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Coming to Weston: a confederacy of canines

A copper doghouse will be auctioned by the Rotary Club of Weston and Wayland.

A CONFEDERACY OF CANINES The event he was put in charge of last year was new, recalls Weston Rotarian John Marchiony, but his concerns were the same as those that would face any volunteer organizer heading up a large-scale charity fund-raiser: Would the guests enjoy themselves? What if disagreements broke out among the partygoers? And most importantly, how would he ever find anyone willing to clean up afterwards?

But last year’s First Annual Pooch Parade and Festival was a success, both for the approximately 250 dogs that took part and for their human escorts, and Marchiony is looking forward even more to this year’s festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 14, on the Weston Town Green.

The festival, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Weston and Wayland to benefit their scholarship fund as well as about a dozen partnering charities, features a parade, a wide variety of vendor booths, and contests for dogs in such categories as largest, smallest, “waggiest,” best singer, and highest jumper.

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From a fund-raising standpoint, the centerpiece is a silent auction featuring three custom-designed doghouses. This year, new Rotarian John Veale, a Weston roofer, has spent months creating an entirely copper-clad domicile. Other dog houses to be auctioned include a state-of-the-art dog crate and what Marchiony refers to as “a more traditional Colonial.” Because, of course, Weston dogs are no different from Weston people in their range of housing preferences: some go traditional, some just want to wow. “It’s emblematic of the fun and silliness of the event,” said Marchiony of the auction. “If you’re going to try to imagine the most high-end doghouse possible, Weston is probably the place to put it.”

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The Pooch Parade and Festival takes place Saturday, May 14 (raindate May 15), on the Weston Town Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. . For more information, go to www.westonpoochparade.org .

PHOTOS OF NATURE Acton photographer Rob Houghton will exhibit his work at the Acton Memorial Library from now through the end of June. Houghton’s work features the minute details of nature, such as cracked ice on a pond or patterns of snow on branches. An avid photographer for the past 40 years, he trained with a large format camera, developing and printing black and white prints in a darkroom. For the past 10 years he has switched to using a digital camera and incorporating color into his work. The Acton Memorial Library is located at 486 Main St., Acton. For hours and more information, call 978-929-5566 or go to www.actonmemoriallibrary.org.

MOTHER’S DAY RUN Strivers Running Club for Girls will once again host Natick’s Annual Mother’s Day 5k Road Race on Sunday, May 8, at 8:30 a.m. at Natick High School, 15 West Street, Natick. A highlight of this year’s race will be the planned participation of Belmont’s Becca Pizzi, who earlier this spring became the first American woman to complete the World Marathon Challenge by running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. The entry fee until May 2 is $25 for adults and $15 for students 13 years or younger; after that it is $30 for adults and $20 for students. To register and for more information, go to www.striversmd5k.com.

REMEMBRANCE DAY On Wednesday, May 4, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Temple Beth Israel in Waltham will mark Yom HaShoa, Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a presentation featuring Ruth Kapp Hartz, Holocaust educator, along with her grandson and granddaughter. Hartz will describe her childhood experiences and her recent travels to France and Germany to learn about her family’s history and reunite with her saviors, while her adult grandchildren will discuss their roles in carrying on the legacy. In addition to the speakers’ presentation, the evening will include a question-and-answer session, book signing, and light refreshments. Admission is free. Temple Beth Israel is located at 25 Harvard Street, Waltham. For more information, call 781-894-5146 or go to www.tbiwaltham.org.

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TEND YOUR GARDEN Maria von Brincken, a Master Gardener and licensed landscape designer, will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center in West Concord about how to successfully grow perennials in your home gardens, with an emphasis on creating harmonious color palettes that last throughout the growing season. The talk is sponsored by the West Concord Green Thumbs, a gardening group that maintains five public space gardens and brings 42 hanging baskets of beautiful perennials to West Concord Center each summer. Admission is free.

A LAUGHING MATTER Boston-based comedian Jimmy Tingle will perform “Jimmy Tingle for President, The Funniest Campaign in History” on Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Belmont High School, 221 Concord Avenue, Belmont. The performance is presented by Humor for Humanity and A Path Appears in Belmont, an initiative that was launched in August 2015, and inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book “A Path Appears; Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunities.” Tickets are $30; proceeds will support Belmont Food Pantry, METCO and Bristol Lodge. For tickets and more information, go to www.apathappearsinbelmont.webs.com.

Send ideas to nancyswest@gmail.com.