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Webster Thomas Players present Pippin

4 Mar

pippinThere are still a few weeks to go before the Webster Thomas Players present this year’s spring musical, Pippin. But tickets are on sale now, and want to encourage you to get them now, while the best ones are still available. This production is going to be something special.

The show’s producers are calling this production of Pippin “a unique interpretation.”

The show chronicles the journey of a young teenage boy searching for happiness, glory, adventure, and fulfillment in life. He tries many different avenues and roads, some of which he realizes are not positive or healthy directions. Eventually, this young man concludes that joy and comfort can be found in the simple things. This show’s theme, discovering who you are as a teenager and the impact your life has on others as you search for contentment, has never been more relevant.

Director Brenda Nitsch wrote that the path from first rehearsal to opening night has been an enlightening one:

Last June when we announced to the students that the 2018 spring musical would be Pippin, our initial thoughts centered on a show that is entertaining, provides learning opportunities in dance, and is a fun and thought provoking artistic production. Little did we know, in the environment our students live in today, that this show would also serve as a vehicle for self-reflection and exploration. We have spent a lot of rehearsal time discussing the themes of Pippin and how we as performers not only have the privilege, but also an obligation, to make a statement about who we are and what is important.

Pippin will be presented at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road, at the following dates and times:

● Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:30 PM
● Friday, March 23, 2018, 7:30 PM
● Saturday, March 24, 2018, 2:00 PM
● Saturday, March 24, 2018, 7:30 PM

Tickets are $12.00 and available online now at: They will also be available at the door. For group discounts, email

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Webster mailbag (redux)

1 Mar

It always happens.

I post a mailbag one day, and the next day I find out about — or am reminded  of — several other events which I should have included. So pardon the redundancy, but here is this week’s mailbag, part 2.

Start your Friday night with dinner

spaghettiBoy Scout Troop 110 will host a spaghetti dinner on Friday March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Webster Masonic Lodge, 30 Orchard Street.

Dinner will include salad, bread, spaghetti with meatballs, ice cream, coffee and water. Tickets are $9 each and will be available at the door.

Spry vs. Willink Basketball 

After dinner,  how about taking in a friendly basketball game?

The Webster Willink and Spry Middle School Student Councils are once again sponsoring the annual benefit basketball game between Willink and Spry students, staff, and new this year, special guests Rochester Wheels wheelchair basketball team.

The game will be held Friday March 2, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gymnasium. Tickets are $5 each and will be available at the door.  Refreshments and other concessions will be available for purchase.

This year the Spry Student Council will be donating their proceeds to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; and the Willink Student Council will be donating their proceeds to the Jack Foundation.


The evening will begin with three student games, featuring Spry vs. Willink 6th, 7th and 8th graders. After those, Spry and Willink faculty members will join forces to play the Rochester Wheels. It should be some great family-friendly fun.

Webster Schroeder High School is at 875 Ridge Road, Webster.

Need more basketball? 

The 5th annual Rumble on the Ridge, Webster Thomas faculty vs. Webster Schroeder faculty basketball game, will be held Saturday March 3 at Webster Schroeder, beginning at 6 p.m.

Cost is $5 per person at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Jack Foundation, Rochester Challenger Miracle Field and the Webster United Basketball Team.

Organizers promise that “it won’t be great basketball, but it will be entertaining.”

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Webster community mailbag

1 Mar

The brand new ROC & Soul Fitness studio in the village has a few fun events coming up this month.

roc & soul

The first is a St. Patrick’s Day special class on Saturday March 10. Katie, one of the studio’s barre instructors, will combine her love of barre and Irish dance to teach something she calls a Barre Jig. The class will begin at 8 a.m. and there’s no dance experience needed.

Next, the studio will host its first Open House/Wellness Day on Saturday, March 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.  It will bring together many Webster and Rochester businesses to give health tips and wellness inspiration to our community.

