Party Book, Fundraiser or Friendraiser? Why Not Both?

Imagine cocktails on The Edge overlooking Hudson Yards as the sun sets over the Hudson River. You might be laughing with old friends or meeting new ones. The kids are home asleep or doing homework. You’re having a great time and this night out helps Poly. That’s Party Book.

Gala, benefit, auction, carnival, jamboree—many schools raise money with one big annual event. For decades Poly did too, until 2018 when we switched to an inclusive model that prioritizes community called Party Book. We didn’t invent it, but we make it our own. It’s a grassroots-style, parent-driven design in which individuals plan small, intimate parties or events for other Poly parents or families to attend. The party planners donate or pay for the cost of hosting the events and the price of the ticket goes completely to support Poly programs. With options as diverse as Poly itself, there are engaging events for all ages and interests: movie nights, book discussions, wine and spirit tastings, themed dinners, private museum tours, listening parties, Broadway shows, cooking classes, guest lectures, and the list goes on.

Poly’s first Party Party Book was a massive success. Parents mixed, mingled, learned who shared their interests and had a lot of fun. COVID forced the last two years of Party Book events to Zoom and we’re excited to go live again this spring. Parties are being set up now to happen between February 2 and June 16, 2022. If you have an idea for an event, get in touch with the Party Book committee or visit the Party Book website and the Party Book FAQ page for more information.

5 Reasons to Host or Attend a Party Book event:
  1. You eat dumplings with abandon and want to find your people.
  2. It’s hard making friends after 30.
  3. You’ve always wanted to learn how to throw an axe.
  4. Did someone say karaoke?
  5. Find new ways to embarrass your teens besides just existing.
Parties We’re Excited for in 2022

Honestly, we are excited for EVERY party in 2022 and unabashedly delighted to be back in person, but our Party Book chairs picked a few upcoming events to help inspire your own party ideas and to preview what’s in store.

A Quintessential New York City Night

Have you ever stood on The Edge? Anson and Veronica Beard P’22, ‘24 are hosting An Evening at Hudson Yards, an exclusive experience including cocktails on The Edge and dinner at WS New York.

“Veronica and I were excited about the opportunity to help raise funds for the school in a creative way.”

Anson H. Beard, Managing Director, Blackstone

Anson said they had thought about hosting the party when Hudson Yards first opened. “Unfortunately, COVID scuttled our plans to host cocktails on The Edge, the largest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, with a fun dinner to follow at a restaurant.” He added, “Our goal was to host a relatively intimate event with 20 or so guests. We view the event as a great opportunity to make new friends and meet other Poly parents while supporting the school in an informal setting. Party Book is a wonderful way to support the Poly community both financially and socially. We strongly encourage other families to get involved and think about creative ways to support Poly Prep.” Tickets to this event went fast the first time it was offered so be sure to mark your calendar once we reveal the date that the Party Book site goes live.

Lobster Party on the Beach

The last time Susan Povich P’18, ’23 and Ralph Gorham P’18, ’23 hosted a lobster party in Rockaway it was so much fun that they had to do it again.

“We love to share the beauty of Rockaway with friends and family,” Susan said. “Parties in a small setting allow for people to meet each other outside of their daily routines, and potentially to spark some new friendships.” 

“We will be hosting a DARTY (day party), an afternoon of lobster and beer and swimming in the ocean or our pool. What’s not to love about a DARTY!”

Susan Povich P’18, 23
Threes Brewing Fun with Francis Yasharian

Not a day goes by where we don’t want to give three cheers to our beloved Lower School Head Dr. Francis Yasharian P’36. At this casual evening with open bar and light bites hosted by Jill & Alexander Tejani P’31, Julian Rampleman P’30, ‘32 & Lorena Ramirez P’30, ‘32, Cristy & Jackson Philips P’30, ‘33, Mary Dixie Carter P’28, ‘31 & Stephen Kempf P’28, ‘31, you’ll have the opportunity to raise your glass.

“We thought it would be fun to connect with other Poly families!” said Lorena Ramirez. “Especially after a year of keeping to our small family groups, it is great to expand, grow, and replenish ourselves by breaking bread, having drinks, and laughing.”

“I hope that everyone who joins our event, will be able to shake off the day-to-day, relax, and join in the fun.”

Lorena Ramirez P’30, ‘32

“This will be our first event,” Lorena said,  “so we’ve not experienced Party Book firsthand, but we see this as an opportunity to build ties with other Poly families by getting to know them in a more intimate and less structured way.”