by Patrick Hussey, Community Journalist
HARDWICK – It is going to be a busy month ahead for the Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union Alumni Association as they take on their first major fundraiser and build toward the June 3 alumni reunion at Ryder Brook Golf Course in Morrisville.
Their ambitious plans started this past Friday morning at Hazen Union when a few HA/HU Alumni Association members attended the school’s assembly. The association group were there to hand out personal invitations to a dinner they are hosting for this year’s graduating seniors. It will be the first dinner served to a senior class since the last Alumni Banquet was held in 2013.
Alumni secretary Mike Clark addressed the gathered crowd of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors and presented to them some alumni history. Vice President Gail Luther O’Brien called off all the senior’s names and Karen Hall and Pat Hussey handed out invitations to a dinner the association is preparing for them on Thursday, June 1. Association member Debbie Brown hand-made the invitations.
This coming weekend, the association will be out and about to sell tickets to the chicken barbecue fundraiser on Spring Festival weekend at Atkins Field in Hardwick. Mario Fradette, a veteran cook at many of these chicken dinner fundraisers, will be behind the grill as will Ryan Brown.
Alumni Association treasurer Mary Jane Fradette and her sister Debbie Brown are also experienced at hosting these fundraisers. Fradette has challenged the association to sell upwards of 350 tickets for the event. Tickets must be purchased by May 15.
The barbecue will be held on Saturday, May 27, and meals will be served from noon until 1:30 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased by calling Debbie Brown at (802) 472-5088 or Mary Jane Fradette at (802) 793-4764. Fradette says tickets may be purchased to donate the meal if unable to attend. The association will be setting up at three different locations and selling barbecue tickets this Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to noon. Tickets will be available to buy at Buffalo Mountain Co-op, Tops Market and Perry Recycling.
The chicken dinner fundraiser is an important event for the association. It hopefully will fund the two $500 gifts the association will be presenting to two Hazen Union seniors at graduation next month. The faculty at Hazen have nominated four seniors to be considered for the awards and the recipients will be announced in June.
The barbecue fundraiser will begin a frantic week for the association. After the fundraiser, they will prepare the dinner for the Hazen Union seniors at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, in the school’s cafeteria.
Then that weekend, on Saturday, June 3, at Ryder Brook Golf Course in Morrisville, the association will be hosting the Alumni Reunion and the Masters Memorial Golf Tournament. Attendees are encouraged to mail in their reunion reservations by May 27 if they plan to eat so the association can reserve enough meals for the reunion and the golf tournament.
The reunion is open to all classes, not just the five-year classes ending in 3 and 8. It will be the 50th reunion for the Hazen Union Class of 1973. Those who have attended either HU or HA, but did not graduate from either, may also attend.
The Masters golf tournament has two tee times, one at 10 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m. Cost is $40 for those walking and $50 for those taking a cart. The golf admission fee includes a meal being served by Vermont Harvest Catering from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and players do not have to be an alumni to participate.
The Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union Alumni Facebook page has forms available to print out for both events.
HA/HU Alumni Association is Reborn
by Cheryl Luther Michaels, Community Journalist
EAST HARDWICK – In 2013, the Hardwick Academy and Hazen Union high schools held their last reunion dinner and the alumni organization was disbanded. Since then individual classes have organized reunions and in 2017 the first HA/HU Golf Tournament was held.
That first year, 2017, the tournament attracted 60 golfers. The organizers named it the Masters Memorial. It is a nine-hole scramble and honors many Hardwick area golfers who have passed on. Organized by Dave Burnham, Mike Clark and Pat Hussey, the tournament continued to grow until it was canceled due to COVID in 2020 and 2021.
The tournament and reunion resumed in 2022 and the idea of a stronger alumni association was born. According to Pat Hussey “Many people spoke up after last year about helping us out in the future. We knew we needed help getting our reunion portion on stronger footing, so we took people up on their offer to help. That led to our first meeting, which was held at River House in East Hardwick last September. We voted at that meeting to reinstate the Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union Alumni Association.”
After that September meeting, in which the group elected officers, members continued to meet monthly throughout the winter. The new association wanted to find ways to reach out to additional alumni and to improve communications and connections among alumni. Toward these goals they have worked to update the old alumni address book, established a Facebook page and started compiling an email list. According to Hussey, the group has nearly 1,000 Facebook page members and 360 alumni email addresses.
The newly formed Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union (HA/HU) Alumni Association has announced two events this summer. A chicken barbecue fundraiser will be held on May 27 at Atkins Field, and the Masters Memorial Golf tournament and HA/HU reunion will be on Saturday, June 3, at Ryder Brook Golf Course in Morrisville. The new association also organized a Purple and Gold Night at the Hazen Union vs. Peoples basketball game in December of 2022.
The 2023 Alumni Reunion on June 3, starts at 1 p.m., and is free and open to all who attended HA/HU. A buffet-style meal is planned from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In conjunction with the reunion events, the Master’s Memorial golf tournament will be held on the same day with 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. tee times.
For more information about the reunion and golf tournament contact Patrick Hussey at firstname.lastname@example.org, David Burnham at email@example.com or Mike Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets to the chicken barbecue, call Debbie Brown at 802-472-5088 or Mary Jane Fradette at 802-793-4764.