Some of the events that day include:

  • A FREE barre class
  • Lunch catered by CoreLife Eatery
  • Healthy treats from The Village Bakery
  • Two speakers (Sarah Ormsby- a mental health counselor and Sarah Goodenough who owns Kitchen-Verde and was featured in People Magazine).
  • Other local businesses including RSalon, Oils by Erin, Athleta, ​Lorraine Staunch Art, and Arbonne Shakes.

ROC & Soul Fitness is located at 43 East Main Street in Webster, in that little plaza behind the Prime.

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Hey parents: If one of your kids is thinking about college, this news is for you, brought to you by the Webster Central School District:

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) will host the Rochester National College Fair, on Sunday, March 18 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and Monday, March 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Attendees can meet one-on-one with admission representatives from public and private colleges and universities, including some international institutions. Both two- and four-year schools will be featured. Gap-year programs have also been invited to exhibit.

Participants will receive tips on how to navigate the college selection process, and learn more about admission requirements, financial aid, course offerings, and campus life. Students and parents can also discuss individual needs with college experts at the fair’s counseling center.

Complete information about the fair, including free student registration, can be found at

The event is free and open to the public.

WFD facebook

Finally, If you’ve ever wanted to get a peek behind the scenes at a working firehouse, it just got a lot easier.

The Webster Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page is enjoying a kind of rebirth. It’s recently come alive with news and photos from all aspects of the department’s day-to-day operations.

Just in the last few days, for example, there have been photos of the new recruit class and one from a training session, and a link to a TV news story about a local fire to which the WVFD responded.

That’s just the beginning. You’ll want to like the page to stay up to date on what’s happening with your local firefighters. I think you’ll be surprised how busy they are (even when they’re not out on call) and how connected they are with our community.

Check out the WVFD Facebook page here.

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She’s baaaaack!

22 Feb

You would think, with a week off of school, I would be taking advantage of all the free time I have to be writing up a storm.

Turns out, that has not quite been the case.

I did, indeed have a long list of things I wanted to accomplish this week. It included buy a dishwasher, buy a printer, clean off computer files, clean out crawl space, finish column, start new column, make gig bag, finish EPK, work on bowling program, buy socks…. and tucked somewhere in there was the word “blog.” In large part because the column was on deadline and the “clean off computer files” task took more than 3 days, I never quite got around to updating this blog in the last week.

Today I try to correct that oversight.

I’ve already blogged about Spry Middle School’s production of Bye Bye Birdie Jr., which will take the stage for three performances March 9 at 7:30, and March 10 at 2:30 and 7:30. Tickets are $7 each and will be available beginning Monday February 26 by clicking here.

Spry Middle School is at 119 South Avenue in the village of Webster.

Just a few weeks later, Webster Thomas High School will present their spring musical, Pippin.

pippinPippin is the story of a young prince, told by a traveling troupe of actors led by the cunning and charming Leading Player. The prince is heir to the throne, searching for his own “corner of the sky.” Pippin returns from university certain that he will find a fulfilling purpose in life. As encouraged by the Leading Player, Pippin dabbles in bloody battle, temptations of the flesh, and savvy political maneuvers, only to discover that true happiness is more complicated than he thought.

The show is peppered with infectious tunes by Stephen Schwartz and classic choreography from Bob Fosse, and promises to be a humorous, exciting adventure.

Pippin will be presented on Thursday March 22, Friday March 23 and Saturday March 24 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Tickets are $12.00, available online now by clicking here. They’ll also be available at the door.

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Help out puppies in need next week

16 Feb

A couple of fun events coming up I want to throw out there today.

I just saw this notice on Facebook from Knucklehead Craft Brewing in West Webster:

Did you know Friday February 23 is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day? To celebrate, stop in to Knucklehead on Wednesday, 2/21/18 and bring a pre-packed dog biscuit treat for your chance to Spin The Wheel and win a prize. No cost needed other than your donation of a pre-packed dog biscuit treat. We will donate all packages to Lollypop Farm to share with their dogs!

