Tag Archives: Webster NY

So who WAS Jon S. Gerling?

4 Aug

You might think you’re totally unfamiliar with the name “Jon S. Gerling.” But it may surprise you to learn that you’ve very likely passed by this name countless times, especially if you’ve lived in Webster a long time and have children.

That was the case for me. Despite having lived in the area for almost 20 years, and having visited the Ridge Park playground and pavilion dozens of times, it took me that long to notice the small memorial that stands at the south end of the park, easily visible from Ridge Rd.

It announces that the baseball field next to you is the Jon S. Gerling Memorial Field.

The first time I noticed the memorial, I did a little online research to find out what I could about Mr. Gerling. Which was not much. I did find out that he died in 1977 at age 35 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. And clearly he was a huge supporter of Webster baseball, since the obituary invited people to donate to the Webster Athletic Association in his memory.

Ridge Park, which is adjacent to Town Hall, is now home to Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester, an outstanding adaptive playing field. So that kind of overshadows the Jon S. Gerling Memorial Field.

But let us not forget Jon S. Gerling. Perhaps next time you’re in the park, you can wander on over and take a closer look at the memorial and give a silent thank-you to Jon’s efforts to promote sports in our town.

If anyone has any more information about Jon Gerling, please email me!

* * *

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.

My photos are up at the library!

3 Aug

In the 13 years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve taken a LOT of photos.

I mean, they easily number into the tens of thousands. You know me; I can take 150 at one parade alone. Through the years, they’ve captured adults and children, chronicled events both happy and sad, helped announce new businesses and shined a spotlight on unsung heroes and hidden gems in the community. They are sometimes whimsical, sometimes very serious.

In a sense, the photos have become a historical record of Webster people, places and events.

One of the 24 photos I chose for the display

It’s probably partly for that reason that Laureen Anthony-Palmer at the Webster Public Library invited me to put together a display of my photos for the library’s Artist’s Wall. It took me a while to warm up to the idea, but eventually I decided it would be kind of fun, and I started digging into a dozen years’ worth of backed-up photo files and Facebook galleries.

Choosing just a small percentage of those photos, as you might imagine, was rather difficult. But it was indeed fun to look back through the years at all the events I’ve been to and people I’ve met. Eventually I selected 24 of my favorites for the display, wrote captions, mounted them and — with my husband’s help — hung them at the library a few days ago. They’re organized into three sections representing the main things I like to highlight in the blog: kids, community and events.

The photos will be on display through August, so I invite you to stop by any time during normal library hours and take a look. You might even see yourself or someone you know in one of them.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

* * *

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

Family game night: happy children, happy meeting

1 Aug

Friday night’s first-ever Family Game Night seemed to be a popular event. When I joined it about an hour into the evening’s festivities, a few hundred people were milling around or seated at the tables. Many were enjoying their beverages or having dinner, others were listening to the musician, or chatting with friends, or playing games and chalking the street with their children.

Basically, everyone who attended was having a good time doing SOMETHING, appreciating the excuse to get out of the house again and spend some time with friends and neighbors on a beautiful summer evening.

The best part of the evening, however, was the opportunity for kids to have some fun in a safe environment while their parents socialized. The organizers — the Webster Business Improvement District — had put out giant games for the kids to play with, like Jenga, Connect Four and Cornhole. There was also plenty of sidewalk chalk to be had, and by the time I got there, West Main Street was already filled with artwork.

It was all a very pleasant ending to the village’s Christas in July Week.

Here’s a gallery of photos from the evening:

The happy meeting which I mentioned in the headline referred to the chance I had to meet and share a pint with Colin Minster, the new editor of the Webster Herald.

Colin replaces Anna Hubbel, who has been with the paper for the last seven years. Colin brings with him experience as a writer and researcher for the Finger Lakes Times, but this is his first full-time editing position. He’s fairly new to Webster, but in the short time he’s been here, he seems to have fallen in love with the town, and is looking forward to telling everyone more about it.

“I like Webster a lot,” he said. “There are so many cool, fun things that Webster does. It’s such a cool town.”

So you can expect the Herald to continue to cover hard news stories, like the recent sewer consolidation discussions, but also lots of community news, like Colin’s reflections on the recent Waterfront Arts Festival. Both stories ran on the front page of last week’s edition. He also hopes to fire up a few columns of his own.

