Tag Archives: Challenger Miracle Field

Webster community mailbag

10 May

I was going to put this mailbag off for a couple more days, but I just heard news of a great fundraiser happening on Friday night, and I don’t want anyone to miss out.

It’s a big kickball game hosted by Spry Middle School on Friday night May 13 at Rochester Challenger Miracle Field, located on Ridge Rd. behind Town Hall. (Parking is off of Van Ingen Drive.) Three dozen Spry students will be playing, representing the school’s three houses (red, white and blue). Each house team will also include two Challenger players.

The kickball game is the culminating event of this year’s Spirit Week at Spry. Each year the school’s Student Council chooses a charity to benefit from a Spirit Week competition. Usually the game is basketball, but Challenger Miracle Field was chosen this year, so kickball seemed more appropriate.

The game will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, and concessions will be available for just $1. There’s plenty of free parking. All proceeds from admission and concessions will benefit Challenger Miracle Field.

Make plans to stay around after the game. That’s when the Spirit Stick will be awarded to the house which has accumulated the most spirit points all week — including extra points for winning kickball!


I found out about ALL of the following events in the Webster This Week newsletter, published weekly by the Town of Webster. If you haven’t signed up for this great source of information yet, you should.

Remember that the Webster Public Library’s spring used book sale happens this Thursday through Saturday, May 12-14. Nothing is priced more than $1, and all paperbacks are just 50 cents.

Hours are Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd. at the back of the plaza, off of Van Ingen Drive.


Got stuff to shred?

Reliant Federal Credit Union is holding a free shredding event at their Webster branch, 870 Holt Rd., on Saturday May 14 from 9 a.m. to noon.

There are no quantity limits, but everyone is asked to remove file folders, binders and plastic bags. And plan on taking your empty boxes back home with you.

While you’re there, you can take advantage of raffles and giveaways, and enjoy refreshments and entertainment.


Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 131 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster, is holding a food drive this Saturday May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Donations of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items will be used to support the Weekend Food Backpack Program and the church’s Little Free Pantry.


Also on Saturday May 14, the Ukrainian Cultural Center of Rochester, 1040 Jackson Rd., will hold a Sunflowers for Ukraine paint and sip fundraiser event.

Artist Deanna Derhak will guide participants in painting an original sunflower composition using acrylic paint on a 12″ x 12″ canvas. All supplies are included, and yes, there will be wine available.

The event will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $40. Click here for tickets.


The Webster Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Vendor Fair and Craft Event on Sunday May 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Firemen’s Exempt building, 172 Sanford St. (on the south side of Firemen’s Field).

In addition to the great items for sale, there’ll be crafts, a raffle, 50/50 ticket sales, and a door prize of $100 worth of scratch-off tickets.

Admission is free and there’s lots of parking.


On the other side of town, the West Webster Fire Department is holding a Bike Helmet and Safety Rodeo on Saturday May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event, designed for children ages 4 to 14, will feature a bike safety course, helmet fittings and bike safety checks. There’ll be lots of activities, and of course lots of fire trucks! Helmets will be provided on loan for anyone who needs one.

Registration is free. The West Webster Fire Dept. is located at 1051 Gravel Rd.


The Wine Walks are back!

The Village of Webster’s first Wine Walk of the season has been scheduled for Saturday May 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Glass pickup will be at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Dr. from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 (plus sales tax and fees) and are available here. For more information, visit the Webster BID website.


The Webster Lions Club will host a Sticky Lips BBQ fundraiser on Thursday May 26 from 3 to 6 p.m. at 1175 Ridge Rd.

Meals will be $15 each, and include a quarter charcoal-cooked chicken, smoked St. Louis ribs, mac salad, BBQ beans and cornbread. You can pay at the event of get pre-sale tickets online at www.StickyLipsBBQFundraisers.com.

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(posted 5/10/2022)

Miracle Field has a new newsletter, new website

14 Apr

One of my favorite local organizations came across my email several days ago with some wonderful news.

The folks at Rochester Challenger Miracle Field have just introduced their very first newsletter. Now, I already know a lot about Miracle Field, the great opportunities it provides and the fundraising events that support its mission. But I felt compelled to scroll through the newsletter anyway, drawn in by a dozen colorful photos of widely-grinning athletes and volunteers.

