Tag Archives: Missy Rosenberry

Senior Singers make beautiful music at the Rec Center

8 Dec

Singing just for the fun of it.

That’s the philosophy behind the Senior Singers, an enthusiastic group of older adults who meet every Tuesday at the Webster Recreation Center to sing, socialize and — two or three times a year — share their love for music with the greater Webster community.

For almost 40 years, the Senior Singers have offered older adults a no-cost, no-stress opportunity to rehearse and perform music. Comprised of both men and women 55 and over, the group rehearses every Tuesday at 11 a.m. in a small room at the Recreation Center from September through June, taking two months off during the summer. And two or three times a year, especially before their summer break and at holiday time, they move into the Center’s large multipurpose room to present community concerts, performing Broadway show tunes, old standards and holiday favorites.

The group is expertly led by Sylvia Vazzana. A long-time member of the chorus, Sylvia only stepped into the directorial role recently, a consequence of the pandemic.

Before the pandemic hit, the group was going strong, with about 20 regularly-attending members. But like everything else, during the shutdown, they had to stop meeting for a while. When they were finally able to reconvene, the group had dwindled to only 9 members. And they had lost their director.

“We used to have a director from Hochstein,” Sylvia remembered. When she didn’t return, “I went in to (Senior Coordinator Daphne Geoca) and said, ‘I’m a musical director. I’d be very happy to volunteer my time.'” Since then, the group has become stronger than ever, boasting about 25 members.

Sylvia is assisted by her husband Tom, who usually acts as emcee for the concerts. She, Tom, the singers and the musicians who accompany them, are all volunteers.

The concerts are true crowd-pleasers. At their end-of-season concert last June, the group performed a selection of classics and old-time favorites, including “No Business Like Show Business,” “Second-hand Rose,” “Good ‘Ol Summertime,” “Memories,” and a ragtime piece on the piano. Their holiday concert is coming up next Sunday, Dec. 20, and will be packed with vocal and instrumental holiday favorites.

And don’t be fooled. Even though the chorus members have put a lot of years behind them, their voices are still strong and beautiful. “They’ve all been singing for many, many years,” Sylvia noted.

But that doesn’t mean you need to have a lot of experience to join the group. No auditions are necessary; the only things you really need are the desire to make beautiful music and make a lot of new friends.

At the June concert, Tom captured the Senior Singers philosophy best when he told the audience, “Music has the power to make you smile and bring us to all types of tears. It can carry us back in time and inspire us to dance in the moment. For all our happiest days and our saddest, there is music. We love to entertain you. We love show business.”

The Senior Singers will present their Holiday Performance on Tuesday Dec. 20 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr., beginning at 11 a.m. There’s no charge and registration is not necessary. So take a moment out of your day, stop by to hear some beautiful music, and perhaps consider joining this fun group.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 12/8/2022)

Webster community mailbag

7 Dec

This first mailbag items is especially for all of you who helped me help Florence Kinney, “Mrs. Claus,” provide 100,000 gifts to children for the holidays.

I receved this short video the other day from one of her elves, documenting her announcement of having reached that amazing goal.

My thanks to all of my readers who helped Florence reach her goal with your donations. I know for a fact that she’s extremely grateful for your kindness and feels blessed by the outpouring of goodwill.

I have no doubt she will be continuing her mission next year, so stay tuned!


This sounds like a lot of fun.

LaLa of Webster is hosting an Ugly Sweater Party Thursday night from 5 to 8 p.m at the shop, 38 E. Main St in the Village of Webster.

Participants are encouraged to put on your ugly sweaters and head on down to the village for music, treats, wine, raffle baskets and 30% off everything in the store. When you’re done shopping, head next door to JoJo’s for live music and a special cocktails and appetizer menu created just for the event.

If you attended Lala’s Betty White Night or Jimmy Buffet’s Webster-itaville events, you know how much fun this will be.


Some quick reminders about other events happening now or coming up very soon (check the fliers for more details):

  • The Festival of Trees is going on all month at the Webster Museum. Don’t forget to stop in and vote for your favorite decorated tree. The winner gets a cash prize. The museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the village, and is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30.
  • The Women’s Club of Webster is holding their annual Christmas Cookie Sale at the Webster PUblic Library on Saturday Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cookies will sell out, so get there early.
  • Several Red Cross blood drives are heading our way next week. Check the flier for details and then put one on your calendar.
  • Santa is coming to the Webster Recreation Center this Saturday Dec. 10. From 6 to 8 p.m., the kids can visit with Santa, listen to storytime, and participate in some other holiday activities, all for free. No registration is required. The Rec Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Dr., off of Phillips Rd.

