By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
For the last 52 years, young women from Medfield's graduating class have come together to attend the Hannah Adams Woman’s Club (HAWC) tea. They get dressed up and arrive to celebrate with the other girls in their class for perhaps the first and last time as a collective, enjoying some treats and tea while they're at it.
This year's 2020 class will be the first to not attend the tea since the event's creation, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. But that hasn't stopped its hosts from celebrating this year's graduating class.
The annual tea is unique to Medfield. "I think we're the only women's club in the world that does this, so it's a special occasion. I know the girls love it; they love getting dressed up and going to high tea," says Ginnie Cusack, a longtime member of the club. Girls used to get dressed in tea dresses and slip on some gloves and wear a hat. It's evolved over the years, with students no longer wearing hats and gloves, but the sentiment remains the same.
Theresa Knapp of the Hannah Adams Woman’s Club knows the uniqueness of the event. Most high school seniors do not attend a real traditional tea party as part of their graduation from High School. “Medfield is rich in history and, for an afternoon, these girls are able to be a part of this unique living history. The tea is more than the act of gathering at a senior's house and sharing refreshments. It is a social gathering of young Medfield women being celebrated by older Medfield women who genuinely delight in spending an afternoon with girls who are about to take on the world (plus, we enjoy hearing how they plan to do so),” writes Knapp. “The graduation tea is one of the club's favorite events; a great deal of planning goes into it, and we look forward to it every year - in fact, many of our members have been attending this tea for decades - and we are very disappointed it will not go forward in 2020.”
Though this year's tea is cancelled, members of the Hannah Adams Woman's Club will be cheering on all graduating seniors at the Rolling Rally on May 31. It is unknown whether or not the girls will dress up for the event, but Cusack ponders some possible outfit choices. "Maybe they'll put a hat on, who knows," she jokes.
The club is hoping to return to their normal event to celebrate the class of 2021, but that doesn’t mean they’re done celebrating the class of 2020. Still, they have plenty of time to ensure that the next class gets to celebrate fully. Students will come to the party next year and club members will eagerly be ready to hear what they are planning to do next.