Tag Archives: Village of Webster

Strike Back Martial Arts an award winner

11 Nov

award

Strike Back Martial Arts, a jujitsu and self-defense studio in the Village of Webster, was recently awarded the 2018 Best of Webster Award in the martial arts category.

According to the Webster Award Program’s press release, the program identifies companies which they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. It focuses on “quality, not quantity,” and looks to highlight “local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community.”

I’ve never heard about this award before, but I’m not surprised in the least that Strike Back has won it, especially given their commitment to children with special needs.

Strike Back offers adult and youth jujitsu and functional self-defense classes. But what makes them special is that they also offer martial arts classes for children and young adults with autism and with Down syndrome.

I’ve had the honor of working at Strike Back, helping teach the Jujitsu Buddies class (for students on the autism spectrum), for more than three years. It’s a non-intimidating introduction to martial arts, focusing on the particular needs of this population, including coordination, social skills, strength, focus and teamwork, taught by caring and very patient instructors.

In my time there I’ve seen first-hand the great things these classes do for children. I’ve seen anxieties melt away and self-confidence bloom. I’ve seen unbridled delight on the face of a child who accomplished a skill for the first time. I’ve seen children start to believe in themselves and learn that if they just try, they will succeed.

That is why Strike Back Martial Arts received — and deserves — this award.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street in Webster.  For more information, log onto www.strikebackmartialarts.com, find them on Facebook, or call (585) 236-1083.

strike back

A typical Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts. Instructors are (L-R) Dave Nicchitta,  me, Pam Wright and Mike Palmer. 

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Sing in the holidays with Rochester Rhapsody

9 Nov

rhapsody

Make this holiday season a musical one!

Rochester Rhapsody, Webster’s very own all-women a cappella singers, invites women of all ages to to join them for open rehearsals on three days later this month.

It’s called Rochester Rhapsody’s Sing In The Holidays, taking place at the Harmony House, 53 E. Main St. in the Webster Village on November 12, 19, and 27.

The chorus puts a contemporary spin on classic carols, and the songs blend traditional holiday tunes with an entertaining mix of new holiday carols when they perform in the local community in December. Women of all ages are invited to attend the rehearsals at Harmony House, so bring your mother, sister or a friend with you. It’s free for everyone, it’s a great chance to check out this outstanding local group, and held them share the gift of music with Webster and the greater Rochester community.

The Rochester Rhapsody chorus is an award-winning chapter of Harmony, Inc. that performs under the direction of Sue Melvin, an accomplished performer and clinician. Says Melvin, “Members don’t need to have a lot of musical experience or formal training. As long as she loves to sing, we have the tools to help her find success in becoming the best performer she can be. Ordinary women coming together to make extraordinary music.”

For more information about Rochester Rhapsody, visit their website here, email info@rochesterrhapsody.com or call 585-865-2731.

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A night for the books at Barry’s

4 Nov

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Danny and Jessica Barry — and several hundred of their closest friends — gathered last night at Barry’s Old School Irish in the village to celebrate the little pub’s seventh anniversary.

Pints were raised, music was played, there was conversation, laughter, old friends reconnected, and new friends were made.

So basically, it was just like any other night at Barry’s.

I can say that with certainty, as I was one of the very lucky few who can say I knew the pub when it was a baby. I still remember the sunny day when I met Danny and Jess. It was Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, the day before they officially planned to open, when the village was hosting a sidewalk sale they called the “Gazost Festival.” (Any wonder why you haven’t seen it return?) Jess and Danny were both there, and Jess’s mom Debbie reminded me last night that she was there, too, scrubbing the floors.

Their door was open, and I was excited to have a chance to finally meet the people who had refurbished the old living Plumber shop and cleaned up the unsightly corner. Mostly, thought, I needed to find out what the heck a “pub and bakery” was.

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We chatted for a while, and I took a photo of them holding the Barry’s sign. (I’m sure you’re familiar with it.) As I was visiting with them, I had no idea how much these kids would change our village for the better.

Not much of consequence has really changed since that day. There’s new furniture, a couch has come and gone, and the “fireplace” is a distant memory (remember that?). And those early Friday nights when only a half dozen people sat at the bar have become very crowded — as has pretty much every night — as more and more people discover what Webster has long known:

Barry’s Old School Irish is a treasure.