Finally, here are a few notices from the school district:

Nominations Sought for Oak Tree Award

Nominations are being accepted now through January 31, 2023, for this year’s Oak Tree Award.

Co-sponsored by the Webster Teachers’ Association (WTA) and the Webster Central PTSA, this annual program recognizes teacher excellence in Webster CSD. Each year an educator from elementary and another from secondary are selected.

Any Webster resident or district employee, current or former student, parent, teacher, or administrative colleague may nominate a teacher for the Elementary or Secondary Teacher of the Year Oak Tree Award. Teachers include: UPK-12 teachers, special educators, literacy specialists, school counselors, librarians/media specialists, school psychologists, school social workers, speech and language teachers, and occupational and physical therapists.

 Award nominees must meet the following criteria:
      * Currently teaching in a full-time position in Webster CSD
      * Have a minimum of five years teaching experience in Webster CSD
      * Plan to continue to teach the next school year in or retire from Webster CSD
      * Be a member of both the Webster Central PTSA and the WTA

Nomination is intended for an individual teacher. Group, team, or grade level nominations will not be considered.

To nominate a Webster CSD educator for the Oak Tree Award, go online to the news story on the district website, websterschools.org, and follow the link. (Click here for a direct link.)


Webster CSD to Host Family Engagement Panel Discussion on Restorative Practices

Panelists Dr. Robert Chalwell, Webster CSD Director of Family Engagement and Inclusivity; Katie DiSalvo, licensed medical health counselor for Adelphi Rise; a Webster parent; and a Webster student will discuss Restorative Practices and Mental and Socio-Emotional Health. Restorative Practices are a combination of best practices that prioritize skills building in all members of a community to preempt or prevent wrongdoing, focus on repairing harm when wrongdoing occurs, and prioritize individual and shared accountability on a foundation of strong and resilient community. To learn more about Restorative Practices, please see the links below.

The community is invited to submit questions by December 12 for the panel to discuss. A limited number of questions may also be fielded during the event, time permitting. 

The December 14 Family Engagement Panel Discussion on Restorative Practices is the promised follow-up to the district’s Parent/Guardian Listening Forum held in early November. 

The evening will be in-person and live streamed on this webpage, for those who are unable to attend in person. 

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 12/7/2022)

Webster community mailbag

1 Dec

Now that December is upon us, holiday events are coming fast and furious.

Several opportunities to visit with Santa are coming up in the next few weeks.

  • St. Martin Lutheran Church will host its annual Evening With Santa on Friday Dec. 2, 6 to 8 p.m. at the church, 813 Bay Rd. The event includes games for the kids, cookie making, free pizza, story time and free photos with Santa. The evening is free, but participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the St. Martin food cupboard.
  • Santa will be at Webster’s Winter Wonderland this Saturday afternoon Dec. 3, greeting children at the gazebo on North Ave. from 2:45 to 5:45 p.m. And after your visit, make sure to check out all the Santa’s Workshop activities, and the ’round the world displays on Main Street. Click here for the full schedule.
  • The Webster Golf Club, 440 Salt Rd., will host a Breakfast With Santa on Sunday Dec. 4 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Breakfast (and of course your visit with Santa) are free, but donations will be accepted to benefit Webster Hope, Webster Community Chest and Lions Club charities.
  • On Saturday Dec. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m., Santa will pop up again, this time at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr. (off of Phillips). This free event will feature hot cocoa and a cookie station. No registration is required.

Still gift shopping? While you’re at Webster’s Winter Wonderland this Saturday Dec. 3, stop by the Harmony House at 58 East Main St. to check out their Holiday Craft Fair and Open House. Before, during and after the parade there’ll be lots of crafters, live music, beverages and snacks. Click here for more details. The event is sponsored by the Webster Grange and the Chorus of the Genesee.

