Update 19 – March 2024

Presidents Message

Happy March! King and I have enjoyed our walks with March’s fluctuating weather – Spring is coming soon!

March 23rd, from 12:30pm-2:30pm the 19WCA, in collaboration with University of Rochester Residential Life & Housing Services students, will be hosting our annual Family Skating Party at the Genesee Valley Sports Complex. Family and friends can enjoy this FREE event that includes free skate rental and refreshments – please come out and enjoy the fun!  

Also on March 23rd at 2pm our annual Spelling Bee will be hosted at the University of Rochester Wegman Hall. Please support our youth at the Spelling Bee!

We’ve started planning for our annual Square Fair 2024 to be held June 1st in Aberdeen Square Park. This is a fun family event – and if you have an hour or more to give of your time, we welcome your help! Please reach out to our office if you would like to be a sponsor, vendor, parade participant or volunteer.

Solar Eclipse – To learn more about the eclipse and why this is so cool for Rochester, check out www.rochestereclipse2024.org. For more information on what to expect on the day of the eclipse, visit www.monroecounty.gov/eclipse-2024

There will be a historic total solar eclipse viewing party in partnership with SEAC, RMSC, X-Cats team 191 & Wilson Magnet High School on Monday April 8th 1-6pm at the Genesee Valley Field House Lodge from 1-6pm. You can view the eclipse and stay for the face painting and live music, kids crafts, food and drink available from Terry’s BBQ, El Kapitan and more!

You can see more eclipse viewing events in the Street Managers Genesee St. newsletter and the Civics Corner sections of this newsletter.

Be Safe. Be Healthy. Be Kind.

Josie McClary

President, 19th Ward Community Association


Candlelight Dinners – A Continuing Neighborhood Success Story!

On February 10, 2024 the 19th Ward Community Association organized the 37th annual neighborhood Candlelight Dinners. Although our numbers were down from 2023 the hosts and guests all agreed it was a wonderful evening and a tradition worth continuing. This year 4 hosts opened their homes to randomly assigned guests. As we have done since 1987 the hosts provided the main course and the guests provided side dishes, appetizers and desserts. Many thanks to our 2024 hosts: Jackie Farrell, Carol Kramer and Ron Stallworth, Charlotte and Doug Giebel, and Deb Wight and Landy Atkinson for opening their homes for the evening.

The comments from guests show the hospitality and graciousness of our neighbors. Even the somewhat shy among us say they enjoyed the dinner and the opportunity to be with old and new neighborhood friends. What follows are comments and pictures from the neighbors who participated:

● What a great time we had on Saturday night! All of our guests were people I had hoped to get to know better, and that’s what we did! We enjoyed everyone’s food contributions, and we all told our stories about where we are from and how we got here. We were born in places as near as Penn Yan and Canandaigua, Detroit, and Palmer, Massachusetts, and as far away as Leeds, England and Jos, Nigeria! Our stories had us roaring with laughter–ask Carleen and Sandra about theirs! Candlelight dinners are a delightful way to become better neighbors and more engaged in our community. Thank you for all your efforts to make this happen! – Charlotte and Douglas Giebel

● We enjoyed hosting our guests – as usual there was lively conversation, and a great opportunity to get to know some people better. We went with a “summertime” theme for dinner which is always fun in the middle of winter. Ron grilled chicken and summertime sides of macaroni salad, garlic toast and vegetables tasted great. A fruit tart for dessert complemented the theme. – Carol Kramer and Ron Stallworth

● It’s fun to spend time with neighbors we haven’t talked to in a while. It was great to catch up. – Lynn and Jane Braband

● One of the things we reminisced about at the Candlelight Dinner at Jackie Farrell’s house was the 1991 Ice Storm. At least one of us at the table had been without power for 13 days at that time. Jackie said her house never lost power. Which meant that they “had people sleeping everywhere—in the basement, in the attic … And people with no power would bring me food from their freezers! I was frantically cooking all day long to feed everyone. The family across the street had six kids and they were in and out.” It made us all smile to remember this example of neighborhood as community.  Several people talked about their volunteer work that they love. One person highly recommends volunteering for Meals on Wheels. She works in the kitchen and she delivers to her regulars, whom she has come to love. Another person loves her work at Bivona Child Advocacy Center. Another is a regular volunteer at one of our neighborhood schools. – Mary Dan Cooper

