ASYMCA gives away school supplies, holds bash

By BRITTANY FHOLER
Cove Leader-Press

The Armed Services YMCA of Copperas Cove didn’t let the rain stop them as they held their annual Back to School Bash Saturday morning inside the ASYMCA gym. 
The event, which ran from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., started seven years ago as a member appreciation event but they began giving away school supplies a couple years ago, according to ASYMCA Director Doreen Vasseur. This year was the first year where it was solely a “Back to School Bash” but there was free registration for new members during the event, she said. 
“I actually think it’s better than last year,” Vasseur said. “It’s gone smoother. I think we were able to help more people. We had more school supplies, more backpacks.”
By noon, 120 backpacks and over 200 bags of school supplies had been handed out. The backpacks were donated by members of the Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge #595, who also hosted a free throw contest where winners received gift cards from Black Meg 43 as prizes. School supplies were donated by the ASYMCA Zumba Divas as well as the Killeen HEB, Vasseur said. 
First Baptist Church volunteers manned the kitchen, serving hot dogs and snow cones while Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home donated 300 bottles of water. Different tables were set up for Chick-fil-A, WIC, Reach for Your Star, Methodist Children’s Home Family Outreach and the Army Family Advocacy, as well as the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant, who ran the Pretty Princess Parlor, where royalty painted the nails of visitors, and the Try on My Tiara booth, where visitors were temporarily crowned by royalty. Next to the pageant table was the CCISD table where visitors could test their knowledge playing the “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” game. 
Bits N Bites donated 24 of their deluxe cupcakes to be given away during the cake walks held during the event. There were 24 different cakes and sets of cupcakes given away through two separate cake walks at the event, according to Vasseur. 
Myiisha Fite, who was at the event with her three sons and two nieces, ended up with cupcakes galore after all five of the kids won a round of the cake walk. 
Fite said she would definitely be back next year and appreciated the event for the kids and the opportunity to get some much-needed school supplies. 
“Cove is small and to be honest, I don’t think there’s enough stuff out here for kids so when they have events like this, all the kids can be kids,” Fite said. “Whenever the Y has stuff for the kids, I always come out here.”
Plans for next year’s event include having hairdressers available to give haircuts as well as the offering of vision screenings for kids, according to Vasseur. 
The event brings attention to the YMCA and what they offer, Vasseur said. 
“I think it’s important because I want people to know that the YMCA is out here to help people,” she said. “We take care of 1,100 children in before and after school care, and people still don’t know what the Y does.”

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