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Webster community mailbag

20 Jul

 

garlic festival

You’ve probably already seen this news, but in case you haven’t: the 2020 Rochester Garlic Festival, scheduled for Sept. 12-13, has been canceled.

The news, which comes on the heels of the cancellation of pretty much everything else this summer, certainly comes as no surprise. But after the festival’s strong return in 2019 after taking a year off, I was looking forward to seeing what it had in store for this year.

But we’ll have to wait until next summer.

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gazeboDid you miss out on attending the terrific, family-friendly comedy act that came to the gazebo a few Fridays ago? (Click here to read the blog I wrote about that show.)  Well, your next chance to enjoy some laughs is coming up on July 31.

Rudolph Valentino will return to the gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. on Friday night July 31. He’ll be joined by his co-host and funny friend Kevin Markman.

There’s no admission, and water and snacks can be purchased, if this show will be anything like the last. And you’ll laugh a lot.

Bring your quad chairs and a cooler if you like, and bring a mask in case you have to sit too close to anyone or want to hit up the vendors. But it’s a spacious area, so there shouldn’t be any problem social distancing. The show is slated to start at 7 p.m. But it started late last time so don’t worry if you’re running late.

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Finally, some news from the schools.

Congratulations to my former Webster Thomas teaching colleague Carol Saladzius, who was recently hired as assistant principal at Hilton High School. Carol and I worked together for several years at Thomas — me in the library and she a Spanish teacher — and I am happy for her new adventure.

Congratulations also to the Webster Thomas Best Buddies program, which last week was named the most outstanding high school chapter in New York State for 2020.

Best Buddies is a nationwide program which matches special education students with peer buddies who have similar interests.  The peer buddy makes a commitment to reach out to their buddy once a week outside school via email or telephone, and to get together and do something outside school with their buddy once a month.

The program came to Western New York four years ago and Webster Thomas was one of the first high schools to sign up. To read more about the program here in New York State, click here.

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Have you signed your school-age child up for school yet?

Our students will be going back to school one way or another this September, and the district really needs to know how many students to expect. So if your child isn’t already registered for the 2020-21 school year, please do so ASAP.

The New York State Department of Education requires all school-age students age 5-6 (in the given school year) and older be registered in some sort of education program in the district in which they live. This includes students who will be attending public school, those who will be going to private and parochial schools, those who have moved into a new school district, and those who will be home-schooled. (These can be changed at any time, but prior registration is still required.)

If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before December 1, that child is eligible for kindergarten enrollment. Families new to Webster CSD with children grades 1-12 may also enroll their children at this time. For more information and to download registration packets, click here.

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Webster Community Blood Drive a huge success!

5 Jun
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Local first responders gather in the Webster Recreation Center parking lot at the end of the community blood drive.  

Wow.

Just wow. That about sums up my feelings after seeing the final tallies from this week’s Webster Community Blood Drive.

This biannual drive is always a very popular one because of the raffle prizes, but even without the promise of those prizes, our Webster community came out in record numbers. Word from the Red Cross folks is that the two-day drive attracted 191 donors, who (counting double reds) donated 197 units. Both days’ goals of 85 units were blown away in what is the best Community Blood Drive in recent memory.

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Many donors also took the opportunity to write encouraging notes on posters for the first responders. 

But not only that! When the Webster community heard that this year’s drive was being held to support local businesses and first responders, they answered the call, dropping eight gift cards and more than $450 in cash into the box on the welcome table. One kind donor also included several nice notes and “Miraculous Medals.” All of the donations will be distributed to members of the North East Quadrant Advanced Life Support, the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept., and the West Webster Volunteer Fire Dept.

So THANK YOU to the Webster (and surrounding) community members who came out in support of this week’s drive by donating blood and/or cash and gift certificates. You all helped save hundreds of lives through your donations, and showed some much-need support those first responders in our community who also save lives.

A personal thank you to Monroe County Legislator Matthew Terp and Webster Deputy Supervisor Patti Cataldi for their work organizing the drive, and to Matt for manning the welcome tent in front of the Rec Center for the entire drive (except when he went inside to donate).

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Matt Terp (right) and Shirley Humphrey welcome donors at the Rec Center.

