Thoughts on the First Responders 5K

2 Sep
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(Photo courtesy Mary White)

An amazing 625 people — both adults and children — participated in the second annual First Responders 5K on Friday night, which began on Sanford Street near Firemen’s Field and wound through the east side of Webster village.  It’s an impressive number considering it was the start of Labor Day weekend AND it was a Friday night, two very good reasons that race participants might have had other things to do or places to be.

But again this year, Webster and our surrounding communities showed how incredibly

holly and me

Before the race with my friend Holly. (Courtesy Mary White)

supportive they are of our first responders. And not only did the race attract a lot of runners, but the number of village residents who took the time to sit out front of their homes and cheer the runners as we raced by was heartening and very much appreciated.

Kudos to all of the firefighters and police officers who ran in their full gear; the weather was much improved over last year’s heat and humidity, but it must have still been a struggle to complete the 3.1-mile course while wearing many pounds of gear.

I took a few pictures, but not as many as our favorite Turkey Trot photographer Mary White. I’ve posted a few here, but if you’d like to see a lot more, click this link for an entire gallery.

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An invitation for park lovers

30 Aug

I’d like to extend an invitation today to anyone who loves — and appreciates — our Village of Webster parks.

tree marker

Expanding the village’s tree marker program is one goal of the Village Board’s Parks and Recreation Committee. 

First, a little background. Only a month or so after I became a new village resident, I was approached and asked if I would like to join the Village of Webster Parks and Recreation Committee. Apparently, the new village bike racks which I’ve been pushing for also fall under the purview of the Parks and Rec Committee. Since I seemed so invested in that issue, joining the committee itself seemed a natural next step.

I figured I should try to get more involved in my new hometown, so I accepted the appointment. Now I’d like to invite others to join the committee as well.

Many village residents are surprised to learn that our little village actually has FIVE different parks within its boundaries:

  • Harmony Park on Phillips Rd., which features the Village Band bandshell
  • Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. with the gazebo
  • Wilmorite Park on Iroquois St., with a playground, picnic table and basketball court
  • Schantz Park on State Rd., with tennis courts, a rock wall and playground
  • Milton Case Park, behind Spry Middle School, with 14 acres of woods and several trails.

One of the primary goals of our committee is to bring more awareness to these natural resources. We’ll also work to see that they are maintained and — hopefully — improved, and encourage development of new parks. To that end, at our most recent meeting, we discussed tentative plans for

  • a “discover your parks” scavenger hunt
  • creating a survey about park usage
  • distributing an informational brochure describing the parks
  • updating and expanding the tree marker program
  • visiting each park to inventory their condition, and more.

Thing is, counting me, there are only two people on the committee right now. We could use two or three more to help us implement all of our great ideas, and come up with new ones.

We meet once a month, on the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. in the community meeting room at Village Hall. Our last two meetings have lasted less than 45 minutes, so it’s not a huge time commitment.

If you’re interested at all, or would like to find out more information, please email me at missyblog@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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Race in Webster Village Friday night will affect traffic

29 Aug

first responders

If you find yourself driving in and around the Village of Webster on Friday night, be prepared for some possible temporary road closures.

The second annual First Responders 5K will be winding its way through (mostly) the east side of the village Friday night Aug. 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

first responders logoThe race is designed to raise awareness of PTSD in first responders, and raise funds for FRST Agency, a newly created organization that will provide support, awareness, assets, and services to first responders seeking assistance in dealing with the effects of PTSD.

It will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sanford St., on the south side of Firemen’s Field. Runners will head east down Sanford Street to South Ave., and then snake their way through the east-side neighborhoods before returning to Firemen’s Field. The course will take runners along Fuller Ave., Dunning Ave., Meadow Dr., Southwick Dr., Hawley Dr., Judson St., Harmon St., and Curtice Park, requiring temporary restrictions on these streets. In addition, Rt. 250 between State Rd. and Main St. will be closed for a short time and restricted for about an hour.

Click here for a map of the race route.

Organizers have mailed notices to all the affected residents on these streets, noting that while some streets will be closed during certain times, local residential traffic will be delayed but accommodated. So it’s not like you’re going to be trapped at home — or stuck on Main Street — for the entire race.

