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A heartwarming story about a kickball and kindness

14 Jun

Several days ago I shared with you all a letter to the editor I had seen in the Webster Herald which illustrated what a wonderfully kind community we have here in Webster. Recently one of my friends shared with me another inspirational story about kindness which I want to pass along today.

The story began at the Summer Celebration held at the Webster Recreation Center last Saturday. JoAnne Ford was attending the event with her grandson and his family. The little boy had brought his brand new kickball to play with, and was sharing it with some other children, who were still using it when his family packed up to leave the festivities. Rather than interrupt their fun, he kindly let them keep playing with it, with his grandmother JoAnne’s promise that she would bring it home.

But when she was ready to leave, the kickball was nowhere in sight.

She felt awful about “losing” the ball, even more so after seeing her grandson’s face when she had to tell him the bad news. Then she had a great idea. She posted a message to the Webster Neighbors Facebook page, hoping that perhaps someone had seen the ball and would contact her.

She never expected the reaction she got.

This was the original post:

I have a very sad 8-yr. old who brought his new kickball to the Webster Summer Celebration last night. He shared it with many children and when we left we couldn’t find it. You see, it’s not just any kickball we bought at a store, it’s orange and has an animated monster on it. … He worked hard to raise enough donations for the Heart Association for a school event to win this ball. So unfortunately we can’t find another like it to replace it. If anyone has seen it, please reach out to us.

The responses were immediate and heartwarming. The post was shared at least 70 times, as people all across the town tried to help a disappointed little boy find his special kickball.

JoAnne’s follow-up post tells the rest of the story:

I turned to this page to say “hey… if you see this ball, please reach out.” What I got in return was some pretty amazing responses! Other children offering up their ball, people reaching out to teachers and school staff to see if there were extra balls, which in turn led to multiple phone calls and coordinating…. ALL THIS FOR A KICKBALL.

My heart is full. I didn’t receive one negative comment. I had a WHOLE community trying to replace a kickball for some kid that lost theirs. (Well actually I lost it). I received a message from Bill Mitchell (the educational director for the American Heart Association). I met with him today and I can’t say enough about how amazing, kind, and generous this man is. He not only had a replacement ball… he had several replacements. Extras to continue to share with friends and make another kids day when they don’t have a ball… we are happy to give them one. PLUS tons of other goodies!

We have a VERY HAPPY boy now! Thank you so much Bill! He’s now “keeping an EYE on the ball.”

Thank you to all others who worked hard at reaching out to teachers and staff to help make this happen. A very special thank you to all the kids willing to give up their ball. Kudos to you parents! Webster is truly where life is worth living!

I don’t think the original kickball was every recovered. But I also don’t think that matters too much to this — now VERY happy — 8-year old.

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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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(posted 6/14/2022)

Webster Community Chest is re-imagining their food pantry. And they need your help.

6 Jun

Remember the Webster Community Chest’s (WCC) food pantry? For years, the pantry provided meal assistance to individuals and families in our community until the WCC lost their former space in what is now the Van Ingen Court Building behind Town Hall. Recently they’ve been distributing food through several “little free food pantries” in town, but you know they’d like to do a lot more than that.

Well, I got some good news recently: the WCC is working on a very innovative plan to re-open the food pantry. Their idea is very clever. They’re going to be distributing meal bags.

As a recent press release explained,

The pantry will … operate more like an “Instacart model” for meal preparation support. Residents will be able to place orders for specific meal types, as offered on the WCC website order form, and ingredients to create the meals will be bagged up for their pick-up. Delivery may also become an option, as volunteers are available.

The bags will include all the items for a complete meal, plus a recipe card. For example, the spaghetti dinner bag would include pasta, sauce, parmesian cheese, green beans and more. People can request one of each choice or multiples. Once they receive the orders, WCC volunteers will pack the orders on-site, then take them to another location for pick-up.

