the time to commission a painting of the shop, which now hangs on the wall here as a reminder of how far we have come together.

Without you loyal customers, my faithful friends, and supportive family members, not only would doing this not be possible, it would not be worth it. I am proud to be a part of this community, and hope to remain one for a long time. I hope you will all continue to be a part of the shop’s story.

And now, on to the details of the celebration.

Yesterday’s Muse’s 10th Anniversary Open House will be held Saturday Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. There will be refreshments, a raffle, and all items priced $10 or less will be buy-one-get-one-free. Larger purchases will also be discounted through Dec. 14, including $10 off purchases $40 and over, and $25 off purchases $100 and over.

Other sales will also be in effect through the month of December. For details, sign up for the shop’s monthly newsletter on the Yesterday’s Muse website. 

Yesterday’s Muse is located at 32 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster.

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Photos from White Christmas in the Village

2 Dec

IMG_0015Once again we didn’t have a whole lot of white for Webster’s White Christmas in the Village. But I’ll wager that the thousands who came into town for the cookies, wagon rides, caroling and visits with Santa appreciated the unusually warm temperatures.

We could have done without the light rain, though, which began just as the parade started.

Still, it was another successful event. The village looked beautiful, the businesses were all decked out in their holiday finery, and several who remained open throughout the afternoon benefited from a steady flow of holiday shoppers.

Of course I took a lot of photos. Many of them didn’t come out very well because of the low light and wet conditions, but I hope you enjoy what I did manage to get:

Click here to see the gallery. 

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If you love honey (and beeswax), you’ll love the village’s newest shop

29 Nov
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The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave. 

The Village of Webster just keeps getting better.

Hot on the heels of two brand new shops opening up within the last few weeks, a third has joined the village’s small business ranks. It’s The North Bee, located at 27 North Avenue.

The North Bee is owned by Amy Stringer, a long-time Ontario resident. Amy has been a beekeeper for about three years and loves pretty much everything about bees. That includes honey, of course, but more than that, it also includes something you might not expect: beeswax.

Until you visit The North Bee, you probably really don’t have any idea how many things can be made from beeswax. When she started beekeeping, Amy didn’t know much about the stuff either, but really didn’t like the idea of throwing out all the wax her bees produced.

“At the end of my first season I had honey that I had extracted, and I had all this wax left

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Owner Amy Stringer with her tree full of beeswax ornaments

over that I didn’t know what to do with. So I came up with the idea to make ornaments and a hard lotion bar.” She gave them for Christmas gifts, sold them to friends at work, and then branched out even further by setting up a booth at the Purple Painted Lady Art Festival in Palmyra.  

She also started going into nursery schools to share her knowledge about bees and beekeeping with children. Somewhere along the way she started dreaming about having her own place where she could make and sell her products, and have a place for kids to come in and learn. 

The North Bee is the answer to that dream. Inside, shoppers will find honey, of course. But there’s also a surprising variety of products made from or with beeswax, including wax rounds, beard balms, mini planters, vases and cups, small sculptures, and body products.

Nor did Amy forget about how much she loves to work with kids. She’s created a separate room just for them, which she calls “beekeeper central.” There, kids can play a bee game, maybe try on a beekeeping suit, and examine a demonstration hive (without the bees). She hopes to start offering classes soon, where children can learn about bees and how honey is made, inspect a hive, try to find the queen, and see a real smoker in action.

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Amy introduces her bee friend to a young customer. 

What I particularly like about The North Bee is that it’s so unique. I can’t think of anywhere else you can get beeswax ornaments or mini-planters made entirely from beeswax. It’s the perfect place to find unusual gifts for those difficult-to-buy-for family members and friends.

I’ve already been there once. I stopped  by on Small Business Saturday when they first opened. I’m pretty sure, though, that I’m going to be back.

The North Bee is located at 27 North Ave., right at the entrance to the community parking lot across from the gazebo. There are three spaces in front of the shop, and plenty of parking in the adjacent community lot.

Click here to visit them on Facebook, or email Thenorthbee@gmail.com.

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White Christmas in the Village is this weekend

26 Nov

OK folks, now that Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to get down to some real holiday celebrating. And it starts this weekend with the Village of Webster’s White Christmas.

