Tag Archives: Missy Rosenberry

Serenity Life celebrates first anniversary, expands its North Ave. offices

27 Jun

In this day and age when we too often hear about businesses having to close up shop, it’s nice to hear about one which is actually expanding.

Serenity Life Creative Arts Therapy, located at 98 North Ave. in the Village of Webster, has recently added two new counseling rooms/offices, doubling the practice’s original space, just as the business celebrates its first anniversary.

Serenity Life specializes in counseling services and creative arts therapy for anxiety, life stressors, addiction, healing trauma and more. The office’s 13 service providers are trained in traditional talk therapy AND art therapy. What that means is you don’t have to be artistic to seek out their help, but art, music and even dance can be incorporated into sessions when appropriate.

Serenity Life is directed by Webster Schroeder graduate Mattye McKibben, herself an experienced art therapy clinician. Mattye first learned about the discipline in her Advanced Placement art class, and after graduation pursued degrees in art therapy and creative arts therapy. She worked in the local hospital system for 11 years before opening her own counseling office — Serenity Life — last July.

“We take a person-centered, solution-focused approach to counseling where clients feel partnered with, heard, like they have choices in the services they receive,” Mattye said. “Our goal is for folks to feel they are making progress right away. We pride ourselves on finding a great therapeutic match with the counselor because this is one of the biggest indicators that therapy will be successful.”

Mattye says she’s still working on decorating the new offices, striving to furnish them “in a fun way,” with a “mid-century vibe,” using lots of vintage furniture. The walls are filled with artwork painted by Mattye herself, or one of her very talented family members.

The results are immediately obvious when you step through the door. The rooms are bright, welcoming, calming and comforting … just as they should be in a counseling office.

Even though Serenity Life only joined the Village of Webster business scene a short time ago, it’s already become a strong community supporter. During the Fall in Love With Webster event last February, for example, they hosted a free “Love Yourself” virtual group therapy class. In April they stuffed 100 plastic eggs for the Village of Webster’s Easter Egg Hunt, and coming up next month, keep an eye out for them in the Firemen’s Parade.

Community involvement is an important part of their mission, Mattye said.

“We’re part of the community. We want to be your friendly neighborhood counselor that’s trustworthy, relatable and inclusive, creating a safe environment for everyone.”

Click here to find out more about Serenity Life Creative Arts Therapy. Here’s a peek at the offices:

* * *

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.

(posted 6/27/2022)

A sad farewell to a village business

25 Jun

One of East Main Street’s most charming shops will soon be closing its doors.

Village HandWorks opened last September at 19 E. Main, right next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe. Owner Jenn Ratcliffe, an avid spinner, weaver and knitter herself, was hoping it would become a favorite stop for anyone interested in practicing and learning more about those and other handicrafts. She began by offering classes and in-store demonstrations, but before long branched out into retail, selling yarns and other locally-produced handcrafted items.

But interest and sales never quite got very robust.

“I saved money for a long time to be able to pay rent in a shop for a year,” Jenn said. “Hopefully in that year I’d be able to get the sales to where they needed to be to at least make a decent dent in the rent and utilities. But it’s just not doing it.”

As a result of the slow sales and other rental property issues, Jenn has given up on her dream … but don’t count her out completely just yet.

“The people are fantastic here in the village,” she said. “I love them. I’m considering keeping the shop in the village, but right now there’s no place available with decent rent.”

So for now, Jenn said, she’s going to “bring her business home.” Much of her inventory will go into a storage unit, and her 15 local artisans will retrieve their products. Then, she says, she’ll take her yarns and her looms and teach weaving and knitting out of her house for now.

“And then kind of figure out where I want to be. Where I need to be.”

Village HandWorks is located at 19 E. Main Street in the Village of Webster. The shop will be open through Thursday June 30.

* * *

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.

(posted 6/25/2022)

Webster community mailbag

23 Jun

I’m going to lead today’s mailbag with a fun event especially for baseball fans, but also anyone else who would like to support a great local organization.

The Rochester Ridgemen will be playing one of this season’s games at Frontier Field in just a few weeks.

On Tuesday July 5, beginning at 6 p.m., the Ridgemen will take the field against the Cortland Crush. Best news of all is that admission is free, parking is free, and you can just walk into the stadium without a ticket. There will even be some concessions open so you can get dinner and a snack. What a great way to spend the night at the ballpark!

The Rochester Ridgemen are part of Athletes in Action Baseball and compete in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. The NYCBL, founded in 1978, is a summer wood bat league sanctioned by the NCAA and partially funded by Major League Baseball.