However, if you live on one of these streets and CAN afford to be stuck at home, please consider pitching a chair or two in your driveway and come out to cheer on the runners. As a frequent participant at races like these (and I will be running Friday night as well), I can attest to how great it feels to have people along the route encouraging you, ringing cowbells and handing out high-fives. This is a great community event, and it would be awesome to see the community come out in force to support it. (The race will run by my house twice, so I’ve convinced my husband to offer a special “water” stop for first responders in gear.)

If you’d like to participate as a runner OR walker, registration will be open on-site up to the start of the race. Just look for the registration tent at Firemen’s Field after 5 p.m. that evening.

For more information about the race, or to register online, click here.

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Village People

27 Aug

houses

My husband and I have met some wonderful people since we moved into the Village of Webster. It took very little time before we got to know a dozen neighbors, and the neighborhood began to feel like a family.

Now don’t get me wrong. I had some wonderful neighbors at our old house in North Penfield, and we still keep in touch. But somehow the connection is different — closer and more neighborly — in a village setting.

And that’s true even if the neighbors don’t even live here anymore, as evidenced by something that happened last night.

A couple — Joanne and Bob — were walking by our house, and had stopped to take a closer look. We got to chatting with them and Bob explained that he’d grown up in the house back in the ’50s, and his mother continued to live here for many years after, including after his marriage to Joanne.

So of course, we invited them in.

It was a no-brainer for me. For years I had dreamed of revisiting my childhood home in Owego, which I had left in 1976. Several years ago, when I was in town for a high school reunion, I finally marshaled the nerve to knock on the door, and asked a total stranger if she wouldn’t mind my coming in and looking around. She was kind enough to allow me to do just that. It was a walk back through memories I will always fondly remember.

I was delighted to be able to give Bob and Joanne that same experience. Their eyes lit up as they remembered Mom’s little kitchen, where our fireplace is now located. Bob pointed out where an archway was removed to open up the entire first floor. Our kitchen used to be a small back room where his mother typed up novels and magazine articles. The large bedroom upstairs where he and his brothers slept has been split into two rooms. And he pointed out that the porch light is the very same one he remembered from his youth.

It was a delightful walk through the past for us as well. We enjoy hearing about the history of our little home and the lives that were lived here.

Bob and Joanne now live up near the lake, and like to drive into the village to take their evening walks.  We look forward to the day that they stop again for a visit. They’ve promised to bring along a photo album, so we too can see our home as it used to be.

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Heritage Christian Stables could use your help

23 Aug

Heritage 2

Heritage Christian Stables, on Salt Rd. in Webster, has sent out a call for volunteers.

Heritage Christian Stables is a therapeutic riding program for children and adults with physical, social or developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and spina bifida. Horseback riding is great therapy for all of these conditions, providing social, emotional and physical benefits.

The need is great in our area for programs like these, but without enough volunteers, it’s hard to serve that need.

In a release I recently received from Heritage, Volunteer Coordinator Niki Whilden goes on to explain that,

therapeutic horsemanship impacts a person’s physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual well being. The horse’s walk mimics the three dimensional movement of the human walk, offering riders the rhythmic movement and opportunities for improvement in balance, symmetry, and muscle strengthening. Participants are provided with cognitive tasks to improve following directions, sequencing, and meeting educational goals. Psychologically, it’s empowering for the rider to be able to control a 1,000-pound animal and develop a bond with a horse that positively affects the participant’s self-esteem and confidence.

Therapeutic horsemanship allows people to strengthen their bodies and minds, freeing their spirit to do the things they never thought possible. And best of all, it’s fun!

The continued success of the therapeutic horsemanship program relies heavily on volunteers, which help to run lessons year-round. Riders may require as many as three people to assist them – one “side walker” on each side of the horse and one “horse leader” responsible for guiding the equine. Experience is not required, and all necessary training is provided.

Heritage’s fall session begins Sept. 9, and they’ll need approximately 80 volunteers to help approximately 60 individuals ride horses during lessons offered  six days a week and varying times of the day.

For more information on how you can help, call (585) 872-2540 or email volunteerhcs@gmail.com.

“At Heritage Christian Stables,” Whilden added, “we believe the special bond between a rider and their horse can help people of all abilities reach beyond their limitations to achieve their dreams.”

Heritage Christian Stables is located at 1103 Salt Rd. If you’d like to read more about the great programs they offer, visit their website here. I also wrote a column about them several years ago, which you can find here.

