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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Upper West And Give Back to HARK!

By Libby Lancaster

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Upper West and give to a very special children’s charity…HARK (Healing Arts Reaching Kids).  Upper West will donate 30 percent of all sales from 5-10pm to the nonprofit. HARK is an affiliate support group of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and brings sick children art supplies and an opportunity to create and play while they are confined to hospital wards.  

HARK Cinco de Mayo Flyer

Upper West's Chef Nick Shipp has an exiting menu planned for this festive holiday.  He can cook just about any type of food. This is evident through Upper West’s well-known liquor/food pairing evenings, which consistently sell out. Shipp features an eclectic range of cuisine in all of his special menus at the restaurant.  Inspired by his mother, Chef Nick started cooking at an early age. “I think it was the creativity of it all, said Shipp.  “Not to mention that I love to eat. I love the food experience, it can take you everywhere.” On May 5th, Shipp will celebrate the cuisine of Mexico.

Karen Sweeney started volunteering in the Arts Program in 2005. “The program director at that time was an incredible wise woman, said Sweeney. “She suggested that I take a tour of the hospital before I applied to see if I could handle working at Children's. Obviously, I said yes that I could work with critically ill and injured children to my surprise.”

HARK Volunteer, Karen Sweeney in workshop

It was in 2006 that HARK would officially start and its been flourishing ever since.  Laurie Hutton, current president of HARK said she loves being a part of HARK. “I believe in Human Kindness. People helping each other - I get as much from volunteering as the people who benefit from me helping. She added that she has a job to do with HARK and the very ill children. “I am proud to say I am a member of HARK and a volunteer at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. This adds another facet to who I am as a person.”

Marsha Purcell was Recording Secretary of HARK for the first 3 years and also was President for one year. She is a volunteer at the hospital. “HARK (Healing Arts Reaching Kids) does art workshops with the kids and their families from April to August...every Tuesday 1:00pm - 4:30pm,” said Purcell. “It is such a wonderful experience for us. We provide the paints, paper, etc. Then if they want to donate their art to the hospital, we frame them...or rather Laurie frames them. She is the backbone of our organization.  We are the official charity for the Beverly Hills Art Affair in May and Oct so we have a booth where we sell the art. We are all volunteers so all of the money goes back to the Art Therapy and Music program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.”

HARK participant

The Beverly Hills artSHOW is a big fan of HARK. Show manager, Karen McLean said she believed that art can truly help with emotional healing. She explained. “There's an intellectual component and even a certain discipline involved in putting together a piece of art, even or especially when a person is trying to recover from something.  So for people who are trying to overcome illness, the combo of expressing emotion and exercising discipline at the same time is great - you realize that you can start, think through, express, and then finish a project. It is a cool feeling.”

Call for a reservation at (310) 586-1111 for the big event, which takes place on Tuesday, May 5 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Customers can order as much or as little as they want and 30 percent of it will go directly to HARK. Upper West Restaurant is located at 3321 Pico Blvd., in Santa Monica. Visit website.To find out more about HARK, see HARK website.

Published on May 01, 2015

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