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Village Quilt Shoppe celebrates first anniversary

6 Aug

quilt shoppe

The Village Quilt Shoppe in the Village of Webster is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and boy, do they have a lot to celebrate.

The anniversary celebration runs through this coming Saturday Aug. 8, with prizes, raffles, and other surprises. On Saturday there’ll even be cake and lemonade.

The first year for any new small business is always a challenge, but there was no way owners Vanetta Parshall and Monique Liberti could have anticipated the struggles they would face when they followed their dream and opened their shop at 21 E. Main St. last summer. For a while it looked like they weren’t going to make it.

After a strong grand opening, hugely welcoming reception from the community, and a rapidly expanding clientele, disaster struck.

Just days before the Village of Webster’s White Christmas celebration took place, an event where potentially hundreds of new customers would discover the shop, a water leak from the apartment above them came through the floor and destroyed much of their merchandise. They to close to regroup.

Thanks to their loyal customers who bought gift certificates and “flood fabric,” they made enough money to cover their deductible. After restocking and completing some renovations, including a new floor, they reopened just a little more than a month later.

Then, after a strong grand reopening, hugely re-welcoming reception from the community, and a rapidly expanding clientele, COVID struck, and they had to close again.

Of course, we all know that story. Following the governor’s regional guidelines, it was almost three months before they could open again in June. Reflecting the kind of people Vanetta and Monique are, they spent that time coordinating an effort to make masks for health care workers and other agencies.

So, at least for now, things are smooth sailing again. And the ladies credit their loyal clients for helping them weather the storms.

Monique wrote,


Village Quilt Shoppe owners Vanetta Parshall and Monique Liberti

“Both Vanetta and I know that the primary reason we have made it is due to our customers. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU- we truly appreciate your support and are looking forward to another great year!”

She added, “Things can only get better. If we can make it through a flood and pandemic we can make it through anything.”

So make sure to pop in sometime in the next few days to say hi and congratulations.

The Village Quilt Shoppe is located at 21 East Main, at the corner of Lapham Park. They’re open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11 to 5, Wednesday 11 to 6 and Saturday 10 to 3.

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A story about strangers helping strangers

3 Aug

Today’s blog is about community.

My story begins last Saturday morning around 11 a.m., when my husband and were riding our bikes on Rt. 250 north of the village. Just before we reached where the Hojack Trail crosses the road, I hit a pothole and went head-over-handlebars onto the road.

But that’s not what this story is about. It’s about the people who took the time to stop and help.

A large group of Genesee Valley Hiking members was crossing 250 as we approached, and when I went down, several of them immediately scurried over. Sandy, a nurse, called 911 while Stacey stood a few feet down the road slowing traffic. As we waited for the ambulance, Sandy even offered to transport my bike back home.

Those were the only two names I got, but there were others there ready to step in if necessary, not to mention all the drivers who slowed and asked if we needed anything.

This was not the first time I’ve seen this kind of community response after a traumatic incident. But it did confirm for me something we too often forget, especially in times like these when so many awful things are happening: there are more good people in this world than bad. People who are willing to stop whatever they’re doing to help a stranger in need.

And don’t worry about me; I broke my elbow but it would have been a lot worse had I not been wearing a helmet.

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WVFD helps a little girl’s dream come true

18 Jul

Vivian, in her dad’s arms, and her brother Deaglan, watch the parade approach

Get ready. This story is going to hit you right in the feels.

Little Vivian Dooher, a child with special needs, only wanted a few simple things to celebrate her 4th birthday. She wanted to ride a real tractor on a real farm, she wanted to eat the Saturday dinner from one of her favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar*, and she wanted to have a sleepover with her two older brothers.

But perhaps more than anything else, Vivian wanted a birthday car parade to pass by her house, complete with a fire truck and lots of lights and sirens.

A few months ago, Vivian had seen one of those birthday parades, and ever since had been advocating for one of her own. Still mostly nonverbal, she repeatedly made her wishes known by signing “firetruck” and “birthday.”

Arranging for the tractor ride was easy enough, thanks to the kindness of a farmer on

unnamed (2)

Vivian got her tractor ride thanks to the folks at the Holt Rd. Family Farm. 

