The Harwood Union High School Class of 2018 is fundraising for a senior class gift, a gazebo to honor five classmates who died in a wrong-way car crash last October on I-89.

The gazebo will honor Eli Brookens, Waterbury; Janie Chase Cozzi, Fayston; Liam Hale, Fayston; Mary Harris, Moretown; and Cyrus Zschau, Moretown. The gazebo will be delivered in early October and will be dedicated at an all-school gathering.

The class needs to raise $7,500 by October 1 for this gift to Harwood, and class members are reaching out to the community for help. People can donate here:

People can also donate by sending cash or check to the school with funds earmarked for the gazebo.

While the Class of 2018 works on that gazebo, family and friends of the five students who died are working with the Mad River Valley Recreation District to construct a pavilion at the newly purchased Mad River Valley Rec District fields at Mad River Park in Waitsfield.

After extensive fundraising and grant-writing efforts, the Mad River Valley Rec District, with the help of the Vermont Land Trust, purchased the fields from Dick and Laura Kingsbury last week for $550,000.

At a celebration of the sale on Saturday, September 9, Rebecca Baruzzi, president of the board of the recreation district, said that the pavilion is being funded by the families of the students who died.

“The pavilion will be 16 by 24 and have benches on either side for putting on cleats and waiting for rides – other uses, like book reading or checking Facebook, may also be allowed,” Baruzzi said.

“The floor will be made of pea stone so that it is not treacherous to kids in cleats and pea stone is better for drainage than cement. The builder is Ramsay Orr. The families plan to decorate the structure with handprints and messages from Liam, Janie, Eli, Cyrus and Mary,” she added.

Project completion is expected at the beginning of summer 2018. There has been a request for a mini cell so that parents can be reached if there is inclement weather.


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