Colin currently lives in Penn Yan but is looking to buy a house in Webster.

Welcome to Webster, Colin. I think you’re really going to like it here.

* * *

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

First-ever holiday summer parade a hit

30 Jul

It wasn’t the Firemen’s Parade we are all accustomed to (and it wasn’t supposed to be). But last night’s Webster Holiday Parade was a delight for parade-starved community residents who just needed SOMETHING to celebrate this summer.

The Webster Business Improvement District (BID) organized the event as part of the village’s Christmas in July celebration, which began with a showing of the movie Elf on Tuesday and continues tonight with a Family Games Night and Beer Garden on Main Street from 6 to 9 p.m.

And while it wasn’t the two-hour long spectacle we’ve come to expect with the Firemen’s Parade, the holiday-themed parade had enough fire trucks, EMT vehicles and candy-tossing to keep the kids happy. A few other community organizations put together some Christmas-wrapped floats, and Dancing With Denise broke out their holiday costumes.

Following the parade, kids and their parents streamed down to the gazebo where they could decorate cookies and join in some Christmas caroling.

Thank you to all of the organizations who participated in last night’s parade, and for the BID for pulling it together on such short notice. Visit the Webster BID website for more details about tonight’s activities.

Click here to see a gallery of photos, including almost everyone who really got into the spirit and dug out their Santa hats, Christmas-light necklaces and reindeer antlers for the occasion.

* * *

P.S. Here’s another gallery of photos you might like, courtesy Mary White.

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.

Happy Bella’s Bumbas news and library stuff

29 Jul

Back in June, I posted a blog about how the Webster-based dance studio Dancing With Denise raised money and made a very generous donation to Bella’s Bumbas, a nonprofit grassroots organization which builds pint-sized “Bumba” wheelchairs for children with mobility issues.

The money was earmarked for a particular project Bella’s Bumbas was working on: building and shipping eight of the miniature wheelchairs to Algeria.

I found out several days ago that those chairs were shipped, have been received, and the children are already enjoying the Bella’s Bumba benefits of mobility, greater self-confidence and independence. (Check out those smiling faces in the photos below, sent from Algeria!)

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 four years since Marty built the first Bumba for their niece Bella, they’ve shipped close to 2000 chairs to children in 46 countries (including ALGERIA), often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the parents only for shipping.

Rebecca and Marty could barely contain their excitement on Facebook, where they wrote:

Well, it was a bit of a learning curve and journey but all the chairs made it to ALGERIA and the 8 children.

We owe an amazing amount of thank you’s to Dancing With Denise for a majority of the funds, Aziz Anas Ziad that assisted the families in Algeria with sending in their request papers, Samir the gentleman who received and distributed the chairs (and put on an amazing little party complete with gifts and hats for the children), Mohamed who connected us to Samir, and the amazing Association El Kawther who also assisted Samir to recieve the chairs from customs … INDEED it has taken so much compassion and cooperation for this adventure.

The excitement in Algeria could also be felt across the miles, summed up in comments like this one: “Thank you so much for this. Those children really need to be happy and independent persons. Biiiig thanks from Algeria.”

Rebecca and Marty have earned the right to step back and rest a bit after this huge project. But I’m sure they’ve already ramped up production again, and will almost certainly notch a few more countries before the end of the year.

Read more about the Bella’s Bumbas mission and how you can help on their Facebook page and their website.


Lots of things happening at the Webster Public Library these days, and I’ve been remiss in letting you know about them. So here you go:

  • Project Homeless Connect Rochester is holding its annual coat drive event on September 15th at the Public Market in downtown Rochester, and the library is helping with the collection. Community members are encouraged to donate clean, new coats in the library collection box right now (don’t wait until September!) Donations can be dropped off any time that the library is open, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 pm and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Can’t make the morning live storytimes at the Harmony Park gazebo? The library has recently added some Wednesday evening storytimes on Aug. 4 and 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The park is located on Foster Drive off of Phillips Rd. No registration is required.
  • As part of the Tales & Tails Summer Reading theme, the library is partnering with Operation Freedom Ride by collecting donations for underfunded rescues and shelters through August. Their mission is to rescue homeless dogs and cats and find them adopters in NY. Donations will be collected through August. Each donation will earn a kernel of food in our dog dish on the bulletin board outside the Children’s Room. Watch it grow!