Also from Dec. 3 through Dec. 8, the Webster Thomas High School/OWL PTSA will sponsor a book fair at Barnes & Noble Webster in Towne Center Plaza. All week, when you present the Book Fair ID# 12641403 at checkout, the PTSA will get a percentage of your purchases. To kick off the event, this Saturday Dec. 3, you’ll enjoy some live music presented by Thomas students from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Webster Public Library has all kinds of fun events scheduled this month, from crafts to storytimes to live music. Check out the flier below for some details, but here’s one I want to highlight:

On Tuesday Dec. 6 from 7 to 8 p.m., the Chorus of the Genesee will present a free holiday concert at the library. The Chorus will be sharing a cappella music that spans traditional barbershop to contemporary to some holiday selections. The concert is free, but the library would like to make sure there’s enough seating, so please register here.

Just a few days ago I got the latest edition of the Webster Senior Center newsletter. It’s packed with news of all sorts of great events for the 55+ gang, including exercise classes, Talks on Tuesday, a holiday ball at the Doubletree and more. I wanted to highlight two events, however …

  • first is the Senior Singers annual Holiday Show, scheduled for Tuesday Dec. 20 at 11 a.m. This would be a great opportunity to find out more about this group and meet some of the members if you’re at all interested in joining. IN any case, it will feature some beautiful holiday tunes. Admission is free,
  • second is the Holiday Party on Wednesday Dec. 21 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $8/person and registration is required.

Now some important information from the Webster Central School District:

The district will run its annual Emergency Preparedness Early Release Drill, designed to test the district’s plan for the early dismissal of students, on Friday, December 23.

Parents should be prepared for their children to be dismissed early that day. Below are the bus departure times for that Friday Dec. 23 day only:

● Schroeder, 3:15 p.m. departure
● Thomas, 3:15 p.m. departure
● Spry, 3:15 p.m. departure
● Willink, 3:15 p.m. departure
● DeWitt, 2:10 p.m. departure
● Klem North, 1:50 p.m. departure
● Klem South, 2:00 p.m. departure
● Plank North, 1:50 p.m. departure
● Plank South, 2:00 p.m. departure
● Schlegel, 2:10 p.m. departure
● State, 2:10 p.m. departure

For parents/guardians who pick their student(s) up from school, the pick-up window will also be different that day. cConsult your school newsletter/ notifications for details.

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As we enter the winter months, Webster CSD reminds families of its closing and early dismissal protocol. Closing and cancellation information is available through a variety of sources:

● online at websterschools.org
● social media at Facebook.com/WebsterCentralSchools and Twitter @wcsdproud
● parent/guardian notification through ParentSquare
● local media

If the district needs to dismiss early, bus riders will return home in the same order as a regular school day. Parents are asked to be prepared with a plan in the event of an early dismissal and discuss it with their children.

Weather conditions vary widely across the district. Parents/guardians are the final authority in deciding whether or not to send a child to school. Weather-related absences are legal absences; however, parents are required to notify schools if their children will
not be attending.

When school is closed due to weather, all aquatics, community education classes, and evening activities are cancelled as well. WonderCare may be an exception; consult their website and social media pages for updates.

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The district is surveying the community to forecast student enrollment for the foreseeable future. The annual young child census launched on the district website December 1. If you have children residing in your household who are birth to 5 years old, please visit websterschools.org to complete this brief census. Don’t delay! The census closes Jan. 6, 2023.

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In an effort to create a more welcoming environment for all families, the Webster CSD is offering free English as a Second Language (ESL) class to the community.
 
The adult ESL class is open to any adult interested in learning English as a Second Language. To support our growing number of families in Webster due to the war in the Ukraine, the class will be taught by a Ukrainian speaker; however, individuals from all language backgrounds are welcome and participants do not need to reside in Webster. 
 
The class takes place Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road. The class is ongoing so students may attend as many or as few as they wish. No registration is required, and there’s no charge.
  
For more information, call (585) 467-7683 or visit https://oaces.net/enroll-now/


Finally, this notice from the Town of Webster:

In January 2023, the Town will formally start the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan. This was last done in 2008. In anticipation of this venture, they are trying to get as much feedback from Webster citizens as possible.

The Town has developed a short, simple, 6-question survey and are hoping to get more than 2,000 surveys completed by Dec. 31. To participate, click the link above.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 12/1/2022)

Let’s cheer on the Wreaths Across America truck!