Remember that you’ll only be able to spin the wheel if you bring in your dog biscuits on Wednesday February 21. But it’s OK if you want to bring them on International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day on Friday as well. I mean, you gotta celebrate, right? And I’m sure they’ll go to a good home.

Knucklehead Craft Brewing is located at 426 Ridge Road in West Webster (at the corner of Bay).

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Some of the cast: (Front) Ryan Parody and Carenza Glastonbury. (Back) Anna Holley, Lizzy Clark, Cameron Stone, Madeleine Tischner, Analiesse Brown, and Lily Ippolito. 

Rock & roll comes to the Spry Middle School Stage on March 9 and 10 when the Spry Drama Club presents Bye Bye Birdie Jr.

Broadway audiences have been long familiar with this family-friendly, upbeat comedy about rock & roll idol Conrad Birdie and his star-struck fans. The dancing is fun, the music is infectious and the laughs are plentiful.

Bye Bye Birdie Jr. will be staged in three performances on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 10 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Spry Middle School Auditorium, 119 South Avenue.  Advance tickets are $7 each, and the shows are expected to sell out (it’s a small auditorium). Tickets go on sale February 26. Click here to get yours. If any remain, they will be sold at the door.

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Ping pong and basketball news

13 Feb

Thanks to Debbie Kazimer for sending me the following information about the ping pong tournament held at Thomas High School Tuesday afternoon.

The charity tournament was organized by National Honor Society seniors Ben Kazimer, Matt Hill, David Tomer and Will Johnson to benefit Honor Flight, Rochester.

Thirty-two players participated in the tournament, including Superintendent Carmen Gumina, who challenged Ben to a match. Ben won in two very close games. Gumina and Ben each bet $20, and Ben donated his winnings to Honor Flight.

Webster Thomas principal Glenn Widor and several teachers also played in the tournament.

The boys succeeded in raising $1,000 for Honor Flight, an amazing achievement which reflected the hard work they put into organizing the tournament. Not pictured here are all of the raffle donations they collected from local businesses; they even got the trophies donated.

Our young people in Webster are something special.



The annual benefit basketball game sponsored by the Willink and Spry middle school student councils returns this year, but with a twist.

Or maybe a roll.

The annual game, scheduled for Friday March 2, pits students against students and (usually) staff against staff. But this year there’s an exciting new feature:  special guests the Rochester Wheels wheelchair basketball team will be joining the fun.

The sixth graders start the competition with boys versus boys followed by girls versus girls. They’re followed by the seventh and eighth graders playing together, with the boys starting and the girls finishing.

Finally, the Spry and Willink staff will team up this year to take on Rochester Wheels. That game alone will be worth the price of admission.

The two middle school student councils have raised tens of thousands of dollars over the years for an array of worthy causes. This year Spry Student Council is donating its proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Willink Student Council is donating its share to the Jack Foundation.

The game will be held on Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gym. Tickets are available for students to purchase during most lunches at both schools, and for all to buy at the door for a donation of $5 each. Refreshments and other concessions will be available for purchase. Additional donations of any amount are gladly accepted.

This is an awesome family-friendly, community event which will benefit some great community organizations. Everyone is invited to join in the fun.

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Webster Thursday Mailbag

7 Feb

Enjolras and cast

First thing I want to do in today’s mailbag is remind everyone that Les Miserables opens Thursday night at Webster Schroeder High School.

If you know the story and the music, you know why you want to see this production. If you don’t know the story or the music, trust me — you’ll want to see this production. I got a taste of it several weeks ago when I was working on another article for the D&C, and even though the numbers were still very rough around the edges, I came away very impressed.

I got my tickets about a week ago, and they were already pretty scarce. You can take your chances at the door, or go online here to purchase them for will-call.

Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 each and reserved seating only.