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Barry’s Irish Festival just days away

13 Aug

Irish festival

It’s almost time to get your Irish on at the Barry’s Irish Festival, coming up this Saturday.

Danny and Jessica Barry — owners of Barry’s Old School Irish in the Village of Webster and two of my favorit-est people ever — have been working for months, pulling together a thousand little details in preparation for what they expect to be the first of many Irish festivals to come.

And, Jessica told me in an email, they’ve been working on this idea for a long time.

This has been a goal/dream of ours since before opening the pub 8 years ago, having a fun-filled day celebrating our proud Irish heritage. A day where families can bond, kids can learn about Irish culture in an interactive setting, where friends can gather, where everyone can come away with new friends and make great memories together.

The event is scheduled this coming Saturday August 17 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., on the Berry family farm out in Hilton, which they call the “Berry Patch.” Highlights include arts and crafts vendors, food and beer trucks, and live music all day long.

True to its family-friendly nature, there will also be a great kids’ area, with farm animals, something which Jess is really looking forward to.

We’re especially excited for the kids portion of the day- where Maley, Rory, and Patrick are going to lead the way with arts and for all the children. They’ve been talking non-stop about the visit from Liam the Leprechaun to the festival and are eager to learn a step or two from the Irish dancers set to perform.

“Our most important goal,” she added, “is to take the warmth and love of our little Irish Pub on 2 West Main Street and bring it to our farm/our home for the day.” 

Danny and Jess have been assisted by a small army of volunteers, but they could use some more hands. If you’d like to help out, email them at BarrysIrishPub@gmail.com.

The farm is located at 2668 Brick Schoolhouse Rd., Hilton. Tickets are available in advance for $12 at Barry’s Old School Irish, 2 West Main Street in Webster. They’ll be $15 at the gate, and are also available on Eventbrite.com. Children 12 and under are free.  (P.S. the pub will be CLOSED all day Saturday so everyone can enjoy the festival.)

Click here to visit the Facebook event page for lots more details, but here’s a quick summary of what you can expect this Saturday:

Special attractions:

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Kids’ activities and crafts
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Craft vendors
  • 2:30 p.m.: Can Jam tournament
  • 3:30 p.m.: Corn Hole tournament

Food and beverages: 

  • 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Irish beer truck
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Webster Hots food truck
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Meat the Press food Truck
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: The Chai Guy
  • 2 to 8 p.m.: Proper 12 Irish whiskey
  • 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Jameson sampling
  • 4 to 8 p.m.: Netson’s Ice Cream truck
  • 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Tullamore Dew sampling
  • 6 to 11 p.m.: Rustic Taco food truck

Entertainment: 

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The Fox Hunters
  • Noon: Gates Keystone Pipe & Drums
  • 1 p.m.: Peg Dolan and Sharon McHargue
  • 2 p.m.: The Young School of Irish Dance
  • 2:30 to 4 p.m.: Kevin Reynolds
  • 4:30 to 7 p.m.: Everheart
  • 6:30 p.m.: Jamieson School of Irish Dance 
  • 7:30 p.m.: Caleb the Bagpiper
  • 7:45 to 9 p.m.: Celtic Cross
  • 9:15 to 11 p.m.: 1916

For more information, email Danny and Jess at BarrysIrishPub@gmail.com.

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Checking in with the Quilt Shoppe

12 Aug

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I had the opportunity to pop into the new Village Quilt Shoppe Saturday just to say hi to owners Monique Liberti and Vanetta Parshall and see how their first few days went.

Monique told me they have been warmly welcomed to the village. Since I stopped in a week ago, she and Vanetta have equipped their classroom space at the back of the store, added a few more decorations to the shop and a new sign out front.

If you haven’t yet, try to pop in this week and let them know how happy we are to have them in the village. (Even if you’re not a quilter.)

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Webster community mailbag

10 Aug

Each one of these notices, which I received via email this week, is worthy of a blog all to itself. But I thought I’d toss them in all together just to get them out there as soon as possible.

garlic fest logo

The Rochester Garlic Festival — formerly the Webster Garlic Festival — will be returning to the Webster Recreation Center in September. The event took last year off to regroup and is coming back bigger and stronger than ever. Organizers tell me there will be more than 100 vendors of all kinds (not just garlic), food trucks, beer, a children’s area, and an awesome entertainment lineup.