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This annual festival, which takes place this year on Saturday Dec. 1, features horse-drawn wagon rides, a bounce house, cookie decorating, storytelling, carolers, Santa (of course), and the always very popular Electric Parade.

Everything begins at 3 p.m. with activities for adults and children throughout the village. The official schedule looks like this:

3 to 6 p.m. — Horse-drawn wagon rides through the village
3 to 6 p.m. — Bounce House on Main Street
4 to 5:45 p.m. — Santa Claus at the Village Hall
4 p.m. — Storytelling at Yesterday’s Muse Book Store
4 p.m. — Cookie decorating
4:30 p.m. — Rochester Rhapsody Carolers
5 p.m. — Church of the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir on Main Street

And do not forget to stop by the Webster Museum that afternoon as well to check out — and vote for — some beautiful miniature Christmas trees.

santaThe Electric Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Road and head west down Main Street. This spectacular parade features fire engines, floats and marching bands, all draped in thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. You’ll definitely want to bring the kids, but dress warm, and pack a thermos of hot chocolate, because this is a pretty long parade. Fireworks will follow the parade at 8:15.

(Click here to see a gallery of photos from last year’s White Christmas celebration.)

By the way, don’t forget to start out that morning with a hot breakfast, served up by the Chorus of the Genesee.

The Chorus will be hosting their third annual Breakfast with Santa, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in Webster.

Breakfast will be cooked and served, music will be provided by the Chorus of the Genesee, and of course, Santa will be there! Tickets are just $5 each, with a maximum of $20 per family. To purchase a photo with Santa is just $20.

For more information or to make reservations, call (585) 265-9540.

This is a good chance to visit with Santa before everyone else descends on him when he’s at Village Hall later in the day.

AND BY THE WAY …

When you’re in the village this weekend, make sure to visit some of our village businesses and knock off some Christmas shopping. Two brand new stores opened recently on East Main Street, The Pickled Paintbrush and Lala: Laugh and Love, Always.  And on Saturday a third new business came to town, The North Bee on North Ave. This cute shop offers local honey and hand-crafted items made from beeswax. I’ll be blogging more about them later this week, so stay tuned!

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Webster community mailbag

21 Nov

Before I get into a pile of holiday events, here are a few feel-good stories about some great things our kids are doing for the community.

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Back: Lucy Ellsworth, Aubrey Rugg, Sydney Herman, Molly Murphy, Addison Ball, Molly Clausen, Annabell Jacobus, Sophia Sherman, Mikayla Young. Front: Averye Rugg, Emma Kimball, Bray Dreschler. (Provided)

Webster Brownie Troop 60670, a third grade troop based at Plank South Elementary School, went to Wegmans last Wednesday to buy a meal for a Webster family in need of a Thanksgiving meal. For many of the girls, this was their third year doing this. They created a budget, learned about healthy food options and price shopped while in the store.

Jessica Ellsworth, who sent the photo, wrote,

These girls are no strangers to community service. In the past they have gone to Hope House, made toys and collected donations for animals in the shelter, made birthday bags (cake mix, frosting, candles, party hats, etc.) for the food pantry and rang the bell for Salvation Army.

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A group of 18 Webster Schroeder students got together recently to provide Thanksgiving meals to 20 families at Mt Hope Family Center (MHFC).

On Monday, several MHFC vehicles arrived at Webster Schroeder’s main office to pick up boxes and bags with all the fixings for 20 Thanksgiving meals that would be provided to at-risk children and families supported by MHFC. The groceries were purchased by Webster Schroeder students who began fundraising for these Thanksgiving meals last month.

This is the seventh year students have partnered with MHFC to raise funds to supply Thanksgiving meals for those served by the organization. They personally reached out to other Webster Schroeder High School clubs, sports teams, organizations, faculty, staff, and Webster businesses to raise more than $2,400 for the Thanksgiving meals. Extra funds raised will provide holiday gifts for children from each of the 20 families that receive a basket.

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Holiday special events are beginning to come fast and furious. The ones I’m telling you about today won’t be happening for a week or two, but I wanted to make sure you got them on your calendar.

Country Gardeners of Webster will host their annual sale Saturday December 1.

Presented jointly with the Klemwood Garden Club and the Webster Arboretum Association, the sale will take place at the Webster Parks and Recreation Center from 9 a.m. to noon.

