Contestants vie for Cove crowns on Saturday
Special to Leader-Press
The Miss Copperas Cove Five Hills Scholarship Program hosts the eighth annual pageant on Saturday with 66 boys, girls and women competing for one of 18 titles and the opportunity to represent the City of Copperas Cove.
With the hashtag of #MoreThanABeautyPageant, the program prides itself on not being a standard beauty pageant but rather a scholarship program that will award more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes on Saturday to contestants ranging in age from 6 months to 50-plus years.
The 2020 titleholders have raised more $20,000 for city and school district programs and departments this year providing funding for the animal shelter, sensory classroom equipment for exceptional needs students, weekend meal programs to feed homeless students along with assistance to homeless veterans, children battling cancer, students with reading materials, school supplies, clothing, pregnant mothers, families of hospitalized children, and a tremendous amount of volunteer service to the local nursing homes.
Despite the pandemic, the titleholders completed more than 200 appearances in since their year-long reigns began. Crowning their successors on Saturday is bittersweet for the current royalty. Copperas Cove Five Hills Junior Ambassador Hayley Sawyer reigned for two years with the program amassing more than 1,700 hours of service as the 2019 Junior Miss queen last year and this year as the junior ambassador.
“It has changed a lot and sometimes this is a good thing because the pandemic has encouraged more outdoor events like trash pickups and painting over graffiti to beautify our city,” Sawyer said. “There were a lot of canceled parades and events, but I believe that this has motivated us to work five times harder on our platforms and really focus on what goals we wanted to accomplish this year.”
After the live pageant was delayed for six weeks due to the pandemic, a virtual competition was held and 17 titleholders began their reigns, but not without changes and challenges due to the pandemic, said Senior Ms. Five Hills Dawn Hale.
“With COVID and its restrictions, a lot of the regular events we planned to attend were canceled, often at the last minute, or modified to ensure social distancing. But, we were vigilante in finding new ways to serve our community,” Hale said. “We enjoyed many events this year that we probably would have missed if everything was normal. We learned how to continue our service projects a little differently this year.”
Hale dedicated her reign to the elderly who are the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Hale organized several home projects including a pen pal program, creating CD wind chimes for nursing home residents’ rooms and mats to bring peace of mind to those with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Young Miss Five Hills Elise Fuselier said that even through the pandemic, the titleholders have “dedicated countless hours to our beloved city.”
“When I imagined myself being a titleholder before the pandemic, I was blind to what it really meant,” Fuselier said. “I thought it was pretty shoes, gowns and faces of makeup. Sometimes, that’s what it means to society, but it’s way more than that.
“While others saw this pandemic as a time to step back and take a break, we chose to use this pandemic as much to our advantage as possible. We have made the most out of a year that most gave up on.”
If you go…
What: 8th Annual Miss Five Hills Scholarship Pageant
When: March 27, 2021, 1 p.m.
Where: Copperas Cove Civic Center, 1206 W. Ave. B, Copperas Cove
Other: Admission is $5. No food or drink allowed. Face coverings required.
Courtesy/Centex Photos Moose Lodge: Members of the Copperas Cove Moose Riders present a $500 college scholarship to 2020 Miss Five Hills Jazmine Hendricks at the 2020 Miss Five Hills Scholarship Pageant that was held virtually. This year, the pageant is held live at the Copperas Cove Civic Center on March 27.