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A shout out to Webster businesses

10 Oct

Hopefully you know by now that the bi-annual Webster Community Blood Drive is back in town. And that this drive is faithfully supported by more than a dozen local businesses, whose owners donate prizes for the raffle, or just simply hand out gifts to donors.

Today, the American Red Cross did something really neat to recognize those businesses.

The PR person at the Red Cross came out to Webster and stopped by several of the sponsoring businesses to thank them for their support, AND posted photos of them to Twitter. Here are the ones from today, and I expect there will be more tomorrow:

Brusters

Garage Sale Store

Goodie Shoppe

Shutts

Smith Insurance

And here’s a photo of all the raffle prize bags set up at St. Paul’s Church for today’s drive, and a photo of the very first prizewinner, Bill Scahill, who took home a fruit basket courtesy Schutt’s Apple Mill:

Remember that every donor is handed ten raffle tickets, which you can use for chances at more than two dozen prizes including restaurant gift certificates, a grumbler gift pack, Kobalt tools, and more. Plus every single person gets a free int of ice cream from Brusters and a long-stemmed rose from Kittleberger’s.

There’s still a chance for you to win. The second day of the blood drive is Thursday October 11 from noon to 7 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1380 Chiyoda Drive. Stop on in when you can, spend just hour to help save lives, and maybe win something for your efforts!

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Autumn Fanfare: a show like no other

8 Oct

IMG_9545Since I began this blog about ten years ago, I’ve written countless times about the Webster Marching Band. I’ve met and worked with several different band directors over the years. I traded emails with the band booster leadership team. I’m friends with people whose kids are — and were — in the band. So I thought I had a pretty good idea of the talent and commitment is takes to be a part of this prestigious group.

But then I attended my very first Autumn Fanfare and I realized that I was sorely mistaken.

It’s really rather embarrassing for me to admit that the 2018 Autumn Fanfare was the first I had ever attended. But whatever the reasons for that, I finally did make it over to Webster Schroeder stadium last Saturday night for the 33rd annual Autumn Fanfare Field Show and Competition. And I was blown away.

Until that night, most of the times I had see our Pride of Webster Marching Band was when they were, well, marching down the middle of Main Street in a parade, or standing in neat rows at Webster Rural Cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremonies. I had never actually seen them doing their thing on the football field.

It is an impressive sight. Almost 70 smartly-dressed kids moving in sync like a well-drilled Army unit, at the same time PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT. People who pride themselves on being able to walk and chew gum at the same time have got nothing on these kids.

And at Saturday night’s event, we got to enjoy the artistry of six other marching bands as well, from Leroy, Hilton, Orchard Park, Medina, East Irondequoit and Victor,  who together provided 90 minutes of music, pageantry and spectacle.

As I watched and snapped about a thousand photos, these are some of the thoughts I came away with:

* These bands don’t just get out there, walk around and play music. The shows are full musical productions, complete with elaborate set pieces (check out Stonehenge in one of my photos) and detailed story lines (one school even had several performers act out part of the story). The music is rich, and usually presented in a series of movements, guiding spectators through the story’s intricacies.

* Every performance by every school is completely different. One school hid behind their set pieces at the beginning of the show, so it looked like no one was on the field. Another put down their instruments a few times for some coordinated dance moves. There was a huge moon, geometric shapes, and yes, even Stonehenge.

* The shows are changed every year, which means a new story, new music, new set pieces, new choreography, and often new costumes and flags for the color guard.

* Think marching bands are all trumpets and drums? Webster’s 2018 production, “Heart Strings: Tugged and Torn” features violins, a stand-up electric bass and two flute soloists.

* Band parents are as invested in these competitions as much as — or even more than — any sports parent. They are cheerleaders, critics, coaches, and analysts. They are the roadies, helping set up the complicated sets and running out on the field after the final note to break everything down and move it out as quickly as possible. And if you’re school is hosting an event like this, if you’re not a roadie you’re still working hard selling tickets, running the raffle, manning food booths, or selling merchandise.

* And oh, by the way, while you’re competing, not only do you have to remember all your music, where to walk without running into anyone, and how to toss that heavy flag without dropping it, you have to do all of that while a judge is walking through the ranks, sometimes just feet away from you, watching you, JUDGING you, and communicating his observations with the head judge at the sideline. Talk about pressure.