The sale features a variety of creative wreaths, sleighs, table arrangements, cases and other unique items hand crafted from fresh, seasonal greens. It’s a great opportunity to buy a decorative piece for your home, or perhaps housewarming gift. This sale regularly sells out, so get there early. Admission is free.

The Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

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There are three upcoming dates on the Webster Village Band schedule you won’t want to miss.

First, watch for them on a float at Webster’s annual Parade of Lights along Main Street on Saturday Dec. 1. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Rd. and travels west along Main. The band will play Christmas favorites along the parade route.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, the band will perform a concert at Eastview Mall in Victor from 7 to 8 p.m. They’ll be in front f the J.C. Penney Store, playing Christmas favorites and other popular tunes.

Finally, on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. the band will hold their annual Christmas Concert 
at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road. It’s always the last and most spectacular concert of the season. You’ll hear plenty of holiday favorites, including a special reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” narrated by Barbara Midura. Light refreshments will follow the concert.

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The Pickled Paintbrush, one of the Village of Webster’s newest shops, will hold a Gingerbread House Workshop on Saturday, December 8.

Two classes will be offered, from 3 to 4:30 and 6 to 7:30. Bring the whole family to decorate a gingerbread house complete with all of the candy trimmings. Cost is $35 per family, which includes one gingerbread house. Additional gingerbread people cookies will be available to decorate for $5.

There will even be live holiday music, courtesy my good friends Dave and Patty Wyble.

Spaces are limited, so register early. Click here for more details and registration information. The Pickled Paintbrush is located at 36 East Main St., Webster.

By the way, the last time we heard from The Pickled Paintbrush, it didn’t even have furniture. Here’s what it looks like now, in photos I took last weekend at their opening celebration:

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Since we’re talking about cookies….

The Women’s Club of Webster will hold their 26th Annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon (or sold out) at the Webster Public Library.

Many varieties of homemade holiday cookies will be available. The cost is $9.00 per pound. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s scholarship funds and many other programs in the Webster community.

The Webster Public Library is located in the Webster Plaza at 980 Ridge Rd. Entrance is at the back of the plaza.

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Webster community mailbag

14 Nov

Santa is beginning to make his rounds!

santa St. Martin

Santa got a little story time help at last year’s St. Martin Christmas party.

Generally one of the first times we see him in Webster is at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church for their holiday party, and this year is no different.

On Friday night November 30, Santa will arrive by fire truck at St. Martin’s, 813 Bay Road in Webster, at about 6 p.m. Then he’ll settle into the church’s community room in his big Santa chair until 8 p.m. where he’ll chat with the children, read a story, and be available for photos with both children AND adults.

Other activities that evening will include cookie decorating, Christmas bingo, making a reverse Advent calendar and presentation of the Christmas Story. Free pizza nd beverages will also be provided.

There’s no charge for this great holiday event, but please bring a canned food item.

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The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Saturday Flapjack Breakfast is scheduled for November 17 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the church, 1862 Penfield Road.

For just $5 per person, you get all-you-can-eat pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and beverages. All are welcome, and the venue is handicapped accessible.

Proceeds this month will benefit the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, a supplemental food relief organization serving the 14526 and 14625 areas and families of children in the Penfield school district since 1997.

Donations of stuffing packages will be gratefully accepted for holiday meals as well. And make sure to mark your calendars for the next flapjack breakfast on December 15 — word is that a special visitor from up north might just stop in!

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Here’s a quick follow up and some adorable photos from the spaghetti fundraiser dinner held at the Webster-Fairport Elks Lodge on November 3 to benefit little Liam Goggins.

Liam, who’s just a little over one year old, has been struggling with severe health problems. On his first birthday, he stopped breathing, and was ultimately diagnosed with a congenital heart problem. Doctors inserted a mechanical valve, which will need replacement one or two more times as he grows.

The dinner, which was held to help offset his family’s medical costs, was a great success, selling 276 tickets. So many friends, family members came together to help little Liam.

The Goggins family would like to thank community members who supported the event, and the many local businesses, friends and even strangers who donated cash, goods and raffle items.

Here are a few photos from the evening, courtesy Kathy Beltrone:

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