I’m glad I did take the time, because I learned a few things I DIDN’T yet know. Like how the organization’s sports offerings have expanded since the field was opened eight years ago. And about plans for Heroes’ Day 2022 and a brand new Oktoberfest.

The newsletter also reported that Rochester Challenger Miracle Field has a new website. I checked that out as well and it’s beautiful. It nicely depicts all the life-changing experiences this organization brings to our young people.

If you STILL don’t know much about Miracle Field, allow me to quote directly from the newsletter:

Eight years ago, what started as an idea became a reality; to bring a fully inclusive sports facility to the greater Rochester area. Initially designed for athletes to play baseball, the Miracle Field morphed into something more significant. We also included an all-purpose rubberized rectangular turf field to play various sports on. It allows anyone a chance to play regardless of their physical or cognitive challenge.  We are also excited to have had the opportunity to bring a new inclusive, barrier-free playground to complement the park.

On-site programs now include baseball, flag football, soccer, and kickball. And it’s always good to mention that there’s “No Experience Necessary” to play at Miracle Field. Or, as we like to say, “No Boundaries, Only Possibilities.”  A place where no one judges and the only focus is performing to the best of your ability and having FUN.

Rochester Challenger Miracle Field is located in Ridge Park behind Town Hall on Ridge Rd. Webster is fortunate to have this beautiful facility right in our back yard. I encourage everyone to check out the newsletter (there should be a link on the website soon), put some fundraisers on your calendar, and support this great organization as much as you can.

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Webster community mailbag

19 Jan

I ripped many of these items from the Town of Webster’s weekly newsletter. If you don’t get this emailed to you or check it out on the website regularly, you might want to to that, because it’s always packed with great information.

Try a winter hike

Winter is one of the most beautiful times of year to take a hike. The Friends of Webster Trails got you covered.

The Friends’ first hike of the year will take place this coming Saturday Jan. 22, at 9 a.m. at Whiting Rd. Nature Preserve. It will be about 3 miles long and is rated “moderate,” with some rolling hills. You’ll want to RSVP by signing up for the Meetup.com event, so you can get more details and updates. It will be held in snow, rain or shine, so make sure to dress appropriately!

P.S. The hike is absolutely free.

What events would you like to see in the village?

You know the Webster Business Improvement District … or at least you know their events. This is the group behind a lot of the special events we have here in the Village of Webster, including the Trick or Treat Trail, Wine Walks and Family Game Nights. It’s an organization comprised of village business owners, dedicated to promoting village businesses.

If you’re a village resident or business owner, would like to find out more about the BID and perhaps put in your two cents about the events you’ve seen or would like to see, here’s your chance: the first BID meeting of the year will be held Monday Jan. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Drive.

The meeting will be more a social gathering than anything else. It’s a great chance for village residents and business owners to get to know more about the organization and exchange ideas on how best to help promote village businesses. Food and drink will be provided.

And … here’s a teaser … I know that the BID will be announcing a really neat new event at this meeting, so it will be a great one to attend!

Please RSVP by Friday Jan. 21, by emailing info@websterbid.com. And if you’d like to find out more about the BID visit www.websterbid.com.

Grab your sweetheart and dance the night away

Challenger Miracle Field is hosting “A Night to Shine” Valentine’s Prom for children and adults with special needs on Friday Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. It’s a chance to gather with old friends and meet new ones. Singles and couples are welcome.

Suggested donation is $20 and includes a buffet dinner, dancing, a photo booth and more. Registration is required by Feb. 1. Click here for more information and to register.

When will more test kits be distributed?

Yes, the Town of Webster will be distributing more COVID tests kits, but they don’t know when.

A new supply is expected, but there are no specifics right now as to when that might be or how many the town will be getting. You can sign up for Town of Webster email alerts here to stay up to date.

Remember, however, that as of yesterday, every household in the U.S. can order 4 FREE tests from the government, delivered in the mail. Here’s the link to sign up.

A reminder from the Town

Finally, some important things to remember now that we have a lot of snow on the ground:

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Webster community mailbag

7 Nov

I have to ‘fess up right away that some of these items did not actually come through my mail. But they are some fun random events I wanted to share with you.

First, a photo of my friend Laureen Anthony-Palmer, from a party held Friday at the Webster Public Library in her honor. It was Laureen’s last day at the library; she and her husband will soon be moving down to Kentucky to be closer to their new granddaughter.