● Every year is always a unique experience. So, we always make it a priority to attend/host. This year we were with 3 other couples who we used to see all the time when our children were growing up. It was wonderful to reminisce about our children’s childhoods and get to know and appreciate each other again. All in all it was a wonderful evening! Entertaining, lively conversation, good food, warm welcoming hosts all for the price of one food item to share. Candlelight Dinner can’t be beat!!! I highly recommend it! -Joanne & Dan DeMarle

● John and I enjoyed a fun Candlelight Dinner at Landy Atkinson’s lovely home. Besides delicious food, we had good conversations with our hosts and their guests, met a “new” couple (they moved into the 19th Ward two years ago), and finally put a familiar name on a friendly known face. The evening was even more enchanting with the hosts’ two adorable dogs and a hidden cat! These dinners are a wonderful tradition: our neighbors tend to be like-minded people (we all live in the 19th Ward, after all!) and it’s such a great opportunity to meet more of those neighbors. I wish my emails would get more people involved. I hope and encourage them to read Update 19 to keep up with our neighborhood news, I just don’t know if they do. We need more younger people to carry on these great traditions. Thanks to you and Jackie for continuing this fun activity! – Laura Suda

● Landy and Deb had a delightful time with Barb and Curtis Watts, Laura and John Suda, Shelley Keith-Panulla, Brian Panulla, and John Boutet attending Candlelight. We had “new” residents with 2 years of living in Rochester to long-timers who had grown-up in the area. The food was great, the conversation delightful and the laughter contagious.

What great feedback from everyone who attended this year! So if those comments make you feel like you missed a good time don’t worry! Candlelight Dinners will be back again next year. Look for sign up sheets at Convention in November, and during the month of January. The first Candlelight Dinners were held in 1987, when over 100 people participated. That’s our goal for 2025 – more hosts and guests so we have at least 100 people having a great time. Keep it in mind!

Carol Kramer and Jackie Farrell Co-Chairs – Candlelight Dinner

Ice Skating Party

Please come out and join us for this fun family event that creates lasting memories. Hope to see you there!

Spelling Bee

Douglas and Charlotte Giebel are the Chairs of the 19WCA Spelling Bee. Here are highlights from last year’s event. The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers support the Spelling Bee, and took lots of pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/zN1uAZhuKA99ooEi8

Street Managers

Arnett Branch Library

Cub Scout Pack 1965

Greetings from Pack 1965 Cub Scout land!

February 21st was a wonderful day outdoors during School 16 recess.  We hiked the Fairy, Swamp, Birdsong Trail to see Nature at its earliest early Spring awakening.

Our Calendar for March shows…..

  • March 6th Meeting and School 16  PWD Car assembly.
  • March 20th  P1965 Pinewood Derby School 16 (Come see! 6:00 P.M.)
  • March 23rd 19WCA Skating Party P1965 assisting.
  • March 28th RMSC Planetarium program for the upcoming Solar Eclipse 
  • First week of April is a recess.  Lot’s of testing going on in April also.
  • April 3rd Hike in GVP anyone?


From the City of Rochester website – cityofrochester.gov

What’s the big deal with the solar eclipse?! 
Rochester, NY sits directly in the path of totality of the April 8, 2024 at 3:20 p.m. solar eclipse & will experience 3 minutes and 38 seconds of complete totality!  To learn more about the eclipse and why this is so cool for Rochester, check out www.rochestereclipse2024.org. For more information on what to expect on the day of the eclipse, visit www.monroecounty.gov/eclipse-2024

Are there public events to view the eclipse in Rochester?

Some of the eclipse viewing events open to the public happening in the City of Rochester include:

View more eclipse event listings at Visit Rochester or the RMSC.  



Committee Information

Reach out to our office manager if you would like to get involved.

Delegates Council

Delegates Council is currently meeting via Zoom the 2nd Thursday of each month NEW TIME! 6:30pm

Garden Committee

The Garden Committee is always looking for help in maintaining our neighborhood gardens.

Communications Committee, Kate Phillips, Chair

Housing Committee

The 19th Ward Housing Committee will be restarting soon. Our meetings generally last about an hour. A City representative from Buildings and Code Enforcement attends to work with us on specific properties, concerns/issues, code enforcement, etc. 

Schools Committee

The schools committee is continuing to meet and will keep us updated on the good work they’re doing.