Tag Archives: Challenger Miracle Field

A morning of baseball like no other

26 Jul

“Heroes Helping Heroes.” There was absolutely no better way to describe the incredible event held Saturday at Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

You’ve read about this magical place in my blog before. Miracle Field is located in Ridge Park adjacent to Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

On Saturday, these young athletes were joined on the baseball diamond by local first responders — police officers, State Troopers, EMTs, firefighters — who ran with them around the bases and assisted them in the field.

Heroes helping heroes.

It’s a delight to see the joy on the faces of these young people when they hit the ball, round the bases and score runs. Or when they successfully snag a grounder — which is such a joyous event they’d rather show it to the adult standing next to them than actually throw it to a base. Their mile-wide grins are infectious, and their jubilation as they cross the plate makes every heart smile.

Saturday’s event featured several ballgames, plus kids’ activities, a dunk tank, a fire truck to climb on, a mounted patrol officer with her horse to pet, food trucks, give-aways, and lots more. It was a super, well-coordinated event that was a delight for everyone who attended. Thank you to Linda Burke, Don Barone, Ron Kampff, the rest of the Miracle Field members and staff, and all of the volunteers for making it a great day. I look forward to next year.

Click here for a gallery of more photos.

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Eagle Scout project enhances Miracle Field

21 Jul

Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester has a brand new, very handsome three-rail fence, thanks to the leadership and efforts of Eagle Scout candidate Joshua Ramph.

The 250-foot long, 4-1/2-foot tall fence stands atop a small hill on the north side of the Karpus Family Playground, separating it from Miracle Field. Joshua, a Life Scout from Troop 108, chose to tackle the project after consulting with a couple of local agencies. He wrote,

Joshua Ramph with the finished fence (provided)

I contacted Friends of Webster Trails to see if they had any projects they needed done. They did not, but they put me in contact with Webster Parks and Rec, who had some projects available. One was a kiosk, and another was the fence.

A few years ago, Joshua helped his brother build a kiosk for his Eagle Scout project, so he wanted to do something different. After meeting with Parks Director Glenn Morrell and discussing available projects, he decided on the fence.

This was a pretty major project, too. Even before construction could begin, it took two months to plan and get approval, funding, and order materials. Finally, over the weekend of July 12, Joshua and almost two dozen friends, family members and Scouts from Troops 108, 163 and 363 came together to erect the fence.

Joshua and his team also received funding from L3Harris Technologies and fencing materials from Miracle Field co-chair Ron Kampff. Altra Rental and Supply brought in excavation equipment and Rhino’s Pizzeria and Deli supplied lunch for the work party.

The project wasn’t without its challenges, either. Joshua’s mother Rhonda wrote that the hill they were working on used to be a landfill for the highway department. So the grounds were littered with hidden rocks, concrete slabs and car parts. Hence the bucket excavator needed to dig through it all.

The new fence is a beautiful addition to an already beautiful park. Ever since the installation of the completely accessible Karpus Family Playground, the park’s original chain-link fence looked shabby. The new split-rail fence, Josh wrote, “is not only eye appealing, but it should help keep kids in the playground from running down the hill and sustaining injury.”

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

The fence was also installed just in time for this Saturday’s Heroes Helping Heroes Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Challenger Miracle Field. It’s a whole morning of baseball games pitting Challenger athletes against first responders, and will also feature food trucks, a dunk tank, carnival games, police vehicles, a fire truck, the mounted patrol, a visit from Spikes the Red Wings mascot, and more. Click here to read more about that event.

Here’s a slideshow of photos from Joshua’s project, courtesy Rhonda:

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Webster community mailbag: busy weekend ahead

20 Jul

Baseball and festival and ice cream. All perennial summer favorites, and you’ll find them all this weekend in Webster.

The fun all starts Saturday morning July 24 at Challenger Miracle Field of Great Rochester, during their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes for whom the field was built, and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. Visitors are invited to watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, and then hang around to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

It’s all free, there’s plenty of parking, and it’s going to be great family fun. Click here to learn more about Challenger Miracle Field.


The Waterfront Art Festival also returns to North Ponds Park this Saturday and Sunday after taking last year off (much like most everything else in life).

The Waterfront Art Festival is a fine art and craft show and sale that was started in 1973 on the Canandaigua City Pier. It was held in Canandaigua for 41 years before moving to Webster, where it has grown every year and become a highly anticipated summer event.

This year’s festival will feature almost 60 artisans displaying a wide variety of unique, high-quality pieces ranging from stoneware, beads and culinary items to jewelry, glassware and soaps… and so much more.

PLUS, there’s lots of live music (check the line-up here), a food court and wine/beer/cider tastings tent, all set up along the pathways and lawns of the picturesque, shady North Ponds Park.