Laureen’s official title was Library Assistant, but that really doesn’t thoroughly reflect everything she did there. In her 18-year career with the library, Laureen managed the career collections, organized the collection drives for things like coats and Bella’s Bumbas materials, helped manage the library’s social media and sent regular PR emails to traditional media outlets.

That’s how I got to know Laureen. She regularly peppered my inbox with newsy bits from the library, and we worked as a team to help people learn more about the library and the greater Webster community.

I will miss seeing her smiling face (or at least her smiling eyes) when I wander over to the reference desk, but congratulate her for making the right decision. Family is paramount.

Godspeed, Laureen. It’s been great working with you.

It was a perfect fall day for a hike Saturday, and more than 100 people took advantage to participate in a family-friendly scavenger hunt at Four Mile Creek Preserve.

The event was co-hosted by the Friends of Webster Trails and the Webster Recreation Center. At the registration table, kids picked up one of three age-appropriate scavenger hunt sheets, then explored the preserve’s 3/4-mile long Blue Trail to locate and cross off as many of the items as possible. Everyone got a fun prize when they returned with their completed (or even partially completed) sheet.

This was a great event on so many levels. It gave families a fun way to help their kids exercise their bodies and minds in an outdoor activity. It introduced many people to a natural area they’d never been to before. And it was an opportunity to learn more about the great work the Friends of Webster Trails does.

An inspiring look at Miracle Field

If you didn’t get a chance a few weeks ago to catch the video created by Channel 8 WROC-TV about Rochester Challenger Miracle Field, I suggest you grab a cup of coffee, sit back and click on the link below.

The 30-minute long video, filmed in part at Miracle Field’s Heroes Helping Heroes event in July, is an excellent introduction to Miracle Field and the tremendous opportunities it provides to individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges. It’s entertaining and inspiring, and will make your heart smile.

To find out more about Miracle Field and how you can help, visit their website.

Going, going, GONE!

Finally, here’s a great way to grab some early holiday gifts, and support a good cause at the same time.

Webster Comfort Care Home is hosting an online charity auction featuring jewelry, art, hockey games, restaurant gift cards, a two-night stay at an Upstate cabin, and more cool stuff.

Bidding is going on right now, through Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. For more information and to participate, click here.

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

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Miracle Field is gonna be FAMOUS!

11 Oct

Here’s some exciting news coming from our friends at Rochester Challenger Miracle Field.

For those of you who don’t know much about this incredible facility, Miracle Field — located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall — is designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers children and adults 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.

This Saturday at 7:30 p.m., WROC-TV Channel 8 will be running a 30-minute special highlighting the facility, the programs, the athletes, and the family members and friends who come out to cheer on these incredible athletes. And like any good sports wrap-up show, there’s sure to be some exciting highlights!

Challenger Miracle Field is positioning the program as one of its biggest fundraisers. Supporters are encouraged to sponsor the program with a donation, purchase a ticket (which includes a take-out meal for you), or perhaps host a viewing party, the cost of which includes catering for eight guests delivered to your home.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, click here.

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

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

Webster community mailbag

6 Oct

The Village of Webster is hosting its third Family Game Night/Beer Garden on Saturday Oct. 16, and this one will be extra fun — it’s going to be an Oktoberfest, complete with a top-notch Oktoberfest band, the Krazy Firemen.

Activities start at 5 p.m. with lots of street games, food and drink. Dancing with Denise will be on hand to get the whole family up and dancing, there’ll be crafts for the kids and lots more. The Krazy Firemen will provide live music from 5 to 8 p.m.

This is a great chance to gather with friends and neighbors in a family atmosphere with something for all ages.


The Friends of the Public Library’s Fall Book Sale is returning next week.

This is one of the library’s biggest book sales, held over three days, Oct. 14 through 16. Not only will there be TONS of books to choose from, the Friends will have two special raffles to celebrate the return of this bigger book sale: one for a gorgeous handmade quilt and another for a pink Apple Watch SE. Tickets will be $5.

Click on the flyer for details about hours and specials.

Shoppers are asked to follow CDC guidelines while at the library sale, including masks and social distancing.


You definitely want to get your flu shot during these Covid times, and here’s an easy way to do it.

The Webster Public Library is hosting a flu shot clinic on Thursday Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library, 980 Ridge Rd. All vaccinations will be administered by a registered nurse, and no appointment is necessary.

Please remember to bring your insurance card!


The biannual Webster community blood drive returns next week.