The fact that not much has changed since the pub’s opening day is a testament to Danny and Jessica. They had a vision to make their new place unlike any other. They saw how the pubs in Ireland are truly “public” houses, welcoming young and old, a place where the music never stops and new friendships are made every night. A pub where parents can feel comfortable bringing their children, and you don’t have to worry about leaving your purse hanging on a hook behind some stranger. Where you can come for coffee and a scone in the morning, and a quiet corner to work in the afternoon.

Even after seven years, that vision has not wavered, and that is why people keep discovering Barry’s Old School Irish.

So yes, the place is often shoulder-to-shoulder, especially on St. Patrick’s Day and for celebrations like this. I do miss those intimate Friday nights. But last night it was clear how happy Danny and Jess were, and how much fun they were having. And it just made me smile.

Click here to see some more photos from the evening.

The D&C has deleted the very first blog I wrote after meeting Danny and Jess, but here it is in text if you’re interested.

 

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Two things to do with the family this Saturday

23 Oct

Two fun events happening this Saturday October 27. You already know about the Trick-or-Treat Trail in the Village, of Webster. Let’s hope for reasonable weather for this amazing family-friendly event.

You can read details about that event in  my previous blog here.

That evening, help the kids walk off some of those extra calories at the annual Friends of Webster Trails Hot Cocoa Hike at Four Mile Creek Preserve, at the corner of Phillips and Lake roads.

blue-hot-chocolate-cup-mdArrive anytime between 7 and 8 p.m. and hike your way to some free hot chocolate. This popular event is NOT guided, but it is easy to do and fun for all ages. You’ll find your way by following a lighted path, starting at the parking lot. The exact route will be selected that week based on trail conditions and marked that evening for you to follow. It may be up to a mile in length (one way).

The hot chocolate will be free, hopefully the moon will be out, and there will be a lot of new friends to meet.

friends

Pre-registration is requested. For more information and to sign up, click here. You can also find information under the events section of the Friends of Webster Trails website.

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WVFD hosts blood drive

22 Oct

WVFD blood driveCouldn’t make it to the big Webster Community Blood Drive a few weeks ago? No worries. Your next local opportunity to donate — and save lives — is later this week.

Our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department will host a donation drive this coming Thursday October 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Community Meeting Room, 35 South Avenue.

The drive is being co-hosted by the North East Joint Fire District and is coordinated by Webster volunteer firefighter Jacky Ingrassio. She’s encouraging a friendly competition between Webster Fire Department and West Webster Fire Department to see which can donate the most units.

But of course they’re also hoping that all eligible donors in our community will come out and “answer the call,” and give blood in honor of our everyday heroes.

This drive is especially important as the Red Cross is experiencing an urgent need for blood. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or log onto www.redcrossblood.org and search for the drive by using the sponsor keyword WebsterFireDepartment.

Walk-ins are also welcome.

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Halloween in the Village is coming!

18 Oct

halloween

It took a while, but I finally have gotten into the Halloween mood. Perhaps it was visiting Victor last weekend, seeing all of their light pole scarecrows and making plans with friends to attend Victor’s very adult trick-or-treating Spooktacular in a few weeks. Maybe it’s that the weather has turned very fall-like (OK, downright cold) and the trees are really beginning to change.

In any case, let’s talk Halloween.

The Village of Webster’s annual Halloween in the Village is coming up on Saturday October 27. The highlight of this event is the Trick-or-Treat Trail, where kids can get into their costumes and trick-or-treat all through the village, stopping by dozens of businesses for treats.

Here are the details:

  • A costume contest will kick off the day’s activities from 11 a.m. to noon at the Community Meeting Room, 29 South Ave. (adjacent to the fire house). Prizes will be awarded for best costumes. To be entered into the contest, you must arrive between 11 and 11:30.
  • The Trick-or-Treat Trail itself will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Look for the orange pumpkin in the windows of the participating businesses. (Or just follow the crowds of kids.)
  • The Webster Museum on Lapham Park will host an open house and usually has a fun scavenger-hunt for the kids.
  • The Fire Department will also have an open house, which is always very popular with the kids. Along with candy and other treats, the firefighters will be handing out fire hats and goodie bags and will have lots of demonstrations and hands-on activities.
  • The village’s Festival Wagon will also be making the rounds if you’d like to enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride around the village.

