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Blood drives will honor Jack Heiligman

15 Dec

posterTwo blood drives coming up next week in our area are being held in memory of 3-year old Jack Heiligman.

Jack, you may remember, lost his life in a tragic accident in 2016.  Since that awful day, Jack’s parents Anne and AJ have worked hard to keep their son’s happy spirit alive by spreading laughter, happiness and love to other families, and encouraging others to pay it forward.

They work through the JACK Foundation, an organization they created, dedicated to giving back to the community through acts of kindness. The foundation also raises money to build dinosaur-themed playgrounds. Their first playground, Jack’s Place, opened at Rothfuss Park in Penfield last August 2017.

This holiday season, one of the ways the JACK Foundation is giving back to the community and promoting acts of kindness is by hosting two blood drives in Jack’s memory. These will be held on Thursday, December 21 at Kent Park Arboretum in Webster and Friday, December 22 at the Penfield Community Center.

“The JACK Foundation has really helped keep Jack’s memory alive for our family and friends,” Anne said. “We miss our Jack every moment of every day, but being a part of caring and kind acts in Jack’s name has helped bring us peace and comfort. We hope we are making our Angel Jack proud.”

The two drives are especially significant at this time of year, near the holidays, when blood and platelet donations often decline due to everyone’s busy schedules. Here are the details:

Thursday, December 21, 2-7 p.m.
Kent Park Arboretum
1700 Schlegel Rd., Webster

Friday, December 22, 2-7 p.m.
Penfield Community Center
1985 Baird Rd., Penfield

As a thank you for showing your support for these special blood drives, all presenting donors will receive a Red Cross long-sleeved t-shirt, while supplies last.

Appointments are appreciated and will help you get in and out faster, but walk-ins are also welcome. To make an appointment, log onto redcrossblood.org or download the blood donor app. Please use sponsor code JACKFOUNDATIONWEBSTERPENFIELD.

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Tuesday Webster Mailbag

5 Dec

I’d like to start off today’s mailbag with a few events happening at the Webster Public Library.

December 2016 (2)

All this month, the library is hosting a photography exhibit, Photographers in our Midst, in the main area of the library. The exhibit will run through December 28 and feature the talent of outstanding Webster photographers.

Stop in anytime the library is open to enjoy the images that have been captured by our own neighbors.

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Harry Potter fans, take note: The Webster Public Library is planning a Hogwarts Yule Ball right at the library.

Witches, wizards and muggles are all invited to the library on Friday December 29 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for an evening of magical fun in the Great Hall. Enjoy tasty refreshments, music and dancing. Don’t forget to wear your formal wear or finest dress robes to attend the ball, and make sure to visit Hogwart’s classrooms for fun crafts and activities!

Some of the activities include: House Badges & Personalized Hogwarts Acceptance Letters; Potions making in Potions Class; Wand making in Defense Against the Dark Arts; Spell Books in History of Magic; Golden Snitch Ornaments in Charms; Music and Dancing; Quidditch Matches; Scavenger Hunts; Costume Contest, refreshments, a photo booth and more.

Tickets are $2 per person and will be available for purchase in-person ONLY (at the Webster Public Library) through December 15. Tickets are limited, so register early. Call 585-872-7075 if you have any questions.

Ticket price covers all activities, but there will be additional items for available for purchase.

American St. Nick to Visit the Webster Museum

On Saturday December 9 at 2 p.m., Richard Brookins will visit the Webster Museum during the museum’s open house, to share a story of kindness from WWII.

It was December 1944 in Wiltz, Luxembourg during WWII, Brookins was assigned to the small town of Wiltz for a brief respite. The town had recently been liberated by Allied forces after four long years of German occupation.

It didn’t take long before Corporal Harry Stutz discovered that the children of Wiltz had not been allowed to celebrate St. Nicholas Day during the occupation. Over the next few days the American soldiers organized a party, complete with a St. Nicklaus — Pittsford (and former Webster) resident Richard Brookins.

The story does not end there, despite the town being overrun only days later. You can hear the very happy ending at Brookins’ presentation on December 9 at 2 p.m. at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park. Admission is free.

TheAmericanStNick with angels dec 5 1944

photo courtesy WWII Foundation

Santa and Pancakes

The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser is going to be so much fun that Santa will be joining you!

On Saturday December 16 from 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage — and a visit with Santa — all for just $5.00 per person.