It’s a great idea, right? Only problem is, the WCC doesn’t have any storage space. Before they can launch their plan, they need a small place to store and pack non-perishable foods. It only needs to be about 200 to 300 sq. ft., and there won’t be much foot traffic at all. The space needs to be secure, protected from the elements and able to be accessed a few times per week. Extra parking or amenities won’t even be required. It could even be a very temporary location if need be.

If you can help, please call committee chair Joanne Nania at 585-503-2450.

Can you help? Do you or someone you know have some un-utilized space within your business or facility that could be used for this purpose? If so, please contact Joanne Nania at joanne.nania@gmail.com or webcommchest@gmail.com

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 6/6/2022)

Webster community mailbag

30 May

The Webster Marching Band’s first Bottle and Can Drive of the summer takes place this Saturday, June 4. And the exciting news is that the band is once again offering curbside pickup in addition to their regular drop-off option at Webster Schroeder High School.

You can drop your returnables off at Schroeder (875 Ridge Rd.) between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., OR you can place them at the end of your driveway this Saturday morning, and someone will be by to pick them up.

If you won’t be around on Saturday it’s easy to schedule a pickup at your home. Log onto http://bit.ly/3tOdZht, fill out the short form and someone will be in touch. The next drive will be Aug. 13, so put it on your calendar now.


Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester will be hosting the highly respected Disability Dream & Do Sports Camp (D3Day) on Saturday June 4.

The Disability Dream and Do (D3Day) sports camps were created by Dave Clark, the only pitcher in professional sports history to pitch on crutches, and Doug Cornfield, a former NCAA medal winning runner at Georgia, who himself had a child born with no arms. These camps allow professional players to interact with children with special needs in various drills and compete in sports with no limitations. 

D3 participants have an opportunity to hit, throw, catch and run the bases with instruction from the best regardless of anyone’s limitations. 

Lunch is provided for all participants, their family members and caregivers.

Space is limited, so be sure to sign up soon. There is no cost to D3 participants and their families. Click here to register and find out more. And if you’d like to read more about this outstanding program, click here.


The Joe Obbie Farmers Market returns for its summer season on Saturday June 11.

As every year, the Farm Market will be open every Saturday through Oct. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Webster Towne Center (Target Plaza), near the gazebo.

This year the market is introducing something new as well, “An Evening in the Park.” Every Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. in July and August the market will also set up at Charles Sexton Memorial Park (formerly North Ponds), between Rt. 250 and Holt Rd.

Make sure to stop by every week for locally-produced jams, meats, eggs, honey, maple syrup, fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and crafts.

For more information, visit the Joe Obbie Facebook page and website.


Also on Saturday June 11, kick off your summer at Webster’s Summer Celebration, scheduled from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr. State Line and Brass Taxi will be performing, plus there’ll be food trucks (including Bay Vista Taqueria, Macrollin’, Nancy’s Fried Dough, Pub 235, Terry’s Tips and Beef, Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza and Wraps on Wheels) lots of family activities and fireworks to end the evening.

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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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(posted 5/30/2022)

Photos from Webster’s Memorial Day celebration

30 May

I can’t remember when we’ve had a more beautiful day for our Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony. It was as if Mother Nature was also happy to see the parade again after its two-year hiatus.

As in previous years, the parade participants started gathering around 9 a.m. at Spry Middle School, stepping off onto South Ave. at 9:30 and winding a little more than a mile north to Main Street, then west to Webster Rural Cemetery.

The crowds lining the streets seemed much smaller than in previous years, despite outstanding weather. That surprised me; I figured everyone would be really excited about the parade’s return. The number of participants also was smaller this year. Perhaps that can be attributed to lingering fears of COVID. I especially missed all of the Girl Scouts and Brownies.

Regardless, the ceremony at Webster Rural following the parade was moving and meaningful as usual. I was especially touched by the remarks made by Sean Miller, Commander of the Ridge Webster VFW Post 9483. He reminded us what a day in the life of a servicemember is like, and how we take our regular meals, comfortable beds, long weekends, and even our daily commutes for granted, compared to the hardships our men and women in the service face every day.

