Junior Miss Five Hills De'Ziyah Gilbert presents a check for $250 to Cynthia Franklin, who is the Special Education Director for the Copperas Cove Independent School District, during the fourth annual homecoming dance for exceptional needs students. Gilbert raised the money while operating her lemonade day stand in May.

Copperas Cove ISD exceptional needs students danced the night away during the fourth annual homecoming dance for exceptional needs students.

The two-hour event included a red carpet walk for all students and their caregiver/chaperon who attended to have an opportunity to walk in style.

The event was held last Friday at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.

Copperas Cove ISD and the Copperas Cove Five Hills Scholarship Pageant royalty teamed together in a coordinated effort to make the dance a success.

It was a part of Junior Miss Five Hills De’Ziyah Gilbert service project, which is to help people with exceptional needs.

During the event, Gilbert presented a check in the amount of $250 to Cynthia Franklin, the special education director for CCISD.

Gilbert raised the money with her lemonade stand that she had back in May of this year during National Lemonade Day weekend.

“I wanted to host this event because my sister Dorianna hosted the first one back in 2017, and the money raised for the event that year went to buy equipment for dyslexic students in CCISD,” Gilbert said. “I like to tell people how I feel about them and I want them to know that they are loved. My platform as the Junior Miss Five Hills is helping special needs people.”

Franklin said the evening was a good event for the students.

“This was a very good event and was very beneficial for our students. They don’t get to typically do things like this. Everyone is having a good time,” Franklin said.

Sarita Pettit has lived in Cove for four years and helped out by bringing one of the students to the event.

“This is such an awesome event and the kids are having so much fun,” Pettit said.

Students who are age 4 to 22 were able to attend the event. There was great music, dancing, food and drinks provided by Raising Cane’s. All students received a boutonnière or a mum courtesy of Walmart. Chick-fil-A also provided food for the event.

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