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“Old fashion summer fun in Webster”

13 Aug

That’s what my friend Jim called these photos when he sent them to me a little while ago. He snapped them when he was at Webster Park a few weekends ago.

He wrote,

I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of these kids having a good time in the spray at Webster Park last week. The waves were breaking and the wind was blowing and the kids were having a great time. Just thought you would like to see some young people having fun without their iPads or cell phones….

I agree, it is great to see.

Summer’s not over yet! Send me a photo or two of your kids having some summer fun and I’ll post them in my blog.

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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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Warthogs take tournament title

13 Aug
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The champion Webster Warthogs 13u (Photo: Renee Romano)

Congratulations to the Webster Warthogs 13u travel baseball team, who recently took top honors at the Lake Erie Championship Series.

The Warthogs competed in the tournament at Sports Force Parks in Sandusky, Ohio on August 4 through 6. Thank you to Melissa Bolton for this report on the weekend’s success:

The boys came away with a 5-0-1 total record for the weekend. We won all three games on Sunday to take the championship. We were the only town team in attendance competing among a competitive schedule of tournament teams from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and more.

The genuine and intense camaraderie of the players coupled with disciplined coaching and fun, supportive parents is our secret to success. We truly are one big family.

Melissa also noted that on July 26, the Warthogs 13u won the MCBR Division title. They finished the year with an impressive 31-8-1 record.

13U Warthogs Lake Erie Classic championship win

Robin Buttles captured this great photo of jubilant team members after taking the title. 

Warthog Division Champs 2017

MCBR division champions.

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Jack’s Place playground will soon be a reality

4 Aug

 

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The construction on Jack’s Place has begun!

Jack’s Place is a a blue, dinosaur-themed playground at Penfield’s Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road. It’s being built by a terrific organization called the Jack Foundation, in honor of 3-year old Jack Heiligman, who lost his life tragically last October. (You can read more about Jack here.) His amazingly strong parents have risen from their shock and grief to create a foundation dedicated to carrying Jack’s happy spirit forward, spreading happiness, laughter and love to other families, as Jack did for his.

The Jack Foundation hopes that the playground will be done just a bit later this summer, so watch for news about grand opening ceremonies. But in the meantime, stop by and check it out. Rothfuss Park is at 1648 Five Mile Line Road, just south of Embury.

(To help raise money for the construction, the foundation sold 116 engraved bricks which will be installed on the walk leading to the playground. Make sure to look for the one sponsored by Barry’s Runners.)

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Fund raiser will help village “worker bee”

1 Aug

FB_IMG_1498324941683Thank you to my friend Carol Klem for the following information about an important village fundraiser for a wonderful person.

This Saturday August 5, the village of Webster will come together to support Penny Swingly, whom Carol characterizes as “one of the hardest working folks in our village.”

Penny is a self-employed hair stylist in the village and former secretary of the Business Improvement District, and she helps at every village event that she can. Lately, Penny has been fighting some serious health issues, which have made it difficult for her to keep up with her business.

In March Penny went into the hospital for a routine surgery. But something went wrong, and she didn’t leave the hospital for  more than two months. Even then, it was only to be discharged to St. Ann’s home, which she then had to leave when her insurance ran out.

Frail and weak, Penny’s not going to be able to return to work for a long time. But we are Webster, and Webster rallies together when one of our own is in need.

This Saturday, the “Benny for Penny” will take place at 22 North Avenue, near Veterans Memorial Park and the gazebo. It’s a pig roast and chicken barbecue, with beverages and raffles, starting at noon and continuing all afternoon. Entertainment will be provided by Rochester-based cover band The Fallen. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Penny.

If you’d like like to contribute a raffle item, or money to the cause, call Sherry at (585) 259-1619.

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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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Bella’s Bumbas creators featured on CBS News

28 Jul
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Rebecca Orr with her niece Bella in a Bella’s Bumba

A Webster couple who have dedicated their lives to helping children in need have just received some national exposure.

For the last year, Rebecca Orr and her husband Marty Parzynski have been building miniature “Bella’s Bumba” wheelchairs for children throughout the country who suffer from spina bifida, a congenital defect in which part of the spinal cord is exposed through a gap in the backbone. The condition commonly causes paralysis of the lower limbs.

Their passion to help was sparked when their niece Bella was born in July, 2015. When she and her siblings came for a visit last summer from their Buffalo home, Rebecca and Marty were troubled by Bella’s inability to move around and interact with other children. Basically she had no other choice but to sit and watch everyone play.

