City recognizes volunteers, holds reception
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The city of Copperas Cove held its 2020 Volunteer Appreciation Reception to honor city volunteers from 2018 and 2019 at the Copperas Cove Civic Center last Thursday evening.
Although several hundred invitations were sent out to many, many people who give of their time to city organizations and boards and commissions, 150 responded with their guests.
The special guests were treated to a variety of dinner choices such as sandwiches, pizza, chicken fingers and more made possible by the event sponsors Chick-fil-A, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, Raising Cane’s, Papa John’s, Wing Stop, McAlister’s Deli, Bush’s Chicken, H-E-B Plus! and New York Pizzeria.
Mayor Bradi Diaz thanked the volunteers on behalf of herself, the city council and city staff for their hard work.
“Volunteers and volunteerism is a cornerstone of any successful community, and we just appreciate everything that you do for us, because we are so much more successful because of what you do and the hours that you put in and the time you give back to us as a city,” Diaz said.
City Manager Ryan Haverlah echoed Diaz’s thoughts.
“Our community runs primarily on volunteers,” Haverlah said. The volunteers in the city coach with Parks and Recreation, assist at the Public Library, help with Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, wear a crown with the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant and more. Each city board or commission is made up of volunteers.
Haverlah said he even considers city council members to be volunteers.
“Now, they get a very small amount per meeting that they attend but you elect them to volunteer for your community also,” Haverlah said. “They commit hours and hours of time every week to ensure the policies and direction that they provide for this community is exactly what this community needs but you, you are the heart of this community, because you keep things going.”
Haverlah defined volunteering as “serving where there’s an identified need.”
“You saw somebody that needed assistance, whether it’s the Fire Department or Police Department and providing them some service or some item that they need; whether it’s working with a child who’s playing football, soccer, baseball, basketball- you see a need there,” Haverlah said. “You see a desire to help people, and quite honestly, volunteering is a little bit selfish because we wouldn’t do what we want to do to help people, to volunteer, to help people, if we didn’t want to do it. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to do it.”
“Every one of you has provided a tremendous service that nobody who is paid can provide,” Haverlah added.
Each person recognized that had RSVP’ed received a printed certificate and a commemorative coin.
Among the volunteers recognized were city council members Jay Manning, Marc Payne, Dianne Campbell, Fred Chavez, Joann Courtland and Dan Yancey, as well as Diaz and the city’s Public Information Officer Kevin Keller.
Several students with the Youth Advisory Council were recognized. Other volunteers included those working at the Senior Center and with Meals on Wheels, with Parks and Recreation, at the library and at the Animal Shelter. Other organizations included the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and the Citizens Fire and Public Safety Volunteer Association.
Members of the 2018 and the 2019 Five Hills Scholarship Pageant Royalty were recognized for their efforts, including Volunteer Pageant Director Wendy Sledd, 2019 Senior Miss Five Hills Donna Higgins, 2019 Five Hills Ambassador Briana Liles and her mother Christy Liles, 2019 Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts and her grandparents John and Dawn Hale, 2019 Young Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres and her mother Edna Torres, 2018 Young Miss Five Hills Allyssa Kimball, 2018 Five Hills Ambassador Emily Kimball, 2018 Junior Mister Five Hills Brayden Chase, 2018 Miniature Mister Five Hills Robbie Rackley and his mother Misty Rackley, 2019 Five Hills Junior Ambassador Naomi Williams and her mother, 2019 Junior Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer and her mother Amanda Sawyer and her sister 2018 Teen Miss Five Hills Carleigh Ross, among others.
A very special volunteer who is no longer with the city was also recognized. The late mayor Frank Seffrood was recognized for his dedication and volunteer work, with his wife Rita accepting in his place.