On May 5, 2016 head to Upper West for a Cinco de Mayo party and fundraiser for HARK (Healing Art Reaching Kids). The nonprofit and affiliate support group of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is celebrating ten years.

HMay5-2016-UpperWestflyerARK president Laurie Hutton has worked with the nonprofit for the past nine years. In fact she volunteered over thirty years ago with the original art program (taking a break to raise her children) and said it has been incredible to watch the donation-based organization grow from its lean beginnings. The art cart is a wonderful new addition to the program. Supplies have increased dramatically…offering the children a plethora of choices such as paints, brushes, colored pencils, watercolors, crayons, etc., and she continues to witness the transformation in the children. Danny Hutton (one of the founders and lead singer in Three Dog Night) will attend the fundraiser. He has been a consistent supporter of HARK.

Claire Gould has worked with HARK for three years and said, “I have always loved to volunteer so being a part of an organization that has loving, creative and like-minded people has truly been an incredible experience. HARK has felt like a family of people who not only care about one another but who genuinely adore helping others. As a team we really do our best to create environments that are welcoming and creative for everyone.“

Gould said she was deeply affected by working with HARK as she recounted this story. “One little girl who was about 5 years old came in not looking happy or comfortable walking around with her IV. She came to our workshop with her grandma and both of them began to paint. We had a big blank canvas sitting on the side just waiting for some color and I thought it would be fun to paint something on it with her together. She told me she loved butterflies so I quickly cut out butterflies of all shapes and sizes and we spent about 3 hours painting, gluing down the paper butterflies and sprinkling glitter onto the canvas. We were laughing and painting and getting messy and just having a blast. Her grandma was thrilled to see her granddaughter having so much fun they asked if we could come everyday to paint. We still have the butterfly canvas in one of the art rooms, it is my favorite pieces made in the workshop. Seeing those kids smile and having fun while painting makes your heart swell and on the drive home after every workshop I think to myself, ’Wow…that was eye-opening, bittersweet and inspiring.’”

May5 2916 UpperWest HARK ArtCart-wVolunteerSee photo, courtesy of HARK, a volunteer (Ashley Smeltzer) with the new art cart

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo while supporting a GREAT cause. Attendees can order Mexican inspired dishes order directly from the dinner menu. Thirty percent of all proceeds will be donated to HARK. Enter a raffle (which directly supports HARK) for a chance to win framed artwork by the children for sale. These artworks were created at the actual art workshops, and will also be on sale at the event. Additional raffle prizes include two tickets to a Three Dog Night show, and an original print by artist Tod Lychkoff. Carlos Nieto (the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in house artist), will also be doing some live painting. 

To make a reservation, call (310) 586-1111; Visit http://www.theupperwest.com for additional info.

To find out more about HARK, check out the website at http://www.healingartsreachingkids.org/

What: HARK Fundraiser
Where: Upper West,  3321 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica
When: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Phone: 310.586.1111
Wehbsite: http://www.theupperwest.com