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Central Texas student raises money for special needs dance

Posted at 11:40 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-11 00:40:16-04

The hard work of a young girl in Copperas Cove is paying off in the form of a homecoming dance for students with special needs.

House Creek Elementary fourth-grader De’Ziyah Gilbert, also this year’s Junior Miss Five Hills, wanted to do something special for students with special needs.

Her idea, give them their own special homecoming dance.

"I know that they got through hard things and I want them to know that they’re loved too,” said Gilbert.

The dance was free to all the students attending the dance and that is because De’Ziyah was able to raise over $900 to fund the dance.

"She used that from her lemonade day money and purchased all her stuff she needed for dance," said Shannoda Gilbert, De’Ziyah’s mother. "So, that the kids could come here for free and they don’t have to pay anything and she can show here appreciation.”

Raising money to fund the dance isn’t the only thing she did to make this special night happen, she also had to put her crafting skills to work.

"She had to make mums," said Gilbert's mother. "Go purchase mums and stuff and it took hours to make them mums the way they supposed to be made.”

The fourth-grader said she had a lot of fun making the mums with her big sister but it was a lot of hard work.

"I had to keep on going to the store because I forgot some things and some of them broke so I had to come fix them and I had to be really careful, so I don’t burn myself,” said Gilbert.

De’Ziyah said she was inspired by her big sister who put together a similar event for students with dyslexia when she was Junior Miss in 2018.