See a complete list of requested items on the Webster Public Library Facebook page.

All these items just scratch the surface of what’s going on down there at the library. Check out their beautiful, brand new website for details about these and dozens of other special things that happen there every month. The library is located at the back of Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Rd.

* * *

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.

The Christmas lights are going up!

27 Jul

A friend of mine noticed last night as she was heading toward my house that village workers are stringing up Christmas lights on Main Street.

You know what that means, of course.

IT’S CHRISTMAS IN JULY IN THE VILLAGE!

We’ve all been pretty parade-starved these last few summers, so I think the most exciting news about this week is the Firemen’s Holiday Parade taking place Thursday night from 7 to 8 p.m. on Main St.

Now this is not going to be anywhere near as big as the Firemen’s parades that herald the return of the Firemen’s Carnival every year, but c’mon… it’s a parade. And it’s an excuse to wear Santa hats and jingle bells in July.

True to the “Christmas in July” theme, there will also be caroling and Christmas cookie decorating at the gazebo Thursday night.

Then, on Friday July 30, West Main Street will be closed for an evening of family games and entertainment…and beer.

The village’s first-ever Family Games Night and Beer Garden will feature sidewalk chalk art for the kids (and adults), giant street games like Jenga and Connect Four, and a free yoga class. The Coach Sports Bar will be serving up beer and wine and Webster Hots will offer dinner options.

Live acoustic music is also on tap from 6:30 to 8 p.m. featuring Steve Bartolotta.

Christmas in July events actually start tonight, with a showing of Elf (yes the Christmas movie!) at Movie Night in Gazebo Park beginning at 8 p.m.

It’s all being brought to you by the members of Webster’s Business Improvement District, the group that organizes all of the fun events in the village, from the Trick or Treat Trail to White Christmas. For more details, visit websterbid.com.

* * *

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.

A morning of baseball like no other

26 Jul

“Heroes Helping Heroes.” There was absolutely no better way to describe the incredible event held Saturday at Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

You’ve read about this magical place in my blog before. Miracle Field is located in Ridge Park adjacent to Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

On Saturday, these young athletes were joined on the baseball diamond by local first responders — police officers, State Troopers, EMTs, firefighters — who ran with them around the bases and assisted them in the field.

Heroes helping heroes.

It’s a delight to see the joy on the faces of these young people when they hit the ball, round the bases and score runs. Or when they successfully snag a grounder — which is such a joyous event they’d rather show it to the adult standing next to them than actually throw it to a base. Their mile-wide grins are infectious, and their jubilation as they cross the plate makes every heart smile.

Saturday’s event featured several ballgames, plus kids’ activities, a dunk tank, a fire truck to climb on, a mounted patrol officer with her horse to pet, food trucks, give-aways, and lots more. It was a super, well-coordinated event that was a delight for everyone who attended. Thank you to Linda Burke, Don Barone, Ron Kampff, the rest of the Miracle Field members and staff, and all of the volunteers for making it a great day. I look forward to next year.

Click here for a gallery of more photos.

* * *

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.

Waterfront Art Festival continues today

25 Jul

I stopped by the Waterfront Art Festival with my camera yesterday, just long enough to walk the entire circle of artisans spread across the lawns and around the ponds at North Ponds Park. I didn’t have more than a few dollars on me, which in retrospect was probably a good thing since I would have dropped a lot of cash at some of the booths. (Thinking ahead to Christmas already.)

This year’s festival really does seem bigger than the ones I’ve walked through in previous years, and both the variety and quality of the arts and crafts on display were impressive. (Visit the festival’s website to see a list.)

There was also a “food court” of sorts with several food trucks, a wine/beer/cider tasting tent and and some decent entertainment. And the weather was gorgeous, something else that will continue today along with the festival.

As I am prone to do at events, I took a lot of photos. There are a few here, but click here to see a Facebook gallery with many others.

The Waterfront Art Festival continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at North Ponds Park, right off of Rt. 104. Admission is $3 for adults, free for kids 12 and under, and there’s plenty of free parking.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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.