I’ll be there with my camera, as I am every year, snapping photos of as many cute kids as I can. If you’d like to check out last year’s gallery of photos, click here.

Several other events you’ll want keep on your radar include the Friends of Webster Trails’ annual Hot Cocoa Hike the evening of Oct. 27; Barry’s Old School Irish’s 7th anniversary party on Saturday Nov. 3; a craft show at Schlegel Elementary School also on Nov. 3; and a magic show to benefit Miracle Field on Saturday Nov. 24. More details to come about all these soon.

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I wish Webster had scarecrows

17 Oct
Turning Point

Probably my favorite scarecrow in Victor, created by The Turning Pointe dance studio.

Fairport does it up big. This year Victor is doing it, too. Business owners all along the town’s main streets are lashing scary and whimsical scarecrows to the lamp posts near their shops.

Fairport’s done it for years, and they’ve become such an important part of the village’s Scarecrow Festival that it’s even named after them. Victor is doing it for the first time this year as part of their second annual Spooktacular Victor event. In both cases, the scarecrows are a main festival feature. But they also will draw families to town at other times, which means more foot traffic for local business owners.

I really wish Webster would do this to. Or more accurately, I wish Webster would do it AGAIN. As recently as five years ago the village did organize a scarecrow contest, and even invited community members to vote. You know what that means: people actually had to COME INTO TOWN to look at them, and that can only mean good things.  And what nice decorations they made for when thousands of adults and children descended on the village for the Trick-or-Treat Trail.

So c’mon, Webster BID. Can we do this again next year? Think of how nice they would look alongside those beautiful planters, and what a nice addition they would be to our village’s Halloween events.

Here are photos of a few others in Victor:

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Quilting for a cause

16 Oct

quilt

I recently heard about an event being hosted later this week by the Webster Quilt Guild which I wanted to let you know about.

On Saturday October 20, the Guild will host its 6th annual Quilt Pink Day. This is a  nationwide event; locally, quilters will come together to benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, for whom they’ve already make 200 quilts.

If you’re interested in joining them, it’s at Plank South Elementary School, 715 Plank Road (entrance is off of Scribner), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All you need to bring is your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies. The Guild will have fabric and blocks cut up to sew into the quilts.

The event is being led by Guild members Michelle Sanderson and Jen Martin, who have worked tirelessly on this program over the years. Kudos to the entire organization for the good they’re doing for our community.

But there’s more! The Webster Quilt Guild, now celebrating its 43rd year, is constantly doing great things for our community. On the first Monday of every month, for example, they host their “Chat and Charity” group at the Goodwill store on Webster Commons Blvd. in Webster, led by Gretchen Stumme and Cheryl Bond. They describe this group as a “fabulously fun group of friends working on charitable projects.” Some of the projects they’ve completed include “shirt savers” for Mary Cariola Center, and “fidget quilts” for St. Anne’s. Their current project are “no-no bags” for Strong Pediatric.

The group’s regular meetings on the third Friday of every month feature some great activities, great discussions, and plenty of new friends and socializing.  The meetings are held at the Webster United Methodist Church on East Main Street.

Read more about the Webster Quilt Guild on their website, here.

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Webster community mailbag

4 Oct

mailbag iconSome important local business news leads today’s mailbag.

Another business lost

I learned just a few days ago that Metro Sports Brokers in the Village of Webster is closing.

I don’t know much more about the story, as I haven’t had a chance to talk with owner Tom Spoonhower yet, but on the shop’s Facebook page, he’s using the term “retirement/closing sale” for the deals you can get in the store this week.

I’m sorry to see another long-time business leaving the village, but I wish Tom the best in everything.

News from the Knuckleheads

knucklehead-logoOn a happier note, changes are in the wind for one of my favorite brew stops, Knucklehead Craft Brewing.

Owner Len Dummer sent out a message a little while ago that co-owner George Cline and his family have decided to leave the business.

Len wrote,

We have decided to go in different directions. The Dummer family will be continuing on with Knuckleheads … We thank the Cline family for all of their hard work and dedication to Knucklehead and we wish them the best in their future endeavors.

These last 3 1/2 years have been fun and a learning experience for all of us. We never expected to meet and create such wonderful friendships with our customers.  It is tough for us to look at you as customers…..we see you as friends and fans of Knucklehead!

