Youngest royalty raises funds for Hope Pregnancy Center
By DAVID J. HARDIN
On Saturday, stuffed animals came to life at Bearables on Main Street and raised funds for Hope Pregnancy Center in the process.
The five-hour fundraising event was a coordinated effort between Bearables owner BJ Callaway and Christy Liles, mother of Baby Miss Five Hills Braelyn Liles.
Braelyn was joined by other members of the Five Hills Pageant royalty to help and brought in $400 for the center.
Only 100 tickets were sold for the event, and each ticketholder could choose from many different types of animals at the shop to include bears, unicorns, lions, tigers, elephants and many others.
Many children had smiles on their faces as they watched Bearables owner BJ Callaway work the machine that stuffed the cotton into the animal of their choice.
Shawna Garrett and her four-year-old daughter Camille came to help raise funds and was unaware of the center until now.
“It is for a great cause, and interestingly enough I did not know that this place existed until the Five Hills Pageant Royalty were selling the tickets for the event, and I said, ‘We have to buy one and go.’”
Ruben Vocanegra and his five-year-old granddaughter Rory came to the event, because a co-worker of his was going and told him how to get tickets.
“I told my co-worker that it would be a great thing because, I have Rory this weekend and the money would go for a good cause.” Rory wanted to build a unicorn.
Copperas Cove High School senior and member of the Copperettes Princess Sanchez dressed up as “Moana” from the Walt Disney film of the same name.
“I volunteered for this because I really love being with the kids, and love taking pictures with them. I enjoy portraying Princess Moana from the movie, because I think that she is a great role model, and that is what I want to be—a great role model for kids.”
Christy Liles, mother of one-year-old Baby Miss Five Hills Braelyn Liles, said she wanted to help Hope Pregnancy Center because they did a lot for her and her family when she was pregnant with Braelyn.
“They also give back to so many people in the community, and it was important for me to try and help them because they are based solely on volunteers and donations that they receive from the community, and without our help they would not be able to continue to do the work that they are doing,” said Liles. She added that she and others have placed baby bottles at various businesses in Killeen, Harker Heights, and Copperas Cove to raise change to help Hope Pregnancy Center.
Hope Ransom is Senior Ms. Five Hills and pitched in on Saturday.
“Being able to volunteer and help with a fundraiser like this is worth it to me, because expectant mothers are going to have their needs met through the great work Hope Pregnancy Center does,” Ransom said.
There was another cause for celebration on Saturday, as Callaway celebrated Bearables’ second anniversary in business.
“Children have always meant the world to me, so if I can put a smile on one child’s face that is good enough for me,” said Callaway. “I appreciate all of the support that I have gotten from the community.”