Five Webster players are part of this year’s team: James Bolton, Daniel McAliney, Braden Pumputis, Matthew Sanfilippo, and Ian McNabb. They play at Webster’s Basket Road field. (Their full schedule is below.)

The Ridgemen is a great local organization whose members are not only skilled, but committed to their community. Recently they helped out at Miracle Field of Greater Rochester’s Disability Dream & Do Clinic, sharing their love of baseball with children and young adults with disabilities.


The Village of Webster’s first Tuesday Night Movie at the Gazebo will take place next week, Tues. June 28, beginning at dusk, probably around 9:30.

The first movie this summer will be Trolls, brought to you by the Webster BID and sponsored by the Webster Health and Education Network (WHEN). They’ll be handing out free snacks, so stop by early to get yours, and remember to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.

This is WHEN’s first village-sponsored event, and the organization is looking forward to playing a regular part in this summer’s activities. Registration is not required for the movie, but if you let WHEN know you’re coming, they’ll send you a reminder the day before. Click here to sign up!


If you ask me, I think the folks at the Webster Recreation Center are a little excited about the second annual Mud Run coming up in September.

Last year’s first-ever Mud Run was so well received, they started making plans almost immediately for this year’s event. They promise it’s going to be even bigger and better (that might mean messier) than the first. It’s scheduled for Saturday Sept. 17, with the first wave going off at 10 a.m.

It’s only $5 per person and you can register for it here.

Here’s a little teaser they put together:

* * *

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.

(posted 6/23/2022)

Historic Preservation Committee recognizes Lapham Park home

22 Jun

The Village of Webster’s Historic Preservation Committee has begun a new initiative, recognizing “Sites of the Month” throughout the village.

This month’s site is the home of Al and Michelle Abraham at 57 Lapham Park.

Known as the Knight House, it’s a three-story Victorian built in 1900 and purchased by the Knight siblings. According to the Abrahams,

In 2000, we had the great luck of moving in right next door to then Webster Town Historian Richard Batzing, who gave us a very different picture of what the house looked like before going through its many updates.

Slowly and deliberately, we have rehabilitated every room and added a 600-square-foot addition to the back of the house to include a new kitchen, entryway, and a four season room within the Victorian style. Plaster and lathe has been replaced and new windows put in with the exception of one in the front hall which still has the original glass. The trim throughout the downstairs, which had been removed and/or changed when remodeled previously, was replaced with the help of a craftsman from Newark who milled all new trim to match the original. In 2003, a red brick patio was done and a pergola built to support an existing Wisteria which has been growing there for over 50 years.

The house was sided with Hardie Board, again in keeping with the original style of the house. The original front porch was removed in the 1960s due to structural issues. In 2020 a new one was added and finished this past January.

There is still some work to be done here and there but it has been our greatest pleasure to bring this beautiful old home back to its original glory. 

* * *

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.

(posted 6/22/2022)

Annual Webster High School Alumni Dinner hosted 52 graduates

19 Jun

If you were a student of Latin at the old Webster High School (now Spry Middle School) back in the mid-1940s, you might remember the day that Miss Marie Stone wore a set of wax teeth to teach her Latin III class. It was her response to some good-natured shenanigans perpetrated by her students the previous day.

Unfortunately, that happened to be the same day the superintendent decided to visit the class for a surprise observation.

That was just one of many memories shared on Sunday June 12 at the Webster High School Annual Alumni Dinner. The dinner has been held every (non-COVID) year for more than 20 years, and this year was attended by more 52 graduates (and their guests) representing 12 classes from 1948 through 1962, the school’s last graduating year.

The event has been held at several different locations, including Casey Park, Webster Park and the Knights of Columbus Hall. This year’s dinner was graciously hosted by the Webster Golf Club.

The program began with greetings from Alumni Committee Vice President Jude Beh Lancy (class of 1959) and President Linda Briggs Auer (class of 1959), followed by dinner, a short business meeting and a centerpiece raffle. Recitation of the school’s Alma Mater concluded the official event, but there was plenty of socializing before everyone left for the evening.

After the dinner concluded, Lancy also acknowledged the many people and businesses who helped make it a success, including Dave Tiberio at Webster Golf, who carved out some Sunday afternoon hours for the dinner to be held; Kittelberger Florist for donating the centerpieces; Hegedorns and Lala of Webster for donating raffle prizes; and Dave Eckler at the Weekend Printer for printing the invitations and program.

