KCCB brings back Eco Fling, recycled fashion show


Cove Leader-Press 


Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful brought back the Spring Eco Fling with dozens of crafty activities for children and a fashion show hosted by the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant Saturday at the Copperas Cove Civic Center. 

The last Eco Fling was held outdoors in April 2017. The Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful board of directors decided to partner with the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant royalty and hold this year’s Eco Fling during February, in conjunction with Heart Month, according to KCCB Executive Director Roxanne Flores-Achmad.

The Five Hills royalty held a fashion show, starting at 11 a.m., featuring members of the royalty dressed in designs made from repurposed items, from Target shopping bags, to red Solo cups to Chick-fil-A boxes and more, for the Get Recycled: Go Red for Women fashion show to raise awareness for the American Heart Association and heart health as part of Young Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres’ platform.

Torres, 14, wore a red dress made from Skittles wrappers. Her outfit’s theme was “Skittles of Hope- the End of a Rainbow.”

Torres shared that she suffers from two heart disorders- SVT (Supraventricular tachycardia) and LVHT (left ventricular hypertrabeculation/non-compaction). SVT is where there is an abnormally fast heart rhythm arising from improper electrical activity in the upper part of the heart. LVHT is the number one killer in young athletes because it is unknown and often misdiagnosed, Torres said. 

Torres was the first child in the United States to receive a heart loop monitor embedded into her chest that allows her doctors to track her cardiac episodes. At the end of the fashion show, Torres was able to show off a check made out to the American Heart Association for $2,168, made possible from her fundraising efforts throughout her year as Young Miss Five Hills 2019. 

After the fashion show, attendees could go check out the various vendors and activities. 

“What we did is we have the educational booths, we have the fashion show, but what we also included was just a different variety of vendors,” Flores-Achmad said. “I’m a parent myself, so I bring stuff for my children, but I also want to get some information as well, and so that also ties into bringing another audience. So, it was just a great way to offer a free community event to the citizens of Copperas Cove.”

Flores-Achmad said the main focus was to highlight how different items can be reused. 

“Instead of throwing it away, you can repurpose that K-Cup and now you have an activity for your child,” Flores-Achmad said. “It’s just a matter of, like they did with the fashion show, things you have that you’re able to repurpose and reuse.”

Several tables were sponsored by KCCB, including free snow-cones and popcorn and lots of children’s arts and crafts using items commonly found in the average household, like clothespins, water bottles and caps, K-Cups, straws, glass bottles and newspaper. 

The newspaper was used to make planters, because newspaper is biodegradable and can be planted into the ground with seeds. 

“I love newspapers,” Flores-Achmad said. “Obviously, I love to read the paper. I’m still one of those one people that reads the actual paper, so I love to read it and then I give it to my child, and my child makes a paper airplane. She does origami with it, so it’s the gift that keep giving.”

Flores-Achmad said she will also use newspaper as tissue paper or gift wrap. 

“There’s just so many varieties of uses for it, and so it’s only recycled when I feel like I no longer have any more use for it,” Flores-Achmad said. “And, so that’s what we’re trying to show people, like, ‘Hey, these are things that you have in your house.’”

Flores-Achmad said that Saturday’s Eco Fling had far exceeded the number of people attending compared to the last Eco Fling. 

“What we’re wanting to do now is just grow it and continue to grow it, because it’s a great event and it’s free,” Flores-Achmad said. “So, you can come out, enjoy yourself, get some good information and then turn around, and maybe you’re wanting to find your local dentist. We included local vendors because it’s all about giving them the opportunity to vend and get exposure for their organizations. We just want to make it grow and provide more service to our community.”

One of the vendors, Ace Dental, handed out free toothbrushes and provided a special coupon to anyone who signed up for a free or discounted exam and X-Rays for new patients. 

Another vendor was Girl Scout Troop 6943 with the CC Service Unit. Girl Scouts Andrea Vandergrift, 18, and Taylor Rolfe, 14, with their moms Irene Vandergrift and Amanda Rolfe, set up their table with hand painted and handcrafted items for sale, to raise funds for their Girl Scout trip to Seattle and Canada. 

Selling at the Eco Fling helped boost their entrepreneurship skills, according to Taylor. It also helped them figure out ways to reduce, reuse and recycle by figuring out how to repurpose items like the signs they repainted and the t-shirts they turned into necklaces, rings and bracelets. 

Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful will be holding a rainwater harvesting workshop on March 5, 2020 at the Copperas Cove Public Library starting at 6 p.m. as part of a joint effort among the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation. KCCB will also be holding a water way cleanup on Saturday, March 7, 2020, meeting in the library parking lot at 8 a.m.

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