• September 26, 2016

Rabbit Fest royalty brings smiles to elderly, represents community at Spur Fest

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Posted: Friday, September 23, 2016 4:30 am

She moved her feet back and forth and kept time to the music, wiggling from the waist up in her wheel chair.

Dorothy was one of several residents at the Hill Country Rehabilitation Facility that enjoyed dancing the night away with the Rabbit Fest royalty at the annual Black and White Gala.

The 95-year-old told Rabbit Fest Ambassador Edith Natividad that she has always loved to dance.

“I was quite a dancer in my day,” she said, smiling broadly. “I still love to dance today.”

Although she was unable to stand, she enjoyed dance after dance with different members of the royalty as they took turns spinning her and her chair around on the dance floor.

“She is a very sharp lady,” Natividad said. “She told me that she loved me and that brought tears to my eyes. It made me miss my parents and my grandparents.”

Tiny Miss Rabbit Fest Eliana Cortez was honored at the Copperas Cove Independent School District board of trustees meeting for her book drive to benefit Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy.

She collected more than 300 toddler books through her Tots Helping Tots community service project in partnership with the Clear Creek Sonic Drive-in Restaurant.

The Rabbit Fest royalty rose and shone early before dawn Saturday to begin helping check in runners for the H-E-B Gallop or Trot 5k, which drew a record crowd this year.

After greeting and checking in all the runners, the royalty moved to the starting line where they cheered the runners on as they started the race and then welcomed them back across the finish line with cheers of support and bottles of water.

The royalty ended the event, handing out the medals to the runners and congratulating them on their efforts.

Earlier in the week, Natividad also spent time at the Chamber of Commerce helping prepare the runners’ ditty bags.

After the race, the royalty were on the road to Gatesville, known as the Spur Capital of Texas, to enjoy the annual Gatesville Spur Fest.

The titleholders and their families toured the museum that includes more than 6,000 pairs of spurs along with a step-back-in-time to the pioneer days.

The royalty got to learn what churning butter was like along with how to cook over a camp fire.

They also visited the old soda shop and dental and doctor’s offices along with cars on display back from the 1930s.

Timothy Stutz, a soldier assigned to Fort Hood and the husband of Ms. Rabbit Fest Trisha Stutz, explained the significance of many of the items to the royal crew.

“It reminded me of going to the Old West museums as a child,” he said. “I especially had fun teaching the (titleholders) about Pancho Villa’s ammunition bandoleer.”

Upcoming events

This week, the royalty will assist the chamber with the presentation of the Business of the Month award, support ExtraCo Bank, the pageant’s scholarship sponsor, with the monthly chamber mixer.

They will also visit Camp Hope Garden to sign pinwheels for those they know who have been affected by suicide.

During the weekend, the titleholders will volunteer at Holy Family Catholic Church’s Fall Festival for the second consecutive year, help with the Paws and Bras Pawlooza and serve as visiting royalty at the Miss Waco USA Pageant.

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