It sounds like it was a great evening, and I’m sure everyone is already looking forward to next year.

Here are a few photos, courtesy Linda Auer:


I thought you might be interested in reading the entire story about Miss Stone and her wax teeth. It came from a scrapbook which Mary “Pappy” Pantas (class of 1946) put together about her years at Webster High, and donated to the Webster Museum.

She wrote,

Anyone who has taught school knows the last period of the day is the hardest to deal with. Such was the case of Miss Stone’s Latin III class. The subject is dull, the students are restless, etc. Those of us (who haven’t always done our assigned translations) loved getting Miss Stone off the subject and often got the class laughing by cutting up.

One day Miss Stone had had enough and she said to our little circle of class clowns, “Tomorrow if you kids say anything to get the class laughing and off the subject you will suffer the consequences.” This was seen by all of us as a challenge.

Putting our impish heads together, we thought about it. “She said if we SAY anything. What if we DO SOMETHING and SAY NOTHING?” A trip to Bowman’s the next day during our lunch hour and a purchase of several sets of wax false teeth was all that was needed for our perfect prank. Eighth period came and at a pre-designed time, those of us perpetrators turned around to look at the clock and inserted our wax “CHOPPERS.” LAUGHTER ERUPTED! Miss Stone could not follow through with her threat because we did not SAY anything!

The following day we filed through the glass window-paned door. Miss Stone was seated at her desk with a hanky covering her nose and mouth. After taking our seats, she arose and, lo and behold, she had a set of wax teeth in her mouth. She proceeded to teach the class!

But that wasn’t the end of it. A figure of a rotund, bald-headed man appeared at the glass door and entered our classroom. It was none other than Mr. Rayfield, the Superintendent of Monroe County Schools who had come unannounced to observe Miss Stone and her class!

Miss Stone was flabbergasted and frantically worked at removing her teeth. We learned later that she had spent much of her free period before our class working hard to mold her “teeth” so she could speak without losing them. What an ending to our “perfect prank.”

* * *

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.

(posted 6/19/2022)

Webster community mailbag

17 Jun

Are you headed to the Jazz Fest this weekend?

Schroeder Jazz Ensemble is playing Saturday June 18 at 5 p.m. on the Gibbs Street Stage. Make sure to stop by if you’re nearby and cheer these young people on (and their music teachers, Mrs. Cole and Mr. Lindblom!)

A food truck rodeo and vendor fair being held on Tuesday, June 21 will benefit our Webster Girl Scouts and the great programs they offer.

The rodeo will be held at Willink Middle School, 900 Publishers Parkway, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on June 21, and feature:

  • Bay Vista Taqueria
  • Mrs. D’s Empanadas
  • Pub 235
  • Rob’s Sweet Tooth
  • Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza

Tons of vendors will also be there (check out the poster for that list), community agencies will have information booths, and live entertainment will be provided by Brian Roode. Make sure to bring some lawn chairs.

Sounds like good food, good music, and a fabulous way to help the Girl Scouts (they do so much more than sell cookies)!


This happy news, from the Webster School District, is another great illustration of all of the good things our young people are doing for our community.

The students of Spry Middle School recently presented a check for $2,107.76 to officials from Challenger Miracle Field, representing donations received through several Spirit Week events.

The Spry Student Council chooses a charity every year to benefit from various Spirit Week competitions. This year they hosted jar wars (a competition to collect loose change), restaurant nights at Panera and Bill Gray’s, and as a culminating activity, a kickball game.

The kickball game was played several weeks ago at Miracle Field itself. The game blended Spry students with Challenger players on each of Spry’s house teams. Following the game, the coveted Spirit Stick was presented to the White House team, which earned the most points from all of the week’s events.

Admission to the kickball game and concessions, added to the week’s earlier fundraising efforts, drove the final Challenger Miracle Field donation total to more than than $2,100.

And that was in just one week. Pretty cool. Nice job, Spry!


The Village of Webster’s Family Game Nights are Back!

The first Family Games & Beer Garden Night of the summer is scheduled for Friday June 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. on West Main St. There’s going to be tons for the kids (and game-loving adults) to do, including sidewalk chalk, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and cornhole. Chad the DJ will provide music, and Kaitlyn from TozziYoga will be there to get everyone moving.

Plus, there’s beer. Did I mention that?

For more information about this and other upcoming village events, like the Movie Nights at the Gazebo, the next Village Wine Walk, Friday Night Concerts and more, visit the Webster BID website.


