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Webster’s baseball history celebrated at the Webster Museum

13 May


It’s no secret that Webster is a huge sports town. In 1985, the town was even named “Number 1 Sportstown in New York” by Sports Illustrated. What is less well known is how long ago our love for sports — and especially baseball — began.

Back in the late 1800s, adults and teenagers were playing on village ball fields and at Nine Mile Point; with hard rubber balls fast-pitched underhand; one bat for the entire team; often wearing coats and ties, and with no protective equipment.

It’s a rich baseball history, on display this month at the Webster Museum, and celebrated during a special event on Saturday May 19, called “140 Years of Webster Baseball.”

The special event is being spearheaded by Tom Pellett, president of the Webster Museum and Historical Society.  It’s been a year in the making, prompted by a comment made last May by Don Kuhn, a former Webster High School baseball player.

He recalled that back when he was playing in the early 1950s, the Webster High team went undefeated three years in a row — 1950, ’51 and ’52. The team came up with a trophy to recognize that accomplishment, which was then presented to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. So the town could have its own keepsake, a local service organization (Pellett thinks it was the Rotary) then created a plaque, which included a photo of the trophy, the letter from Cooperstown, and the names of all the players.

No one was exactly sure where that plaque had made it to, but Pellett started poking around the museum’s attic, and found it rather quickly. Shortly thereafter, Historian Lynn Barton unearthed two boxes with a treasure trove of local baseball history. Pellett started going through it all and the exhibit began to take shape.

The newly rediscovered plaque is the centerpiece of the museum’s new baseball exhibit, which also includes photos of all three undefeated teams and several other local teams, and old time uniforms and equipment. But what I found the most interesting were some of the personal stories.

One of those, dated 1878,  is considered to perhaps be the first recorded memory from a local ball game.

That story (which is part of the exhibit) tells about an adult baseball team in Ontario who had challenged the Webster team.  The Ontario team was a little bit miffed when they discovered their opponents were just teenagers. The Ontario coach approached the Webster coach and asked, “Is that all you got, these kids? He was told, ‘Well, trot your team out, we’ll see how they do.'”

At the end of the sixth inning, the score was 40-6 in favor of Webster. The Ontario team walked off the field and forfeited the game.

Obviously, players from that era are no longer around. But everyone who has played Webster baseball has a story, and Pellett hopes that baseball players and fans of all ages will attend the special event on the 19th.

As for all those Webster High School players from the undefeated teams? They’re all in their 80s now. Many have moved away, others have passed away. But several are still in town, and Pellett hopes that some of them will be able to attend, so they can visit the plaque and share some of their memories.

“140 Years of Webster Baseball” will be held on Saturday May 19, from 2-4 p.m. at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park in the village of Webster.  Admission is $5, which will include the very interesting historical presentation, a hot dog, peanuts and a lemonade or water. For more information, visit the Webster Museum website or call 585-265-3308.


The commemortaive plaque is the centerpiece of the exhibit


A close-up of the names of the players on the undefeated teams


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Deb Carpenter recognized for service

26 Apr


Congratulations to Deb Carpenter for recently marking almost 30 years of service to Webster Parks and Recreation!

The occasion was marked on Tuesday with a surprise party at the Rec, scheduled right after the Froggy Fitness class which she helps out with. She was presented with a plaque while surrounded by many of those students. Deb also runs the Rec’s Soccer Squirts and Preschool Track and Field programs throughout the year for 3 to 5-year olds.

Deb originally started with the Parks and Recreation Department in 1984. She worked at North Ponds Park and summer camps every summer when she was home from college, then in 1998 she started helping with youth programs again and just never stopped.

According to Recreation Supervisor Julie Schillaci, Deb is “full of energy and the kids just love coming to her classes!”

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Webster’s volunteer fire departments need you

25 Apr
IMG_7264 - Copy

A controlled burn on Ridge Road last November provided a valuable training opportunity.

Have you ever toyed with the idea of becoming a firefighter? (Since you were a kid, I mean.) Just because you’re all grown up with a family and working full time doesn’t mean you can’t still fulfill that dream.

Becoming a volunteer firefighter really isn’t as difficult or dangerous as you might think, and if you’ve ever considered it even for a moment, you owe it to yourself to drop by the fire house in the village of Webster (35 South Ave.) or in West Webster (1051 Gravel Road) this weekend for the annual RecruitNY event.

