June 6, 2024 at 9:30 a.m.

Community Support Makes 110th Annual Hope-Clifford-Hauser Alumni Banquet a Huge Success

More than 270 gathered for the 110th Annual Hope-Clifford-Hauser Alumni Banquet at Hope Elementary School on May 18. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Hawcreek - Flat Rock Area Endowment.
More than 270 gathered for the 110th Annual Hope-Clifford-Hauser Alumni Banquet at Hope Elementary School on May 18. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Hawcreek - Flat Rock Area Endowment.

By JENN GUTHRIE | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Small town support came out in force as more than 270 former alumni and supporters gathered for the 110th Annual Hawcreek - Flat Rock Area Endowment Banquet on May 19.

The Purpose of the Outstanding Alumni Award is to recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to FRHC and their community at large. Outstanding Alumni Nominees must have graduated at least 10 years ago from a FRHC School and can be nominated by anyone. Each inductee will receive their own commemorative plaque, while a second plaque will be added to the display outside the Hauser auditorium.

This year’s Outstanding Alumni both graduated from Clifford HS in 1938, the married shortly after, and raised 8 children during their 74 years together. This year’s Outstanding Alumni are John Perry and Gladys Simmons. They shared a passion for living and modeling a life of service. Dedicated to not only their family and those they loved, but also to the community at large. John and Gladys both filled numerous leadership roles within the community. Both received the Columbus area Chamber of Commerce Rural Service Award. And both were previously Grand Marshal of the Hope Heritage days.

John Perry was a Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Board Member for 10 years. He also served on the building corporation board that helped build Hauser High School, Cross Cliff Elementary, and Hope Elementary. He was the president of the Hope Building and Loan Association Was a member of the Hope United Methodist Church and Bartholomew County Farm Bureau. John also gave back as a 4-H leader and baseball coach. His plaque reads – “Every year John Perry Simmons planted crops with faith that the Lord would furnish the needed sunshine and rain for a bountiful harvest.”

Gladys graduated in 1941 as a registered nurse and later earned a Bachelor’s of Science in education and began teaching special needs children. She received the farm women achievement award in 1987 and the Red Cross Volunteer of the Year award in 1995. She was The Republic’s Woman of the Year in 1999. Some of her other leadership roles included the Arch of Bartholomew County, CRH Foundation Board, FRHC PTO, Hope United Methodist Church, the Bartholomew County Public Library, and the list goes on. Her plaque reads – “Gladys was taught that an important goal of our lives should be to leave the world we live in at least a little better than we found it.”

In addition to recognizing Perry and Simmons, the Endowment awarded a total of $54,940 in grants for 2024 to the following organizations:

American Legion – Facility parking lot renovations.
Clifford Fire Department – CPR Mannequins, gas exposure meter.
Community Center – Classroom “Quiet Space” nooks.
FRHC Replay – Storage shed for materials and equipment.
FRHC Hope – AR Reading – Incentive program for grades 3rd – 5th.
FRHC Hope – Art – Materials for Spring 2025 student art show.
FRHC Hope – Hope Music – Musical materials and curriculum K – 6th.
FRHC Hope – Science Lab – Outdoor rock garden & weather station.
FRHC Hope – Science Lab – Lab renovations, glassware and equipment.
FRHC Hope – STEM Lab – Curriculum with Sphero Indi Robots.
FRHC Hauser – Comp. Lab – Hands-on technology lab stations.
FRHC Hauser – Music – Snare drums, musical storage equipment.
FRHC Hauser – Recycling – Recycling totes for classrooms.
FRHC School – Nursing – “Stop the Bleed” training kits.
FRHC School – Technology – “Glow-forge Laser Engraver” materials.
Hartsville Fire Department – Assist in replacing refrigerator/freezer.
Hawpatch Hawcreek Cons. – Variety of facility improvements.
Hope Fire Department – Thermal-imaging cameral equipment.
Hope Food Pantry – Thanksgiving/Christmas food baskets.
Hope Summer Playground – Equipment replacement for summer league.
HSJ Online – Technology improvement for bookkeeping.
Simmons Schoolhouse – Facility roof renovations.
Student’s Fund of Hope – Dialectical Behavior Therapy materials.
Yellow Trail Museum – Storage/display supplies for artifacts.

Plans are now underway for the 111th Annual Hope/Clifford/Hauser Alumni Dinner set for Saturday, May 17, 2025, with additional details to come in the New Year.

For more information about the Hawcreek - Flat Rock Endowment, visit them HERE and via social media