COPPERAS COVE — At 8 a.m. sharp, guests began to file into the Applebee’s in Copperas Cove on Saturday for an all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, potatoes and a beverage to support the Copperas Cove High School Copperettes dance team.
All of the money brought in from the Flapjack Fundraiser will go to finance the team’s expenses, including uniforms and competition costs, said team coach Julia Hamilton.
“This is something interesting that not a whole lot of businesses have done before,” she said.
While some team members worked inside — as greeters, servers or table cleaners — others stood outside with signs.
The fundraiser has been a huge success for the team in the past, bringing in close to $800, said Kim French, the booster club president.
On Saturday, tickets were sold for $8 a person. If a person who pre-purchased a ticket did not attend, the organization got to pocket those profits at no expense, said Applebee’s manager Thomas Cardenas.
“With all the budgets that have been cut from schools, this gives a lot of the smaller groups the opportunity to get out and generate donations for the things they need,” he said.
This year, CCISD set an annual budget of $5,000 for the Copperettes, not nearly enough to cover expenses for all 29 dancers, Hamilton said.
“We need at least $5,000 more for two competitions, which includes uniforms, registration fees, fees for each dance, transportation, food and awards,” the coach said.
On average, a dance competition can cost between $2,000 and $4,000, depending on distance and the number of teams participating.
Last year alone, the Cove Applebee’s helped dozens of local organizations raise nearly $10,000 through the Flapjack Fundraiser campaign.
The restaurant’s fundraiser events have been booked for the year since July, Cardenas said.