Five Hills Scholarship Pageant crowns 2018 royalty

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press 

“Big Dreams Under the Big Top” was the theme for the 2018 Five Hills Scholarship Pageant, and on Saturday 16 contestants out of a field of 116 had their dreams come true when they heard their names called as winning the crown. 
An afternoon pageant was held for the categories of Baby Miss and Mister through Junior Miss and Mister, with an evening competition rounding out the Pre-Teen Miss through Senior Ms. categories, as well as the announcement of the title of Five Hills Ambassador from the 2017 royalty. 
Contestants were scored on poise, personality and confidence as they crossed the stage decorated in red-and-white draping that hung from the ceiling and resembled a circus tent. 
For contestants in the Pre-Teen Miss category and older, each had the chance to share platforms of service, should she win her category. They also fielded one question they drew from a bowl.
This year, anti-bullying, teen suicide prevention, helping the homeless, alopecia awareness, kidney cancer, breast cancer, City Park beautification, mitochondrial disease, and the cause of helping abandoned animals were among some of the platforms promoted by the contestants.  
At the conclusion of the event, the newly crowned royalty cut the cake made by Bits ‘N Bites Cake Shop. Afterward, the night was rounded out with the first “coronation ball”, featuring a DJ and dancing. 
Along with the titles came more than $75,000 in prizes and scholarships, along with educational savings bonds for the younger titleholders and cash scholarships for the older titleholders. This year, scholarships were doubled in the Young Miss and Miss categories, with a $500 scholarship being added in the Ambassador category. 
Ashley Beard, Mrs. Texas America; Alyson Radke, Miss West Fest; and Sara Walker, Mrs. Bell County America served as judges for the event. Auditors tabulating the results included Mark Cyr and Sharon Dickerson-Blue with Jackson Hewitt. 
The 2018 Five Hills royalty include: 
Baby Miss - Elizabeth Crisan, Fort Hood
Baby Mister - Noah Thomas, Copperas Cove
Tiny Miss - Paisley Andress, Copperas Cove
Tiny Mister - Swayze Gray, Copperas Cove
Miniature Miss - Naomi Williams, Copperas Cove
Miniature Mister - Robbie Rackley, Copperas Cove
Little Miss - De’Ziyah Gilbert, Copperas Cove
Little Mister - Matthew Grooms, Copperas Cove
Junior Miss - Dorianna Gilbert, Copperas Cove
Junior Mister - Darnell Adams, Copperas Cove
Pre-Teen Miss - Briana Liles, Killeen; Platform: Alopecia Awareness & Research
Young Miss - Allyssa Kimball, Copperas Cove; Platform: Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful
Teen Miss - Carleigh Ross, Copperas Cove; Platform: Cancer Fundraising & Research
Miss - Sara Gray, Copperas Cove; Platform: Optimist Club    
Ms. - Ashley Coombs, Copperas Cove; Platform:  Developing interests in arts, music, and sports for Disadvantaged Youth
Senior Ms. - Yolanda Brown, Copperas Cove; Platform:  Sisters Helping Sisters Successfully Succeed
Ambassador – Emily Kimball, Copperas Cove; Platform: Humane treatment of animals
Kimball has sserved as Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills for 2017, logging 500 hours representing the city and advancing her cause. She will continue to do so for 2018. 
Along with Kimball, titleholders have collectively logged thousands of hours in volunteering and public appearances representing Copperas Cove locally and regionally since the pageant’s revival by volunteer pageant director Wendy Sledd. 
She had mixed feelings as she said goodbye to the 2017 royalty and now looks ahead to what’s in store for the new titleholders. 
“The pageant each year is always bittersweet for me. It is always difficult for me to say farewell to the royalty who are crowning their successors because we become very close since we travel together thousands of miles during the year,” Sledd said. “But, each year, God blesses our community with another amazing group of representatives and this year is no exception. We look forward to another amazing year of positively impacting lives in Copperas Cove.”

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