Don’t forget about this Sunday’s West Webster Cemetery Tour, your chance to learn more about West Webster history, and some of the people who lived there … and are buried there.

On Sunday June 19, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Webster Museum will host an historical tour of the West Webster Cemetery, featuring a dozen reenactors portraying many of the former residents who now rest there. The characters will be hanging out by their gravestones, awaiting visitors to wander by and hear their stories.

I’ll be there, portraying Martha Cottreall, who died in 1934 at the age of 72. I’ll talk about my life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and especially about the accomplishments of my husband — who participated in a famous Arctic rescue operation — and son, who fought in WWI.

Tour visitors will also hear from Angelina Aldridge (wife of John O. Aldridge), Ebenezer Cook, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Drake, and Sylvester Brewer (who will talk about the Civil War and the Army of the Grand Republic), and many others.

It should be a fascinating way to learn more about our town’s oldest cemetery, and to hear some of the memories of West Webster’s past, spoken by voices of the present.

There’s no charge to attend the event, but donations are always gratefully accepted. Attendees are being asked to park at St. Rita’s Church, across Maple Dr. from the cemetery. NO PARKING signs will be posted along Old Ridge Rd. and Maple Dr.

If you’d like to learn more about the cemetery before Sunday’s tour, you’re invited to attend a presentation at the museum on Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. when Peter Elder will talk about the cemetery’s history.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. It’s open 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

* * *

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.

(posted 6/17/2022)

Elementary schools welcome back the class of 2022

16 Jun

Earlier this week, in each of Webster’s elementary schools, a celebration took place which has always been one of my favorite end-of-school-year festivities: the graduate parade. This is an annual (non-COVID-year) event when our Webster Thomas and Schroeder seniors hop on buses and go back to visit the elementary schools where they began their Webster Schools career.

It was June of 2015 when most of these seniors last walked the halls of their elementary schools. But this week, as the class of 2022, they walked proudly through them again, and judging from the reaction of the young students who lined the halls in welcome, you’d think they were conquering heroes.

Nodding to the fact that it’s sometimes difficult to recognize these tall, mature adults for the freckle-faced young people they once were, each senior wore a sign with his or her name and post-graduation plans. As they paraded down one hall, then another, they passed hundreds of cheering and applauding kindergarten through fifth grade students. Every so often the parade was slowed when a graduate stopped to take a photo or get a long hug from a favorite teacher.

I was one of many retirees invited back to enjoy the parade of Webster Schroeder seniors at Plank Rd. North. I started working there after these kids had already gone on to middle school. But it was a real treat to see the joy on the teachers’ faces as their former students paraded by. It was especially fun to watch their eyes light up as they put a name to a face they hadn’t seen in seven years.

And the seniors? Every single one of them was grinning from ear to ear.

What a wonderful way to celebrate our seniors, congratulate them on their success, and remind them how much they have accomplished.

Here are some more photos from the morning:

* * *

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.

(posted 6/16/2022)

Village of Webster to hold huge sidewalk sale this weekend

15 Jun

You’re going to want to make some time to do some shopping this weekend, as more than a dozen Village merchants move their business outside for the Village of Webster Sidewalk Sale.

All day Friday and Saturday June 17 and 18, you’ll find tables set up along East and West Main St. and North Ave., offering super deals on super products, perhaps some handouts and maybe even some valuable store coupons. Details are still coming together, but so far at least 13 shops are participating, and the list keeps growing every day. Here’s who’s signed up so far:

  • Crafy Christy’s Boutique, 7 West Main (lower level)
  • Curated by JUSTINteriors, 44 E. Main (next to Village Bakery)
  • Lala’s, 36-38 East Main
  • Nest Things, 11 East Main
  • Ohhh, Lordee! Everything Sauce, 5 West Main (lower level)
  • Orville’s Home Appliances, 185 West Main
  • Performance Hobbies, 15 West Main
  • rSalon, 28 East Main
  • The Modified Collective, 5 West Main (upper level)
  • The North Bee, 27 North Ave.
  • The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 East Main
  • Village Handworks, 19 East Main
  • Whimsies, 32 East Main

This is going to be a great chance to get to know a lot of our village merchants better, have some fun shopping and get some great deals!

* * *

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.

(posted 6/15/2022)

Students learn life skills at the OWL Cafe

13 Jun

A small, student-run cafe has sprung up at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School, and it’s providing a lot more than just coffee and snacks for both students and staff.