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The Rec Center ice rink is open — and better than ever

25 Jan

IMG_2606Good news for ice skaters! It’s finally been cold enough for long enough this winter for the Webster Recreation Center to open its ice rink.

As far as I know, it’s the only outdoor public ice surface in town, and since it opened several years ago, it’s been very popular with families and hockey players. And this season, I’m happy to report, it’s even better than ever.

Thanks to the efforts of the Webster Rotary, this season the rink — which measures 52 ft. x 104 ft. — has a brand new liner AND a spacious warming hut where skaters can sit and put on their skates while protected from the weather.

The hut itself measures 16 ft. x 10 ft. Inside are two benches and thick rubber flooring to prevent damage to skates. There’s also a window in one side which allows for what meager sunlight we get in the winter months. 

As for the new liner, Mark Yaeger, Webster’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, calls it a “great addition in this climate when we have a thaw.”

He explained,

In the past we would lose the water seeping into the ground and we would have to start from scratch. With the liner the water stays and refreezes within a day or two. Building the ice rink from scratch takes about 4 or 5 days. 

The Webster Rotary Club purchased the new liner and sidewalls in 2018, and last year purchased the materials for the warming hut. Rotarian Rich Comins designed the building and enlisted support from Yeager and his Parks and Rec employees to construct the building.

The Rotary and Rec Center hope to have an official grand opening ceremony for the hut in the next few weeks. Watch for news of that!

The Webster Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive, just north of the Village of Webster. For updated ice conditions, call 872-7103, option 3.

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It must almost be spring.

21 Jan

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It MUST almost be spring.

The reason I say that is that I recently saw a blast of flyers from organizers of the 44th annual Community Arts Day, the Webster School District’s annual student show-off day.

Community Arts Day is our school district’s annual show-off day. Students from every one of our elementary, middle and high schools will have artwork on display, including . sculptures, paintings, collages, sketches, and more. There are dance exhibitions, music concerts and martial arts demonstrations. There’s face painting, sand and candy art for the kids, a bake sale, craft vendors, community group exhibits, and food and drink concessions. Most everything (aside from the food, of course) is free, which makes this event an awesome family activity for a (what will probably be) a cold, wintry day.

Lots of details are still coming together, but here’s what the organizers need right now to help make this year’s event run smoothly:

Vendors:

Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or exhibitor for this year’s event can click here  for more information and a registration form. Cost is $25 for exhibitors, $50 for vendors.

Performing groups:

Got a music or dance group you’d like to see on stage at Community Arts Day? Click here for more information and to register. Cost is $25.

Talent Show performers:

The “Webster’s Got Talent” talent show is also one of the most popular attractions at Community Arts Day. Singers, dancers and musicians are invited to participate. Acts should be 2-3 minutes long. So get your act together and register by April 7 by clicking here.  If you have questions, email the talent show coordinator, Jakob@JakobHRothfuss.com.

Sponsors: 

CAD sponsorship levels have been established to help offset the cost of the event. Sponsors at all levels will recognized in signage at both hostess stations at the front and back entrances, on the website’s main page and in several other ways. Sponsorship levels are Bronze ($75), Silver ($125) and Gold ($250). If you’re interested, click here for more information.

Volunteers: 

This event does not happen without a large number of volunteers. There are several ways you can lend a hand, including donating store-bought baked goods for the sweet-treats sale or working a morning, mid-day or afternoon shift in one of the activity areas, lunch counter, arts and crafts, face painting and others. Volunteer sign-up will begin the first week of March. In the meantime, you can find out more by clicking here. 

Volunteers: 

I know this is repetitive. But it’s really important. Please consider helping out, and get your teenagers to join you!

Stay tuned for more information about this terrific family and community event.

 

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The 2020 Greater Rochester Peep Show has been announced!

20 Jan

peeps 3Good news for those of you who love those marshmallow Peeps candies. The 2020 Greater Rochester Marshmallow Peep Show is right around the corner.

If you’ve never heard about this really fun event, you’re going to want to keep reading, especially if you like eating those yellow (and now pink and purple and whatever other colors) marshmallow chicks and ducks. I’ve never been a big fan. I put them in the same category as those faux-orange circus peanuts. They squeak when you bite into them.

