Party book events contribute funds to financial aid

By Rachel Schwartz

Parents can donate to financial aid by attending a book club led by President Thomas C. Hudnut, cooking with Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts or Head of Midle School Ronnie Cazeau or taking a variety of classes taught by faculty and staff.

Events offered in the Harvard-Westlake Parents’ Association Party Book range from screenings of new films like “Pirates of the Carribean 4” in IMAX to cooking seminars that promise a recipe for perfect matzo ball soup.

Sign-ups started on Jan. 31 and events vary in price, starting at $20 and reaching as high as $150 per person.

The Party Book was launched last year and raised $100,000 with relatively few participants. Chairs Cynthia Hirschhorn (Jason ’09, Nicole ’12) and Beth Kleid said they hope for more involvement this year that will raise more money for financial aid.

The website for sign-ups allows parents and alumni to see upcoming events with descriptions, photos, guest lists, hosts and locations. The site can be organized by date, category or price.

Many of the events are hosted by members of the administration. Advancement Officer Ed Hu is teaching a Chinese cooking class, school psychologist Sheila Siegel is teaching a class in glass art and Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra will be providing homemade bread for a screening of “The Last Picture Show.”

Head of Upper School Planning and Physics teacher John Feulner is giving a lecture on space, while middle school science teacher Elliott Parivar will lead a gardening party at the UCLA Botanical Garden. Middle school psychologist Susan Ko is going to lead a discussion about teen issues while baking éclairs. Head of Security Jim Crawford will hold an emergency preparedness workshop at the Middle School.

Some events are held in homes and others more closely resemble field trips, where participants meet at diverse venues such as the Getty Museum or Marina Del Rey Harbor.