December proceeds will go directly to help support Cameron Community Ministries.  Their mission is to provide hope to our community through emergency services, engagement, education and empowerment, offering after-school and summer programs, meals, an emergency pantry, and a clothing house.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Rd. 585-586-2876

Webster Central Schools to run early dismissal drill

On Friday December 22 — the last day before the holiday break — all WCSD students will be dismissed early as part of the district’s annual emergency preparedness early release drill.

The drill is a yearly requirement designed to test the district’s plan for the early dismissal of students.

Parents need to be prepared for their students to be dismissed early and arrive home by bus early on December 22. Please note the times listed below are the dismissal time (in parenthesis) and the bus departure time, and are effective for Friday, December 22 ONLY.

  • Webster Schroeder and Thomas high schools: (2:10) 2:20
  • Spry Middle School: (2:15) 2:25
  • Willink Middle School: (2:25) 2:35
  • Dewitt Road, State Road, Plank North, Schlegel Road and Klem South elementary schools:  (3:15) 3:25
  • Klem North and Plank South elementary schools: (3:05) 3:15

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Webster sparkled for White Christmas in the Village

3 Dec
electric parade

The Electric Parade, photo courtesy Sarah Rosenberry

For, like, the third year in a row, there wasn’t much “white” about Webster’s White Christmas in the Village celebration on Saturday.  Temperatures were unseasonably warm, so the village’s beautiful new streetlight decorations were the only snowflakes anyone saw that afternoon and evening.

However, things did look very Christmas-y. The shop windows were all decorated and sparkling, carolers strolled the streets singing holiday favorites, and hundreds of people took the opportunity to wear their Santa hats and reindeer antlers, and drape themselves in colored lights.

As usual for this event, things got off to slow start. But anyone who got there early got first crack at visiting with Santa at the Village Hall and taking a ride on the horse-drawn festival wagon. As dusk fell, though, Main Street started to fill with holiday cheer as thousands began to line Main Street in anticipation of the always popular Electric Parade.

There was plenty to do in the meantime. Kids enjoyed a bounce house, adults enjoyed sampling and voting in the chili cook-off (and later in the evening could get samples of Root Stock cider). The ladies of Rochester Rhapsody delighted everyone with original and classic Christmas carols. Barry’s Old School Irish was pouring free cups of hot cider and hot chocolate (and even though it was pretty warm out, they had a long line). There was cookie decorating, storytelling, and one of my favorites, the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir.

Basically, if you weren’t there, you missed a great time. Make sure to put it on your calendar NOW for next year.

The lighting was tough, but I tried my best to get a nice bunch of pictures. Click here to see the whole gallery.

And thank you to the members of the Webster Business Improvement District for sponsoring this delightful event.

IMG_6944

IMG_6986

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Santa has arrived in Webster

2 Dec

 

Santa arrived in Webster last night! I got a chance to visit with him, and nabbed a cookie to boot.

He had come to St. Martin Lutheran Church for their holiday event, where he took lots and lots of photos with children and sat with them for a Christmas story.  Kids also could make their own Christmas cookies, play board games, do some caroling and even write a letter to Santa which they could deliver in person. Plus, everyone enjoyed free pizza all night long.

As a bonus, the “cost” of admission was a food item to be donated to a food cupboard, and by the time I arrived, a whole cartload of food had been collected.

On that same note, St. Martin Lutheran is introducing a fun new idea this year: a reverse Advent calendar.

The way it works is this: Instead of getting a calendar and opening a little door every day this month, get a box (one from the liquor store works best), and every day this month put a can of food INTO it. By Christmas Day, you’ll have a box filled with food, which you can then deliver to the church for them to pass along to a worthy agency.

What an easy and fun way to spread the love and joy of the season.

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Road in Webster.

Your next chances to meet with Webster’s Santa are today (Saturday Dec. 2) at the Harmony House (East Main Street) for Breakfast With Santa until 11 a.m.; at Towne Center Plaza (Target Plaza) from 12-3:30; then at Webster Village Hall (West Main Street) from 3:30 to 6 p.m. for the village’s White Christmas event.

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Christmas comes to Webster Saturday

28 Nov

fire truck

The holiday season officially begins this Saturday in Webster, when the village celebrates White Christmas in the Village. This annual festival features horse-drawn wagon rides, a bounce house, cookie decorating, storytelling, carolers, Santa (of course), and the always very popular Electric Parade.