Admission is $3, and kids 12 and under are free. There’s also plenty of free parking.


Here’s word of a unique new “summer camp” experience for kids who like to sew.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main Street in Webster, will offer a Stitch by Stitch Kids Summer Camp from Tuesday July 27 through Thursday July 29. Over the three days, young students will create their own drawstring backpacks, while learning more about sewing machines and techniques.

Classes will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. each day, and be taught by instructor Kelly Goodman. Cost is $60.

For more information, including a supply list, email The Village Quilt Shoppe through the contact page on their website, call them at 585-626-6916 or stop by their shop.


St. Rita Church in West Webster will be hosting their next “Saturdays at St. Rita” event this weekend.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on July 24, the community is invited to an ice cream social at the church, 1008 Maple Drive.

BUT THERE’S MORE THAN JUST ICE CREAM! You can also get dinner from Verno on the Roll, AND play miniature golf for free! There’s a book sale, gift basket raffle, and live music.

And of course, it’s all a warm-up to the annual St. Rita Fiesta, scheduled this year for Aug. 28. Stay tuned for more about that.


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Webster community mailbag

6 Jul

A couple of reminders this morning about upcoming events, plus a few new events for your consideration.

This Friday July 9, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, at the corner of Webster Rd. (Rt. 250) and State Rd., will host a drive-through Taco Dinner, beginning at 4 p.m. and ending when they’re sold out.

Customers will have a choice of beef and chicken Birria style street tacos along with rice and black bean sides. The meals, priced at $12 for the first one and $11 for each additional meal ordered at the same time, are prepared by Tacodero, of Rochester. Its owner and chef, Cordero Rivera, has worked as a private chef cooking for hip-hop artists and NBA players in NYC before moving to Rochester.

Orders can be placed when you drive into the event. Proceeds will support the church’s outreach efforts in the Webster community and the greater Rochester area.


The Friends of the Public Library have added more dates for their Pop-Up Book Sales.

Four more sales have been scheduled for Thursday July 15, Saturday July 31, Thursday August 12 and Saturday August 28. They’ll be held in the Webster Public Library parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., weather permitting. (Cancellations will be posted on the library’s website and Facebook page or you can call the library at 585-872-7075.)

Prices will be $1 for hardcover, 2/$1 for paperback. On August 28, the last sale day, bring your own bag and fill it to the brim for just $3 (or two bags for $5).

By the way, remember that the library is holding Outdoor Storytimes at Harmony Park every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. No registration is necessary. The park is located just off Phillips Rd. on 10 Foster Drive. For more information, check out the library calendar here.

This tidbit also from the library: “Binge Bags.”

If you’re in the mood to take a break and binge on four or five movies — all with the same theme (like Star Wars or the best of Stephen King) — you can check out a “Binge Bag” at the library. It will be your own personal movie marathon. (Don’t forget the popcorn.)

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.


The Webster Recreation Center’s next Family Fun Day will be on Saturday July 17.

The Summer Splash Family Fun Water Day will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the First Responders Splash Park, located on Chiyoda Drive adjacent to the Webster Recreation Center. Make sure to wear your swimsuits, bring a towel and some cash because there will be food trucks.

No registration is required, and the event is free for all ages.

And while you’re near the Rec Center, make sure to grab your copy of the new “Find a Way to Play” playgrounds passport. This is a new program from the Webster Parks and Recreation Department which encourages families to get outside and explore all of the great play areas we have here in Webster.

The 10-page passbook highlights many places right here in town where children and adults can be active and have fun. It encourages everyone to visit different facilities and discover each one’s unique amenities. The booklet provides a brief description of not just playgrounds, but two spray parks, the skate park and more.

You can read more about the program in this blog I wrote a few weeks ago.


There’s a very special event coming up later this month which I’ll write more about at a later date. But it’s something I think you’ll want to get on your calendar right now, especially if you’re not familiar with Rochester Challenger Miracle Field.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

On Saturday July 24, Miracle Field will host their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. You can watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, then stay to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot. It should be a great morning of family fun.

More to come about this event later. But in the meantime, you can visit the Rochester Challenger Miracle Field website for details.


Also coming up later this month, a brand new event from the Webster BID, those folks who bring you White Christmas in the Village, Trick or Treat Trail, Wine Walks and more.

It’s being called the Family Games Night & Beer Garden, scheduled for Friday July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. on West Main Street in the village.

The BID website promises sidewalk chalk art, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four, Cornhole and a free yoga class. Beer and wine will be served up by the Coach Sports Bar and food from Webster Hots (including a kids’ menu). Live acoustic music will be provided by Steve Bartolotta from 6:30 to 8:00.

