Archive | Neighborhoods RSS feed for this section

Webster woman runs for Bella’s Bumbas

9 Nov
Kim Rosdahl with a Bella’s Bumba

Here’s a great story about a woman who took her passions and used them to benefit a very worthwhile organization.

Webster resident Kim Rosdahl is a runner, the kind who last year signed up for a 50K trail race in hilly Mendon Ponds because she thought it would be a fun challenge. Her normally packed fall racing calendar has mostly been cancelled due to the pandemic, however, so she decided to create an event of her own: a charity run to benefit Bella’s Bumbas.

Bella’s Bumbas is a non-profit organization run by Webster residents Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr, dedicated to building miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. To date they’ve shipped about 1500 chairs to children in at least 27 countries, often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the families only for shipping.

Kim found out about the organization at work, where she provides early intervention services to young children. Bella’s Bumbas’ mission to offer mobility for children struck a chord with her.

If I’ve learned one thing through the past seven months of this global pandemic, it’s that running and movement in general have not only kept me physically healthy but emotionally and mentally strong at the same time. …

During my 15 years working in early intervention I’ve worked with many children who have limited to no mobility due to various health reasons. It was last year that I was introduced to the Bella’s Bumba chair and learned that it was developed and made right here in the town of Webster, where I live.

It didn’t take her long to come up with the perfect way to bring her two passions — running and her work with children — together.

She reached out to Bella’s Bumbas for permission to organize a run to raise funds and awareness. Then she spread the word to her neighbors and friends: join her as she ran for three hours around her neighborhood for Bella’s Bumbas.

Many people did. From 9 a.m. to noon yesterday morning, Kim Rosdahl ran in never-ending laps around her Tuscany Lane neighborhood. She was sometimes accompanied by friends and family, often times accompanied by children. By the end of the run, more than 20 different people ages 4 to 62 had joined her for at least one lap, and Kim estimated she’d completed more than 17 miles.

Many others who didn’t participate have donated to the Bella’s Bumbas GoFundMe page in support of Kim’s run.

After the run Kim wrote in an email,

This organization has made an impact across the globe for children who would have never had the opportunity to become more mobile and engage in play with their peers. Knowing the impact movement has made in my life and the ways it’s helped me through the past few months, I know the impact for these children is even larger!

It made me so happy to see many of the kids and families within my neighborhood join me during my 3-hour run. It makes me even happier to know that we helped to provide more opportunities for so many children both inside and outside our community, to laugh and play and engage in movement activities making life just a little bit better.

It was a wonderful day, not only because the weather was glorious. It was also an inspiring testament to the fact that one person can really make a difference in our world, especially when you follow your passion.

To find out more about Bella’s Bumbas and the difference they’re making for children all around the world, check out this YouTube video. You can also connect with them on their Facebook page. And definitely connect to Bella’s Bumbas GoFundMe page to show your support for Kim’s run!

Some of the morning’s youngest runners (L. Currier)
Kim’s neighbor friends Olivia, Abby and Ellie help her hold the finisher ribbon they made for her to break through at the end of the run.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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.

Edna Struck Memorial Park is getting fixed

16 Oct

You may think you have no idea what the Edna Struck Memorial Park is, or where it’s located. But if you live in the village, chances are very good you’ve passed by it many a time, especially if you live on the east side.

Edna Struck Memorial Park is the grassy median where Lapham Park makes a slight jog at the corner of Elm St. It’s named in honor of Mrs. Struck, who made it her passion to tend the plants on the island for years.

In February of last year, someone was driving down Lapham Park much too fast and — instead of navigating the jog in the road — decided to drive right through the park, mowing down the trees and plants, and inflicting significant other damage.

Since that unfortunate incident, the village has been tossing around ideas about how to refurbish the median, including reinstalling the two memorial plaques honoring Edna Struck.

On my walk yesterday afternoon, I saw that work had begun. A handful of village employees were busy putting down and smoothing out some new topsoil. Jake Swingly, the village’s Superintendent of Public Works, told me the next step will be to plant some trees, then finish up the rest of the gardens next spring (as seen in the project proposal below).

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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.

Village block party brought music to the streets

14 Sep
The Red Hot and Blue Band performed a porch concert for about 100 village residents Saturday afternoon.

I have come to realize that one of the main things I miss most during this pandemic is the opportunity to see live music.

Fortunately, those opportunities have begun to present themselves again in the last several weeks. For example, the Village of Webster held three Friday night concerts at the gazebo, and Barry’s Old School Irish is back to hosting its regular traditional Irish music sessions every Saturday night.

