HARKER HEIGHTS — A group of about 50 local public figures including the mayor of Killeen, a city councilman from Harker Heights, a high school principal, real estate agents, state and national politicians, bank employees and local residents gathered Thursday in the lobby of Extraco Bank in Harker Heights to share congratulations and best wishes to Ellison High School graduate Kehri Jones, who is in the midst of qualifying to become a member of the United States bobsled team that will compete in the Winter Olympics in February in South Korea.
Cameras flashed as a majority of the crowd wanted their photos made with this hometown celebrity.
City leaders from Killeen and Harker Heights expressed their support by presenting gifts to Jones, 24.
Harker Heights Mayor Pro Tem Hal Schiffman presented Jones with a challenge coin along with the city’s branding iron just for her.
“It is a custom in our city to acknowledge significant accomplishments in this way,” Schiffman said.
Jones also received gifts of United States and Texas flags that have flown over the respective capitol buildings provided by current state and national legislative figures.
“Killeen is my home and the home of Fort Hood, and to have this extra support by knowing family and friends are motivating me to meet that goal of becoming a member of the Olympic bobsled team means the world to me,” she said.
Ellison High School Principal David Dominquez attended the event and presented Jones with an Ellison Eagles blanket.
“I am so thrilled and proud to have one of our graduates honored this way,” Dominquez said. “Many of her coaches remember her, and they are beaming with pride.”