But I LOVE the Peep Show. This is a two-day event at the Webster Recreation Center, where at least four entire rooms are filled with incredibly creative sculptures, dioramas, and various other works of art created with Peeps. It’s simply the cutest thing ever.  (Click here for a small photo gallery from 2019.)

This year’s show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday March 28 and 29 at the Webster Recreation Center. More details will come (but it’s free and great family fun). But for now, Peep Show organizers are looking for Peep creators.

Businesses, organizations or individuals are encouraged to enter a display for judging. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the show for the display that gets the most visitor votes.

Not feeling very artistic? You can support the event in other ways as well. You can hang a poster, donate a prize or become a partner in underwriting the show. Several levels of sponsorship are available, and all proceeds will benefit the Webster Community Chest.

This is a banner year for the Greater Rochester Marshmallow Peep Show, its fifth annual. It’s come a long way since it began, but I can’t see how it can be further improved. (Although I believe this is the first year they included “marshmallow” in the official name, perhaps dissuading those who walked away disappointed that the “Peep Show” offered a different kind of entertainment.)

This is a must-see family event, folks.

You can see more photos, and find out more about the show and how you can help by visiting the Rochester Peep Show website here, or email peepshow@frontier.com.

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Webster Schroeder kicks off spring musical season

12 Jan

Rehearsals are well underChicago Graphic3 (1)way for the first Webster high school musical of the season, Chicago, presented by Webster Schroeder Musicals in four shows Feb. 6 through 10.

Set in Chicago during the Roaring ’20s, the story follows dancer Roxie Hart, who murders her lover and convinces her husband to take the rap. When he finds out he’s been duped, he turns on Roxie, who is convicted and sentenced to death row. There, she joins forces with another “Merry Murderess” in search of headlines and — ultimately — acquittal.

The high school version of the very popular movie and stage play has been adjusted slightly to be more appropriate. But have no fear; the performance will still be plenty powerful, complete with most of the songs, dances and stunning set pieces that you’ve come to know.

And c’mon, it’s a Webster Schroeder musical. These kids are blow-your-mind amazing.

Chicago will take the stage Thursday Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m., Friday Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday Feb. 8 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15 and available online at ShowTix4U.com, and at all area Wegmans.

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(L-R) Ava Massaro and Maggie Nagar (photo courtesy S. Nagar)

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Good hockey, great cause

27 Dec

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If you like hockey (or even if you don’t), and want to help support an awesome cause, I have the perfect event for you next week, on Friday Jan. 3 at the Webster Ice Arena on Publisher’s Parkway.

It’s the Webster Beats Brain Tumors benefit hockey game putting Webster Schroeder vs. West Irondequoit. The annual event has been organized for the last four years by Webster Schroeder grad Marshal Scheidt as his way of giving back to the URMC medical staff who saved his life.

Here, allow Marshal himself to tell his story:

When I was in high school at Webster Schroeder I was diagnosed with a large brain tumor my freshman year and I used my desire to play hockey again to keep my spirits high through surgery and rehabilitation. I was able to “beat the odds” and play the game I love again.

When the tumor grew back my senior year, I played the second half of the season knowing that there was a tumor on my brain and I would undergo surgery again after the year was over. The amazing doctors, nurses, and medical staff at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) saved my life and I’ve always wanted to give back. Without the game of hockey I’m not sure I would have been as motivated to go through everything that went along with surgery, rehab, and radiation.

Because of this I have created the Webster Beats Brain Tumors fundraiser (formerly Brockport Beats Brain Tumors). This is the fourth year we have hosted this event to raise money and awareness for brain tumors. … This is a perfect way to give back, and together, we can make this horrific experience a little easier for kids in the future.

After the game, everyone is invited to convene at Buntzy’s Sports Bar, 2235 Empire Blvd. for a concert by Dawgs For a Cauz, more games and prizes.

Marshal’s goal this year is to raise $7,000, which will be donated to the Brain Tumor Care Fund to support care for patients with brain tumors and their family members and caregivers during all stages of treatment.

