One Copperas Cove philanthropic group needs all the help it can get to continue helping the elderly and young children.

Diane Payne, president of Copperas Cove’s Altrusa International chapter, said literacy is the group’s main goal.

“For every single school from Head Start through third grade in Copperas Cove, we provide books for children to learn to read,” she said.

“We also provide large-print books for the elderly in some of the nursing homes in the area.”

Since funding in 2011 was cut from the national Reading is Fundamental program, Altrusa has worked hard to raise funds to keep Copperas Cove children reading. RIF provided 4.4 million children with free books at nearly 17,000 locations throughout the United States, including Texas.

In 2012, the U.S. Education Department awarded $28 million to boost literacy skills for low-income students in high-need areas.

Although 10 Texas cities were awarded grants, none were in Central Texas.


The local chapter hosts its 12th annual golf tournament Oct. 19 at the Hills of Cove Golf Course. The tournament, the chapter’s largest annual fundraiser, is expected to raise $7,000, Payne said. As of Wednesday, Altrusa needed 20 more hole sponsors.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find partners for the tournament due to changing businesses in Cove and competition from other tournaments,” said Gail Prestigiacomo, tournament co-chairman.

“But our tournament is known for treating our sponsors and golfers very well.”

Bob Freyer of Copperas Cove is an avid golfer and enjoys playing at least twice a week. He competes in the Altrusa tournament year after year.

“I understand the value of what the Altrusa club does for our community and why it does it,” Freyer said. “It’s a worthwhile charity whose money stays right here at home.”

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