30 Nov

Wreath Day is almost here!

As you’ve read here several times, Wreaths Across America is coming to Webster, joining the effort to place wreaths on the graves of every veteran in the country. On Dec. 17, Wreath Day, volunteers will gather at Webster Union Cemetery to help lay wreaths on the resting places of 650 veterans. (Keep reading to find out how you and your family can volunteer.)

But before we can place the wreaths, they have to be delivered, and THAT will be an exciting and awe-inspiring event.

Sometime in the next week or two, an 18-wheeler traveling from Maine (where the wreaths are created) will be arriving in Webster to deliver our 650 wreaths, driving through town and up to Webster Union Cemetery at the corner of Rt. 250 and Woodhull. The truck is part of the Wreaths Across America “Honor Fleet,” made up of hundreds of trucking companies who volunteer their drivers, equipment and time to deliver almost three million wreaths every year to every corner of the country.

We don’t know (yet) exactly when the 18-wheeler will be arriving, but when it does, we want to give it a HUGE Webster welcome. Of course we hope as many people as possible can get out on the roadways to cheer on the truck as it passes by. But also, with enough advance notice, the Webster PD will give the truck an all-sirens-blaring escort through town, and our Webster volunteer fire departments will hang a huge flag from their ladder trucks for the semi to drive under.

We don’t know how much lead time we’ll have to let everyone know when the truck will be arriving and what its route will be. But as soon as I find out, I’ll post something on this blog AND on my Webster on the Web Facebook page. Updates will also be posted on the Wreaths Across America Facebook page.

So keep an eye out for updates, and let’s get excited about welcoming the Wreaths Across America truck to Webster.


Wreath Day is Saturday Dec. 17, and the community is invited to help lay the 650 wreaths on veterans’ graves at Webster Union Cemetery. This would be a great way to honor our heroes and start a new family tradition. Click here to sign up.

To read more about Wreaths Across America at Webster Union Cemetery, visit the website here or Facebook page here.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 11/28/2022)

Webster’s Winter Wonderland comes to the Village Saturday Dec. 3

28 Nov

Update: Because of high winds expected this afternoon, Santa will greet kids at Village Hall instead of the gazebo, and many activities will be held inside Main St. shops instead of on the sidewalk. So keep an eye out for them!


So, before you read any further … do you have your ugly sweater yet?

Perhaps you’ve heard about this new wrinkle in Webster’s Winter Wonderland.

In addition to all of the features everyone has come to love about this annual festival, including Santa, carolers, the bell choir, the festival wagon and the Parade of Lights, the organizers are encouraging everyone, including parade participants, to wear ugly sweaters.

You don’t even have to go out and buy one. Just take an old sweater and hang stuff on it (like I did in the photo). There will even be a photo booth set up on Main Street in front of Lala’s where you can get your photo taken with your creative attire. Next year, our little village is going to try to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of ugly-sweater-wearers. So this Saturday will be good practice.

Now for the information you’ve all come for … what’s happening this Saturday at Webster’s Winter Wonderland (the festival formerly known as White Christmas)?

Well for starters, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever, expanding to the east end of the village, and featuring a brand new, around-the-world theme. You’ll find displays inside shops and along Main Street highlighting different winter holidays and cultures from around the world. Also on Main Street, plans are to have at least one food truck, a bounce house, carolers and carriage rides, cookie decorating, music, street games and more.

Like last year, the North Pole will be set up in Gazebo Park on North Ave. There’ll be hot cocoa, kettle corn, Santa’s Workshop where the kids can build a toy, Storytime with Jason, and a donation bin for Toys for Tots. Kids can even participate in a scavenger hunt and win a prize after they check off some of the activities. And of course Santa will be there, welcoming children at the gazebo.

And this year the festival will even extend to the lower level of the North 43 shops east of North Ave. (next to Village Bakery). Make sure to visit “The Land of Sweets” at Roc Dance and check out some other fun surprises at Curated and MBody. Everything begins at 2 p.m. in the Village of Webster. (Update: Santa will be at Village Hall, beginning at 2:45.)

I want to highlight two special events happening that afternoon. The first is a donation table set up in front of Village Hall where you can drop off hygiene items and non-perishable foods to benefit Webster Hope. Check out the poster below for a wish list of items. (You can also drive through and drop off your donations behind the Fire Hall.)

