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East Rochester race to benefit Webster girl

6 Apr

beat braina cancerYoung Vivian Stoch of Webster will benefit from this year’s Beat Brain Cancer 5K, scheduled for Saturday June 8 at East Rochester High School.

Vivian, just 8 years old, is battling medulloblastoma, a pediatric form of brain cancer. In an email, race organizers said this about the brave young lady:

Vivian was diagnosed on April 23, 2018 after having double vision. Vivian has under gone surgery, 31 radiation treatments, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. Vivian is working with occupational therapy and physical therapy as well as tutoring at home. Due to the location of the tumor, Vivian still struggles with her balance, which prevents her from participating in many of the activities she enjoys most. Vivian loves cheerleading and gymnastics and wants to be a dolphin trainer when she grows up. Despite the major obstacles Vivian has overcome, she still smiles and maintains a happy disposition. 

The Stoch family has experienced a loss of wages and continues to receive medical bills for treatment. Please join us in supporting Vivian, her parents Mark and Kelly, and her little sister, Laila in this long and difficult journey against this horrible disease…. All of the money raised from this event will go to the Stoch family.


Vivian Stoch

The annual Beat Brain Cancer 5K was created in memory of Desiree Stockholm, a nurse practitioner who passed away from a rare form of brain cancer at only 31 years old. Eveyr year the event raises funds to help other families in need offset the very expensive costs of fighting this disease. Last year, the race raised an amazing $17,000.

The race will feature a 5K run, 1 mile walk and a kids’ obstacle course. Registration is $20 through May 6, then goes up to $25 through June 7 and $30 on the day of the race.

For more information, to register, or just make a direct donation, click here. You can also send a tax-deductible donation to Beat Brain Cancer 5k, 31 Captiva Crossing, Fairport NY 14450. Please make checks payable to Beat Brain Cancer Inc.

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Congratulations to our local WBA champions!

22 Mar
Champions for WBA 2019

The Celtics (L to R): Coach Piwko, Nathan Scheirer, Ethan Krog, Brayden Piwko, Chase Lape, Sean Brooks, Aidan Tyler-Wood. (Not pictured: Mason Mikels)

I am pleased to pass along this release from the Webster Basketball Association about the very exciting conclusion of this year’s season.

The 2018 – 2019 Webster Basketball Association (WBA) season came to an end with an exciting championship game between the fifth and sixth grade boys.

The #1 ranked Boston Celtics captured the championship title this year with a win over the #3 ranked Los Angeles Lakers, 45 to 25.

During the regular season the Celtics were undefeated and beat the Lakers twice. In the first half of the championship game the Celtics jumped out to a large early lead 14-0 before the Lakers put the ball in the basket. The Celtics were paced by quick guard play from Nathan Scheirer and Ethan Krog. Both players scored multiple times on dribble drives to the basket.

The Celtics had many opportunities to score but it was just an off shooting night for them. Celtics big man Brayden Piwko was able to use his length to alter many of the Lakers shots in the paint. The big man converted on a pair of offensive rebounds for easy buckets. The Lakers started to gain a little momentum as guards Nathan LaBarbera and Blake Shattuck-Seaver were able to connect on mid-range jump shots. At halftime the Celtics held the lead 26-12.

Entering the second half, the Celtics continued their red hot shooting as Sean Brooks, Chase Lape and Aiden Tyler-Wood all connected on short jumpers. The Lakers lacked solid communication on the defensive end, allowing of the Lakers players to score at least one basket.

The Lakers gained a little momentum in the second half as Andrew Biehler was able to score off an offensive rebound. The Lakers began to put on a full court press that stunned the Celtics for a short period of time. Lakers guard Dakota Sylvester provided a spark on defense with a steal and an easy lay-up. He was also able to connect on a pair of dribble drives. However, the quick guards on the Celtics were able to quickly figure out how to break the press as Krog and Scheirer was each able to dribble the length of the floor for easy buckets.

The Celtics were crowned the 2019 WBA Champions defeating the Lakers 45-25.

The playoffs and championship game are times when players are giving it their all and emotions are running high. Both teams displayed excellent sportsmanship! League Commissioner Joe Canori would like to thank all the players, parents, and volunteer coaches that helped with another successful WBA season.

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Webster Museum will host two new young Webster authors

28 Feb

Kathryn Rider and Emerson Ormond

Two young authors will be at the Webster Library on March 9 to talk about their new book, Our Wendy.

Kathryn Rider, a seventh grader at Willink Middle School, and Emerson Ormond, a ninth grader at Webster Schroeder High School, released their first collaborative novel in December. Best friends for pretty much their entire lives, both young ladies have been writing stories since their childhood.

