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Berkshire Humane Society's feline services manager Erin Starsja tends to participants in BHS' 100 Cats for Christmas initiative. Photo courtesy Berkshire Humane Society

Bits & Bytes: 100 Cats for Christmas; gingerbread house competition; Bobby Houston at Geoffrey Young Gallery; Hawthorne Valley teacher pens memoir

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By Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 Life In the Berkshires

BHS to hold fifth annual 100 Cats for Christmas

Pittsfield — A grant from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s license plate program will support Berkshire Humane Society’s fifth annual 100 Cats for Christmas initiative, the shelter’s largest and most successful low-cost spay and neuter effort for kittens and cats.

To participate, qualifying Berkshire County residents must visit the main shelter, Purradise at 301 Stockbridge Rd. in Great Barrington or Bark ‘n’ Cat in North Adams to complete a registration form and pay a nonrefundable $25 fee to cover the surgery and a rabies vaccination.

Appointments will be scheduled between Monday, Dec. 4, and Wednesday, Dec. 20. All cats and kittens will be dropped off at predesignated locations to be announced. All cats must be in secure carriers with proper identification including the owners’ and cats’ names. BHS staff and volunteers will transport the felines to participating veterinarians and will return them for owner pick-up in the afternoon. This year’s participating veterinarians include Bilmar Veterinary Services in Great Barrington; Valley Veterinary Service in Lee; Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital, Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital and South Street Veterinary Services in Pittsfield; and Greylock Animal Hospital and North County Veterinary Hospital in North Adams.

Registration for the program is on a first-come, first-served basis. For qualification requirements and more information, contact BHS at (413) 447-7878 x124.


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An entry from a recent gingerbread house competition at the Lenox Library. Photo courtesy Lenox Library

Lenox Library to host gingerbread house competition

Lenox — The Lenox Library will host the 11th annual gingerbread house competition and silent auction Saturday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. The family-friendly event is suitable for all ages, and prizes will be awarded in professional and nonprofessional categories.

This year’s theme is “Lenox Through the Years” and will include edible entries by professional chefs, adult amateurs and children. A panel of judges will announce prizes in all three categories, and the public will award a People’s Choice Award. All entries submitted will be sold by silent auction at the event, with proceeds going to support the library’s services and programs.

Entries for the competition are eagerly sought. All parts of the houses, with the exceptions of bases and lighting, should be edible. Houses should be no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet. The deadline for registration is Saturday, Nov. 25. Entrants may drop off houses at the library between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. For more information on how to enter the competition, contact the Lenox Library at (413) 637-2630 or alafave@lenoxlib.org.


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Bobby Houston to read at Geoffrey Young Gallery

Bobby Houston. Photo courtesy Geoffrey Young Gallery

Great Barrington — The Geoffrey Young Gallery, 40 Railroad St., will host a reading with horror film star, sexploitation director, autobiographical essayist and Edge columnist Bobby Houston Saturday, Nov. 25, at 5:30 p.m. Houston, who is also an Academy Award– and Emmy Award-winning writer and director of civil rights documentaries, will read excerpts about his time in the dream factory. For more information, contact the Geoffrey Young Gallery at (413) 528-6210.


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Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School teacher’s memoir to be launched

Eric G. Müller. Photo courtesy Eric G. Müller

Ghent, N.Y. — Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School has announced the publication of a new memoir by teacher Eric G. Müller titled “Do You Love Your Teachers? Memoir of a Waldorf Teacher,” which chronicles Müller’s 30 years of experience as a teacher and the journey that led him to the education field. A book launch will be held to celebrate the publication Saturday, Nov. 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the school’s assembly hall.

Müller has taught English and drama in HVWS’ high school for 22 years. Prior to that, he was a class teacher at a Waldorf school in Eugene, Oregon. In addition to experiencing Waldorf education as a teacher, Müller was also a Waldorf parent: All three of his sons graduated from HVWS, having attended Waldorf schools from kindergarten. The inspiration to write down his reflections on his teaching career came in 2012 when he was nominated for the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s James C. Kapteyn Prize, which recognizes exemplary high school teachers. After submitting an essay on the topic of “Why I Teach,” Müller won the prize that year and continued to explore the question more deeply, resulting in his memoir.

The book launch will include a reading by Eric Müller and live music by cellist and HVWS graduate Julian Müller. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event and can also be ordered from Steiner Books.


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