Activities will begin at 3 p.m. with activities for adults and children throughout the village. The official schedule looks like this:

  • 3 to 6 p.m. — Horse-drawn wagon rides through the villagesanta
  • 3 to 6 p.m. — Bounce House on Main Street
  • 3:30 to 5 p.m. — Santa Claus at the Village Hall
  • 4 p.m. — Storytelling at Yesterday’s Muse Book Store
  • 4 p.m. — Cookie decorating
  • 4:30 p.m. — Rochester Rhapsody Carolers
  • 5 p.m. — Church of the Good Shepherd Chime Bell Choir on Main Street

The Electric Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Phillips Road and head west down Main Street. This spectacular parade features fire engines, floats and marching bands, all draped in thousands of twinkling Christmas lights. You’ll definitely want to bring the kids, but dress warm, and pack a thermos of hot chocolate, because this is a pretty long parade.

(Click here to see a gallery of photos from last year’s White Christmas celebration.)

CaptureBy the way, don’t forget to start out that morning with a hot breakfast, served up by the Chorus of the Genesee.

The Chorus will be hosting their second annual Breakfast with Santa, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in Webster. The menu will feature French toast sticks and sausage, coffee, juice, and milk. Cost is $5 per person, $20 maximum per family. For tickets call (585) 265-9540 or visit chorusofthegenesee.org.

This will be a good chance to visit with Santa before everyone else descends on him when he’s at Village Hall later in the day.

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storefront

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Carol Klem Day declaration packed the house

23 Nov

crowd

It was standing room only in the Community Meeting Hall for Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting, and not a one of them had come to complain about some problem they were having in the village.

No, the Board had announced that Tuesday November 21 would forever be known as Carol Klem Day, and almost 100 of Carol’s friends, family members and business owners had come to witness the official proclamation.

Trying to get the large, chatty crowd organized so they could start the meeting on time was kind of like herding cats. But eventually everyone found a seat or a spot along the wall, and Mayor Darrell Byerts called the meeting to order.

The proclamation was the first order of business. Carol Carol with proclamationjoined the board members at the podium as Mayor Byerts read the official document. There were a lot of “whereas”es and at least one “let it be known,” but the gist of the document were these paragraphs, which related to Carol’s work with the Webster Herald:

Whereas her (Village Voice) articles helped to support local organizations and businesses old and new and to promote community events all year long,

and whereas her journalistic expertise has ultimately strengthened the village and everything it stands for as a close-knit, supportive and fun community by bringing people together.

Following the presentation of the official document, several others stepped up to the podium to express their gratitude.

Village Trustee Jude Lancy, who helped pull this event together, sent along this list of thank-yous for helping make the evening’s festivities successful:

Thank you to:

  • Mayor Darrell Byerts for coming up with the the idea of Carol Klem Day, and the beautiful plaque commemorating this event.
  • Carol’s daughter MaryKay, for gathering early information on Carol’s life and bringing the family to the presentation;
  • Robyn Whitaker for the plaque presented to Carol from the Business Improvement District, in appreciation of her support;
  • Bill Horeth and Kathy Mills, representing Kittelberger Florist for the presentation of long-stemmed red roses in thanks for Carol’s contribution to the village and businesses;
  • Sharon Pratt, representing the Museum, who gave thanks for all of Carol’s contributions to the welfare of the museum;
  • Jake Swingly and Steve Small for “starring” Carol Klem on the digital billboard in front of the South Avenue fire house;
  • Dorothea Ciccarelli for showing the Village Hall’s appreciation and her own appreciation for the support given to her daughter, Lacey;
  • Maegan Lessing for her efforts in preparing the proclamation, getting everyone’s signatures and finding a suitable frame;
  • and thanks to everyone in attendance for a standing-room only gathering for our one and only Carol Klem.

Erin and CarolLater in the meeting, after most of the well-wishers had left, another notable event happened.

Mayor Byerts announced that a new columnist had been found who will be taking the Village Focus reins from Carol. The new columnist will soon be starting up the weekly column again, plus a new blog to be posted on the village website.

Then he officially introduced — and the Board officially approved — my daughter, Erin Rosenberry.

Several details have yet to be worked out.  But as soon as Erin gets an email up and running, I hope the Village of Webster will support her — as you have supported me — as she shares all the good things our community has to offer.