There were winners and losers that night (it was a competition after all). But since pretty much everybody was in a different division — and Webster was just performing for exhibition — the only real competition was in the Small School 1 division between Medina and East Irondequoit, which Medina won.

But for everyone in the stands, the entire evening was a winner. And I will definitely be back again next year.

Click here to see a whole gallery of photos from the 2018 Autumn Fanfare Field Show and Competition.

 

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Webster businesses show amazing support for Community Blood Drive

6 Oct

blood drive prizes

Our Webster small business people continue to amaze me.

Allow me to explain. For probably six or seven years now, I’ve been helping organize and publicize the bi-annual Webster Community Blood Drives which happen here in town every April and October. In part, I’ve been in charge of contacting local businesses for support. In previous years, that support meant offering some sort of coupon, which were all combined in a booklet handed out to each donor.

More recently, we decided to replace the coupon booklet with a raffle. So now when I go into these businesses it’s a bigger ask: can we have a gift certificate, or a product which we can raffle off?

And this, finally, is where the amazing part comes in. Without fail, when I contact a business, the answer is always yes. The only hesitation — if there is any — is when they ask, “how much do you want me to make it out for?”

That’s why my spare bedroom is piled high right now with raffle prizes. I recently posted on my Facebook page a photo of the incredible Kobalt tool set that the Garage Sale Store donated. But that’s just the beginning. Here’s an almost complete list of the prizes so far:

Gift certificates from:

  • Barry’s Old School Irish
  • Ploty’s Hometown Tavern
  • Webster Hots
  • The Filling Station
  • ROC & Soul Fitness
  • The Chicken Coop
  • Eastway Liquor
  • Rubino’s
  • Natural Alternatives
  • The Goodie Shoppe
  • Flaherty’s

Plus, these prizes:

  • Gift basket from Schutt’s
  • Beauty products from Beyond Cuts Salon
  • Growler gift pack from Knuckleheads
  • Gift basket from Hegedorn’s
  • That Kobalt tool set from the Garage Sale Store

And there’s more! Each donor will receive a free rose from Kittleberger Florist, a free pint of ice cream from Bruster’s, chance for a cool $100 from Gerard P. Smith Insurance, a $5 coupon from Superior Solutions … and I don’t think we have all the prizes in yet.

See? Amazing, right?

Please join us at the blood drive next week, Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church on Hard Road, and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from noon to 7 pm each day. You can make an appointment by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by logging onto http://www.redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

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Webster community mailbag

4 Oct

mailbag iconSome important local business news leads today’s mailbag.

Another business lost

I learned just a few days ago that Metro Sports Brokers in the Village of Webster is closing.

I don’t know much more about the story, as I haven’t had a chance to talk with owner Tom Spoonhower yet, but on the shop’s Facebook page, he’s using the term “retirement/closing sale” for the deals you can get in the store this week.

I’m sorry to see another long-time business leaving the village, but I wish Tom the best in everything.

News from the Knuckleheads

knucklehead-logoOn a happier note, changes are in the wind for one of my favorite brew stops, Knucklehead Craft Brewing.

Owner Len Dummer sent out a message a little while ago that co-owner George Cline and his family have decided to leave the business.

Len wrote,

We have decided to go in different directions. The Dummer family will be continuing on with Knuckleheads … We thank the Cline family for all of their hard work and dedication to Knucklehead and we wish them the best in their future endeavors.

These last 3 1/2 years have been fun and a learning experience for all of us. We never expected to meet and create such wonderful friendships with our customers.  It is tough for us to look at you as customers…..we see you as friends and fans of Knucklehead!

As Knucklehead approaches its fourth anniversary, the brewery is making plans to be even bigger and better. The Town Zoning Board recently approved their plans for an expansion to the current space. More to come about that.

You can read more about both these announcements in this article posted yesterday in the D&C.

Webster Fall Fest

The Town of Webster and Webster Parks and Recreation will kick off fall with the annual Webster Fall Festival, on Saturday October 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at Gosnell Big Woods, 680 Vosburg Road.

This is an awesome family-friendly event with donuts, cider, wagon rides, children’s crafts and games, pony rides, food trucks and live entertainment. Admission is free and there’s plenty of parking.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

UCC Oktoberfest

After enjoying the Webster Fall Fest, head on over to the United Church of Christ on  Klem Road for their annual Oktoberfest, from 6 to 9 p.m.