Holt Rd., and the dinner and sleepover wouldn’t be a big deal. Getting the fire truck parade, however, proved to be a bit more difficult.

Kim, Vivian’s mother, called anyone she could think of who had any connection to a police department, ambulance corps, even a K-9 officer. “Everyone, every single one, said we can’t do it anymore.” 

In a last ditch effort, she left an impassioned voicemail for the Webster Volunteer Fire Department, explaining how this was her daughter’s dream, and asking if there was any way they could help. 

But even they turned her down, albeit very apologetically. They don’t do these parades anymore, either, they explained. The sheer volume of requests would be very difficult to manage.    

But then Chief Rob Boutillier heard about the voice mail and realized this was a very special young lady and a very special request. He gave the thumbs-up, and the parade was scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Kim expected only one fire truck to show up, perhaps two, and several friends and relatives. She did not expect the astounding display of love that would stream by her house that morning.

There was a fire truck for sure, with lights and sirens blazing. But it was followed by almost a dozen other first responder vehicles, representing the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Webster Police, Webster EMS and more. And leading the way was WVFD Assistant Chief Andrew Vorndran.

Vivian, who sat in her father’s arms for the entire parade, clearly enjoyed the spectacle. Kim was downright overwhelmed.

Due to her medical issues Vivian is immunocompromised, Kim explained, so the family couldn’t have a “normal” birthday party.

“We can’t have people here and so I really wanted to give her the birthday of her dreams,” Kim said. “(The WVFD) have gone above and beyond to provide that for her. The Firemen’s Parade is her favorite time of year, and this is like her own personal Firemen’s Parade.”  

“I think she would have been OK,” if she didn’t get her firetruck, “but this is like the frosting on the birthday cake to have her dream actually come true.”

“I really can’t say enough about the fire department for doing this for us,” she continued. “They’ve always been good to our family. We go to the Halloween event every year and they let the kids climb on the trucks, and they’re amazing. They care about our community and they care about kids.” 

“It means so much to me to make her birthday wish come true and care that much about a young child in our community. Especially in the setting of this pandemic when we can’t have any sort of party. This is better than a party, this is her actual dream coming true.”

Here are some more photos from the event:

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 *(For anyone who doesn’t remember The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Saturday the caterpillar ate a piece of chocolate cake, an ice cream cone, a pickle, a slice of Swiss cheese, a slice of salami, a lollipop, a piece of cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake, and slice of watermelon. Then he got a stomach ache. Let’s hope Vivian doesn’t.)

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The parade that wasn’t

17 Jul

Memories from a previous carnival. The event is the WVFD’s biggest fundraiser; read below to see how you can help fill the gap. 

Yesterday was one of those good news/bad news kind of days.

The BAD news, of course, is that for the first time in, like forEVER, the annual Webster Fireman’s Carnival had to be cancelled. Last night would have been the second night of the carnival, and a favorite one for many of us because Thursday always begins with the huge parade.

The GOOD news (if you choose to look at it that way) is that if the carnival HAD been happening, last night’s heavy rains probably would have caused the parade to be cancelled anyway, and would have made a miserable night for the carnival.

The BAD news is that the heavy rains also caused Lori Allen and her family to reschedule their plans to celebrate the parade-that-wasn’t.

The plan was to set up their parade-watching chairs in front of their East Main St. house as they always do on parade day (actually a few days before parade day), and during the normally scheduled parade time, they were going to hand out flags and encourage drivers to honk on their way by.

This is what Lori posted on Facebook:

My Dad wants to show support for the firemen, police, all first responders. Thursday we will be sitting up there handing out American flags, and flags with think blue or red stripes representing our police and firemen along with info on donating.

This is (the WVFD’s) big fundraiser and of course the Carnival has been cancelled due to Covid. So if you’re driving by Baker St., stop and get your flag, or honk as you go by, and please consider donating to the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept. It may be you they come to save.

It’s understandable that the heavy rains drove them inside as well, but Lori did post an update saying they’ll do something at a later date to make up for it.