Carol with Village Board

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Village to honor Carol Klem

18 Nov

Carol_Klem-

(The blog below is an article I wrote for the Webster Herald about a great person and good friend who’s getting some well-deserved recognition at the Village Board meeting next Tuesday.)  

If you’ve lived in the Village of Webster for any length of time, chances are very good you know Carol Klem — or at least know about her.

It helps that for the last 12 years, as Village Focus columnist, Carol’s smiling face has appeared every two weeks on the village website and in the Webster Herald.

But even if you don’t regularly read her column, you’ve almost certainly seen Carol around town, chatting with fellow journalists at Barry’s Old School Irish or at Golden Boys, visiting with local business owners, or darting back and forth during parades, festivals and other special events, snapping photos for her column.

Basically, the name Carol Klem has become synonymous with all things good about the village of Webster. For years, she’s been the eyes and ears of Webster, like a town crier, using her column to cheer accomplishments both big and small. She has introduced us to new businesses and old businesses. She has written tender obituaries, announced births and anniversaries. She has told us about upcoming special events and charmed us with personal musings about small-town life. And every Christmas she has delighted us all with her epic holiday poem.

Next week, the village will recognize Carol’s devotion to Webster by proclaiming November 21 Carol Klem Day in the Village.

Carol was born in Rochester in 1938, the oldest of three children, and lived with her family in the Beechwood section of the city. While she was attending high school at Nazareth Academy, her parents decided to move to Webster, in a home they built on Basket Road.

At that time, Webster was very rural, and was really considered the “boondocks.” Moving from the city to farm country was a big adjustment, but it gave Carol lots of handy excuses for being late for school. One of them, her daughter Mary Kay remembers, was “the Schreiber cows were loose on Basket Road.”

Carol attended Nazareth College, where she studied English and music, and was hired at Holy Trinity School, where she taught first through third grades.

Carol was the school’s first lay teacher. “It was mom and all the nuns,” Mary Kay said. “It was really quite funny. I think she was very different from the nuns. I can’t imagine a bunch of nuns and my mom!”

It was while she was teaching at Holy Trinity that she met Gene, her husband of 57 years. They were introduced by then-pastor Fr. William Kalb in 1959, married the following year, and immediately started a family. Mary Kay was born in 1961, followed closely by Tom, Greg and Doug. Many years later, in 1978, little sister Meg joined the family.

Carol worked through her first pregnancy, then became a stay-at-home mom. It was only after all the kids had all grown and moved on that she re-entered the workforce, finding part-time work with the Webster Post, writing wedding announcements and obituaries.

At 47 years old, Carol Klem the journalist was born.

“I remember her starting with a portable typewriter,” Mary Kay said. “I couldn’t imagine she would ever be computer-literate, and Word proficient. Although she still has a knack for losing files.”

In 2005 Carol left the Post and was asked to join the Webster Herald as the Village Focus columnist. She had finally found her true calling: writing about the village she loves so dearly.

And she does love Webster dearly. In September 2015, in an interview she recorded for the non-profit Webster Together organization, Carol called the village “the heart of Webster.”

“I just love our town. I love the people in it, and I love the spirit,” she said. “I’d love to see the village definitely take off. I think that whatever happens, we have the right people to make the decisions.”

For years, Carol Klem has been Webster’s biggest cheerleader. Now the village wants to return the favor.

In recognition of everything Carol has done for our community, The Webster Village Board will officially designate Tuesday, November 21 as “Carol Klem Day” in the village of Webster.

Mayor Darrell Byerts will present the official proclamation at the regular Village Board meeting, Tuesday November 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Meeting Hall, 29 South Ave. (The meeting has been rescheduled from Thanksgiving Day). The entire Webster community is invited to attend.

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Village Band schedules annual holiday concert

17 Nov

image

The Webster Village Band will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 9 at 11:00 a.m. at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road in Webster.

Please  note that this is a change in venue from previous years, when the concert was held at Webster Schroeder.

Director Tom Indiano and Associate Director Sue Siegmund have selected a variety of holiday music for your listening enjoyment, both familiar favorites and some with musical variations on a theme, such as Good Swing Wencelas, Adventum featuring “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Ukrainian Bell Carol,” A Holiday Rhapsody and Fairytale of New York, to name a few.

Also, be sure to bring the children for the annual reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and for a special on-stage treat for these youngsters.

