By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

Copperas Cove's Hillside Ministries gave families a day of music, food and fun for free during the 11th annual Greater Fort Hood Backyard Music Round-Up Saturday.

The event is one of the church's family outreach programs as a way to give something back to the community.

In years past, the church hosted a car show in conjunction with the event.

Without the car show, the group still saw about the same attendance as last year's event was.

Jodi Swanner, one of the event's organizers, said last year's event fed more than 1,000 people.

Attendees were able to listen to music, get a meal and received a small, burnt orange New Testament Bible that members handed out.

Swanner said the event is not held to gain membership, but to show families they can have fun together for free.

Each year, the event supports a local organization from donations collected throughout the day and silent auction. The church raised about $1,300 for the Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter, Swanner said.

Her first time at the event, Florence Faatigua, a member of Samoan Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Copperas Cove, handed out food to attendees.

"I think it's better for everyone to come together and lift Jesus' name up," she said.

Music for the event included contemporary Christian group Whitlee Casey Band, Swingtime Big Band, Christian country singer Jackie Cox, Bethesda Fellowship Ministries and other local churches and Christian groups.

Swanner said the church tries to bring in local Christian talent to perform to support the groups.

This was the first year the event was included in the church's budget, and thanks to sponsors, everything was free and the church did not have to recoup any costs.

Plans for next year's event are already in the works. Swanner said the church hopes to have the car show and a motorcycle rally next year.

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