For four hours this Saturday April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Webster and West Webster firefighters will be opening their fire houses for tours and to answer any questions you might have about joining their ranks. In the case of West Webster, it will also be a great chance to check out their brand new facility.

For more information, check out the WVFD Facebook page or the WWFD Facebook page.

Also, if you haven;t had a chance to read the column published last weekend about RecruitNY and our own WVFD, click here. It might answer some questions.

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Q&A about being a volunteer firefighter

22 Apr


My Our Towns East Extra column today highlights our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department. I am proud to know many of these men and women, and pleased to be able to help them in their cause to recruit new members.

So if you’ve ever thought about it — even a bit — and ever had questions like “Do I have to get up every night in the middle of the night to run into a burning building?” you shsould read this column.


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Webster mailbag

11 Apr

Got a handful of events to tell you about today.

First, St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road, is sponsoring its second Community Conversations on Thursday, April 12 from 6:30-8:30 in the church Fellowship Hall.

The topic is Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, and the program will include a panel of survivors and professionals in the field. Following the presentations, there will be a question and answer time.

Light refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome to attend this important session.

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2018_WQG_Raffle_QuiltThe Webster Quilt Guild is having a show on April 21 and 22 at Holy Trinity Church, 1450 Ridge Road in Webster. Organizers promise a “sea of quilts” on display, along with special displays, and lots of vendors.

Visitors will also be invited to take a chance on the 2018 raffle quilt, a beautiful 93″ x 93″ piece called “Wild Ocean Rose,” which has an appraised value of $3700.

For more information about the show, visit, and to purchase tickets, email

Hours are April 21 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and April 22 from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5.

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The Woman’s Club of Rochester is hosting its annual Fashion Show/Luncheon fundraiser on Tuesday, April 24.

The event will be held at Midvale Country Club 2387 Baird Road in Penfield beginning at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon, including haddock French, chicken Madeira or vegetable quiche, with baked potato, steamed asparagus, salad and dessert.

The fashion show begins at 1 p.m., featuring J. Jill from Eastview Mall, purveyor of unique and fashionable women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear.

Tickets are $25, and reservations are required by April 18. Send your check payable to Woman’s Club of Rochester to Elsie Costa, 441 Cascade Drive, Penfield, NY 14526.

Proceeds from this event will benefit Challenger Miracle Field and Meals on Wheels.

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The Harmony House on East Main Street in Webster will play host to an intriguing fundraiser on Saturday April 28, a Middle Eastern dance workshop and charity show to benefit G.R.A.S.P. (Greece Residents Assisting Stray Pets).

According to the G.R.A.S.P. Facebook page, the group

is committed to reducing the number of homeless pets in Greece, New York by decreasing dog and cat reproduction, promoting responsible pet ownership, and placing homeless dogs and cats into compatible, loving, permanent homes. When resources allow, we will try to help pets in need in the surrounding areas.

The all-day event will include bellydance workshops and demonstrations, two dance shows, a raffle, vendors and more. Click on the link below for complete details and ticket prices.

2018 Tails of Arabia Brochure

Find out more about G.R.A.S.P. by visiting their website here and Facebook page here.

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Mark your calendar for these town events

3 Apr

CaptureThis week’s column by Town of Webster Supervisor Ron Nesbitt is just packed with interesting news which I am pleased to pass on.

Road construction has begun at the corner of Phillips and Schlegel roads. This project will include widening the roadway, widening the shoulders, and completing water main and drainage work.  If the summer weather cooperates, everything should be completed by this fall.

The next Pharmaceutical Waste Pickup event has been scheduled for Saturday April 28 at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 226 Phillips Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Any unused, unwanted or expired medication is taken for disposal. No appointment is necessary.  If you do not feel comfortable with your personal information on the bottles, you can remove the pills and put them in a plastic bag for disposal.

And remember also that there’s a CVS Drug Collection unit at the Webster Town Hall right inside the Police Department entrance.  It’s open during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. As with the pharmaceutical waste pickup, items accepted at the drop box include any unused, unwanted or expired medication such as prescriptions, prescription patches, prescription medication, prescription ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples and medications for pets.  Items that are NOT accepted include hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, aerosol cans, ointments, lotions, or liquids, thermometers, needles (sharps) and medication from businesses or clinics

Details are still being worked out, but the annual Town of Webster Open House has been scheduled for Saturday, May 12. Watch for more information soon.

