COPPERAS COVE — The 5th Annual Mommy/Daddy & Me Sweetheart Tea teaches children manners and etiquette in a fun and interactive setting. This year, homeless veterans will also receive support from the event that benefits Operation Stand Down Central Texas.

Copperas Cove Five Hills Junior Ambassador Hayley Sawyer chose the charity as the beneficiary as her father is retired military and her brother is an active-duty soldier stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

“There are many people struggling after getting out of the military, and service is still something that our family feels needs to be done,” Sawyer said. “If there is a need, we should be there.”

Operation Stand Down Central Texas founder Joann Courtland said the donation will be such a great part of what her organization supplies to the homeless veterans.

“Operation Stand Down Central Texas is so very humbled and thankful for Hayley’s continued support of our mission. Her support has really made a significant impact on what we can provide to those we serve,” Courtland said.

This year’s tea party theme is “It’s A Small World,” and guests will enjoy three different kinds of hot tea paired with three different flights of food from around the world to include savories, finger sandwiches and sweet treats. Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica and, of course, the USA are just a few of the countries that youngsters and their parents will enjoy on Feb. 6 at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.

“We are excited to not just share with our guests flavors from around the world, but they will also be learning proper manners and etiquette that they will use their whole lives,” Sawyer said. “We have carefully selected every item on the menu. I think our guests will enjoy trying new things as well as some of their old favorites. I think they will also be surprised to learn from which country some of these foods and teas originated.

Children will also receive custom passports upon entering the event and are encouraged to visit the nine different countries around the world to learn more about each one and get their passport stamped. Once they have gotten their passports stamped from all nine countries, young guests will receive a miniature suitcase with a ticket donated by the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, since the theme of the event is about traveling. Guests are encouraged to wear clothing native to a specific country and participate in the Parade of Nations.

Tickets are $10. VIP tables that allow young guests to take home their teacups are available for $100. Tickets may be purchased at or through the Copperas Cove Five Hills Scholarship Pageant Facebook page.

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