Insurance doesn’t pay for wheelchairs, and the commercial versions of the Bumba wheelchair can cost more than $1,000. So, assisted by plans they found on Pinterest, they decided to build one for Bella.

Word spread, orders started pouring in for the life-changing chairs, and they have built hundreds for children around the world. To this day, Rebecca and Marty still don’t charge anything for the chairs aside from shipping. That generosity and dedication are probably what caught the attention of the national news.

Last week, CBS News came to town to interview Rebecca and Marty and Bella’s parents, and took some great video of a very happy — and mobile — Bella, wheeling around in her Bumba.

The story ran this morning. Check out the video here.

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Bella’s Bumbas are built totally free of charge using donated parts. Monetary donations, or donations of Bumbo chairs, 12-inch tires, and hardware are gratefully accepted. For more information on how you can help, or to request your own Bella’s Bumba, connect with Bella’s Bumbas on Facebook or email bellasbumbas@gmail.com.

You can also stop by the First Annual Bella’s Bumba Family Picnic on Saturday August 26, from 11 am to 3 pm at Webster’s First Responder’s Park, 1350 Chiyoda Drive (next to the Webster Recreation Center).

You can also read more of this story in the column I wrote back in March.

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Challenger Baseball is a hit with kids

25 Jul

 

challenger 3

It’s ‘batter up!” for Challenger team member Drew Ricci.

A few days ago, I went to pretty much the most enjoyable kids’ baseball game ever. Thing is, nobody made any outs, nor did I see even one fly ball caught or grounder cleanly fielded. But I did see a lot of smiles and heard a lot of laughter, cheers and applause.

The occasion was a game of the Webster Challenger Baseball League. The league is designed for children and adults with different abilities, and fields two age groups, a minor league and senior league. The goal is to provide these differently-abled athletes with the same kind of fun sports experiences that typical children have.

I hope by now you’ve already heard about this great league and what it’s accomplishing in Webster. The organization that has brought us Challenger Baseball has been working hard for years to build the Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester right in our hometown, at Ridge Park, behind Town Hall on Ridge Road.

The game I was watching last Sunday was being played a few fields over from where Miracle Field is being built. Construction officially began  with a groundbreaking celebration last year, and had been continuing apace since. The fencing and rubberized grass surface are in place, so you can really start to see what the final facility will look like.

There’s still plenty to do, though. After the field itself is complete, plans are to build handicap-accessible restrooms, a concession stand, a pavilion and a handicap-accessible playground.

The first phase should be complete soon, and organizers are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 am on Saturday August 26.

There are plenty of ways to help out. Volunteers are needed in many capacities. Donations — which can be made through the website — are always appreciated, of course. And if you’re into running, the 3rd annual Run, Walk & Roll fun run and 5K is scheduled for Sunday October 8 beginning at Webster Thomas High School. Pre-registration is just $20, and you can sign up here.

If you’re not sure yet about how important it is for these children and adults to have a field of their own, you need to attend one of their games. Just seeing the smiles when their bat connects with the ball — no matter if it only rolls a few feet or out of bounds — is all the convincing you need. You’ll see some of those happy faces in the slideshow below.

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For more information about Webster Challenger Baseball and the new Miracle Field, visit the Facebook page or website .

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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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Summer fun in the neighborhoods and village

19 Jul

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On the theme of summer fun, Jill Nelson sent me these photos from a street party her Creekbend Lane neighbors enjoyed last weekend, complete with a bounce house and an ice cream truck.

(I’m thinking I need to move to that neighborhood.)

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They don’t LOOK like kids, but….

Thank you to Sylvia Hungerford for this delightful photo of one of my favorite bands ever, whom she called a “ragtag group of musicians.” It was taken at this year’s Webster Kiddie Parade during the Firemen’s Carnival weekend.

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This group, led by Jeannette Altavela leads the kiddie parade every year, and just have tons of fun. Sylvia wrote,

 

It is a fun event where we dress in costumes and let our hair down. The antithesis of formal parade guidelines, there are none. You can be out of line, out of step, mingle with the crowd and enjoy the children parading the route with their costumes. What fun it is.

For the first time in years I had to miss the kiddie parade, so I appreciate Sylvia sending along this photo. I also got several other photos from some of my readers, which I’ve put in a slideshow below. The first two are from Amy Weetman and the three others from Rebecca Parzynski and her amazing Bella’s Bumbas.

