Tag Archives: Village Focus

Carol Klem Day declaration packed the house

23 Nov

crowd

It was standing room only in the Community Meeting Hall for Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting, and not a one of them had come to complain about some problem they were having in the village.

No, the Board had announced that Tuesday November 21 would forever be known as Carol Klem Day, and almost 100 of Carol’s friends, family members and business owners had come to witness the official proclamation.

Trying to get the large, chatty crowd organized so they could start the meeting on time was kind of like herding cats. But eventually everyone found a seat or a spot along the wall, and Mayor Darrell Byerts called the meeting to order.

The proclamation was the first order of business. Carol Carol with proclamationjoined the board members at the podium as Mayor Byerts read the official document. There were a lot of “whereas”es and at least one “let it be known,” but the gist of the document were these paragraphs, which related to Carol’s work with the Webster Herald:

Whereas her (Village Voice) articles helped to support local organizations and businesses old and new and to promote community events all year long,

and whereas her journalistic expertise has ultimately strengthened the village and everything it stands for as a close-knit, supportive and fun community by bringing people together.

Following the presentation of the official document, several others stepped up to the podium to express their gratitude.

Village Trustee Jude Lancy, who helped pull this event together, sent along this list of thank-yous for helping make the evening’s festivities successful:

Thank you to:

  • Mayor Darrell Byerts for coming up with the the idea of Carol Klem Day, and the beautiful plaque commemorating this event.
  • Carol’s daughter MaryKay, for gathering early information on Carol’s life and bringing the family to the presentation;
  • Robyn Whitaker for the plaque presented to Carol from the Business Improvement District, in appreciation of her support;
  • Bill Horeth and Kathy Mills, representing Kittelberger Florist for the presentation of long-stemmed red roses in thanks for Carol’s contribution to the village and businesses;
  • Sharon Pratt, representing the Museum, who gave thanks for all of Carol’s contributions to the welfare of the museum;
  • Jake Swingly and Steve Small for “starring” Carol Klem on the digital billboard in front of the South Avenue fire house;
  • Dorothea Ciccarelli for showing the Village Hall’s appreciation and her own appreciation for the support given to her daughter, Lacey;
  • Maegan Lessing for her efforts in preparing the proclamation, getting everyone’s signatures and finding a suitable frame;
  • and thanks to everyone in attendance for a standing-room only gathering for our one and only Carol Klem.

Erin and CarolLater in the meeting, after most of the well-wishers had left, another notable event happened.

Mayor Byerts announced that a new columnist had been found who will be taking the Village Focus reins from Carol. The new columnist will soon be starting up the weekly column again, plus a new blog to be posted on the village website.

Then he officially introduced — and the Board officially approved — my daughter, Erin Rosenberry.

Several details have yet to be worked out.  But as soon as Erin gets an email up and running, I hope the Village of Webster will support her — as you have supported me — as she shares all the good things our community has to offer.

Carol with Village Board

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Village to honor Carol Klem

18 Nov

Carol_Klem-

(The blog below is an article I wrote for the Webster Herald about a great person and good friend who’s getting some well-deserved recognition at the Village Board meeting next Tuesday.)  

If you’ve lived in the Village of Webster for any length of time, chances are very good you know Carol Klem — or at least know about her.

It helps that for the last 12 years, as Village Focus columnist, Carol’s smiling face has appeared every two weeks on the village website and in the Webster Herald.

But even if you don’t regularly read her column, you’ve almost certainly seen Carol around town, chatting with fellow journalists at Barry’s Old School Irish or at Golden Boys, visiting with local business owners, or darting back and forth during parades, festivals and other special events, snapping photos for her column.

Basically, the name Carol Klem has become synonymous with all things good about the village of Webster. For years, she’s been the eyes and ears of Webster, like a town crier, using her column to cheer accomplishments both big and small. She has introduced us to new businesses and old businesses. She has written tender obituaries, announced births and anniversaries. She has told us about upcoming special events and charmed us with personal musings about small-town life. And every Christmas she has delighted us all with her epic holiday poem.

Next week, the village will recognize Carol’s devotion to Webster by proclaiming November 21 Carol Klem Day in the Village.

Carol was born in Rochester in 1938, the oldest of three children, and lived with her family in the Beechwood section of the city. While she was attending high school at Nazareth Academy, her parents decided to move to Webster, in a home they built on Basket Road.

At that time, Webster was very rural, and was really considered the “boondocks.” Moving from the city to farm country was a big adjustment, but it gave Carol lots of handy excuses for being late for school. One of them, her daughter Mary Kay remembers, was “the Schreiber cows were loose on Basket Road.”

Carol attended Nazareth College, where she studied English and music, and was hired at Holy Trinity School, where she taught first through third grades.

Carol was the school’s first lay teacher. “It was mom and all the nuns,” Mary Kay said. “It was really quite funny. I think she was very different from the nuns. I can’t imagine a bunch of nuns and my mom!”

It was while she was teaching at Holy Trinity that she met Gene, her husband of 57 years. They were introduced by then-pastor Fr. William Kalb in 1959, married the following year, and immediately started a family. Mary Kay was born in 1961, followed closely by Tom, Greg and Doug. Many years later, in 1978, little sister Meg joined the family.

Carol worked through her first pregnancy, then became a stay-at-home mom. It was only after all the kids had all grown and moved on that she re-entered the workforce, finding part-time work with the Webster Post, writing wedding announcements and obituaries.

At 47 years old, Carol Klem the journalist was born.

“I remember her starting with a portable typewriter,” Mary Kay said. “I couldn’t imagine she would ever be computer-literate, and Word proficient. Although she still has a knack for losing files.”

In 2005 Carol left the Post and was asked to join the Webster Herald as the Village Focus columnist. She had finally found her true calling: writing about the village she loves so dearly.

And she does love Webster dearly. In September 2015, in an interview she recorded for the non-profit Webster Together organization, Carol called the village “the heart of Webster.”

“I just love our town. I love the people in it, and I love the spirit,” she said. “I’d love to see the village definitely take off. I think that whatever happens, we have the right people to make the decisions.”

For years, Carol Klem has been Webster’s biggest cheerleader. Now the village wants to return the favor.

In recognition of everything Carol has done for our community, The Webster Village Board will officially designate Tuesday, November 21 as “Carol Klem Day” in the village of Webster.

Mayor Darrell Byerts will present the official proclamation at the regular Village Board meeting, Tuesday November 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Meeting Hall, 29 South Ave. (The meeting has been rescheduled from Thanksgiving Day). The entire Webster community is invited to attend.

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