As usual, I took a lot of photos. Click here to check out my Facebook gallery. If you have any you’d like me to add to the gallery, feel free to email them to me at missyblog@gmail.com.

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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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(posted 5/30/2022)

The Memorial Day Parade is back!

17 May

For the first time in three years, Webster’s Memorial Day Parade will once again be winding its way down South and Main streets on Memorial Day, Monday May 30.

The parade is organized every (non-COVID) year by the Cottreall-Warner American Legion Post #942. Charlie Klauck, co-chairman of the Memorial Day Committee (and this year’s parade Grand Marshal) confirmed the details, which have not changed much from years past:

  • 9:00 a.m.:  All groups participating in the parade will assemble at Spry Middle School on Sanford Street. All active duty and ex-service men and women are invited to take part in the parade. Any veterans who would like to ride in the bed of an Army truck are asked to be at Spry by 9 a.m.
  • 9:30 a.m.:  Parade moves out from Spry, down South Avenue, turning west on Main Street and proceeding to Webster Rural Cemetery.
  • 9:50 a.m. (approx.): Parade arrives at Webster Rural Cemetery.
  • The Remembrance Ceremony will begin at approx. 10:15, or whenever everyone arrives and gets settled.

The parade is dedicated each year to a deserving group of people. This year, Charlie said, it’s being dedicated to the American people as a whole, “for what we’ve all been through these last two years.”

This is always a very nice parade, and the ceremony that follows it at Webster Rural Cemetery is always moving. I highly recommend bringing your children to see both the parade and the ceremony, so they might begin to understand the huge debt we owe our servicemen and women.

The Legion always dedicates the parade to a deserving group of people. This year, Charlie told me, the Legion has dedicated it to all of the American people, “for what we’ve been through for these last two years.”

This is always a very nice parade, and the ceremony that follows it at Webster Rural Cemetery is always moving. I highly recommend bringing your children to see both the parade and the ceremony, so they might begin to understand the huge debt we owe our servicemen and women. The last two years, the ceremony was necessarily smaller and more subdued due to COVID. This year it’s back to its full significance.

Click here for a gallery of photos from Memorial Day 2019, the last time we had a parade.

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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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(posted 5/17/2022)

Blue Star mothers host Baby Shower for Military

9 May

A week ago Sunday, 15 expectant Blue Star moms and new mothers were showered with gifts at the Cottreall-Warner American Legion Post in Webster, at a special Baby Shower for Military.

Blue Star Mothers are mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans. 

The event is organized annually by the Blue Star Mothers Rochester Chapter NY8 (BSM NY8). The group’s members have been collecting items for nine months in preparation for this year’s event, held Sunday May 1. Fifteen “Baby Baskets of Loving Care” were prepared, each filled with gifts for moms and their babies including baby clothing, handmade outfits, homemade blankets, sweaters, booties and hats, diapers, wipes, baby supplies, toys, homemade boppies and more. Each family also received a Diaper Genie and bouncy seat.

The Baby Shower for Military is one of the most important service projects of the Blue Star Mothers Rochester Chapter. Each year BSM NY8 honors up to 20 local military families, and for some of these expectant mothers, it may be the only baby shower they get, since they’re usually stationed far away from their close relatives.

This year’s shower was co-chaired by BSM NY8 president Amy VanDerwerken and vice president Jill Harris. It was held at the Cottreall-Warner American Legion Post 942 (as it has been for the last several years) which donated the use of the hall. The Post’s Auxiliary Unit also donated $400 for diapers and baby wipes. Additional assistance was received from the American Red Cross, Chili Chain Gang, Greece American Legion (and Auxiliary), Francis Hibbard Post 4658 (and Auxiliary), Hegedorn’s Supermarket, the Monroe County Department of Disabled Veterans Chapter 15, Target, Walmart, Donuts Delite, Schutt’s Apple Mill, Tops Friendly Markets, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Kinecta.  