The Town of Webster’s annual Summer Celebration is slated for Saturday June 23 from 4 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Building, 1350 Chiyoda Drive. It features food trucks, games, inflatables, live music, and fireworks. More information to come about this as well.

Finally, Webster’s newest festival, the Waterfront Arts Festival will take place this year on Saturday and Sunday July 28 and 29 at North Ponds Park. The annual event attracts fine artisans from all over Monroe County. You’ll also find food trucks, live entertainment, a wine tasting booth and other exhibits.

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Webster mini mailbag

22 Mar

Just a few quick events taking place this weekend I wanted to remind you about. The first is the Webster Thomas Players production of Pippin, which actually is about to raise its opening night curtain as I write this.

pippinThis is going to be an outstanding performance. If you have never seen our high school students take to the stage before, please make the time to do so, because you’ll be very impressed.

The remaining showtimes are Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday March 24 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door, beginning an hour before the show.

Webster Thomas High School is at 800 Five Mile Line Road in Webster.

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And may I suggest that if you go to Pippin on Saturday night, you begin the evening with an amazing Italian dinner.


Boy Scout Troop 262’s Famous Spaghetti Dinner will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, at the Webster Columbus Center, 70 Barrett Drive.

In addition to dinner, there’s a bake sale and a drawing for a TV. Cost is $9 per adult, $5 for children under 10.

I’m not exactly sure what makes this particular spaghetti dinner “famous,” but I suspect it’s pretty spectacular, and I’m curious enough to check it out for myself.

And I might win a TV.

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train showAnd don’t forget about the Model Train Show this weekend, sponsored by the Webster Association of Senior Program Supporters, a not-for-profit senior transportation group. It  takes place Saturday and Sunday March 24 and 25 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

There will be lots of displays and lots of vendors offering trains and accessories. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children, and free for kids under 12.

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Get well at ROC & Soul Fitness

21 Mar

roc & soulOne of the village of Webster’s newest businesses, ROC & Soul Fitness, has a special event coming up dedicated to helping us all get and stay healthy.

It’s their Open House/Wellness Day this Saturday, March 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will bring together several Webster and Rochester-area businesses to offer health tips and wellness inspiration.

Wellness Day participants will enjoy

– A FREE barre class
– Lunch catered by CoreLife Eatery
– Healthy treats from The Village Bakery
– Two informational speakers
​- plus representatives from RSalon, Oils by Erin, Athleta, ​Lorraine Staunch Art, and Arbonne Shakes.

It’s also a great chance to check out the new ROC & Soul studio. Owners Joe and Malena Guadagnino call their place a “boutique fitness studio,” offering barre, yoga, and other classes. It’s located at 43 East Main Street, down in the new little “Shops at Main Street” plaza behind Prime, kind of where the OTB and Rubino’s once were.

For more information about the ROC & Soul, and the Open House/Wellness Day, visit their website here and Facebook page here.

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Marshmallow Masterpieces on Display in Webster

19 Mar

Today I am pleased to step aside for a guest blogger, Justin Karnisky. Justin is a Boy Scout with Troop 110, and submitted this excellent follow-up article about an event that took place over the weekend.

Marshmallow Masterpieces on Display in Webster

by Justin Karnisky


The Webster Public Library’s annual Book Sale… in Peeps. (J. Karnisky)

The Greater Rochester [Marshmallow] Peep® Show took place March 17-18 at the Webster Recreation Center on Chiyoda Drive and was a big hit. More than 1,600 people attended the event across the two days that it was held.

The cleverly named Peep Show consists of diorama-like displays of Marshmallow Peeps ® in various settings. Favorites included the Webster Public Library, a one-room schoolhouse full of Peeps sitting at desks made out of graham crackers, a Peep hair salon, a display from Lollypop Farm, local favorites such as Wickham Farms, and several displays of Peeps participating in events from the Winter Olympics. Free admission allowed families to attend and enjoy the displays at no cost, with an optional charity donation.

