Krist Kindl Pageant

Teen Miss Krist Kindl Bailey Van Hecke, 18, smiles as she watches Rabbit Fest royalty crown the 33-year-old mother of four, Raylene Gill, as Miss Krist Kindl on Saturday during the Copperas Cove Christmas bazaar.

COPPERAS COVE — The bright sunshine had stiff competition from dazzling smiles and sparkling tiaras Saturday morning when the Krist Kindl pageant returned to the downtown Christmas festival.

The competition offered crowns in nine age categories with all proceeds from the event going to the American Cancer Society, the platform of pageant coordinator Young Miss Rabbit Fest Carleigh Ross.

“This took months to put together,” said Carleigh, 15. “All the planning, all the ordering and working with the Chamber (of Commerce) and the contestants was a lot of work. It went off really well, though.”

Carleigh said there were more contestants participating in the event than she expected, but as long as they all went home with smiles on their faces, she was happy.

“We’ve raised roughly $1,500 so far between the pageant and other fundraising efforts,” added Carleigh, whose goal is to raise $15,000 for ACS. “Hopefully throughout the year we’ll be able to raise my goal.

It was because the pageant was dedicated to fighting cancer that newly-crowned Teen Miss Krist Kindl Bailey Van Hecke decided to participate. Her 2-year-old nephew, Zachary Land, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing treatment.

“I feel like a princess,” the 18-year-old Cove High School student said. “But I did this all for (my nephew). I am looking forward to the parade, though.”

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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