Killeen Daily Herald
Friday, March 20, 2015
Lisa sidled up next to the platform, her four huge feet placed firmly on the ground. Two young women dressed in sparkling outfits climbed up the stairs of the platform and gently slid onto Lisa’s back.
For both ladies, it was their first time to ride an elephant.
Miss Rabbit Fest Aleea Best and Young Miss Rabbit Fest Kelsey Dane opened the greatest show on earth Saturday when they rode in under the big top on Lisa, a 33-year-old elephant.
With Best guiding the elephant, Dane also served as the honorary ring master and welcomed the sold-out crowd to the show. The crowd erupted in applause for these two amazing young women.
“I absolutely loved having a part in the circus and could not be more thankful for the opportunity that was given to me,” Best said. “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will never be forgotten. This appearance as Miss Rabbit Fest will definitely set the record for future events as a queen.”
Dane and Best were selected for the opportunity based on the number of hours of community service they have accrued since being crowned in May. Both women have volunteered more than 200 hours each, promoting their individual platforms of service.
For Dane, getting fellow teens involved in volunteering is her goal. For Best, rescuing animals and promoting owner responsibility of spaying and neutering has long been a passion and a cause she took to a higher level upon being crowned.
On Saturday, Best picked up three kittens from the Harker Heights animal shelter. Only a week old, they will have to be bottle feed for the next 6 to 8 weeks. In the meantime, Best will work to find them homes.
Rabbit Fest royalty also spent Saturday morning in City Park in a professional photo session with Taylor Photography and photographer Azeita Taylor.
“Community service is a big component of my life. Helping others accomplish their goals is something I am passionate about,” Taylor said. “The same is true for the Rabbit Fest Pageant and its royalty. That’s why I donated the photo shoot time, because I wanted to support them as they make a difference through their service.”
The photos will be on display with titleholders’ scrapbooks in the royalty booth May 14-17 at the Copperas Cove Rabbit Fest. The 2015 pageant will be held May 16 at Fester’s Stage at the festival. Applications are available at www.rabbitfest.com beginning April 1.