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Thoughts on the First Responders 5K

2 Sep
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(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.

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Race in Webster Village Friday night will affect traffic

29 Aug

first responders

If you find yourself driving in and around the Village of Webster on Friday night, be prepared for some possible temporary road closures.

The second annual First Responders 5K will be winding its way through (mostly) the east side of the village Friday night Aug. 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

first responders logoThe race is designed to raise awareness of PTSD in first responders, and raise funds for FRST Agency, a newly created organization that will provide support, awareness, assets, and services to first responders seeking assistance in dealing with the effects of PTSD.

It will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sanford St., on the south side of Firemen’s Field. Runners will head east down Sanford Street to South Ave., and then snake their way through the east-side neighborhoods before returning to Firemen’s Field. The course will take runners along Fuller Ave., Dunning Ave., Meadow Dr., Southwick Dr., Hawley Dr., Judson St., Harmon St., and Curtice Park, requiring temporary restrictions on these streets. In addition, Rt. 250 between State Rd. and Main St. will be closed for a short time and restricted for about an hour.

Click here for a map of the race route.

Organizers have mailed notices to all the affected residents on these streets, noting that while some streets will be closed during certain times, local residential traffic will be delayed but accommodated. So it’s not like you’re going to be trapped at home — or stuck on Main Street — for the entire race.

However, if you live on one of these streets and CAN afford to be stuck at home, please consider pitching a chair or two in your driveway and come out to cheer on the runners. As a frequent participant at races like these (and I will be running Friday night as well), I can attest to how great it feels to have people along the route encouraging you, ringing cowbells and handing out high-fives. This is a great community event, and it would be awesome to see the community come out in force to support it. (The race will run by my house twice, so I’ve convinced my husband to offer a special “water” stop for first responders in gear.)

If you’d like to participate as a runner OR walker, registration will be open on-site up to the start of the race. Just look for the registration tent at Firemen’s Field after 5 p.m. that evening.

For more information about the race, or to register online, click here.

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Village People

27 Aug

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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.

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Photos from the Kiddie Parade

13 Jul

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The fire trucks had their parade on Thursday, but on Saturday afternoon it was all about the kids.

The annual Firemen’s Carnival Kiddie Parade kicked off from Spry Middle School at noon on Saturday under very sunny, hot skies. At about 15 minutes long, it was a much, much shorter parade than its big brother Firemen’s Parade, but none the less entertaining.

It’s always fun to see the creative floats and costumes that many a mom and dad have come up with. But it’s also delightful to see the little ones being pulled in a wagon or pedaling along furiously wearing just a Halloween costume.

As exciting as it is for these kids to be in an actual parade, I think they especially (and maybe even mostly) liked throwing candy to the crowd.

I took a lot of photos, of course. Click here to see a whole gallery.

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Webster native & GRAMMY winner Kate Lee will play at Eastman

2 Jul

Kate Lee & Forrest O'Connor at Kilbourn Hall Info

Americana duo Kate Lee and Forrest O’Connor of the GRAMMY Award-Winning Mark O’Connor Band will be performing a show at Eastman Theatre’s Kilbourn Hall on July 10.

Kate is a Webster Schroeder High School alumna (class of  ’10) and one of the best fiddlers I have ever met. She attended Schroeder with my son, and they occasionally played together at musical events. She was an amazing talent those many years ago and has only gotten better.

Over the last three years, she and Forrest have earned national recognition as the lead singers and primary songwriters of the Mark O’Connor Band, which features O’Connor’s father, seven-time CMA Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor. Lee and O’Connor wrote the majority of the band’s first album, Coming Home, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and won a GRAMMY Award in 2017. The group spent the past summer opening for the Zac Brown Band, including two appearances at Fenway Park.

Lee (vocals, violin) and O’Connor (vocals, guitar, and mandolin) began performing together in 2014 under the name Wisewater, whose EP, The Demonstration, reached #13 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart.

O’Connor is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard and former Tennessee State Mandolin Champion, while Lee is a Belmont graduate and violinist who has frequently backed up stars ranging from John Legend and Kelly Clarkson to Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood at the CMA Awards shows.

For their upcoming show at Kilbourn Hall, Lee and O’Connor will be accompanied by Eastman School of Music graduate Geoff Saunders on bass, who has performed with Chick Corea, Gloria Estefan, and Bobby McFerrin, among others. They will also be joined by two-time national mandolin champion Isaac Eicher and Americana-Country vocalist Mallory Eagle.

The show is a double-bill with singer-songwriter Chris Wilson and begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through eastmantheatre.org or by calling (585) 274-3000.

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Homeless pups benefit from Eagle Scout project

18 Jun

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Even dogs appreciate a good playground, and thanks to a local Eagle Scout candidate, they have a new one at Pets Stop Here in Spencerport.

Justin Karnisky from Troop 110 in Webster recently completed his Eagle Scout project for the Spencerport-based nonprofit organization Pets Stop Here. Called a Rescue Dog Playground, it’s an agility playground for pups.

Pets Stop Here, Inc. is a volunteer dog rescue organization committed to rescuing domestic companion animals primarily from the Rochester area. Pets Stop Here  provides a safe and secure refuge for abused, unwanted, and neglected animals through foster homes or lodging at The Pup Stop while they await adoption.

Proud mom Karen, who also sent me these photos, reports that

Justin completed the fundraising and design of the project over the past few months, created a miniature model of the playground, and gathered several of his fellow Scouts to complete the assembly. As part of the project he is also doing a supply drive for the organization.

Attached are some pictures of the Scouts and of Justin with Dawn Saunders, who owns Pets Stop Here, Inc.

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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

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
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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

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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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