I consider yesterday’s live music event a bonus, however. It was a village block party held on Park Ave., just around the corner from my house (OK, two corners).

A portion of Park Ave. was blocked off for the party.

I’m not sure who organized the event, but I’m sure my Park Ave. neighbor Doug Pucci had something to do with it. It was on his porch that his rockin’ Red Hot and Blue Band performed for almost three hours to an appreciative audience of almost 100 adults and children.

The organizers distributed flyers all over the surrounding neighborhoods, but everyone in the village was invited, regardless of whether they got one of the “invitations” before they ran out.

The sun was shining, the children were dancing and making chalk drawings in the middle of Park Ave., and neighbors were meeting neighbors. It was a quintessential village experience.

Thank you to everyone who helped pull this together. It was exactly the thing all us music-starved and socially-deprived people needed.

At one point, almost 100 adults and children were watching the concert, dancing, or playing in the street.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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 cheerfulness in the neighborhoods

13 Jul

You may recall a few weeks I posted a blog titled “Finding Cheer Amid Adversity,” in which I encouraged everyone to look around while we’re walking or cycling, and see some of the fun, creative and beautiful things in our communities.

My list that day included yarn creations wrapped around trees, a fairy garden, and an aggressive lawn Zoomba. Today I’d like to add a few more to that list.

This first one is a nice segue from my recent blog about Little Free Libraries. I saw this one on a bike ride yesterday morning which took me down Apple Orchard Lane on the north side of town. It’s especially creative, with an actual chalkboard so people could leave notes. It looks like some children had a hand in its construction, so, well done!

IMG_20200712_091627616

Next, on a bike ride around my neighborhood a few days ago, I came across this sign posted to a tree which caused me to come to a complete stop.

It tells the story of the “Teddy Bear Hunt,” an effort begun during the pandemic which has spread all around the country. It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt. The idea is that homeowners put teddy bears in their windows, and kids can “go on a bear hunt,” walking through their neighborhoods in search of the elusive teddies.  Remember when we were all encouraged to put up rainbows in our windows for kids to find? It’s kind of like that.

Click closer into this photo and you can read the story for yourself. (And take a closer look at the other photo to see the bear in this home’s front window.) You can also click here for an article I found in the New York Times.  If you run up against a paywall and can’t read the article, simply Google “Teddy Bear Hunt” and you’ll find several others.

Now, get your bear and let’s all be part of the hunt!

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. 

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.

Seniors are getting celebrated in a big way

1 May

senior 1

Webster Schroeder senior Anya Swinson with her lawn sign.

If you’ve been on Facebook at all today, guaranteed you’ve seen some videos of a great event that’s happening all over town today.

Webster School District representatives are driving all around town today in a mini-parade led by a loudly-honking school bus, handing out lawn signs recognizing every single one of our high school seniors — more than 700 of them.

The school bus is being followed by Webster Schroeder teachers/staff, Webster Thomas teachers/staff, and PTSA volunteers in their cars. The parade is expected to continue until about 3:30, so keep an eye out in your neighborhood!

Click here to see video of the delivery to the home of Webster Schroeder senior Anya Swinson, who will be attending Mercyhurst in the fall. The Webster Central PTSA purchased the signs.

* * *

email me at missyblog@gmail.com“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.

Thoughts on the First Responders 5K

2 Sep

banner

(Photo courtesy Mary White)

An amazing 625 people — both adults and children — participated in the second annual First Responders 5K on Friday night, which began on Sanford Street near Firemen’s Field and wound through the east side of Webster village.  It’s an impressive number considering it was the start of Labor Day weekend AND it was a Friday night, two very good reasons that race participants might have had other things to do or places to be.

But again this year, Webster and our surrounding communities showed how incredibly

holly and me

Before the race with my friend Holly. (Courtesy Mary White)

supportive they are of our first responders. And not only did the race attract a lot of runners, but the number of village residents who took the time to sit out front of their homes and cheer the runners as we raced by was heartening and very much appreciated.

Kudos to all of the firefighters and police officers who ran in their full gear; the weather was much improved over last year’s heat and humidity, but it must have still been a struggle to complete the 3.1-mile course while wearing many pounds of gear.

I took a few pictures, but not as many as our favorite Turkey Trot photographer Mary White. I’ve posted a few here, but if you’d like to see a lot more, click this link for an entire gallery.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“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.

Village People

27 Aug

houses

My husband and I have met some wonderful people since we moved into the Village of Webster. It took very little time before we got to know a dozen neighbors, and the neighborhood began to feel like a family.