Thank you to Jill Harris and Gordon Clarke for the photos.

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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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(posted 5/9/2022)

A public apology from the museum

2 May

As you might know, last Sunday’s much-anticipated talk at the Harmony House by shipwreck explorer Jim Kennard hit an unexpected snag, causing it to be postponed. Apparently that took a lot of people by surprise.

Today, the museum released the following statement:

The Webster Museum regrets the necessary cancellation of its May 1 program at the Harmony House due to the sudden illness of the speaker. We attempted to inform the public by contacting all the publications who had so kindly supported our program and placing signage at the venue.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this cancellation and wish Jim well in his recovery.

Stay tuned to my blog for updates, because I’ll let everyone know as soon as it has been rescheduled.

Make sure never to miss any of my blogs by subscribing using the email function along the right side of this page. Every time I post something you’ll be among the first to know.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/2/2022)

Picture Webster beautiful

1 May

Hey all you photographers out there! Here’s your chance to get your work noticed!

The Town of Webster and Webster Recreation Center are hosting a Webster Photo Contest, open to anyone of any age, and you don’t even have to be a resident of Webster.

The goal, according to the Rec Center, is to “capture, in photo, the very best picture that represents the Town of Webster.”

The rules are simple:

  • Photos must have been taken in Webster or be a photo showing Webster, NY
  • Submissions must have been actually taken by the submitter
  • Photos must be emailed by June 3 to jschillaci@ci.webster.ny.us
  • Submitted photos may be used by the Town in future marketing or communication materials

There’s no charge to enter, and registration is not necessary. The original photo resolution is preferred via email. The winning photo will be printed and put on display at the Webster Recreation Center with the photographer’s name. So you could be famous!

So get out there and get snapping!

(I’m not going to enter, but I dropped a few of my favorite Webster photos here. If you’d liek to see more of my favorites, check out my “Artist’s Wall” page, where I’ve posted two dozen photos which were displayed last August at the Webster Public Library. Two of them are below.)

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/1/2022)

Our local heroes are invited to go fishin’

30 Apr

The Genesee Valley Chapter of Heroes on the Water is up and running, and has planned their first event for this coming Saturday May 7 at Mendon Ponds Park.

Heroes on the Water, established in 2007, is a veterans charity which

creates alternative wellness programs to serve veterans, active-duty military personnel, first responders and their families. These experiential programs incorporate structured activities proven to improve the lives of these men and women. Each experience reduces the impact of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury while providing much-needed camaraderie and support (from the Heroes on the Water website).

The primary therapy utilized by the program is kayak fishing, offered at free events hosted by more than 60 volunteer-led chapters around the country.

Our local chapter (Genesee Valley New York Chapter of Heroes on the Water) was chartered a year ago, the efforts of four Webster friends: Tracy Holley, Gordon Clarke, Ned Stromfeld and Justin Erdley. During its first summer, activities mostly focused on get-to-know-you events and purchasing equipment. This year, though, the group is ready to hit the ground running, with several fishing kayaks, plenty of equipment, and plans for five fishing events, the first of which is this coming Saturday.

There are still participant spots available for the May 7 event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 100 Acre Pond, Mendon Ponds Park. There’ll be plenty of volunteers to help you out if you’ve never kayak fished before, and there’s no charge. Plus, there’ll be food afterwards.

For more information, check out the Genesee Valley Chapter’s Facebook page, or if you just want to jump in and register right away, click here for the eventbrite page.

Spread the word to all of the local heroes you know!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 4/30/2022)

Shipwreck program postponed

29 Apr

The Jim Kennard presentation about shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, scheduled for May 1 at the Harmony House, has been postponed. I’m sure they’ll want to reschedule, so stay tuned for the new date.