The “OWL Cafe, Coffee and More” is being operated by the students of the One Webster Learning (OWL) Center, a small program serving Webster Central School District students in grades K-12. 

The cafe, which has been operating for about a month, was first proposed for Schlegel by OWL social worker Kelly Petzing, who saw a similar venture at another school. She immediately recognized that “it would be a good opportunity for the kids to plan something, work together, and use different skills,” she said. It’d be an especially good way to reinforce the mathematics and social skills they’ve been working on all year.

So she brought the idea to OWL teacher Brennan Leva, and together they presented it to the students.

“They were all super excited about it,” Petzing said. So they started planning, working with the students to come up with a name, figuring out what kinds of jobs were required, what services to provide and what products to sell.

The cafe launched about a month ago, and the students immediately proved they were up to the challenge of operating a new business. They rotate among three jobs, Leva said: set-up, cashier and barista. Each presents a different set of learning goals.

“For set-up, students need to learn what things they need to get ready each day, and how to make a list of items that might be missing,” Leva explained. “The cashier’s job is to greet customers, count money and give change.”

The job of barista, however, is probably the most popular. This student listens for the orders, makes the coffee in the Keurig or pours the tea, and hands the drink order to the customers.

The cafe is open for an hour every morning and a half hour in the afternoon. Its menu includes hot or iced coffee, hot or iced tea, seltzer water and a variety of cookies, chips, fresh fruit and other snacks.

It’s a very professionally run business. Every employee wears a crisp blue apron, complete with name tag. Customers are immediately greeted with a polite, “Welcome to OWL Cafe, Coffee and More. How can we help you?” Orders are filled quickly, change is made accurately (albeit with some adult help) and if you need creamer or sugar, you’ll find it at the well-stocked condiment bar. There are even regular specials like half-off hot tea, or buy a drink and get a hand-made bracelet for free. They offer loyalty cards. There’s even an “Employee of the Week,” his or her photo posted next to the condiment bar.

In the short time the cafe has been open, the students have already shown great strides in self-confidence and even leadership skills, Leva said She added,

At first it was a lot of adult help but I think they can pretty much run it self-sufficiently. They’ve really taken over ownership of it. We’ve had some of the younger kids start training. So it’s nice to see that they took complete control of training them, told them everything they need to know, gave them aprons so they’re ready to go.”

A few students have even said they might like to work at Starbucks someday.

Schlegel staff members have embraced the new cafe with open arms, keeping the staff busy with orders for coffee, tea and snacks.

Consultant teacher Bill Ambler is a regular customer.

“The OWL Cafe staff greet me every morning with a smile and a fresh iced coffee,” he said. “The students are always so eager to serve and offer their recommendations. It’s wonderful to see some friends who have been very shy in the past come out of their shells when talking to staff, and a noticeable increase in self-confidence.”

* * *

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.

(posted 6/13/2022)

New historical marker erected in Webster Union Cemetery

12 Jun

Webster Union Cemetery got some long-overdue recognition last Wednesday with the unveiling of a brand new historic roadside sign.

The history of Webster Union Cemetery, located at the corner of Rt. 250 and Woodhull Rd., can be traced back to March of 1817, when the Whiting family lost their very young child, and a caring neighbor donated some land for the burial. In the following years, the cemetery became the resting place of Abram Foster, one of Webster’s earliest settlers, and members from many prominent Webster families.

Wednesday’s ceremony and the new historical sign, however, especially recognized that the cemetery is also the burial place of many patriots who fought for our country, including more than 600 veterans from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, Civil War, World War I and II and the Korean War.

Cemetery president George Baker and Daughters of the American Revolution genealogist Cherie Wood led the ceremony, unveiling the sign before an audience of cemetery board members, local officials, business leaders, representatives from VFW Post 9483, active duty servicemen and others.

The sign is the result of almost two years of research by George Baker, Cherie Wood and Webster Town Historian Lynn Barton. It was made possible with support from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, a Syracuse-based organization dedicated to helping communities celebrate local history and encourage historic preservation through the placement of historical markers.

With installation of the sign, Webster Union Cemetery will also be added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

On Saturday, July 30 at 10 a.m., community members are invited to participate in a Revolutionary War Patriot and Founding Fathers Celebration at the cemetery. Active servicemen, veterans and Webster first responders will be attending, and the the Towpath Fife and Drum Corp. will honor our Revolutionary War Patriots with popular and well-known songs. 

Mark your calendars now; this will be an event the entire family will enjoy. 

* * *

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.

(posted 6/12/2022)