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A quick shout-out to the Webster Rotary Club, who this Saturday will be welcoming home members of the 3-126 AVN Army National Guard platoon, who are returning from a 6-month tour in Afghanistan.


This is the eighth platoon the Rotary has sponsored in the last nine years. Normally the platoons have been from Fort Drum, but this time the Rotary was able to connect with a local unit from the New York Army National Guard.

To date the Webster Rotary has sent 536 care packages to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The celebration is being held at the National Guard Reserve Center in Chili.

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Show the love this Valentine’s Day by donating blood. Two blood drives coming up in Webster next week make that easy to fit into your schedule.

The first is Monday February 12 at Holy Trinity Church, 1460 Ridge Road (east of Phillips Road), from 1 to 7 p.m. The second is Tuesday February 13 at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road, from 1 to 6 p.m.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS  (733-2767) to make an appointment, or just stop in. It will only take ah hour out of your day, and will help save three lives.

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The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser will be held Saturday January 20, from 8 to 10 a.m.

The  menu includes pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more for just $5.00 per person.

All February proceeds will benefit RESOLVE, a group dedicated to intervening and preventing domestic and sexual violence against women.

Breakfast is served at the church, 1862 Penfield Road. The venue is handicap-accessible. For more information, call 585-586-2876, log onto, or visit them on Facebook.

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Do you have a little one starting kindergarten this fall? This notice is for you.

The first opportunity for parents to register their children for kindergarten is during Kindergarten Parent Orientation on Tuesday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m. at your student’s school.  Parents will have an opportunity to learn about the kindergarten program, meet staff, and tour the school.

Kindergarten registration packets and all related paperwork for the 2018-19 school year are now available on the district website and in all elementary schools. To download the packet, go to, click the Central Registration button, then the REGISTRATION – 2018-19 Kindergarten link located on the left side of the page. The packet and related paperwork are located at the bottom of the page under Downloads.

Parents who cannot attend Kindergarten Parent Orientation may take the completed paperwork and all necessary documents to their children’s school during Walk-in Registration Days, February 28-March 2, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Staff will be available to review your paperwork as you wait.


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Spreading the joy of books at Schlegel

2 Feb


How many ways can you find to read a book aloud? Schlegel Elementary School figured out about a half dozen ways to do that Thursday.

The occasion was World Read Aloud Day, and the entire school participated. Library Media Specialist Jamie Palmer took the lead. Step one was to assign all the students into small groups. Then, right after morning announcements, the school’s fifth graders fanned out to their assigned groups, leading them to classrooms where readers were waiting.

But not just classrooms. Students clustered in hallways, the gymnasium, the music room, the library … pretty much any space where they could settle in and listen to a few good books.

About 20 minutes later, the teachers (plus support staff and substitutes) swapped spots and read two more books to a new group of students. Then everyone convened in the cafeteria, where Supervisor Carmen Gumina read Aaron Reynolds’ Creepy Pair of Underwear to the entire school.

Other highlights of the day included when second graders performed books for kindergartners, and when three children’s authors Skyped in to chat with students.

It still wasn’t over. At the end of the day, everyone gathered in the cafeteria again to enjoy some whimsical poetry by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater from her book Read! Read! Read!

By the end of the day, every student had enjoyed at least six books read aloud to them –not including any that the classroom teachers worked into their regular curriculum.

If there was any question whether the students enjoyed the day, it was answered when at the very end of the afternoon’s assembly, the entire student population spontaneously started to chant “We love books!”

Here are a few photos from the day. I’ll put the rest in a photo gallery which you can see here.

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Webster Monday Mailbag

28 Jan

Happy new week! Here are some neat events coming up you might want to check out, starting with Willink Middle School’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde, Jr.


Based on the award-winning Broadway musical and the smash hit motion picture, Legally Blonde The Musical Jr. is a fabulously fun journey of self-empowerment and expanding horizons. The show’s instantly recognizable songs are filled with humor, wit and sass – leaving cast members and audiences alike seeing pink!