This festival is as much history as celebration for the folks at UCC. They said in their press release,

Oktoberfest is a German celebration that takes place when the late summer/early fall crops are harvested, it is also a time to tap barrels of wine and brew that had been sealed the year before. Communities gather to give thanks for blessings received. There is music for singing and dancing, tables are laden with food and drink – and a feeling of “gemutlichkeit” rules the day!

The forbear denominations that merged to create the United Church of Christ were from the German Evangelical and German Reformed traditions. The Oktoberfest will honor those traditions with live music, singing and dancing, and a performance by members of the Rochester Schwaben Verein, a German dance club!

Tickets are $5.00 per person, and German specialties like Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Potato Salad, Bratwurst, and desserts like Apple Strudel and Black Forest Cake will be available for purchase. Tickets are available at the church between services, or you can call the church office at 585-671-3757.

The Oktoberfest is Saturday October 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 570 Klem Road, Webster.

Library book sale — and important news

Let’s start with the important news part.

Next Monday October 8, the Webster Public Library will be CLOSED for staff training. Plus, they’ll be closing early on Halloween, October 31, so make sure you stop in for all your spooky needs before 5 p.m. that day!

Now on to the more fun stuff: The Webster Library Fall Book Sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Webster Public Library, Thursday Oct. 11 through Sat. Oct. 13.

This is a great time to stock your library. Hardcover books are only $1 each, and paperbacks only 50 cents. Credit cards are accepted.

All the books are new to the sale, so don’t think you’ve seen it all before. There will also be DVD’s, Blue Ray, music CD’s and LPs — definitely something for adults, teens and children. including cooking, gardening, hobbies, biographies, religion, history, sports, travel, foreign language, performing arts, humor and more. There will even be a chance to win a book gift basket raffle.

The sale hours are Thursday, October 11 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a bag for just $4.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road, at the back of the plaza.

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The best blood drive EVER is back

25 Sep

blood drive

Plans are coming together for October’s Webster Community Blood Drive.  

This is the one you all know for those big white signs that pop up all over town the weekend before the drive in front of several of the sponsoring businesses. This year’s drive will be Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center.

This is always one of the most popular and well-attended drives of the entire year, and stands out among all others because of the tremendous support it receives from Webster businesses.

Once again this October, every presenting donor will be handed ten raffle tickets, which can be used to take chances on more than two dozen prizes being donated by local businesses.

The complete list of prizes is still being finalized, but some of the sponsors already include:

  • Barry’s Old School Irish
  • Beyond Cuts Salon
  • The Chicken Coop
  • Gift cards from Eastway Liquor
  • Kittelberger Florist
  • Knucklehead Craft Brewing
  • Natural Alternatives
  • Rubino’s
  • Schutt’s Apple Mill
  • Strike Back Martial Arts
  • The Garage Sale Store
  • World Gym
  • La Bella Vita
  • Hegedorn’s

We’re pleased to welcome a brand new sponsor this fall as well, Flaherty’s Three Flags Inn.

One of the most popular coupons of all — from Bruster’s — will be returning. Every presenting donor will receive Bruster’s “Pint for a Pint” coupon, good for a free pint of ice cream or a free ice cream cone.

The Webster Community Blood Drive is scheduled for Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church, 783 Hard Road, and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from noon to 7 pm each day.

Walk-ins will most certainly be welcome, but the best way to get in and out quickly for this über-popular drive is to make an appointment by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by logging onto http://www.redcrossblood.org. 

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Images from the Living History Tour

22 Sep

IMG_9395

I had a chance Saturday afternoon to pop by Webster Union Cemetery and catch the final half hour of the Living History Tour sponsored by the cemetery and the Webster Museum.

The event was an opportunity for local history buffs to “meet” and chat with several of Webster’s citizens from olden times, portrayed by museum volunteers. They included John Fielding Whiting, Charles and Sabrina Wright, Helen Tompkins, Mark Curtice, Mae Strowger Wright, Jennie Strowger Woodhull, and Abram and Patience Woodhull Foster.

The event’s organizers were positively giddy about how successful the day was. They estimated about 100 people — adults and children — visited the tour’s half dozen or so stops, taking photos and videos, and listening intently to the actors.

The gorgeous first-day-of-autumn weather might have had something to do with the large turnout, but I like to think there are simply a lot of people here in town who care about our local history. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to attend the entire tour, but am hoping that the Webster Museum will consider doing another one of these next year.