Missing out on the fun is disappointing, but so is missing out on this extra opportunity to help our local first responders. Our Webster volunteer firefighters are as bummed about the carnival as everyone else. From the Carnival Facebook page:

To our friends and neighbors,

We hope this finds you well. While today just does not have the same feeling for us as it usually does with the Carnival being cancelled, we will all get through this and look forward to next year.

As you know Carnival is our largest fundraiser of the year. We know that current world events have had a varying impact on each and every one of you. If you are able to and would like to donate to the Webster Volunteer Fire Department please visit:

As always we thank you for your support and will be here if you ever need us. Stay safe and see you in 2021!

If you’d rather send a check, please make it payable to the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept. Fund, and mail to: Key Bank, 980 Ridge Rd., Webster, NY 14580.

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Another mini library in town

10 Jul

The sign on the front says “Grandma’s Little Free Library.” 

I’ve always been a big fan of Little Free Libraries, no matter what size of shape they come in. I’ve written about them in my blog and East Extra column countless times, and have occasionally even patronized them.

So I was quite pleased to discover a new one had been installed just down the street from me, on South Ave. in the Village of Webster. I came across it several weeks ago when I was on a bike ride, so I didn’t have the opportunity then to grab a new read. But I plan to do so soon, since I’m almost done with my current book.

And no, I’m not worried about getting sick from the books. If you are, just quarantine your books for several days, then enjoy!

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Webster library helps Thomas voice students shine on YouTube

7 Jul


Following up on the recent happy news that the Webster Public Library is reopening comes this little nugget:

The library has partnered with the Webster Central School District to highlight the incredible voice talents of some of our Webster Thomas High School students.

Plans are to post two videos (parts 1 and 2) to the library’s YouTube channel featuring several Thomas High School voice students. The first video is posted now and can be viewed by clicking here. The students have prepared selections from many different genres, and each presentation includes the student’s name and some background about the chosen song.

While you’re there at the library’s YouTube channel, why not subscribe? That’s the easiest way to find out when the library posts the second video.  You should also poke around a little bit and check out all the other cool videos they’ve posted.

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Clean comedy comes to the gazebo this weekend

6 Jul

I just found out about this event this morning, and I can’t wait to pass it along, because I’m so EXCITED THAT THERE’S SOMETHING TO DO FRIDAY!

comedy show

Please, please, please wear your masks and socially distance yourselves. Let’s keep doing the right things so that at least our state will stay on the right track and we can continue to have events like these.

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GREAT NEWS from the library!

5 Jul

webster library

While much of the rest of the country is going down the Covid tubes, locally we’ve been following the rules, wearing our masks, and staying the course so we can get on top of this virus, at least for now.

So we’re being rewarded with good things, like this: the Webster Public Library is opening (with limited services), beginning Monday July 6.

Here’s the release I got from the library with all the details:

* Our new, temporary summer hours:

– Monday & Wednesday, 9 am – 5 pm
– Tuesday & Thursday, 11 am – 7 pm
– Friday, 9 am – 1pm

* We would like to reserve Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. as time for those at higher risk (such as older adults and those with compromised immune systems) to come to the library and limit their exposure. If you are not in this category, we ask that you please refrain from visiting us in that time period to help keep our community healthy.

* Masks must be worn in the building. Our staff will be wearing them as well. Thank you for helping keep each other safe!

*Currently, there is NO computer access available. This includes the public computers, catalog computers, job search, ancestry, and local history computers. We can assist with printing or copying on a limited basis at the Reference Desk—just see a librarian for assistance!

* Our study rooms and community room are closed and not currently accepting reservations. We are using these spaces to quarantine our returned books to protect our staff and patrons.

* Our indoor book-drop for returning items is closed—please return all items through the drive-up book-drop outside our building.

* Our space will look different than you might remember it. We have installed plexiglass at service points and floor decals to help with social distancing. Much of our furniture has been rearranged or removed to help with this as well. We have a self-checkout machine located in the Children’s Room, available to anyone who wants to use it.

