FORT HOOD — The Fort Hood Area Thrift Shop has given financial boosts to the community service projects of four of the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty, pushing them closer toward their goals within three months of the end of their yearlong reigns.

Copperas Cove Five Hills Ambassador Trisha Stutz was awarded a $300 grant for post-traumatic stress disorder counseling services in Cove. Ms. Copperas Cove Five Hills Heidi Cortez was awarded $1,000 to purchase sensory playground equipment for City Park. Five Hills Junior Ambassador Kaydence Weary and Preteen Miss Copperas Cove Five Hills Emily Kimball received $1,000 for the Animal Control Facility.

Stutz will present the grant along with money she raises at the second annual Mommy/Daddy & Me Sweetheart Tea scheduled Feb. 18 to Bring Everyone in the Zone, which provides one-on-one peer counseling services for soldiers and veterans experiencing PTSD.

“When I hosted the fundraising tea last year, these counseling services were not available in Copperas Cove. I am thrilled that now we have these services available to our soldiers and veterans suffering from this hidden syndrome and appreciate the additional financial support of the Fort Hood Thrift Shop to further support these efforts,” Stutz said.

Fort Hood Area Thrift Shop board secretary Mary Ann Jack said the business strives to give grants to deserving charities and organizations that support those in need locally and the community projects represented by the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant title holders embodied that same spirit.

“Veterans in crisis, children with special needs and enriching a local pet shelter — those are all causes close to the hearts of the Thrift Shop and the community,” Jack said. “Of the 20-plus applications received, granting those of Trisha Stutz, Heidi Cortez, and the team of Kaydence Weary and Emily Kimball was quite an easy decision. The hard work and dedication to their causes were admirable. We were happy to do what we could to help them reach their goals.”

With the grant funding added to money raised from the Krist Kindl Charity Pageant and other contributions, Cortez hopes to purchase the sensory playground equipment and have it installed by mid-March.

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