Based loosely on the famous adventures of Peter Pan, Our Wendy tells the story of a runaway boy named Peter, who’s created a new life in the woods with several other “lost boys.” When pretty, bright-eyed Ever Kingsley stumbles into their camp, Peter is determined to keep her by any means possible, and make her their Wendy Darling.

In their talk, scheduled on March 9 from 1 to 2 p.m., Kathryn and Emerson will discuss our wendythe challenges they had to overcome while writing the book, and the secrets they used to get it published. They’ll have several copies of the books there for sale (and signing), and all proceeds will be donated to the fight against children’s cancer.

The Webster Library is located in the Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Road.

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Webster students head to national ninja competition

13 Feb


Two Dewitt Elementary School students will be headed to Hartford, CT this weekend to compete in the 2019 World Championships of the National Ninja League (NNL).

Grayson Schoeffler and Megan Stupplebeen, classmates in Mrs. Krieger’s second grade class, will be competing against kids from all around the world in the 6 to 8-year old division.

Grayson and Megan both train at the Warrior Factory in Henrietta, where they qualified for the national NNL competition with top-three finishes in local competitions.

Both Grayson and Megan have been ninja warriors pretty much their whole lives. Grayson’s mom, Alison, says her son

started his ninja career when he was 10 months and climbing out of his crib. From there he basically has been swinging and climbing off anything in his way….All great ninjas have a ninja name and Grayson is known as the Hardway Ninja, (because he usually does everything the Hard Way).

Megan’s mother Cathy describes her daughter (AKA “MEGatron”) as an “8-year old dynamo.”

She enjoys training with several friends and her brother, Peter (age 11) during open gym at The Warrior Factory…. We have converted the majority of the basement to be ninja central where Megan works on ring toss, cliffhanger, climbing walls, balance obstacles and whatever the newest challenge is. Megan works with her dad and brother on building new obstacles.

The four-day long competition, held Feb. 15-18, is divided into several age categories from the youngest (6-8) through masters (40 and over). Competitors typically tackle up to ten obstacles on every course. If you want to check out the kinds of challenges these kids might face, click here to see a video of a past (very young) first-place competitor. If you ever watch these ninja competitions on TV, I think you’ll recognize some of the elements.

From reading their emails, it’s clear to me how proud both families are of their young ninja warriors. But both moms also emphasized how positive and supportive the young ninja community is.

“One of our favorite aspects of ninja is how all ninjas cheer each other on, it’s such a positive community,” Cathy said. Alison added, “It has been such a positive sport for (Grayson) as everyone is so encouraging of each other.”

Check back here after the weekend for an update on how MEGatron and the Hardway Ninja did!

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Holiday lights benefit AutismUp — an update

7 Jan


Here’s a quick update this morning.

You may remember the blog I wrote a few weeks before Christmas about a tremendous holiday lights display hosted by Cora and Charlie Venishel in Penfield. This year, in addition to their twinkling spectacle of lights, the Venishels decided to also solicit donations to AutismUp from the many people who stopped by.

A1486150458holiday-thank-you-clip-art-free-clipart-images-4fter the blog — and a column I wrote in the D&C about the display — Cora and Charlie reported they definitely saw an increase in traffic. And a lot of those people chose to drop some dollars in the donation box.

Cora sent a thank you note to everyone the other day. She wrote,

On behalf of the Venishel family, we would like to express our gratitude for the donations made to Autism up during our Holiday Light display this year. Because of all of you we were able to raise $480.00. You truly did a wonderful thing. Your generosity will benefit the families afflicted with Autism

Wishing you all Happy New Year!

And an additional thank you from me as well for taking the time to read my blog and deciding to help a neighbor who’s trying to make the world a little bit better place.

Hoping your new year has been a great one so far!

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Those $%#*@!& leaves!

2 Jan

Pile of autumn maple colored leaves isolated on white background.

If you’re a homeowner like I am, chances are very good that sometime in the last month you had a conversation with someone about leaves.

This was an awful fall for leaves. It was so rainy and snowy that it was almost impossible to get all the leaves raked up and pushed to the curb in time for the town trucks to pick them up. So if they’re still hanging out in piles at your curb, it’s easy to be angry at the town. But, as Supervisor Nesbitt reminded us in his most recent column, the town workers did the best they could, given the circumstances.

He wrote,

This year has been the worse year for leaf pick-up in my 24 years as being a Town Board member. I cannot remember a year where the Highway Department put out leaf equipment and they switched to snow plow equipment and vice versa as many times as this year.

The town tried very hard through social media to keep Webster residents informed about our pick-up schedule and when the Highway would get to various streets. With the 36 miles of town roads it was not always an exact date, but we tried our best.

I have received some phone calls that leaves are still out to the curb and residents would like them picked up. Most of these leaves were put out by contractors, who were also behind on their routes, after the town crews had winterized the vacuum equipment and put it away for the year. We will not be picking these leaves up.

