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Five Hills royalty welcome new queens to pageantry sisterhood

Special to Leader-Press 

They all have been there. They know the anxiety each contestant feels as she hopes for her name to be called as the keeper of the crown. The Copperas Cove Five Hills Royalty have represented the City of Copperas Cove at several pageants from Austin to Waco and welcomed newly crowned titleholders into the sisterhood of pageantry. 
Copperas Cove Five Hills Ambassador Dawn Hale has enjoyed attending the various pageants across Central Texas this year and has also served as a judge.
“Getting to cheer on the contestants is a great way to show support as it’s not easy to get up on stage in front of people you don’t know,” Hale said. “Winning a pageant is not just about looking pretty; it’s about commitment and dedication to a cause that is close to your heart and that you want to see grow. It’s about working hard and giving back to your community. Pageants offer a sisterhood that is known throughout the pageant world and membership is for life.”
Preteen Miss Five Hills Dorianna Gilbert, 12, said the Five Hills Royalty represent the community by attending area pageants to show others the true meaning of sisterhood by being great leaders for others to follow.
“I’ve been a part of this sisterhood for years. It will never end because we’re taught to love and respect each other. We’re always going to be family,” Gilbert said. “Sisterhood may mean different things to different people, but it represents an unconditional partnership of like-minded individuals who inspire and lift one another as a whole. The benefits of pageantry are self-confidence, self-discipline, motivation, and determination.” 
The Cove titleholders have represented the City at several pageants including ones in Austin, McGregor, Waco, Belton, Lampasas, and others. Little Miss Five Hills Braelyn Liles, 5, enjoys attending the pageants and brings attention to the Copperas Cove community because she is such a young titleholder. 
“I like seeing all of the pretty dresses and making new friends with all the new queens and taking pictures with them,” Liles said. “I put them in my scrapbook so I can remember them. Most of all, I love spending time with my pageant sisters.”
Junior Miss Five Hills De’Ziyah Gilbert, 8, said it’s very important to welcome other girls and women into the pageantry sisterhood. 
“I remember when I won the first time, I was scared and didn’t know if I would be accepted with open arms. However, I was wrong. They took me in and showed me so much love and that was something so special to me that I will never forget,” De’Ziyah Gilbert said. “The benefit of pageantry is being part of an organization that gives young girls like me and women the courage to try something new. It also helps to overcome their fears, bad nerves, and to have self-confidence.  We get to represent our community by attending other pageants to show the new queens how to carry themselves as young ladies and be professional. I’ve had so many of my classmates that tell me they want to be like me and do things positive in the community. I always say join the pageant and you can do the same thing.”
Young Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball has held several pageant titles. She has experienced both losing and winning the crown. She understands that it takes courage for contestants to be scored by not only the panel of judges but also the audience.  
“My favorite part of attending pageants in other communities is meeting all the contestants and queens and learning about their varied interests and platforms,” Kimball, 14, said. “Learning about the different community pageants and what they are looking for in their queens is very interesting. As queens, we know how hard it is to get on the stage and put ourselves out there. We want to be there to support other girls/women in their desire to positively impact their communities through the sparkle of the crown.”

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