But they need your help to make sure it’s awesome. There are a lot of jobs, big and little, you can help with. Most won’t take much time, and then you can enjoy the festival! Click here for more information about what jobs are available and to sign up.

rochester rhapsody

Are you a lady who loves to sing? Read on for a great opportunity.

Rochester Rhapsody, the Rochester chapter of Harmony, Incorporated, an international organization of female a cappella singers specializing in the barbershop harmony style, will spread their love of music during the summer season with open rehearsals for women of all ages.

Female guests can attend Rochester Rhapsody’s “Summer SINGsation” at Harmony House, 58 E. Main St. in the Village of Webster on August 19 and 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. during their open rehearsals. The two-week event will culminate in a concert performed for the local community on August 26 at Harmony House at 7:30 p.m. The event is free but donations for the concert are gratefully accepted.

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. The chorus is currently working on a variety of songs, learning new music, and getting ready for an International Competition. Even if you’ve never sung a cappella or haven’t sung in a while, you’re welcome to join the fun.

For more information about “Summer SINGsation,” or more information about Rochester Rhapsody chorus, click here, email info@rochesterrhapsody.com or call 585-865-2731.

charlie's

One of our area’s best-known and favorite restaurant chains is marking a pretty big anniversary.

Family-owned Charlie’s Restaurants is turning 50 years old this year, and is inviting the whole community to help them celebrate. They’re basically throwing a big party on Sunday, August 25, with live music, a “throwback” food menu, and fun and games for the whole family.

It all will take place at Charlie’s Webster location,  1843 Empire Blvd.; the Ontario location will actually be closed for the day so the staff there can enjoy the festivities in Webster.

For a look at Charlie’s full menu, visit charliesrestaurants.com.

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An update on the bike racks

9 Aug

For those of you who might be wondering what the latest news is about possibly getting bike racks in the village, here’s an update. And the news is good.

The village, as we know, has purchased four bike racks, two with the Village of Webster logo and two with the bike logo. Jake Swingly, Superintendent of Public Works, has told me that the racks should be delivered to the village the week of August 20.

Based on the survey results which I presented to the Village Board, the racks will be installed 1) near Barry’s Old School Irish, 2) in front of Village Hall, 3) at Veterans’ Memorial Park, and 4) near the Village Bakery.

There’s no indication yet exactly WHEN the racks will be installed, but hopefully it will not be too long after delivery.

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Village Quilt Shoppe joins E. Main Street merchants

7 Aug

East Main Street in the village just keeps getting better, and the latest new business to take up residence is making a lot of people very excited.

The Village Quilt Shoppe has quickly been taking shape in 21 E. Main Street, the former Mac 5 Bike Shop at the corner of Lapham Park. It’s owned and operated by Monique Liberti and Vanetta Parshall, two long-time friends who’ve been talking about opening a quilt shop for a while.

“We’ve been quilting together for several years, and been talking for several years about owning our own quilt shop,” Monique said. The idea became especially focused when Cafe Sewciety, on Empire Blvd., closed a few years ago.

Turns out that shop’s owner wasn’t interested in selling, and the idea took a back burner for a little while as life got in the way. But last November, the friends decided the time was right to rekindle their passion. They started looking in earnest for a location, and found the corner location in Webster, “which we thought was perfect,” Monique said.

A small army of family and friends has been helping the friends pull the shop together in what seems like record time — they only signed the lease in mid-June. Their efforts, and more than a little bit of money, have transformed the once-shabby shop into something beautiful.

The 1100-square foot storefront will be well stocked with a wide variety of fabrics (featuring eight or nine different designers) and notions, and includes space in the back for a quilters’ classroom accommodating up to 12 people. Some of their products won’t even be available in any other quilt shops in the area — or even New York State — like Cherrywood hand dyed fabrics, known for their suede-like look and vibrant colors.

But even more important than the products on the shelves, The Village Quilt Shoppe will offer a warm, relaxing atmosphere, complete with comfortable couches and chairs, where visitors will feel welcomed the moment they step through the door, whether they’re planning to buy something or not.

Monique and Vanetta hope to open The Village Quilt Shoppe this Friday Aug. 9, with a grand opening planned for Sept. 13 and 14, complete with raffles and fun activities. Stay tuned for more information about that. But in the meantime, stop by on Friday and welcome them to the neighborhood!

To read more about The Village Quilt Shoppe, click here.

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