The two-day drive will be held Wednesday Oct. 13 and Thursday Oct. 14, from noon to 7 p.m., both days at the Firemen’s Exempt Building, 172 Sanford St.

Appointments for this drive usually fill up pretty quickly, in large part because this is the Bruster’s drive; every presenting donor will get a coupon for a free ice cream cone at Bruster’s. Every donor will also get a $5 Amazon e-gift card.

Appointments are required to assure social distancing, so Click here to set one up, or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).


You’ll also want to mark your calendars for Oct. 16, when Webster’s very own Rochester Challenger Miracle Field will be featured in a half-hour program on Channel 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The special, which will feature highlights of Miracle Field, their programs, and many of the players and families, will double as a fundraiser. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event.  

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Webster Museum excitement, and other mailbag news

17 Sep

The Village of Webster’s latest turn on the local television news stations leads today’s mailbag.

Spectrum News recently got wind that the Webster Museum has just reopened, and reporter Wendy Mills visited several days ago to find out more. She met with Museum president Tom Pellett, from whom she got a thorough tour of the facility and a great interview.

The piece aired earlier this week on Spectrum, but has also been posted to the website, You can click here to see it.

And since we’re talking about the Webster Museum, now’s a great time to remind everyone that the museum’s annual Barn Sale is taking place this weekend, Friday and Saturday Sept. 17 and 18, at 394 Phillips Rd.

This really cool sale features vintage farm goods and furniture, toys, books, holiday goods, household goods, jewelry, glassware and more. You’re sure to find something to love.

The sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and everything is half price on Saturday — or you can fill a bag for $5. This is the museum’s biggest operating expense fundraiser, so stop on by, find a treasure, and help them out.


A few notes from the Town of Webster:

  • The Town’s spray parks are now closed for the season. We can hope that summer is not quite over yet, but even if it hits 90 again, the kids can’t cool off at the spray parks until next year.
  • If you’re tired of putting up with abandoned homes in your area, the Town of Webster has given you some recourse to get them taken care of. If you suspect a home in your neighborhood has been abandoned, you can report it to the Town using a link found at this website. The site will also give you more information on what actually contitutes an abandoned home.
  • The section of Lake Rd. between Shipbuilder’s Creek and Stoney Creek Run is now open again after completion of a three-month construction project. You can check the status of upcoming construction projects and road closures on the Town of Webster website.

Looking ahead to October, Rochester Challenger Miracle Field will host an Art Exhibit on Oct. 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at CDS Life Transitions, 860 Hard Rd. in Webster. This will be a silent auction featuring artwork created by local artists with physical and developmental challenges.

The Pride of Webster, Webster Marching Band will hold its 35th annual Autumn Fanfare on Saturday Oct. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. This is always a spectacular display of talent from several schools in the Greater Rochester area, and if you haven’t seen one of these shows before, you should attend this year. The theme is “Unbroken,” which should conjure up all sorts of special props and effects. More info to come as the date gets closer.

Also that same evening, the Village of Webster will host its third Family Game Night and Beer Garden on West Main St. More to come about this as well, but if you can’t make it to the Autumn Fanfare, put this on your calendars.

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So who WAS Jon S. Gerling?

4 Aug

You might think you’re totally unfamiliar with the name “Jon S. Gerling.” But it may surprise you to learn that you’ve very likely passed by this name countless times, especially if you’ve lived in Webster a long time and have children.

That was the case for me. Despite having lived in the area for almost 20 years, and having visited the Ridge Park playground and pavilion dozens of times, it took me that long to notice the small memorial that stands at the south end of the park, easily visible from Ridge Rd.

It announces that the baseball field next to you is the Jon S. Gerling Memorial Field.

The first time I noticed the memorial, I did a little online research to find out what I could about Mr. Gerling. Which was not much. I did find out that he died in 1977 at age 35 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. And clearly he was a huge supporter of Webster baseball, since the obituary invited people to donate to the Webster Athletic Association in his memory.

Ridge Park, which is adjacent to Town Hall, is now home to Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester, an outstanding adaptive playing field. So that kind of overshadows the Jon S. Gerling Memorial Field.

But let us not forget Jon S. Gerling. Perhaps next time you’re in the park, you can wander on over and take a closer look at the memorial and give a silent thank-you to Jon’s efforts to promote sports in our town.

If anyone has any more information about Jon Gerling, please email me!

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

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

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