As Knucklehead approaches its fourth anniversary, the brewery is making plans to be even bigger and better. The Town Zoning Board recently approved their plans for an expansion to the current space. More to come about that.

You can read more about both these announcements in this article posted yesterday in the D&C.

Webster Fall Fest

The Town of Webster and Webster Parks and Recreation will kick off fall with the annual Webster Fall Festival, on Saturday October 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at Gosnell Big Woods, 680 Vosburg Road.

This is an awesome family-friendly event with donuts, cider, wagon rides, children’s crafts and games, pony rides, food trucks and live entertainment. Admission is free and there’s plenty of parking.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

UCC Oktoberfest

After enjoying the Webster Fall Fest, head on over to the United Church of Christ on  Klem Road for their annual Oktoberfest, from 6 to 9 p.m.

This festival is as much history as celebration for the folks at UCC. They said in their press release,

Oktoberfest is a German celebration that takes place when the late summer/early fall crops are harvested, it is also a time to tap barrels of wine and brew that had been sealed the year before. Communities gather to give thanks for blessings received. There is music for singing and dancing, tables are laden with food and drink – and a feeling of “gemutlichkeit” rules the day!

The forbear denominations that merged to create the United Church of Christ were from the German Evangelical and German Reformed traditions. The Oktoberfest will honor those traditions with live music, singing and dancing, and a performance by members of the Rochester Schwaben Verein, a German dance club!

Tickets are $5.00 per person, and German specialties like Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Potato Salad, Bratwurst, and desserts like Apple Strudel and Black Forest Cake will be available for purchase. Tickets are available at the church between services, or you can call the church office at 585-671-3757.

The Oktoberfest is Saturday October 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 570 Klem Road, Webster.

Library book sale — and important news

Let’s start with the important news part.

Next Monday October 8, the Webster Public Library will be CLOSED for staff training. Plus, they’ll be closing early on Halloween, October 31, so make sure you stop in for all your spooky needs before 5 p.m. that day!

Now on to the more fun stuff: The Webster Library Fall Book Sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Webster Public Library, Thursday Oct. 11 through Sat. Oct. 13.

This is a great time to stock your library. Hardcover books are only $1 each, and paperbacks only 50 cents. Credit cards are accepted.

All the books are new to the sale, so don’t think you’ve seen it all before. There will also be DVD’s, Blue Ray, music CD’s and LPs — definitely something for adults, teens and children. including cooking, gardening, hobbies, biographies, religion, history, sports, travel, foreign language, performing arts, humor and more. There will even be a chance to win a book gift basket raffle.

The sale hours are Thursday, October 11 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a bag for just $4.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road, at the back of the plaza.

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The best blood drive EVER is back

25 Sep

blood drive

Plans are coming together for October’s Webster Community Blood Drive.  

This is the one you all know for those big white signs that pop up all over town the weekend before the drive in front of several of the sponsoring businesses. This year’s drive will be Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center.

This is always one of the most popular and well-attended drives of the entire year, and stands out among all others because of the tremendous support it receives from Webster businesses.

Once again this October, every presenting donor will be handed ten raffle tickets, which can be used to take chances on more than two dozen prizes being donated by local businesses.

The complete list of prizes is still being finalized, but some of the sponsors already include:

  • Barry’s Old School Irish
  • Beyond Cuts Salon
  • The Chicken Coop
  • Gift cards from Eastway Liquor
  • Kittelberger Florist
  • Knucklehead Craft Brewing
  • Natural Alternatives
  • Rubino’s
  • Schutt’s Apple Mill
  • Strike Back Martial Arts
  • The Garage Sale Store
  • World Gym
  • La Bella Vita
  • Hegedorn’s

We’re pleased to welcome a brand new sponsor this fall as well, Flaherty’s Three Flags Inn.

One of the most popular coupons of all — from Bruster’s — will be returning. Every presenting donor will receive Bruster’s “Pint for a Pint” coupon, good for a free pint of ice cream or a free ice cream cone.

The Webster Community Blood Drive is scheduled for Wednesday October 10 at St. Paul’s Church, 783 Hard Road, and Thursday October 11 at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, from noon to 7 pm each day.

Walk-ins will most certainly be welcome, but the best way to get in and out quickly for this über-popular drive is to make an appointment by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by logging onto http://www.redcrossblood.org. 

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