There are several ways you can support the cause, even without attending the game:

  • Make out a check to University of Rochester Medical Center with “Webster Beats Brain Tumors” in the memo, mailed ATTN: Brooke Whowell, 300 E River Rd, Rochester, NY 14627.
  • Make a secure gift online at event.urmc.edu/braintumorcare
  • Donate a raffle item for the raffle. Email mscheidt27@yahoo.com to arrange pick up of donated item.
  • Attend the game on Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Webster Ice Arena, 865 Publishers Parkway. All proceeds from the raffle and promotional items will be donated to URMC.
  • Celebrate at Buntsy’s at 8:30 with the Dawgs For a Cauz concert
  • Volunteer: Email Marshal at mscheidt27@yahoo.com for more information.

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We all have a story — even your kids’ teachers

30 Nov

You know how sometimes children are surprised to learn that their teachers don’t live at school, don’t spend all their after-school hours in the classroom, and don’t ever have to go shopping at Wegmans?

Adults, of course, are more enlightened, but it’s still easy to assume that during the school year, teachers are almost entirely focused on their jobs and they otherwise lead rather humdrum, uninteresting lives.

WAHAS_11x17_PosterPhotographer Linda Hayes of Hayes Photography hopes to change that perception with her current exhibition, We All Have a Story: The Stories Continue. 

The exhibit, which will be on display at the Webster Public Library all next month, is a follow-up to Hayes’ first We All Have a Story exhibit in spring of 2018.

Hayes is a portrait photographer and Webster School District (WCSD) teaching assistant who has created images of 21 of her WCSD colleagues. Each staff member also submitted a narrative of his or her life story to share next to their photos.

The exhibit takes a closer look at the lives and stories of these WCSD staff members to help illuminate the people inside the classrooms and offices who work with our children every day. The stories are thought provoking, happy and sad. But more than anything else, they will probably make you think, “Wow, I never realized that.”

The exhibit, which runs the entire month of December, will be open to the public during the library’s normal business hours, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 10 to 6, Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 1 to 4. (The library will be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, and 31.)

The public is invited to an opening reception on Tuesday Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Both the exhibit and reception are open to the public. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road.

I’ll be at the reception; I’m pleased and honored to say that I’ve been included in this project. If you come to see the exhibit, you’ll read how three simple — but powerful — words changed my life, helped me realize my passion and convinced me to become a writer.

I hope to see you there!

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Webster Fall Fest a success

6 Oct

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The Town of Webster could not have asked for a more spectacular autumn day yesterday on which to celebrate the annual Fall Festival.

Bright blue, cloudless skies and seasonably cool temperatures encouraged hundreds of people of all ages to head out to Gosnell Big Woods to enjoy the festivities. It was the biggest crowd I’ve seen in the three year’s I’ve attended the event. There was a line at pretty much every activity, including pony rides, wagon rides, even the kids’ games. Everywhere you looked, kids were climbing hay bales, doing crafts, trying their hand at all sorts of games, or visiting with the West Webster firefighters.

If you didn’t have a chance to go, here’s a gallery of photos to give you a feel for the fun.

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If you do nothing else today…

14 Sep

…make sure you AT LEAST get out to the Rochester Garlic Festival. Because it’s downright amazing.

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It’s taking place at the Webster Recreation Center on Chiyoda Drive until 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. And it’s a must-see festival.

I spent some time there this afternoon and came away extremely impressed by the number of vendors (garlic and non-garlic), the quality of the entertainment, variety of kids’ activities and food trucks. Vendors are spread throughout the Rec Center’s gymnasium and outside under tents, and there’s are separate rooms inside for the cooking demonstrations and several tasting stations.

Parking was not a problem, either. If there’s not room in the lot immediately in front of the Rec Center (and it was crowded), you can park across the street and walk, or take a shuttle bus. Our town’s wonderful Special Police are there to help.

All of this amazingness costs just $5 admission, and children under 12 are free. And all proceeds benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester, a fully-accessible sports facility which we are fortunate to have right here in Webster.

So if you didn’t have a chance to go today, carve out a few hours tomorrow, and bring the kids. You won’t regret it.

For more details about the vendors and entertainment lineup (including State Line and the Zach Brown Tribute Band), visit the Rochester Garlic Festival website here.

You can also see a lot more photos from the event here.

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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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