Several Girl Scout troops submitted displays for the event. Even some local news networks had displays of their newsrooms. Other displays included the Peep Eiffel Tower, Heritage Christian Stables, Peepble Beach putting green, Cherry Ridge playground, and even the brand-new Filling Station. For the older crowd, there was a Lawrence Welk Peep display, with a marshmallow Mr. Welk in front with his baton. Also new this year was a spring bonnet parade, with hats decorated with marshmallow creations. Many of the displays were quite detailed, in particular the Lollypeep Farm display, which included pigs, pine trees, ducks in a pond, sheep, and miniature animals inside pens. Genesee Valley Physical Therapy’s display featured Peeps doing various exercises, as did a Jazzercise display, which included free weights made out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows. For fans of the Netflix series Stranger Things, there was even a Stranger Peeps display. A local favorite, and winner of the Webster Dental Group award for Best Eatery Peep, was the Filling Station Pub and Grill display, which included Peeps on bar stools and at graham crackers booths, and even hamburgers and sodas.

The Peep Show is sponsored by the Webster Community Chest. Michael Granier, a member of the board of directors of the Community Chest and nicknamed “Head Peep” for the event, said the show “is funded by sponsors, donations from attendees, and merchandise sales.” Granier, a former member of Boy Scout Troop 110 himself, enthusiastically described the planning, setup, volunteer coordination, and community participation for the event. Volunteers range from students from both Webster High Schools to members of the Community Chest. “This exists as a fundraiser event for the Community Chest and for the charities involved, because all expenses go to the charities,” Granier said.

There are three levels of sponsorship for the Peep Show. At the Sponsor level, the company gets a banner displayed at the event, a prize sponsorship, and a table. At the Support level, the company gets a prize and table sponsorship. Finally, at the Friend level, a company gets to sponsor a prize.


Angie Fish, Alicia Solis, Edwin and Abby Fish (J. Karnisky)

Several families were in attendance throughout the event. The Fish family, originally from Massachussetts, was seeing the show for the first time. Abby, Edwin, and Angie Fish, together with their mother and their friend Alicia Solis, really enjoyed the displays. “It’s like they took our world and turned it into candy,” Abby Fish said. Her favorite was the Webster Public Library display. Angie Fish said the show was “very creative,” and their younger brother Edwin said he liked that “all the stuff was made out of Peeps.”

Now in its third year, the Peep show has gained publicity through posters, social media, news articles, and sites such as Kids Out and About. For more information on how to create a display for next year, see

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KarniskyScout2018Note: Justin Karnisky is a Star Scout in Boy Scout Troop 110 from St. Martin’s Church in Webster. He is 14 years old, and a 9th grader at McQuaid Jesuit High School. .Justin is working on the communications merit badge one of the required badges for Eagle Scout. 


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Some thoughts about the Village Board

11 Mar

It had been a long time since I’d attended a Webster Village Board meeting, but last Thursday, on the advice of the fine ladies at the Village Hall (where I’d gone to renew my passport), I decided to go. And I’m glad I did.

The evening was marked by two important events. The first was a moment of silence in honor of one of the village’s finest people, Carol Klem, who passed away about a week ago.

Village Trustee Karl Laurer added some thoughts. He said that Carol was “instrumental in helping me be in the position I am now. … She was a fine example of humility, integrity, decency, honor, and a solid part of our village meetings.”

Village Trustee Jude Lancy added that Carol’s funeral, held the previous day, was a “great celebration of her life….As sorrowful as we felt, (the officiants) made us laugh.”


The next order of business was another celebration of service to the community, but a bit happier one, when David Mayer was recognized for his almost 21 years of service as the village’s Planning and Zoning attorney.

During his tenure he served under seven different mayors of different political parties, earning respect from them all.

On a side note, I have to say that attending the Village Board meetings is a pleasant experience once again.

I had gotten out of the habit of attending these meetings because I was a bit put off by the shenanigans and the circus it had become under the previous administration. I had both a prurient interest in attending just to see what might happen, but also felt frustrated, embarrassed and annoyed by what did transpire.

But now they’re back where they belong: civil, not contentious. There’s a lot of dry procedural matters that necessarily have to be part of village business, but there’s usually also a lot of interesting information for our day-to-day village living.

For example, at one meeting late last year, one resident brought up his concerns about the clock tower in Veterans Park, and how it had been broken for so long. He by the way, was one of the residents who worked so hard to raise money to purchase it.

I encourage every village resident to check out a meeting every once in a while. It’s a good way to become an informed citizen, and a great avenue by which to express your concerns about what’s going on in the village. There aren’t many opportunities these days when we can look a government leader in the eye and share our gripes.

Village Board meetings are held the second and fourth Thursday of every month beginning at 7 p.m., in the Village Community Meeting Hall, 29 South Avenue. (This is a new time. Meetings used to begin at 7:30, but were moved as of March 1.)

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