Tag Archives: Challenger Miracle Field

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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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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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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