Details are still being hammered out, so stay tuned. You can also check the BID website for updates.

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Library, Miracle Field are asking for your support

7 Nov

The very clever and very popular “Caps for Sale” fundraiser returns to the Webster Public Library later this month, to benefit the Friends of the Library.

The fundraiser is based on the popular children’s book of the same name, in which Bartholomew IMG_E9392Cubbins had 500 hats. There won’t be quite that many at this sale, but guaranteed you’ll find a beautiful selection, all hand-crafted by the Webster Library Sit and Stitch Group.

Adult hats will be sold for $10, and children’s for $5 Buy a hat for a gift, for yourself or to hang on the HOPE House’s mitten and hat tree in the lobby.

The sale is scheduled for Thursday November 14 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday November 16 from noon to 2 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Webster Public Library and their programs.

A second fundraiser on Nov. 21 — a LuLaRoe pop-up boutique — will also benefit the Friends of the Library.

LuLaRoe sells simple, comfortable, unique clothing styles, including dresses, sweaters, leggings and t-shirts. You can shop that night and take your order home with you.

The sale will take place Thursday Nov. 21 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the library’s Community Room. At the same time, the Friends will host a meet-and-greet event, where new members and those wanting to know more about the Friends can come together at the library, share a treat and chat with other Friends.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road, at the back of the plaza.

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Please join us For 2An extra-special art show, featuring children and adults with physical and developmental challenges, will be held Friday and Saturday Nov. 15 and 16 at CDS Life Transitions, 860 Hard Rd.

This is a great opportunity to take home a true original, with the added advantage of knowing that all proceeds will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

Click on the butterfly image for more information about this unique event.

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Run, walk or roll to benefit Miracle Field

20 Sep

Image result for miracle field run, walk and roll

The 5th annual Run, Walk & Roll 5K and Miracle Field Stroll is scheduled for Sunday Sept. 29, and I’d like to encourage EVERYONE to take part.

Not a runner? No problem. You can walk. You can even bring along the baby in a stroller, or your dog. The main thing is that you come, because it’s going to be great exercise with a lot of new friends, doesn’t cost too much AND it benefits a great cause.

The annual Run, Walk & Roll benefits Challenger Miracle Field, an adaptive sports field for children with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities. Specifically, this year the event is raising money to help complete the all-inclusive Karpus Family Play with Possibilities Playground,

This year’s race will be even better than ever, since for the very first time, it will begin and end right at Miracle Field, behind Town Hall on Ridge Road. In its four previous years, it started at Thomas High School, but it just seems RIGHT that everything is focused around Miracle Field this year. After all, it’s a beautiful facility and it’s a great opportunity for more people to see it and realize that.

The race course will begin at the corner of Hard Rd. and Van Ingen Drive. Runners will go north on Hard Road, onto the Route 104 bike trail, around the North Ponds loop and back to Miracle Field, where refreshments await.

The Miracle Field Stroll with take place on the field and on the sidewalk by the soon-to-be-built Karpus Family Play with Possibilities Playground! You’ll enjoy the field that so many children of different abilities have been playing on and enjoy music to dance along with as you walk.

Cost is just $20 for the 5K (for both runners and wheelchair athletes) and $17 for strollers. On the day of the race, the cost goes up to $30 and $22, so try to register early.

It all begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday Sept. 29. Click here for more information and to register. And to read more about the amazingness that is Miracle Field, click here.

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Comedy show will benefit Miracle Field

30 Jul

comedy showI don’t normally post two blogs on the same day, but I just realized this event happens tomorrow — Wednesday July 31 — and since it benefits Challenger Miracle Field, I want to make sure everyone has a chance to ad it to their calendars.

It’s a Clean Comedy Night at Comedy at the Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd. Rochester.

The evening features All the way from Nashville, TN, Jonnie W., from Nashville, who has entertained  audiences nationwide. He has a daily Sirius/XM Satellite Radio program and a standup special, “Live at the Franklin Theatre,” which won the Bronze Crown Award for Best Comedy. Comedians Dan Kulp, Dan Viola and Vinnie Paulino will also take the stage.

Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7. There will be raffles, and food and drink for purchase. All proceeds will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

For more information, and a link to for advance-sale tickets, see the Facebook event here.

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Two upcoming runs will benefit great causes

29 Jul

So, I’m a runner. If you’d told me 10 years ago that I would actually say those words, I would have called you crazy.

But life takes you strange places sometimes, and these days I find myself running 5Ks with some regularity, and when I come across one that I particularly like to run — which means it benefits a cause I really want to support — I like telling you all about them.