Bottom line, if you still have leaves, you’re going to need to bag them. Your trash hauler is required to take the bags, although they may limit the number of bags each week, so check with them. (For example, our trash hauler, Suburban, will only accept eight every week, which means that we’re still putting some at the curb every Tuesday night.)

Sandbar Park update

The supervisor had another bit of interesting news in his column.

On Wednesday January 23, a committee working on improvements to Sandbar Park will hold a public information meeting in the Town Board Meeting Room.

The Project Committee and representatives of Bayer Landscape Architecture will be on hand to present the designs they’ve come up with so far and to answer questions. The meeting time has not yet been announced; watch the Webster Herald or Town Board website for more details.

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WVFD firefighters offer a holiday greeting

27 Dec


You  may have been reading and seeing stories lately about how local first responders have been gathering every week this month to “say goodnight” to the children at Golisano Children’s Hospital. They line their trucks all along Crittenden Blvd., turn on all their emergency lights and stand atop the vehicles waving to all the children looking down from the hospital’s top floors.

Yesterday our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department participated in the heartwarming event, the last time it would happen this month.

Here are a few photos from the evening, and you can visit the WVFD Facebook page check out some videos.

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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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Don’t miss this holiday light display

10 Dec


If you and your family like traveling around the neighborhoods during the holidays to see the different Christmas light displays, read on, because I want to tell you about one that you shouldn’t miss.

It’s at the home of Charlie and Cora Venishel, 100 Henderson Drive in Penfield (across from the library and Penfield Recreation Center).  For years, in addition to an incredible front and back-yard light display, the Venishels hosted a magical Christmas town inside their home, with a gingerbread house toy shop, miniature villages, hundreds of nutcrackers, electric trains, exquisitely decorated dining rooms, and more. For a small donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, families could enjoy the front yard decorations, tour the village, then wander out into the backyard where thousands more lights twinkled. (Click here to read the D&C column I wrote about it.)

The couple hosted the event for ten years, raising more than $30,000 for Ronald McDonald House. After the 2015 season, they decided to hand off the villages to their children. But they’ve continued to set up their amazing front yard display in the years since, and have added something new every year.

Visitors will see all varieties of Christmas trees, trumpeting angels, icicles, lighted walkways, huge “Season’s Greetings” sign on the roof, Santa’s mailbox, and an Ice Princess’ castle, all illuminated with somewhere around 25,000 twinkling lights. There are also giant candy canes and life-sized snowman, and an antique, refurbished sleigh with Santa and Mrs. Claus, led by eight reindeer (and Rudolph, of course).

Like many private home Christmas light displays, the effect is breathtaking. But what’s different is the Venishels’ continued commitment to helping others. They’re encouraging visitors to help them raise money for AutismUp, a local organization dedicated to supporting those with autism spectrum disorder. They’ve put a mailbox at the end of the driveway for anyone who might like to drop in a dollar or two for the cause.

So make sure to stop by the Venishels’ display, 100 Henderson Drive. Park for a bit and actually wander down the sidewalk to the Ice Princess’ castle. Then tuck a few bucks into the mailbox before you leave. It’s a great way to share the joy and love of the holiday season.


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Rec Cross has announced a severe need for blood. Here’s how you can help

24 Nov

You have an opportunity TODAY to honor a life ended too soon, while helping to save others.

A blood drive being held today (Saturday) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School honors the memory of Schroeder graduate Colin Montesano, who passed away suddenly last year at just 21 years old.

colinColin had wanted to dedicate his life to helping others by becoming a physician and studied at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also an active community volunteer and talented athlete.

Here are the details of today’s drive:

Blood Drive in honor of Colin Montesano
Saturday, November 24, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Webster Schroeder High School
875 Ridge Road, Webster. Walk-ins are welcome.

Aside from this being a great thing to do in Colin’s memory, this is also a critical time of year for blood donations. Donations decline significantly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people get busy with holiday activities, so the Red Cross really needs your help.

If you can’t make today’s drive, here are several other local opportunities coming up in the next several weeks:

  • Fairport/Webster Elks Lodge, 1066 Jackson Rd., Webster: Thursday Nov. 29, from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., Webster: Tuesday Dec. 11 from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Webster Knights of Columbus, 70 Barrett Drive: Wednesday Dec. 12 from 1 to 7 pm.
  • Kent Park Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd., Webster: Thursday Dec. 20 from 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Visiting Nurse Service, 2180 Empire Blvd., Webster: Friday Dec. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Dunkin Donuts, 2100 Empire Blvd., Webster: Sat. Dec. 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd.: Friday Dec. 21 from 1 to 6 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged (and help you get in and out a little faster). Call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or log onto

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