Second, make sure to stop by the Webster Museum at 18 Lapham Park sometime between 2 and 6:30 p.m. to see all of the beautiful decorations, and to vote for your favorite little tree in the museum’s annual Festival of Trees. There will even be live music from 4 to 6 p.m. featuring the Saxophone Therapy Project and the Goodwin Family.

The Parade of Lights begins at 6:30 p.m., heading west down Main Street to Fireman’s Field, and right after that, everyone can head back down to Gazebo Park for carol singing and Christmas tree(s) lighting!

You can find more information at the Webster BID website. If any more fun things are added to the schedule, I’ll post them here, too, so stay tuned.

Click here to see my photo gallery from last year’s White Christmas.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 11/28/2022)

Webster community mailbag

27 Nov

Just in time for gift-giving, the Friends of the Webster Public Library will be holding their Winter Book Sale beginning Tuesday Nov. 29.

The Friends sold the event in their press release better than I could:

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season wear you down! The Friends of the Webster Public Library have the perfect solution to your holiday stress. The Friends are holding a Winter Holiday Book Sale at the library. Gently used books, DVDs, CDs and puzzles for adults and children will be available for purchase.

The sale begins Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 9 a.m. and runs during regular library hours for the next several weeks . . . or until sold out! Children’s items are in limited supply so shop early for the best selection and help support the library! All monies raised will go to support library programs and initiatives.

Free Breakfast With Santa

The Lions Club will hold their annual Breakfast With Santa on Sunday Dec. 4 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Webster Golf Club, 440 Salt Rd.

Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, english muffins, juice and coffee. Raffles and gift certificates will also be available.

There’s no charge, but donations will be accepted (and encouraged) to benefit the Webster Community Chest and other Webster Lions Club charities.

St. Martin Evening With Santa

Here’s another opportunity to get a free photo with Santa, plus cookies and pizza (if you prefer that over breakfast).

St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Road will hold its annual “Evening with Santa” holiday event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fri. Dec. 2, Have your family holiday picture taken in a professional photo setting at St. Martin with Webster’s own Professional Santa, the same Santa as seen in Webster’s White Christmas & famous Firemen’s Parade of Lights. Pictures will be available on the spot and they’re absolutely free. (No need to wait in long lines at the mall or pay for a photo.)

Santa will arrive by fire truck, and will be handing out candy canes to all of his visitors. Bring your own camera for selfies with the elves, watch the children tell Santa their most secret wishes, help the children decorate their own Christmas cookies and write a letter to Santa, and listen to Santa read “The Night Before Christmas.”

There will be lots of games for the children, free pizza, and later, hear Pastor Korey read the Christmas Story as written in the Gospel of Luke.

Families who attend are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for the church’s Food Cupboard, to help another family enjoy their holiday season just a bit more.

Christmas Cookie Sale

The Women’s Club of Webster will hold their 28th annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday Dec. 10 in the Webster Public Library community room. The sale will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until they’re sold out.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s scholarship funds and other Webster community programs. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the rear of Webster Plaza.

Webster’s Winter Wonderland Details

Well, you’re going to have to wait another day or two for these, but rest assured you’ll get the full line-up here shortly. But I do want to make sure you remember to 1) wear your ugly sweaters all day, 2) bring a nonperishable food item to drop off at Village Hall to benefit Webster Hope, and 3) stop by the Webster Museum to vote for your favorite decorated mini-Christmas tree.

More to come. Stay tuned!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 11/26/2022)

Thank you Jersey Mike’s, from Wreaths Across America

24 Nov

Back row (L-R): Jonathan Duque (Jersey Mike’s Director of Operations); George Baker (President, Webster Union Cemetery); Joseph Bozzone (Pittsford GM). Front row (L-R): Frederick Bloss, Kayla Sexton (Director of Operations); Marlon Duque (Webster GM); Will Sullivan (Victor GM), Cherie Wood (Wreaths Across America Location Coordinator and member of the Daughters of American Revolution, Candandaigua Chapter).

In this season when we’re especially thankful for the people in our lives, I want to send a huge thank you out today to Jersey Mike’s Subs for their unwavering support of Wreaths Across America.

