.‘Mad Hatter’ tea party raises more than $2,000 for future dog park in Copperas Cove

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press 

Great-grandmother Nuree Schwausch sipped her tea and enjoyed a variety of tiny tasty treats while spending time with her family. Schwausch and her family enjoyed the opportunity to dress up, learn about proper etiquette, and take delight in enjoying a variety of Mad Hatter themed tea events at the 4th Annual Mommy/Daddy & Me Sweetheart Tea event hosted by the Five Hills Royalty. 
Schwausch also had the unique joy of participating in the formal tea party with four generations of her family. She was joined by Julie Schwausch, second generation, Teresa Chavez and Stephanie Boatright, third generation, and great-grandchildren Shelby Boatright (6) and Molly Boatright (12) representing the fourth generation.
Stephanie Boatright got a little emotional about the event, tearing up a bit because she was so happy. Boatright said that it meant a lot to her that members of the Five Hills Royalty had arranged for an interpreter to join them at their table to sign for her daughter, Shelby Boatright, who is deaf.
“We can all be together,” said Stephanie Boatright still a bit choked up, glancing to where her daughter was signing with the interpreter. “It makes it special, very special. We often feel left out…with the interpreter able to be here, it makes us feel more connected…it helps a lot.”
Boatright said that Shelby was so excited for the opportunity to dress up
“I think any chance to dress up in a poofy dress, she’s happy about,” said Boatright, smiling at her younger daughter.
Molly Boatright, the older daughter, said that her favorite part was getting to spend time with her family.
“We don’t often have an opportunity to get together and have fun and this seemed like a fun thing to do, I love tea and I love eating tea food. And then I heard that they’re raising money to build a dog park here in Copperas Cove, and I thought ‘That’s awesome,’” said Teresa Chavez, who was the one to invite her family and tell them about the event. “[The Five Hills Royalty] do so much good in this community, and I really want to support all that they do.”
The 4th Annual Mommy/Daddy & Me Sweetheart Tea event was held starting at 1 p.m. at the Civic Center. This year’s theme was a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and even had a Maddest Hat Contest. To make the event even more memorable, members of the royalty included a variety of fun activities including a selfie station, sugar stacking, memory game, tea bag toss, and even a table setting station. Once the event started in earnest, members of the royalty, dressed as their favorite Alice in Wonderland characters served the tea and food items for the event. Characters included Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts and more. Throughout the event, Beth Miller offered etiquette tips and interesting information about tea and tea parties.
The formal tea was the community service project of Preteen Miss Five Hills, Kaydence Roberts (12). All proceeds will go towards a proposed dog park in Copperas Cove.
“I thought a tea party is a good way to raise supplies and money for animals, and also it’s a good way for people to have fun and learn things as well,” said Roberts.
Roberts said that her platform is kindness to animals and that she loved the idea of opening a dog park in Copperas Cove.
“I believe that having a dog park is very important for our community,” said Roberts. “By having a dog park, this will allow all the dog owners in the community to go and have fun. Even though we have parks that people can take their dogs to, now you must keep them on a leash, and that makes it very hard to play ball with them, or throw a frisbee, or just let them run and have fun. Not everybody has a backyard. Some live in apartments, so this would afford them the opportunity to take their dogs out and let them run and get exercise.”
Roberts said that it would also allow dog owners to meet each other and let the dogs be free to roam around and have fun with other dogs.
The event raised $1,654.70 and during the event, Walmart presented a check for an additional $500. The dog park location, as proposed to the Copperas Cove city council, is one acre in Ogletree Gap Park.

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