Posts filed under Community Events

Songs For Nourishment 2020

A Community Holiday Concert of songs submitted by members of the greater Hardwick/Northern VT community. For each song video we received, HCTV donated $25 to the Hardwick Area Food Pantry.

Hardwick Rescue Memorial Tree Lighting: December 6, 2020

Please consider a donation to:
Hardwick Rescue Squad
PO Box 837
Hardwick VT 05843

The Hardwick Memorial Tree Lighting became a tradition around 1984. The idea was proposed by Bertha Johnson, whose son, Chuck Blair, was killed in a cement truck crash the previous year.

Johnson acknowledged that the most challenging time of year for families suffering a loss was the holiday season. She originally hung a wreath as Christmastime came after the accident but wanted the event to expand for others could pay tribute to their family members and friends.

“Everyone else could put up a light for their loved one,” she said. The tree became not only a way for residents to remember while welcoming the holidays, but it also brought the squad membership and the community together and reminded them of the importance of the ambulance service to the town.

Johnson started with Hardwick Rescue as a driver, before taking certification courses and becoming an EMT-Intermediate. She stayed on the squad until 1995 when she moved to Massachusetts. Johnson said she could not fully take credit for the idea of the memorial tree but said many individuals from the rescue squad made the annual event possible.

The ceremony traditionally includes the blessing of the tree, singing of Christmas carols, lighting of the tree, and the arrival of Santa Claus, along with additional music and refreshments at the Memorial Building.

The original memorial tree remained in the park until 2017, when a new tree was erected and moved to the southeast corner of the park. Stuart LaPoint of Craftsbury has helped to assess and maintain the tree and tradition continues with newer members of the squad supplying transport for Santa from the North Pole to Memorial Park.

COVID-19 made the logistics of 2020’s tree lighting challenging, as members discussed how an event that is socially-distanced could be produced. Firefighters from Greensboro, Hardwick, and Woodbury offered their emergency vehicles to escort the ambulance through town in a small parade, allowing the cheer of the season to be brought to the porches of Hardwick village residents. The event was broadcast live on Facebook and will be available via Hardwick Community TV.

Donations received by the community for the event goes toward tree and bulb maintenance as well as equipment and supplies from the rescue squad. Members hope the challenges of the pandemic have opened a creative way for the rescue squad to add a new tradition as the tree lighting enters into its 37th year.