National Sidewalk Chalk Day celebrated in Copperas Cove
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Members of the Five Hills Scholarship Program royalty decorated sidewalks around town in honor of National Sidewalk Chalk Day on Monday.
Chalk art could be seen in front of the city’s Technology Building, courtesy of Junior Mister Five Hills Nathan Garner; in front of Raising Cane’s, courtesy of Young Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball; in front of GymKix, courtesy of Tiny Miss Five Hills Beth Grant and some of the other GymKix kiddos; in front of the Child Protective Services office, courtesy of Little Miss Five Hills Braelyn Liles; in front of Operation Stand Down Central Texas’ office, courtesy of Ms. Five Hills Jasmine Clowney; in front of the local Headstart, courtesy of Baby Mister Five Hills Orion Douglas and his mom, Abrianna; and in front of the Copperas Cove Optimist Club thrift store, courtesy of Little Mister Five Hills Swayze Gray.
Even Miniature Miss Five Hills Haelyn Hendrix participated while on vacation, sharing a message of kindness in front of the Evans County Library in Claxton, Georgia.
The day before, on Sunday, 2021 Copperas Cove Five Hills Ambassador Dawn Hale and her granddaughter, 2020 Five Hills Ambassador Kaydence Roberts created art both in front of and behind the Copperas Cove Police Department.
Five Hills Junior Ambassador Maddox Tobias and his mother created a scaley tailed theme picture at the base of the flagpole in front of the Copperas Cove Public Library as a nod to the theme of the library’s Summer Reading Program: “Tales and Tails”. Tobias chose the library because his own platform of service is promoting literacy with the Free Little Libraries around town. Tobias said it was so much fun getting to create the artwork with the sidewalk chalk.
“I was so happy when we got to do the chalk,” Tobias said. “This is probably my most favorite service project.”
His mother, Jillian, said that a day like National Sidewalk Chalk Day provided a great opportunity to get out and be active and creative and use their imaginations, just like reading can.
“Get wild with it,” Tobias added. “Have so much fun!”
Library Director Kevin Marsh was appreciative of the artwork, especially during the final week of the library’s Summer Reading Program.
“The Five Hills ambassadors do so much for the community, and we really appreciate their support for the Summer Reading Program, but we don’t usually get their artistic contributions,” Marsh said. “This was great!”
Preteen Miss Five Hills Dorianna Gilbert and her younger sister Junior Miss Five Hills De’Ziyah Gilbert used chalk to share uplifting messages at the Central Fire Station for the Copperas Cove Fire Department.
De’Ziyah and her sister have done lots of community service work, and coming from a dual-military parent family, they know the meaning of service, so recognizing others who serve their community was important.
“I’m here because we like to support the firefighters and we want them to know that we support them and we love them and we care about them,” De’Ziyah said. “We wrote down ‘Thank you’ and ‘You’re the Best’ and drew hearts and stuff. We think it’s really nice and kind for us to do it because they actually do their best and do hard work.”
Over in front of Bill French Jewelers, Miniature Mister Edward Sanchez and his older brother and sister and mother, Eva, worked hard on creating a tribute to military service members.
Eva recently retired from the Army after serving for 20 years.
“We know the sacrifices that it takes to be in the military, and the military kids, they’ve had to give up a lot, like my daughter- she was seven months and two days old when I had to deploy,” Eva said. “When I left her, she had no hair, no teeth. I got back and she had hair, teeth and was walking.”
Eva added that Edward was born in Germany when she and her family were stationed overseas.
“Being part of the military and them growing up, to them, this is life,” Eva said. “We’ve seen the sacrifices that it takes, and the good and the bad. It’s not all bad- we got to travel a lot. It takes a lot to be a soldier, though.”
She added that she was one of the only people from her friend group that went through Basic Training and AIT together that made it to 20 years in the military.
“It takes a toll on your body, your mind and your family,” Eva said. “Sometimes, people don’t know how much a simple ‘Thank you’ can mean. It goes a long way. It reminds you why you do it.”
Thank You was one of the messages featured on the Sanchez family’s chalk artwork, in addition to a mosaic design and an American flag. Edward also drew a scene featuring soldiers in battle as stick figures.
Eva said that for her family, making pictures out of chalk quickly became an easy and affordable pastime during the pandemic when everything shut down, so getting to share that with other people in front of a business was special. She said she saw families walking by who noticed the chalk and hoped they would go buy some chalk to go draw something beautiful.
Volunteer Pageant Director Wendy Sledd said that the chalk artwork around town was just a way for the Five Hills royalty and family members to show support and give a salute to the different community servants that are the behind-the-scenes heroes, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everybody saluted them, but now what happens now that the more difficult times of COVID are behind us?” Sledd asked. “This is a way to draw attention to them, and not just them but also beautify our community, with positive messages and encouragement. It’s also a time for back to school, so for some parents, that’s a challenging time, so these can just be uplifting messages.”