Young Miss Copperas Cove Five Hills Allyssa Kimball concentrated as she watched the small white ball bounce up and down on her paddle.

Kimball and her sister titleholders recently volunteered at the Heart of Texas Special Olympics Area Table Tennis Championships and got some coaching from some of the athletes who challenged them to games in between the matches.

“It was a great experience to volunteer and spend time with the athletes,” Kimball said. “I was impressed with how skilled the athletes are in the sport and how easy they made it look. It was great to see them having fun.”

Nearly 50 athletes from Gatesville, Belton, Killeen, and the surrounding area competed for the opportunity to advance to the state contest.

Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills Briana Liles scrambled to retrieve the ball as it bounced off her table and across the gym floor.

“I learned so much. I learned it was called table tennis and not ping-pong,” the 9-year-old said. “Lauren, one of the athletes, was so sweet and tried teach me the basics of the game. Everyone was so happy there and I enjoyed watching them play.”

Teen Miss Five Hills Carleigh Ross was determined to master the game and agreed to a challenge match from one of the champions, Lauren Barber of Belton.

“As a city titleholder, I’m given opportunities to volunteer in many events, but this event was by far my favorite. Watching the athletes dedicate themselves to practicing hard in preparation for their game and the satisfaction on their faces when they scored was heartwarming and more than inspirational, Ross said. “These athletes are true Olympians.” .

The royalty also found some champions in the kennels at the Copperas Cove Animal Control Facility.

The titleholders washed the dogs and all of their cages for the facility’s monthly free adoption event.

Five Hills Ambassador Emily Kimball heads up the annual Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza the last Saturday in October each year and is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals.

“It is such a gratifying experience to work with animals and to assist at the shelter. I am happy and excited to do whatever they need me to do for the animals,” Emily Kimball said. “All of the dogs needed a bath and I was ready and willing to jump in and get them all clean so they could be adopted.”

The royalty were also honored at the CCISD board of trustees monthly meeting for their organization and execution of CCISD’s third annual Laundry Day where they collected, cleaned and donated 2,000 pounds of laundry to Communities in Schools to be reused for Cove students in-need during the coming school year.

In royal sightings this week, the titleholders will assist with GymKix’s National Day of Dance event and host bingo at a local nursing home.

Ms. Five Hills Ashley Coombs will speak to the Rotary Club at the inaugural Copperas Cove Multicultural Festival. Emily Kimball will speak to Altrusa International about Cove’s proposed dog park.

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