Now don’t get me wrong. I had some wonderful neighbors at our old house in North Penfield, and we still keep in touch. But somehow the connection is different — closer and more neighborly — in a village setting.

And that’s true even if the neighbors don’t even live here anymore, as evidenced by something that happened last night.

A couple — Joanne and Bob — were walking by our house, and had stopped to take a closer look. We got to chatting with them and Bob explained that he’d grown up in the house back in the ’50s, and his mother continued to live here for many years after, including after his marriage to Joanne.

So of course, we invited them in.

It was a no-brainer for me. For years I had dreamed of revisiting my childhood home in Owego, which I had left in 1976. Several years ago, when I was in town for a high school reunion, I finally marshaled the nerve to knock on the door, and asked a total stranger if she wouldn’t mind my coming in and looking around. She was kind enough to allow me to do just that. It was a walk back through memories I will always fondly remember.

I was delighted to be able to give Bob and Joanne that same experience. Their eyes lit up as they remembered Mom’s little kitchen, where our fireplace is now located. Bob pointed out where an archway was removed to open up the entire first floor. Our kitchen used to be a small back room where his mother typed up novels and magazine articles. The large bedroom upstairs where he and his brothers slept has been split into two rooms. And he pointed out that the porch light is the very same one he remembered from his youth.

It was a delightful walk through the past for us as well. We enjoy hearing about the history of our little home and the lives that were lived here.

Bob and Joanne now live up near the lake, and like to drive into the village to take their evening walks.  We look forward to the day that they stop again for a visit. They’ve promised to bring along a photo album, so we too can see our home as it used to be.

* * *

email me at missyblog@gmail.com“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.

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

* * *

email me at missyblog@gmail.com“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.

 

Make a rain barrel — be an H20 hero

5 Jul

shipbuilders creek

Early last week I attended a Town of Webster meet-and-greet at the public library, where I met Sydney VanWinkle, who was representing an environmental organization called H20Hero.org. They’re working hard to protect our local water supplies, a precious natural resource.

One of their primary focuses right now is an area called Shipbuilders Creek Watershed, which encompasses (very roughly) the area from Bay Rd. east to Five Mile Line Rd., and Plank Rd. north to the lake. (See the map for specifics.)

When she found out that I live in the watershed, Sydney’s eyes got really big. It’s homeowners like me, who live in the watershed, that she’s particularly interested in reaching, because if we each do a little bit, together we can help their cause immensely.

Here’s a little background information from the brochure I picked up:

Shipbuilders Creek is an eight square mile watershed…discharging into Lake Ontario.

Over the years, the original land use of the watershed has gone from primarily agricultural to a mix of residential and commercial use, including relatively heavy commercialized areas along Empire Boulevard and Ridge Road.

Unfortunately, as the community developed, the value of the Creek as a resource was not always recognized, Sections have been piped, and water quality declined because of pollution from storm runoff.

And this is what we can do:

You can help restore Shipbuilders Creek by making your home part of the solution to storm water pollution. Storm water runoff from roofs and driveways transports pollutants including fertilizers, herbicides, grass clippings, sediment, automotive fluids and bacteria to the Creek.

Downspout connections, rain barrels, rain gardens and streamside plantings are easy ways you can capture and reuse rainwater, or soak it into the grounds, so that it does not become storm water runoff.

rain barrellThere’s a really good opportunity for you to find out more about all of this, and make a rain barrel for your own home, coming up at the Webster Public Library.

On Tuesday July 17, the library will host a Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens Workshop beginning at 6 p.m. Any and all town residents — especially those who live in the Shipbuilders Creek watershed — are encouraged to attend.

In addition to learning about rain barrels and rain gardens, participants will build their own rain barrel which they can then take home with them and start putting to good use.

All tools and materials will be supplied at the workshop. Workshop fee is $40/rain barrel. Pre-registration is required. To do so, click here.  Residents from the watershed area will also receive a $30 gift card for plantings.

If you can’t wait until then to find out more, Sydney will be at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market this Saturday July 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Webster Towne Center (Kohl’s/ Target Plaza) on Holt Road.

In the meantime, you can read more about the project by clicking here, or email Sydney directly at srv7357@rit.edu.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“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.

Helping keep the neighborhood clean

26 Aug

Capture

This is a great idea.

My husband and I were taking a morning walk the other day when we happened across this wonderful little dog poop receptacle that someone had placed next to their mailbox.

Perhaps they’ve been having trouble with people leaving dog waste bags in their front yard. Perhaps they’re just friendly neighbors and dog fanciers looking to make life easier for other dog fanciers.

Whatever the story behind it, I think it’s an inspired idea.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“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.