Today I want to pass along information about two upcoming races. The first, which is happening this coming weekend, is actually not in Webster, but is a cause near and dear to a close Webster friend of mine. I also like it because the run is flat and scenic, right along the Erie Canal.

Marco+LogoIt’s the second annual Mark Callanan Memorial 5K, scheduled for this coming Saturday Aug. 3 at 9 a.m., beginning at the Veterans Memorial in Potter Park, W. Church Street in Fairport.

Mark Callanan grew up in Fairport, graduated from Fairport High School in 2005 and attended SUNY Geneseo. He served seven years in the Marine Corps, and settled in Washington D.C. There, in June 2015 in front of the Capitol Building, he proposed to his sweetheart Kristi Altieri. They set a wedding date for the following year.

On the morning of June 7, 2016, just two months before the wedding, Mark was warming up to play basketball and collapsed with cardiac arrest. He was 28 years old.

At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, Mark Callanan was a very big man, and he had a heart to match. His fun-loving spirit improved the lives of everyone he met. The 5K has been organized to celebrate that spirit, has another purpose as well. Funds raised through registration, t-shirt sales and more are being used to create a scholarship in Mark’s name at Geneseo.

Last year’s first annual run raised an amazing $25,000 for the endowment fund, and Mark’s friends and family hope to add to that with this year’s event.

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

run, walk and roll

This second race isn’t happening until late September, but I’ve already signed up for it, and I’ve run it every year.

It’s the 5th annual Run, Walk & Roll 5K and 1 mile stroll to benefit Challenger Miracle Field. The event invites participants to run or walk, push a wheelchair, push themselves in a wheelchair, or participate with other assistive devices including adaptive bicycles and tricycles.

Great progress has already been made on Challenger Miracle Field, which is located behind Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Road. Games are being played there, and now the focus has turned to completing the Karpus Family Play with Possibilities Playground, a barrier-free, safe, accessible place for all children, regardless of their physical challenges.

In previous years, this race began and ended at Webster Thomas High School. But this year, for the first time, it will all happen at Miracle Field itself, which I think is an awesome idea. The 5K will start at the corner of Van Ingen Drive and Hard Road, behind Town Hall, take runners through North Ponds Park and down the bike path back to Miracle Field. The Miracle Field Stroll will actually take place on the field itself.

The race is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Registration is $20 for the 5K and $17 for the one-mile stroll, if you register online in advance. After that, in-person registration at the race will cost $30/$22. Prizes will be awarded, and the first 200 registrants get a free t-shirt, which you can wear proudly to show what a good person you are. Click here for more information and to register.

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The garlic is BACK!

24 Jul

garlic festival 2

Garlic lovers, rejoice! The Webster Garlic Festival is returning this year, and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.

For starters, its increased awesomeness has led to a name change. It’s now the Rochester Garlic Festival. It’s scheduled for Saturday and Sunday Sept. 14 and 15, and will still be held at the Webster Rec Center on Chiyoda Drive.

Details are still being finalized, but organizers expect about 100 vendors, including garlic growers, specialty food vendors, arts and craft vendors, and community organizations. There will be four food trucks, and live music both days including the Zac Brown Tribute Band, the Walter Chatman Experience, State Line and The Breakfast Club.

Two Wegmans chefs will present demonstrations, there’ll be a beer tent, a kids’ play area complete with bounce house.

See? I told you it was bigger and better.

Admission to the festival is $5 per day, with children 12 and under free. Admission includes free parking, shuttle transportation, live music, cooking demonstrations and access to arts vendors and a kids’ play area.

All proceeds will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester. The field itself is up and running — and being used regularly — so now the focus is on building a barrier-free playground, an inclusive playground for kids with and without disabilities around Rochester. 

Click here to learn more about Miracle Field, and click here for more details about the Garlic Festival.

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Miracle Field opens Saturday with a family-friendly celebration

7 Jun

challenger miracle field

Saturday is going to be a BEAUTIFUL day for a baseball game!

The community is invited to join the celebration as Challenger Miracle Field officially opens for the season with a free Family Day from 1 to 4 p.m. There’ll be all sorts of kids’ games and activities including a bean bag toss, soccer darts, can smash, face painting, balloon animals and a bounce house. Plus, at 2 p.m., you can watch the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Karpus Family Barrier-Free Playground.

The concession stand will be open for purchases with free Popcorn in a souvenir stadium cup. You’ll also be able to purchase a variety of new Miracle Field “swag” including t-shirts, car magnets, chap stick, and more.

There’ll be plenty of free parking and seating for the festivities and to watch the game. So come on down and help cheer on our challenged athletes at the field built especially for them.

Challenger Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This brand new facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and or cognitive challenges and fully wheelchair accessible. The idea was to give people with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

Click here to find out more about this amazing facility and organization.

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