On Monday afternoon, several Jersey Mike’s representatives gathered at the Webster location on Monday afternoon to present a big check to Wreaths Across America. In a month-long promotion during which the Webster and Victor stores gave out coupons for free subs, chips and drinks in return for donations, Jersey Mike’s raised $615.

The funds are enough to sponsor 41 wreaths, but also, $205 will be used by the Gold Star mothers to purchase Christmas toys for military families in need.

Cherie Wood, our local Wreaths Across America Location Coordinator, expressed her gratitude to Jersey Mikes not just for this donation, but also for being one of the top corporate donors to Wreaths Across America in the nation, having donated at least $100,000 to the cause.

Jersey Mike’s Director of Operations Jonathan Duque explained that commitment in part when he said, “Even though we’re a franchise, we try to be mom-and-pop, and give back to the customers that come in.”

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization which began 31 years ago, its mission to place a wreath on the grave of every veteran in the country. Last year, 2.4 million wreaths were placed in more than 3,100 cemeteries in the U.S. and abroad. This year, Webster Union Cemetery, at the corner of Rt. 250 and Woodhull, will join that list.

Webster Union is the resting place for about 650 veterans, so decorating every one of the their graves will require that many wreaths. Sponsorships are still available. Each wreath costs just $15, and $5 from each sponsorship will go directly to the Blue Star Mothers, who will use the funds to prepare and ship care packages to deployed servicemen and women. Click here for more information and to sponsor a wreath.

Sometime in early December the wreaths will be delivered to the cemetery by a Wreaths Across America 18-wheeler, which will make its way through the village to the cemetery. Keep tabs on this blog and my Facebook page to see when we can expect the truck, so we can all cheer it on.

Then on Wreath Day, December 17, the community will be invited to the cemetery to view a short ceremony at noon, then help lay the 650 wreaths to honor our fallen heroes. More details to come about that.

Several Jersey Mike’s staff members and managers have already signed on to help out.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 11/23/2022)

New indoor dog park will serve dogs AND their humans

22 Nov

Today I’d like to offer a sneak peak at a brand new business opening soon which will be of particular interest to dogs and the humans they love.

It’s called Woofs Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park, located at 187 West Main St. (at the corner of Barrett Dr.), in the former World Gym.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of an indoor dog park, you’re not alone. There aren’t many of them out there, even here in Rochester, where an indoor park makes a lot of sense. And this one is even different from the ones that ARE out there. Owner Christine Gigante has taken the idea of an outdoor dog park and, she says, “put a spin on it.”

What she means by that is that while Woofs will have the amenities you’ve seen at your average outdoor dog runs, like separate areas for large and small dogs, and lots of agility equipment on artificial turf, Christine will also be focusing on the human component of every dog/owner relationship.

Christine wants to make sure that dog owners get as much out of their visits as their dogs do. She recognizes that getting together with other dog owners has a huge social benefit, so she’s carving out areas for a cafe, pool table and a dart board so people can relax and have conversations while their dogs are getting some exercise. There will even be a small gym area so owners can get a workout while their dogs are getting a workout. (Both the cafe and gym will be separated from the run area by low walls so owners can watch their dogs play.) She’s even thinking about occasionally bringing in food trucks to help build the community.

“If I build it for the dogs, I automatically build it best for the humans,” Christine said. “It’s about getting quality time in your life back.”

Downstairs, a smaller room is being turned into a kind of private “V.I.P.” (very important pup) dog park which can be reserved for dogs with special needs. Next to that is space for a groomer and a photographer.

There’s still plenty of work to be done, but Christine is hoping to open in early December. Admission is membership-based, with day passes and packages available. Click here for more details, and I’ll let you know when Woofs is officially open!  

A now a second, somewhat related part to this story:

A little while ago, Christine Gigante entered a contest called “Fab Over 40.”

The contest, sponsored in part by NewBeauty magazine, has invited women to submit their photos and stories for a chance to win $40,000, a two-page spread in the magazine, and a spa vacation.

Anyone can vote for their chosen contestant, and the really cool thing is that the contest also benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation. While you do have the option to vote once a day without making a donation, if you DO choose to make a donation, your contestant will receive one vote for every dollar you donate.

So if you donate $10 to the Breast Cancer Coalition, your contestant will get 10 votes.