If anyone else has some photos you’d like posted, please send them along!

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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.

 

More outdoor summer fun!

17 Jul

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You’ll remember my recent blog in which I took a few photographs of my neighbors and their daughters having some fun in their driveway. In invited others to send me photos of their kids having some simple outdoor fun.

I received this photo from Webster resident Britt G of her daughters Sophia & Emilia having a bit of driveway fun of their own.

Thank you Britt! And everyone else please consider sending along some photos of your kids enjoying the warm weather!

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Photos from the Firemen’s Parade

14 Jul

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For the first time in my memory, rain threatened to dampen the annual Webster Firemen’s Parade on Thursday night. Fortunately it never came, but it the threat of nasty weather might have shortened it. At a little less than 90 minutes long, I swear there were fewer marching groups this year (everyone missed the Shriners and their little cars) and the crowds also seemed to be smaller.

But it was a terrific event, and the cooler, overcast skies were a lot more comfortable than the stifling heat we sometimes get.

Here’s a gallery of photos from the event. Towards the end of the parade we were having a little fun with the marching firefighters, so make sure to check out all the pictures for a couple that might make you smile. Plus, if you were there, you and your kids might be in one as well.

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Bygone blog: An entertaining trip to Bay Side

12 Jul

I was chatting about this blog with my friends the other night, so I thought I would give it the light of day once again.

Keep reading. It’s kind of a delightful story.

(originally published July 18, 2016)

Believe it or not, last night was the very first time my husband and I had ever been to the Bay Side Pub up on Lake Road. Our friends Dave and Patty invited us along when they headed up there for dinner. They warned us there’d be a wait for a table, but that we’d enjoy sitting outside with a beer and listening to some music while we did.

They were right on both counts. The wait was long because — as many of you probably already know —  Bay Side is quite small and apparently everybody in Webster knows that sitting on the Bay Side lawn on a gorgeous summer Sunday evening, drinking a beer and listening to music is THE thing to do.

Before too long we were joined by four other friends. We talked, and laughed, and sang along with a very entertaining local cover band called Vintage.

But the best part of the evening was what will forever be known as the Great Flip-Flop Rescue.

Allow me to paint the scene. We’re waiting at a table right on the water, and as we’re chatting, I watch as a young girl scampers down the short dock toward her family’s small boat. She stops in front of it and kicks off one of her flip-flops, expecting it to land in the boat. Not even close. Instead, it plops into the bay. Undaunted, she kicks off the other flip-flop. Which lands in the bay right next to the first one.

She stands there, looks at them, looks around to see if there’s someone who can help, looks at them again. Finally, she heads back down the dock, probably in search of adult assistance.

Eventually, Dad comes by, heads toward the water, looks at the flip-flops and walks back towards land with a rather peeved expression. Meantime, our victim scampers back and forth on the dock, flip-flop-less, while the wayward footwear continue to float away.

Before long, a small knot of family members and friends from the neighboring boat has convened on the dock, and the adult strategizing begins. Now all four of us, still waiting for dinner, are closely watching the action, anxious to see how the exciting drama plays out.

One of the flip-flops had not yet floated too far away, and somehow they retrieve that one rather quickly. The other one is more problematic.

There is much discussion on the dock. Someone pulls a pike pole out of one of the boats, and extends it to its full length before realizing that it would take about 10 of them to reach the flip-flop at this point. Someone starts uncoiling a road attached to a toddler’s floaty.  Someone else tries casting a fishing rod in its direction.

There is much discussion at our table, too. Like football fans questioning a poor call on the field, we’re wondering why SOMEONE doesn’t think to throw a tube into the water (there’s one tethered to flip-flop-family’s boat) and paddle over to it.

Perhaps she hears us, but it is flip-flop girl who finally also has that brilliant thought. Now hopping around in one flip-flop, she hops into her boat, pulls the tube up next to the side of the boat, and starts trying to climb in. As soon as she puts one foot on it she realizes that without help, she’ll also be in the water. So instead, she yanks on the rope and, all by herself, wrestles the tube into the boat.

Apparently no one else thinks it’s a brilliant idea, because it just sits there.

FINALLY, neighboring boat-owner-family figures they might as well head home. So they pull all their kids and stuff together, back their boat out of the dock, putter over to the flip-flop, retrieve it and return it to flip-flop girl.

There was actual cheering.

Next time Dave and Patty invite us to dinner and a show at the Bay Side, it probably won’t be quite the same. But I’ll definitely be back.

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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.