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PugFest will raise money, awareness for pet rescue efforts

Randi Tucker thought she was being creative the first year she brought her pug to the annual PugFest event dressed up as a "puppermint" in a candy-colored costume made of red-and-white paper plates adorned with cellophane.

But in the three years she's been involved with PugFest, she's seen enough imaginative creations during the annual costume contest to make her rethink her own talents. Pug owners have come up with everything from a "pugferfish," a take on a pufferfish, to pups riding in a Mardi Gras float and "love pugs" cuddling in an Italian gondola.

"People get so creative, and it's not just hand-making a costume," said Tucker, volunteer spokeswoman for Southeast Pug Rescue and Adoption Inc. "A lot of these people make a costume for themselves that matches their pugs, and then they even make background scenery to go along with it."

The festival is about a lot more than just ogling adorable dogs, though. The event is the biggest annual fundraiser for SEPRA, a rescue group that places stray and abandoned pugs into private foster homes. The group is run entirely by volunteers, and all proceeds from PugFest go toward taking care of the animals and helping with veterinary costs, Tucker said.

This year, PugFest will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville. Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children under 12 years old. Pets are admitted free.

The PugFest parade will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 28 at the High Museum, 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. For more information, call 770-887-9741 or visit www.rescuepug.com.

- By Lifestyle Editor Shelley Mann

Trilogy to host breast cancer bash

The Bash 2 Cure will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday at Trilogy, 4930 Davidson Road in Marietta. The event is a benefit for Me and My Friends Foundation for Breast Cancer Education and Support, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be served along with a signature event drink. Call 770-971-4770 or visit www.trilogydining.net.

Hope for Haiti ball will aid medical missions

The Hope for Haiti Gala will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place in Duluth. The black-tie-optional event, hosted by the Catholic Church of Saint Monica Haiti Twinning Program, is a fundraiser for medical missions, dental and medical clinics, food and clean water programs and education for people in Hinche, Haiti. Tickets are $125. Call 770-962-0781 or 770-315-9785.

Walk-a-thon will bring awareness to car accidents

The It Won't Happen To Me walk-a-thon will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville. The event is a fundraiser for It Won't Happen to Me, a nonprofit organization that educates teens and parents about the high rate of adolescent car accidents. A minimum donation of $35 per person, or $100 for sponsorships, is requested. Call 770-207-9698 or visit www.itwonthappentome.org.