Christine has made it all the way through to the semi-finals, and has asked me to pass along the news. If you’d like to add your votes — and donations — to the cause, you can click here to see Christine’s page. (She would use her winnings to help build the new dog park.) Voting started this week and will run through Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 11/22/2022)

Sharing the mission of mobility: Bella’s Bumbas went to preschool

21 Nov

I haven’t blogged recently about my friends at Bella’s Bumbas, but rest assured, these fine folks are still doing great things for our community, and in our community.

Bella’s Bumbas is run by Webster residents Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr, dedicated to building miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. In the five years since Marty built the first Bella’s Bumba for their niece Bella, they’ve shipped 2,600 chairs to children in 64 countries, often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the parents only for shipping.

Recently, Marty and Rebecca brought several of their chairs, and their message, to the 3 and 4-year old preschoolers at Webster Christian Reformed Church. The visit had two goals: the first was to introduce the idea to these young children that there are a lot of kids out there who can’t get around as easily as they can.

“Some children can’t use their legs,” Rebecca explained to them, “so they have to have wheels.”

The chairs, she told the preschoolers, allow these children with special needs to still have fun, play with their siblings and friends, go to the spray park, roll around the playground and even along an ocean beach. The Bella’s Bumbas give them the mobility they had never before experienced.

Secondly, Rebecca and Marty hope their message of inclusion will filter down into the preschoolers’ homes, and encourage conversations with their adults.

Rebecca explained,

“One of the biggest ‘hopes’ most special needs parents have for their children is inclusion, for their child to be included in normal child’s play. Most children shy away from a child in a wheelchair or with leg braces. If families teach their children when they’re young about children like our ‘Bumbaleers’ who have different needs, and understand even at a young age how these children aren’t much different and just want to play, it would be a better world for all children.

Rebecca and Marty reinforced their message by letting the children try out the mini Bella’s Bumba wheelchairs for themselves. Not surprisingly, they very quickly got the hang of rolling themselves all around the room, using just their arms to push their wheels. They even saw how “kicking” a ball by nudging it with the wheelchair allowed them to play with their friends.

Bella’s Bumbas, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in March, is an all-volunteer organization, relying on a small but dedicated group to build the chairs and fulfill several other roles like picking up donated bubble wrap from drop boxes around town. They offer four different wheelchair designs, adapted to children’s particular needs. They’ve even developed a pull-behind cart for those children who need to carry an oxygen tank or other appliance with them at all times.

The organization is always looking for donations of bubble wrap and boxes, and of course they greatly appreciate monetary donations. For more information and to find out more about you can help, visit the Bella’s Bumbas website.

Check out these photos of the kids trying out the Bella’s Bumbas and playing ball together. They very quickly learned how easy it is to turn the chair, roll forward and backward, kick a ball back and forth, or pick it up and throw it to their friends. Even without using their legs, they could play just like any other kid.

And that’s what it’s all about.

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(posted 11/21/2022)

My first Nutcracker will not be my last

20 Nov

I know that many will find this hard to believe, but in all my 60-plus years, I had never seen a complete version of the Nutcracker ballet. That changed a few nights ago when my friend Denise Baller of Dancing With Denise hooked me up with some excellent tickets to Friday night’s production of Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet at the Auditorium Theater, so I could sit right in the middle of the auditorium to experience this magical performance for the first time.

Any of you who have had the pleasure of seeing Nutcracker know that I don’t use the word “magical” lightly. From the bright Christmas-Eve-celebration colors, costumes and staging in the first act, to the sparkling wintry scenes in Act II, I sat enraptured through the whole show.

The dancing was magnificent, of course, presented by an international cast at the top of their game. But the stars of the show? That would be the 40 local children who played the parts of mice, party kids, snowflakes and several other characters. Those little dancers included 35 Dancing With Denise students, including two with special needs.

I had to feel a little sorry for the professional dancers when the kids were performing. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, for example, paying more attention to the little rats scurrying around the stage than the pitched battle taking place between the Rat King and the Nutcracker.

Adding to my wonderful experience, Denise was kind enough to take me to the backstage dressing rooms, where she introduced me to her young cast. I took some great photos of the kids, which you can see below.

It’s safe to say I’m already looking forward to attending this glorious production again next year.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on 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 11/20/2022)