Royalty do laundry for students in need

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press 

Every single one of the washing machines and dryers at Wells Laundry on Business 190 were filled on Wednesday morning while the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant royalty and a team of volunteers washed, dried, folded and sorted 2,000 pounds of clothing. 
Preparation for the “laundry day” began on Tuesday, with royalty stopping at each of the 11 campuses in the Copperas Cove Independent School District to collect the unclaimed items from the schools’ lost and found, now that the school year is over. The items included shirts, pants, sweats, jackets, backpacks and more. 
Ms. Five Hills Ashley Coombs headed up the initiative, which will aid CCISD students in need via the Communities In Schools program on campuses for grades K-12, as well as helping students on the district’s prekindergarten campus.
At noon on Wednesday, representatives from Communities In Schools came by to choose items to bring to their campus. Any clothing or items leftover are being donated to the Optimist Club Thrift Store in Copperas Cove. 
Kelli Wells, owner of the laundromat, was on hand to help check on the clothing in the dryers. Wells Laundromat also provided the use of the washers and dryers at no cost.
“I used to be an educator, so this is important to me,” said Wells, who now own three of her family’s seven laundromats. “Every one of these kids today, they’re learning a skill. It’s teaching them a skill and they’re giving back to the community and the less fortunate.” 
Coombs said these items will make a difference for CCISD students in need and she was happy to have her fellow royalty working alongside her. 
“I’m super excited because this benefits Communities In Schools. I’ve taught several of these kids in dance, and I see the benefit extracurricular activities have, so being able to work with these guys on their projects and them helping me with mine, it’s really rewarding.” 
Next up for Coombs is a multicultural festival set for September 22 at Ogletree Gap Park, which will feature food, music, and dancing from a variety of cultures. 
“The funds raised will go to Communities In Schools, and go toward funding extracurricular activities for disadvantaged youth,” said Coombs. “So if they want to take art classes or music classes, or voice lessons, or dance or gymnastics, or anything that the school district doesn’t offer already, it’s going to offer them scholarships so they can do those kinds of things. 
“Kids have these amazing God-given abilities and they shouldn’t miss out because their parents can’t afford it. Growing up, I was lucky enough that my parents could afford (dance lessons). But when it got to the point they couldn’t, I was old enough to start teaching in order to help offset that.”
Coombs still recognizes the challenge to pay for classes and other activities. 
“My kids, if I didn’t work at GymKix, I couldn’t afford (lessons). I’m a single mom and so I want to be able to give back to these kids that have abilities. They shouldn’t be pushed aside because they can’t afford to do it.”
Those interested in more information about the upcoming festival should email fivehillspageant@gmail.com.

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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