SUNNYSIDE — As a part of the excitement of Sunnyside High School Homecoming Week, held Sept. 30-Oct. 4, the announcement of the 2019 SHS Wall of Fame inductees served as a preamble to the game.
Longtime farmer and educator Martina Martinez Castle Charvet of the class of 1961 and chef and restaurateur Roger Hazzard of the class of 1985, were presented to the hometown crowd just before the Grizzlies took the field.
It was a surprise to the game-goers, as much as it was to Charvet who was once a Sunnyside High School cheerleader and Hazzard, who played football on the Clem Senn football field.
Both were guests of honor at a dinner held prior to the football game at Hazzard’s restaurant: Bon Vino’s Bistro and Bakery.
“And, yes, I cooked the dinner for the event, but I chose my favorite surf and turf meal; Strip Sirloin and Shrimp,” Hazzard laughed.
“It was a humbling experience to be selected,” Charvet noted, “but a pleasure to so honored with Roger as we’ve been friends for years,” she added.
Their portraits will be hung in the high school commons, where they join other SHS alumni who have distinguished themselves in the sciences, education, government, medical research and business, announced district superintendent Kevin McKay at the banquet.
Charvet and Hazzard were nominated by another dear friend Cathy Mears, “…who must have written compelling applications,” Charvet laughed, “Because they picked us.”
Charvet, who now lives in rural Grandview, has a lifelong passion for agriculture, involved in 4-H as a child and having raised her own children in the youth organization.
“She carried on the farmer’s life on her own farm south of Sunnyside near where she grew up,” said Mears, in her application letter.
Charvet has been an educator, she opened a daycare with her friend, Sandy Johnson in Granger, and was a founder of the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo Foundation, Mears wrote.
A former high school triple athlete, Hazzard turned his love of cooking into a career, following his high school prowess on the football, track and golf course.
He earned his certificate in Tourism and Hospitality from Yakima Valley College and began his restaurant career at the Town Plaza in Yakima, wrote Mears, who was his former principal.
Hazzard has earned many accolades including seven awards from the Yakima Business Journal and the title of Mid-Columbia Iron Chef in 2016.
“He is a dear man,” said Mears, who added, she had Hazzard as a student at Outlook Elementary School where she was principal for many years.
“I’m very proud of Roger and Martina, who is also a dear friend,” she added.
Mears already has her photograph on the SHS Wall of Fame, for her many contributions to education in the Sunnyside School District and other efforts to promote 4-H and the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo.
“I just wanted to see them up there with me,” she smiled.