The Copperas Cove Education Foundation will host its first “Boots and Buckles — Funding the Future” gala to raise money for teacher grants at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cove Civic Center, 1206 W. Avenue B.

There will be dancing, a silent auction, music and food, said Copperas Cove school district spokeswoman Olga Peña-Gaede.

“CCEF hopes to raise $20,000 from the gala,” she said. “It’s the first inaugural event of its kind for the CCEF. In previous years, the foundation hosted a golf tournament as its annual fundraising event. This year is the beginning of an annual gala to include distinguished alumni as speakers.”

guest speaker: charles tillman

This year’s guest speaker is Charles Tillman, a Copperas Cove Independent School District alumnus, 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and 12-year veteran of the Chicago Bears.

“We were lucky enough to have Charles Tillman accept the invitation to be the first such guest speaker,” Peña-Gaede said. “It’s an honor to have him return to Copperas Cove to help support the school district.

“His dedication to his career, family and philanthropic causes is a true testament to the athlete and person he is.”

The foundation distributed $34,346.69 in grants for 15 different projects in 2013.

This event will raise money for the 2014 grants, which have included everything from iPads and after-school clubs to student authored and illustrated published books, Peña-Gaede said.

“The CCEF’s tireless efforts and support are invaluable to Copperas Cove ISD. The foundation not only rewards innovative teaching through thousands of dollars in grants that produce otherwise non-fundable programs for our students, it also honors exemplary students and teachers at the annual Top 10 Percent banquet and is a presence at district events year round,” she said.

Fundraising efforts from the gala will continue to support such programs as House Creek Elementary’s Launch Club and Leap Ahead, Halstead’s Let’s Share a Story and Fairview Jewell’s Exploring our Dreams programs.

Contact Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro at or 254-501-7476

A journalist by trade, Corinne has written for both the military and civilian populations. She has a Master's in Writing and Bachelor's in English. She is also a military spouse and her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood.

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