Legally Blonde Jr. follows the transformation of Elle Woods (Sarah Lewandowski) as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. When Elle’s high school boyfriend, Warner, (Jacob Sukhenko) dumps her and heads to Harvard, claiming she’s not “serious” enough, Elle takes matters into her own hands, crafting a showy song-and-dance personal essay and charming her way into law school. Befriending classmate, Emmett (Jake Groff), and spunky hairdresser, Paulette (Shanna Smith), along the way, Elle finds that books and looks aren’t mutually exclusive.

An energetic case and crew numbering more than 100 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders have been working hard for months to bring this show the stage, and you’re gonna be impressed with the results.

Legally Blonde Jr. will be performed at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway, on Friday February 2 at 7:30 and Saturday February 3rd at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, and can be purchased through the Drama Club website the week beginning this week.

Les Miz Tickets on Sale

And since we’re talking school musical productions, I should mention that tickets are now on sale for Webster Schroeder High School’s production of Les Miserables. 

The show will take the stage in four shows February 8 through 11.

Reserve tickets are $12, and can be purchased online by clicking here. You can also get them at Wegmans and at the door if it’s not sold out.

 Free Mardi Gras Pancake Supper

St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road, will host a free Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday February 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. The menu will include sausage and applesauce, and unlimited pancakes.

You’re invited to attend this family-friendly event in your most festival Mardi Gras attire, and there will be plenty of beads for everyone. Plus, you’ll be able to make your own masks.

The dinner is free, but a free-will offering for outreach projects can be made. Call the church at 671-1899 with questions or to reserve seats.

Pancake Breakfast at Rochester Christian School

PCBF2018If you don’t get your fill of pancakes at St. Martin, make sure to visit Rochester Christian School on Saturday February 23, for their annual breakfast, which will benefit the VIP playground project.

This is the school’s 23rd annual event. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, fruit, milk, juice and coffee. Plus, there will be family-friendly games, so make sure to bring the kids.

Breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 11:30 am at the school, 260 Embury Road. Tickets are $6 for adults, (max $25 per family) and free for children under 2.

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Webster high school plays just around the corner

20 Jan

If you happened to see Saturday’s D&C, you might have seen my article about high school plays taking place this spring all over Rochester’s east side.

Of particular interest to my readers here in Webster, I was able to spotlight Webster Schroeder’s upcoming production of Les Miserables. Unfortunately, the parameters of the article did not allow me to include information about Webster Thomas’ spring musical, a slight I would like to correct now.


Webster Thomas High School will present Pippin from March 22-24.

Director Brenda Nitsch writes,

This is the 10th anniversary (we did it 10 years ago!) but with a different spin. However, the basic plot line is the same. The story is about a boy who is trying to find the “extraordinary” in life but realizes in the end that you can find joy and fulfillment in the ordinary.

We like this show because it has lots of layers and makes you think. We will, and already have had, lots of discussions around the plot, characters, motive, etc. That is one of the cool things about this show–there aren’t really right answers. It is all perception. The choreography is in the style of Bob Fosse.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on March 22 and 23, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on March 24. Ticket information, when available, can be found at


As I mentioned, there was a short blurb about Webster Schroeder’s production of Les Miserables in Saturday’s paper, which read,

Les Miserables’ sweeping ballads and show-stopping tunes make it the perfect musical at which to experience the incredible vocal and acting talent of our high school students, which may make you question whether you’re in a high school auditorium or at the RBTL. Plus, we’re told, “there are some awesome wigs happening.”

Yes, that’s right: “awesome wigs.” But I was able to sit in on one of the rehearsals, and I’ll tell you right now, there’s a whole lot more awesomeness than just wigs happening on that stage. I am a huge fan of the music of Les Miserables, and from what I saw, I will not be disappointed.

Webster Schroeder High School will present Les Miserables on February 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.  For more information and tickets, visit

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