by Patrick Hussey
HARDWICK – After a two-year hiatus as a result of the COVID pandemic, the Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union (HA/HU) Alumni Gathering is finally slated to be held this coming June.
The HA/HU Alumni Gathering is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2022, at the Ryder Brook Golf Course in Morrisville, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. It was last held there in 2019 and, on that sunny Saturday afternoon, a festive crowd estimated at 250 strong celebrated old stories, memories, songs and games.
The event first began in 2017 and was held at Mountain View Country Club in Greensboro for two years. It was organized to help restore the traditional June alumni reunions.
The HA/HU Alumni Gathering has historically been celebrated on the second weekend in June, but the Hazen Union graduation is slated for that weekend, so it was moved up a week earlier this year. The rain date will be Sunday, June 5. The hope is to build on 2019’s success. There will either be a band or DJ to provide music for attendees in the late afternoon.
The reunion is open to all graduating classes from both schools, not just the classes ending in two and seven. However, if any class wants to hold their class reunion at this event, they are welcome to do so.
Saturday will also mark the return of the Master’s Memorial Golf Tournament, which honors some of the Hardwick’s finest golfers from years past. This is a nine-hole, four-person scramble event. Because the tournament field has grown extensively over the years, there will be two tee times to choose from.
Groups can select either a 10 a.m. or a 1 p.m. shotgun start time. Golfers should plan to arrive at the course at least 30 minutes prior to their tee times to check in. Golfers do not have to be a HA/HU alumni to play in the golf tournament; it’s open to the general public.
This year’s HA/HU Alumni Gathering and Masters Memorial Golf Tournament will benefit both the Hardwick Historical Society and the Hazen Bell project. A bell tower is being constructed at Hazen Union this May and the 2022 seniors plan to ring the bell, an old Hardwick Academy tradition, at their graduation.
All attendees should check in at the head table upon arrival. Admission costs for the reunion is set at $20 per person. It includes a meal provided by Vermont Harvest Catering, which will be served from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and includes a small donation to the Historical Society and the bell project.
For those who want to play in the golf tournament and attend the reunion, the cost is set at $40 for those walking the course and $50 per person for those who plan to ride in a golf cart. The cost includes admission to the golf tournament and alumni gathering, the meal and a donation to the bell project and historical society. There will also be a 50-50 raffle set up to benefit both causes. The organizers will also accept additional donations to either cause.
A large, open tent will be on hand at the event to provide shelter and will include tables and chairs for the meal. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to the event. Ryder Brook will offer a cash bar on site; state law does not allow BYOB at the course. Ryder Brook will have special pricing on beers, wines and mixed drinks.
The buffet meal will include 10-hour pulled pork, barbecue chicken quarters, smoked baked beans, two side salads, dinner rolls with whipped butter and ice cream.
If anyone would like to play in the golf tournament, but does not have a foursome, the organizers will accept your entry fee and find you a group to play with. Also, Ryder Brook is offering free range balls to hit before you play on Saturday. There will be a few course prizes, including Lamoille Valley Ford donating one new vehicle for a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth hole.
Ryder Brook is also offering special course pricing for anyone who would like to play a practice round on the Friday prior to the event. Golfers can play nine holes on Friday for $18 per person walking or ride in a cart for $25 each. Call Ryder Brook for a tee time beforehand if you wish to schedule a practice round.
At the 2019 Alumni Gathering, organizers established a database with attendee’s addresses and emails. Those who signed up will get a forthcoming email about the event. The hope is to build on that alumni database this year, so if the organizers do not have your email and address, please provide it.
The organizers are also looking for volunteers to man the head table and input alumni information the day of the event. Please contact Mike Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave Burnham at email@example.com, Pat Hussey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bob Blake at email@example.com if you would like to help out.
Reunion attendees and golfers can sign up for the HA/HU Alumni Gathering and Masters Memorial tournament starting now. Select here to download registration for the reunion. Select here to download registration for the golf tournament and reunion. Forward registration and checks to Mike Clark, 186 Hazen Lane, East Hardwick, Vt. 05836. Golfers should select which time slot to play in, number of carts needed and who is included in the foursome. Include emails and addresses information.
Sharing reunion news with classmates and friends can help build the event, so attendees are encouraged to spread the word. There will be no mailings of reunion information this year, however, emails will be forthcoming.