* Our Children’s Room has removed all the toys and our Early Learning Center will remain closed for the time being. We apologize for the inconvenience! If you bring your kids to the library, there’s a contact-less scavenger hunt for them to participate in while you search for books, as well as craft activities to take home and work on!

* In-person library programs remain suspended for now. We still have a wonderful array of virtual programs to choose from and add more all the time. (Click here to take a look.)

* The mobile DMV on Mondays has suspended its service for the remainder of this year.

* We are beginning to accept book donations on July 13 (two box maximum per day please).

* Our contact-less Drive-Up, Pick-Up Service is still available anytime we are open! Call us at (585) 872-7075 or email us at and include your library card number with your requests.

And finally, a huge heartfelt thank you to our wonderful community for the overwhelming support and understanding the entire time we have been closed. This has not been an easy time for anyone, but we have all felt our wonderful Webster community rally around us. The messages of love and appreciation on social media, in emails about our curbside service, when picking up books, over the phone—they have made us smile and kept us going strong! We will continue to do the best we can to have a safe place for both our community and our staff. We are adjusting to the new standards with you all in mind and will continue to restore our services as we are able. Thank you for being with us every step along the way!

See you at the library 🙂

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Covid claims another Webster business

4 Jul

The financial difficulties that the current pandemic is creating for our small businesses have hit close to home again. Yesterday, Dave Nicchitta and Mike Palmer officially announced that their East Main Street Jujitsu studio, Strike Back Martial Arts, will be closing.

In an email they sent to parents and students, they wrote,

Due to the financial issues associated with our closing during the current Coronavirus pandemic and an uncertain future (reopening date, another Covid spike in the fall) we are faced with this decision.

To say “thank you” is an understatement. For the past 7 years you have given us the privilege of working with you and your kids. We tried to create a family environment and make everyone feel like they were more to us than just customers who paid the invoices. We laughed, we cried and shared many accomplishments- all of which we will forever hold close to our hearts and in our memories. You stayed with us through our growing pains.

The closing of Strike Back is especially sad for me. For the last five years I’ve had the privilege of working with Dave, Mike and Pam Wright as a volunteer in the dojo’s Jujitsu Buddies classes for children with autism. I have come to consider them — and the rest of the Strike Back crew — family, and I will miss seeing them every week.

But more than that, Strike Back offered something unique in our area: Jujitsu programs for children and young adults with autism and Down syndrome.  Every week I witnessed first-hand what these classes did for these children.  I saw anxieties melt away and self-confidence bloom. I saw unbridled delight on the face of a child who accomplished a skill for the first time. I saw children start to believe in themselves and learn that if they just try, they will succeed.

With the loss of Strike Back, we’ve lost an important advocate for these children. My hope (however unrealistic it may be) is that this only a temporary setback, and when the world turns right side up again, I’ll get to see some of these kids again.

strike back

In this pre-Covid photo, (L-R) Dave Nicchitta, Pam Wright, Mike Palmer and I pose with some very proud Jujitsu Buddies students who are holding their participation certificates.

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Sad news from Team Josh

3 Jul

Just two days ago I posted a blog about a fund-raiser being held this evening for Josh Honebrink, a young man fighting a battle against cancer.

I’m sorry to report that Josh passed away yesterday morning.

Naturally, Josh’s family is going through an extremely difficult, emotional time right now, and having to deal with monumental medical and funeral bills should be the last thing on their minds. So tonight’s fund-raiser, a series of professional wiffle ball games, is perhaps more important than ever, and will go on as planned.

Here are the details again:

The event will take place at 824 Houston Rd. (off of Gravel Rd.) from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Supporters can help out in two ways: First, come to watch the games. Entrance fee is $5, and masks will be required.

Second, you can become a home run sponsor by pledging money for each home run the players hit through all 8 games. Sponsor levels are:

Platinum sponsor: $35/home run
Gold sponsor: $10/home run
Silver sponsor: $5/home run
Bronze sponsor: $1/home run

You’ll also be able to take chances on some beautiful raffle basks, and purchase Team Josh wristbands.

If you can’t make the game but would still like to help out, donations are being collected through the Webster Major League Wiffle Venmo page. You can also email


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