Band booster club holds first Veterans Day Market Festival

Cove Leader-Press

The Pride of Cove Band and Guard Booster Club held its first Veteran’s Day Market Festival at Bulldawg Stadium Saturday, providing a different way to celebrate and honor the veterans in the Central Texas area. 
The event’s goal was to raise funds to pay for the buses for the band and guard’s trip to Walt Disney World during the third week of March 2018. 
Booster Club treasurer Teresa Gorres organized the event and said that the cost of the buses was $30,000, of which the Booster Club had raised approximately $26,000. 
The wind ensemble trumpets from Copperas Cove Junior High, under the direction of Ryan Stewart, performed the National Anthem at the beginning of the event, and students from both CCJHS and S.C Lee Junior High as well as CCHS bands all chipped in to help volunteer at the event, helping out at the Booster Club’s booth that was selling raffle tickets for $1 apiece. 
Gorres’s husband, Jeff Gorres, is retired after 27 years in the military and her father was also in the military, she said. This event was a way to do something nice for veterans and honor them, she said. 
“Right now, we’re calling it the first annual because we would like to have it every year, and you know, it’s really neat to see a lot of familiar faces out here and kind of mingle as well as shop at the same time,” Gorres said. “Cove is so small, it’s like a family.”
All of the 35 vendors present at the event were affiliated with the military in some way, with several of them being veterans themselves, Gorres said. Those veterans received a discount on their booth price, she added. Some of the vendors used their booth space to sell garage sale items and others were there to show support for veterans, Gorres said. 
Other vendors included consultants selling Scentsy, Perfectly Posh, Mary Kay Cosmetics, LulaRoe, LipSense, Thirty-One, Premier Design Jewelry and Paparazzi Jewelry. Relay For Life of Copperas Cove/Lampasas also had a booth, selling baked goods and signing up teams for the annual Relay to be held April 28, 2018.
In addition to the vendor booths, four food trucks were on site to include Checkpoint Germany, Philippine Pit Stop, Boogie’s Backyard BBQ, and Detroit’s Own. 
The students of Self Defense America held a martial arts demonstration in the afternoon. The students, under the instruction of Jimmy Hogberg, performed as a group and individually and wore a camouflage patterned uniform. Before they started, Hogberg dedicated the demonstration to veterans, such as his father and his best friend, as well as those currently serving abroad. 
One of the vendors at the event, Kap Kim, was selling a product he had recently started selling to the public, called KapKlips, which are a secure way for soldiers or law enforcement to clip their helmets to their tactical vests and keep their hands free.  Kim, who retired from the Army last year, was a photojournalist and Public Affairs Specialist for 24 years. When he was stationed in Iraq, he would use a carabiner clip to hold his helmet to his vest, but while stationed in Afghanistan, he was riding in helicopters more often due the terrain and came up with the first KapKlip, which he made from an old chin strap and fits right into the Molle slots on the vest, with one end attached to the helmet by Velcro. 
“When you’re riding in the back of a helicopter, the first thing you do is take your helmet off and you put your headset on,” Kim said. 
Being a photojournalist, he needed his hands free to take pictures, and his invention allowed him to secure his helmet, so it didn’t fall out of the helicopter. 
It wasn’t until he retired that he considered manufacturing and selling his invention at the urging of a friend who took the original KapKlip to Afghanistan with him. He sells them online through his Facebook page and makes them in his family’s dry-cleaning business. It was there that he found out about the Veteran’s Day Market Festival from a customer who frequented his family’s business. 
Kim said this was his second community event as a vendor. Kim, from Killeen, said his grandfather was stationed at Fort Hood and that the area connected to Fort Hood was a special place.
Kim praised the event for bringing people together with veterans from different wars and providing the opportunity to thank them for their service. He was excited to see a guy wearing a patch of the 2nd Armored Division “Hell on Wheels”, deactivated in 1995, and stated how neat it was on a history level to see someone who was in that unit.
“These are people who have served here and chosen to retire here and so these community events are very, very important,” Kim said. 
Another vendor who served 24 years in the military was Timothy Fleming, owner the German food truck Checkpoint Germany. Fleming, who retired in 2010, was a cook in the military and said that after he got out, he sat down with his wife, who is German, and they decided to open a food truck business. They sell traditional German foods, like schnitzel and sausage and a best-seller called Tick Tack Oma’s Cheesecake, which is a recipe passed down from Fleming’s wife’s great grandmother. 
The name of the food truck came from Checkpoint Charlie, which was the name of the best-known crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War, Fleming said. Fleming spent 18 of his 24 years in the service, off and on, stationed in Europe, and every soldier who has been stationed in Europe knows of Checkpoint Charlie, he said. 

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