Webster community mailbag: busy weekend ahead

20 Jul

Baseball and festival and ice cream. All perennial summer favorites, and you’ll find them all this weekend in Webster.

The fun all starts Saturday morning July 24 at Challenger Miracle Field of Great Rochester, during their “Heroes Helping Heroes” day, a tribute to the Challenger athletes for whom the field was built, and the men and women who keep them safe.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. first responders will be playing ball games alongside the Challenger players. Visitors are invited to watch the games, cheer on these amazing athletes, and then hang around to visit with law enforcement representatives, first responders and mounted police officers. Plus there’ll be carnival games, food trucks, a dunk tank and a visit from Spikes, the Red Wings mascot.

Miracle Field is located on Ridge Road behind Town Hall. This beautiful facility was specifically designed for individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges and is fully wheelchair accessible. It offers those with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.

It’s all free, there’s plenty of parking, and it’s going to be great family fun. Click here to learn more about Challenger Miracle Field.


The Waterfront Art Festival also returns to North Ponds Park this Saturday and Sunday after taking last year off (much like most everything else in life).

The Waterfront Art Festival is a fine art and craft show and sale that was started in 1973 on the Canandaigua City Pier. It was held in Canandaigua for 41 years before moving to Webster, where it has grown every year and become a highly anticipated summer event.

This year’s festival will feature almost 60 artisans displaying a wide variety of unique, high-quality pieces ranging from stoneware, beads and culinary items to jewelry, glassware and soaps… and so much more.

PLUS, there’s lots of live music (check the line-up here), a food court and wine/beer/cider tastings tent, all set up along the pathways and lawns of the picturesque, shady North Ponds Park.

Admission is $3, and kids 12 and under are free. There’s also plenty of free parking.


Here’s word of a unique new “summer camp” experience for kids who like to sew.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 E. Main Street in Webster, will offer a Stitch by Stitch Kids Summer Camp from Tuesday July 27 through Thursday July 29. Over the three days, young students will create their own drawstring backpacks, while learning more about sewing machines and techniques.

Classes will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. each day, and be taught by instructor Kelly Goodman. Cost is $60.

For more information, including a supply list, email The Village Quilt Shoppe through the contact page on their website, call them at 585-626-6916 or stop by their shop.


St. Rita Church in West Webster will be hosting their next “Saturdays at St. Rita” event this weekend.

From 6 to 8 p.m. on July 24, the community is invited to an ice cream social at the church, 1008 Maple Drive.

BUT THERE’S MORE THAN JUST ICE CREAM! You can also get dinner from Verno on the Roll, AND play miniature golf for free! There’s a book sale, gift basket raffle, and live music.

And of course, it’s all a warm-up to the annual St. Rita Fiesta, scheduled this year for Aug. 28. Stay tuned for more about that.


* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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.

Village of Webster’s “Christmas in July” will feature an EMS parade

16 Jul

Plans continue to come together — and get more exciting — for some great family events in Webster Village the last week in July.

The latest addition to a whole week of activities is a “Christmas in July” Summer Parade of (at least) EMS vehicles on Thursday July 29 beginning ar 7 p.m. I’m sensing the organizers are looking to plan something a little like the huge Fireman’s Parade, but on a much smaller scale.

Community members are encouraged to dress up in their best holiday attire. That means get up into the attic and dig out all your Santa hats, antlers, Christmas lights and even ugly sweaters.

True to the “Christmas in July” theme, there will also be caroling and Christmas cookie decorating at the gazebo. More details as they come will be posted to this Facebook event page.

Then, on Friday July 30, West Main Street will be closed for an evening of family games and entertainment…and beer.

The village’s first-ever Family Games Night and Beer Garden will feature sidewalk chalk art for the kids (and adults), giant street games like Jenga and Connect Four, and a free yoga class. The Coach Sports Bar will be serving up beer and wine and Webster Hots will offer dinner options.

Live acoustic music is also on tap from 6:30 to 8 p.m. featuring Steve Bartolotta.

Earlier in the week, don’t forget that Elf (yes the Christmas movie!) will be the featured attraction at Movie Night in Gazebo Park, Tuesday July 27 beginning at 8 p.m.

You can also stay on top of Village of Webster events by regularly checking the Webster BID website.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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.