By then, the volunteers’ voices will have rebounded, after their non-stop afternoon of talking.

Here’s a short slide show of some of those volunteers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Run, walk or roll with me next weekend

21 Sep

run walk

OK, my friends, here’s something to get you up and moving Sunday morning Sept. 30. It’s great exercise with a lot of new friends, doesn’t cost too much AND will benefit a great cause.

It the 4th annual Run, Walk & Roll 5K and 1 mile stroll to benefit Challenger Miracle Field. I’ve run this race every year since it began, and so I can attest to how fun it is. And I’ll be there again this Sunday.

Great progress has already been made on Challenger Miracle Field, which is located behind Town Hall on Ridge Road. Games are already being played there, and work is being completed on the restrooms and concession building. The inclusive field and accompanying Play With Possibilities playground will provide people with developmental, physical, or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

Run, Walk and Roll is an all-inclusive family-friendly event which invites participants to run or walk, push a wheelchair, push themselves in a wheelchair, or participate with other assistive devices including adaptive bicycles and tricycles.

The courses start and end at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road. Registration is open at 8 a.m. The 5K, including wheelchair athletes, will kick off at 9:30. The 1-mile stroll will begin at 9:35. Packet pick-up and in-person registration will take place that morning. Prizes will be awarded, and the first 200 registrants get a free t-shirt, which you can wear proudly to show what a good person you are.

Cost is $20 for the 5K and $17 for the one-mile stroll, if you register online by Friday night. After that, in-person registration at the race will cost $30/$22.

The 4th Annual Run, Walk & Roll tales place Sunday Sept. 30 at Webster Thomas High School. Click here to register, and I’ll see you there!

run walk and roll

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History, miniatures and music

14 Sep

Three really cool events are coming up next weekend, and I want to give you a heads-up about them now so you can get them on your calendar.

museum tour

First, on Saturday Sept. 22, the Webster Museum and the Webster Union Cemetery are joining forces for a Living History Tour at the cemetery.

The tour, which takes place from 1 to 4 p.m., will introduce you to several of Webster’s citizens from the past, played by museum volunteers. You’ll hear their stories and be able to ask questions about what their lives were like back when our town was young.

Click here to read a more detailed blog about the event, including the people you will be meeting. Webster Union Cemetery is located at 345 Webster Road (Rt. 250 at Woodhull). A $5 donation would be appreciated.

On Sunday Sept. 23, ROC City Scale Modelers will host their 37th annual ROCON scale model show and contest, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

If you’re even a lukewarm fan of scale models, you have to see this show. The Rec Center’s gymnasium is lined with tables displaying hundreds upon hundreds of miniatures including aircraft, auto, armor, figures, ships, juniors, fantasy and more. For those who choose to enter models, the cost is $10 for 1-3 entries for adult modelers, $2 for each additional model, and $1 each for junior entry (15 years and under). You can register when you get there.

For those who simply enjoy modeling as a hobby, there are also a lot of vendors at this event offering the latest books and gadgets. Basically, it’s a modeler’s paradise.

Once again, ROCON 37 will take place Sunday Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive. General admission is $5 and children under 12 are free.  Click here for more information

 

rhapsody

Finally, how about extending your weekend with a song?

On Monday Sept. 24, Webster’s own Rochester Rhapsody will be holding open rehearsals for women of all ages.

Rochester Rhapsody, the Rochester chapter of Harmony, Incorporated, is an international organization of female a cappella singers specializing in the barbershop harmony style.

Female guests can “FALL in Love with A Cappella” at the Harmony House, 53 E. Main St. on Monday Sept. 24 from 7:30 to 9 p.m., during the group’s open rehearsals. If you can’t make it that Monday, you can stop in also on October 1 and 8.

Women of all ages can participate in vocal warm-ups and exercises in a relaxed environment, learn new songs, meet with other women, and enjoy an evening of singing and camaraderie.

“If you like to sing but haven’t had much experience, we’ll help you find your voice,” said director Sue Melvin. “The beautiful harmonies, when shared, bind us together. I’m very proud to be a part of this group…it’s more like a family than just friends. It’s ordinary women coming together to make extraordinary music.”

The 3-week event will culminate in a concert performed for the local community on October 15 at Harmony House at 7:30 p.m. All of the guests who have attended open rehearsals will be invited to join in the performance.