Admission is free, and light refreshments will follow the concert.

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Bourbon lovers, unite!

15 Nov

L-BourbonTrail-20350555

Wine lovers have had their day — OK, lots of them — with the Webster Wine Walks. Now bourbon lovers are getting their turn.

The Webster Business Improvement District BID) and Webster Wine and Spirits will host a Bourbon Bash this coming Saturday November 18 from 6-9 p.m. at the Harmony House on East Main Street.

This is Webster’s very first Bourbon Bash for Webster, and it’s shaping up to be a really neat event.

Organizers have invited many local and well-known bourbon vendors to set up in the Harmony House for tastings. Several local restaurants will also be on hand to complement the bourbons, including Pub 235, The Coach, Gioia Mia Catering, Webster Hots, Smoking Hot Chicks, The Village Bakery and Brimont Bistro.

BBQ Blues Band will provide entertainment as attendees sample great bourbons from distilleries including Heaven Hill, Black Button, Elijah Craig, Iron Smoke Whiskey, Honeoye Falls Distillery, Jim Beam, and more.

Tickets are $20, available at the BID website and Hegedorn’s Market 964 Ridge Road.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Challenger Miracle Field to help finish the local field for challenged athletes.

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Webster Thursday mailbag

15 Nov

imageLots going on as the holidays start to gear up in earnest.

Here’s a fun thing to do this weekend: The Webster Thomas Players will present Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream in three shows this Thursday Friday and Saturday, November 16 through 18. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road.

Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door.  Click here to check out a preview of the show.

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On Saturday, Spry Middle School will host a FIRST Lego League competition, which promises to be a fun spectacle.

Here’s a description/press release written by one of the SparX team members:

It’s that time of the year once again! Young students throughout the world are preparing to compete in this year’s FIRST Lego League competition, HYDRO DYNAMICS.

FIRST Lego League is a worldwide competition in which students ages 9-14 compete in challenges by creating a robot using Lego® blocks. In this year’s game, HYDRO DYNAMICS, kids have to create a robot that can do a variety of water-related functions, such as turning on a Lego faucet, flushing a Lego toilet, and replacing a broken Lego pipe. In between the games, the teams also make presentations to focus on the thematic issue presented each season. This season the teams are focusing on the importance of conserving water and the human water cycle. The kids use the scientific method and engineering design to solve their problems.

The last significant part of the game is designing a poster that goes over the fundamentals of Lego League: Discovery, Integration, Inclusion, and Cooperation.

On November 18, a regional competition will be held in Spry Middle School so the kids can show off what they have been working on for the past few months. Opening ceremonies begin at 11:00 a.m. If you are interested and want to learn more about the FIRST Lego League and the FIRST program, stop by or visit firstinspires.org.

hydro

The Chorus of the Genesee has announced their second annual Breakfast with Santa, which will be held on Saturday December 2 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in Webster. Photos with Santa will be available.

The menu will feature French toast sticks and sausage, coffee, juice, and milk. Cost is $5 per person, $20 maximum per family. For tickets call (585) 265-9540 or visit chorusofthegenesee.org.

Breakfast with Santa is happening on the same day as the Village of Webster’s White Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights (Saturday December 2), which features holiday activities all afternoon and evening. Watch for a more complete blog about that to come soon.

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The annual Henderson Ford Toy Drive is ending in the next two weeks.

The dealership, along with six other business partners, are calling for the community’s help for new and unwrapped toys. Donated toys are being given to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots and The Furnished 4 Life Christmas Store at the Wedge Market.

The Henderson Ford annual toy drive is one of the largest collections in Rochester for both distribution campaigns. The toys delivered by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be distributed in Rochester. The toys delivered to The Furnished 4 Life Christmas Store at the Wedge Market will allow for parental selection and pride in gifting.

You can drop off your new, unwrapped toy donations for all ages at any of the following locations:

  • Henderson Ford, 810 Ridge Road, Webster
  • Steinmiller Insurance, 1223 Bay Road, Webster
  • The UPS Store, 1900 Empire Boulevard, Webster
  • Webster Chamber Health Insurance Service, 1110 Crosspoint Lane Suite C, Webster
  • RAMP (Rochester Area Music Project), 31 West Church Street, Fairport
  • Edge Advertising Group, 6 North Main Street, Suite 220, Fairport

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