Sweetheart Tea raises money to support library

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press 

Members of the Five Hills Royalty helped families spend “quali-tea” time together with their 3rd Annual Mommy/Daddy & Me Sweetheart Tea event.
Saturday afternoon, the VFW Post 8577 was filled with colorful hearts, fancy streamers, and tasty treats as parents and their children were invited to enjoy a Valentine’s Day themed event and meal while creating memories that they might one day be able to pass down to their own children.
Participants were treated to three courses including three types of savories, finger sandwiches, and sweets. They also served different kinds of teas including Earl Grey, Raspberry Hibiscus, and Oolong.
Robin Spencer, a librarian at Clements/Parsons Elementary and Senior Ms. Five Hills combined two of her favorite things while making the event a reality.
“This is a combination of two things,” said Spencer. “One is my passion for getting literacy into the community…This is a combination of that and my love for tea parties.”
Spencer said that she’s been collecting tea cups ever since she was a small girl, and her family has had as many as four generations enjoying tea parties together. She said that nowadays, kids don’t have as many opportunities to learn the idea of formality, and Saturday’s tea party allowed them to dress up and learn etiquette as well.
Spencer’s platform is bringing literacy to the community, and while she hopes that participants had a fun time, she also hopes that she was able to show them that literacy can be fun. Participants each received a special literacy kit meant to promote reading at home. In addition to the tea party, participants could also read tea-themed children’s books, make their own Valentines, and read the messages printed on some of the candies.
Money raised at the tea party will be donated to the Friends of the Library who will use the money for the Copperas Cove Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.
Aside from the literacy activities and the tea party, children also learned how to set a table and how to walk with poise by practicing walking with good posture while balancing a basket atop their head. When not serving tea and various courses, Five Hills Ambassador Emily Kimball helped the other children practice balancing the baskets by encouraging them and cheering them on. She said that outside of events supporting her own platform, the Sweetheart Tea is her favorite.
“I like serving everybody, talking with the kids about it, it’s just amazing,” said Kimball. “Kids don’t really get to do this a lot. It’s a formal thing. It’s good for them to learn how to have good manners, have good posture, etiquette and stuff like that. It’s very good to learn that at a young age that way they have it when they grow up. And it’s really a fun experience to be served and sit and listen to the music.”
Kimball added that it’s for a great cause, and she thinks that encouraging literacy is very important.
Sharon Ellsworth brought her granddaughter, Calla Covalt (7), to the event. Ellsworth said that she annually attends a high tea event in Austin once a year with her daughter, and her granddaughter has always wanted to attend a tea party. She said that Covalt loves all the fancy cups and that she was excited that her cup was her favorite color, blue.
“We’re just enjoying hanging out. I’m so glad Cove offers this,” said Ellsworth. “Everything is just too cute.”

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