For more information about “FALL in Love with a Cappella,” and about the chorus itself, click here. a copy of our flyer or information on Rochester Rhapsody chorus, email info@rochesterrehapsody.com or call 585-865-2731.

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Webster community mailbag

10 Sep

I’ve got a couple of local events for you, happening on Wednesday, and photo of a surprising new friend at Plank Road North!

Volunteer Fair

This Wednesday, the Webster Public Library will host a Community Volunteer Fair from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

Volunteer Fair flier Fall 2018If you’ve ever thought about spending an hour or two a week — or more — using your many skills to help out a worthy organization, this is your chance to find the perfect fit. You’ll be able to connect with almost a dozen local agencies including Challenger Miracle Field, Friends of the Webster Public Library, Friends of Webster Trails, Heritage Christian Services, Maplewood Nursing Home, Never Say Never Foundation, Webster Comfort Care Home, Webster Museum and Historical Society, and the West Webster Fire Department.

No registration is required; you can pop in any time between 3:30 and 6 p.m. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road, on the back side of the plaza off of Van Ingen Drive.

Free Rabies Clinic

Also on Wednesday Sept. 22, the Town of Webster in conjunction with Monroe County Health Department will offer a Free Rabies Clinic from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Town of Webster Highway Department, 1005 Picture Parkway.

If your dog/cat has had a rabies vaccine in the past, bring the old rabies certificate for your pet to receive a three-year vaccination. Without the certificate the dog/cat will be issued a one-year vaccine certificate.

If you are unable to attend this event, and you’d like to find out about others in our area, visit the Monroe County Health Department online or call (585) 753-5171.

Surprise, Plank North!

Principal Craig Bodensteiner had a happy surprise for staff and students at Plank Road North Elementary School on Friday morning. During the school’s monthly “powwow” pep rally, Bodensteiner introduced a brand new Pioneer mascot, in honor of the school’s 50th anniversary.

Right now, the school’s large new friend has no official name. The students are being given the chance to come up with their own suggestions. So stay tuned!

pioneer

What I’m working on 

I’ve been in contact recently with representatives from two new Webster businesses, which I’ll be writing more complete blogs about very soon.

The first is THRIVE Studio, a new yoga studio opening soon at 865 Ridge Road, on the upper floor.

My THRIVE contact, Kathy Marchaesi describes the studio as a “non-threatening environment for beginners and experienced yogis as well. The owner, Chelle Walczak-Corsi, will tailor the classes to the participant’s skill level.”

THRIVE will be holding a grand opening on Saturday Sept. 22, including free yoga classes, food, mimosas and socializing. More to come about that.

Also, I chatted the other day with Caleb, the new owner of Savage Chef, which will be hosting its grand opening soon at 5 East Main Street in the village.

Savage Chef is a catering and meal-prep service. But Caleb is also considering putting a few tables into the shop to serve breakfast and smoothies.

Lots more to come about this. I, for one, want to find more about how Caleb originally considered opening a landscaping business, but ended up cooking….

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First Responders 5K a great success

2 Sep

IMG_9225b

More than 600 runners and walkers participated in the inaugural First Responders 5K on Friday night, enjoying gorgeous (albeit somewhat warm) weather and a party atmosphere to support a good cause.

The race was organized, according to the website, to “recognize the strength, perseverance, and courage of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and their families in our local community.” Funds raised will go to create a local charity to “provide support, awareness, assets, and services to first responders seeking assistance in dealing with the effects of PTSD.”

The race began and ended on Sanford Street, at the south side of Firemen’s Field, and wound three miles through neighborhood streets on the village’s east side. Every finisher received a medal, and enjoyed plenty of post-race food, a free beer and live music. Runners came from all over the area, including representatives from fire companies, police departments and EMS companies from all over Monroe County and beyond.

Of course many of our very own Webster Volunteer Firefighters participated, completing the entire race in full turnout gear. I even saw a Webster policeman running in his full uniform — including his dress shoes.

The number of people who signed up for the race was a delightful surprise. Even the race organizers, Fleet Feet, noted that more than 600 participants is pretty much unheard of for a first-time race, especially on a Friday night. AND on Labor Day weekend.

But that’s who we are in Webster — a strong, supportive community. I fully expect that given this year’s success, the First Responders 5K will be back again next year, and Webster will come through again.

Click here to see a small gallery of photos from the race. You can also check out a short video which Channel 8 News ran after the event, featuring one of our very own Webster volunteer firefighters.

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