Parent volunteers: sports unsung heroes

Gwendolyn Poole, Staff Writer

Most athletes praise their coaches for their dedication and knowledge that result in the athletes performing their best. However, the unsung heroes of most sports programs are often the parents who patiently perform vital tasks like team fundraising, transportation, and encouragement. Bear Creek’s athletic program is fortunate to have several of these devoted volunteers helping with its sports programs.

Janet Ford is a parent who became involved with the water polo and swim teams through her daughter, senior Jannie Ford. She’s helped the team with collecting money for the coaches’ gifts, hosting fundraisers, running the snack bar, and distributing both the girls’ and boys’ swimsuits.

Her volunteering has helped keep the team organized and funded and, more importantly, has left a positive effect on her daughter.

“My mom has been involved in different things my whole life, so I feel like I’ve actually learned a lot from helping her and it’s really helped me grow,” Jannie Ford said.

Erma Alamillo is another involved parent volunteer who’s helped several of Bear Creek’s sports teams become successful. For wrestling, she coordinates the Senior Nights, providing gifts for the senior athletes. In addition, she provides kids with rides to early morning wrestling tournaments and homemade food for Bear Creek’s home wrestling tournament in which the team makes 100 percent of the profit.

Alamillo also ordered and distributed the junior powderpuff team’s jerseys.

“I’m happy she helps because it gets more money for the team so we can go to more tournaments, and I think the kids really appreciate it,” junior AJ Fuentes said of his mother’s dedication.

Peachy Donato does everything for the cross country team from providing rides and bringing snacks for every athlete on the team for every meet to coordinating gifts for seniors at the end-of-the-year banquet.

“It’s great that we have parents like Peachy to help out the team in the many ways she does,” freshman Peter Brogger said.

Coaches have expressed their appreciation for all the help that parent volunteers provide for their teams.

“We’ve had a lot of parent volunteers who’ve driven kids, which means we saved money on buses, and many of them have even helped the team run different events,” track and field coach Lauren Fromm said. “It’s very helpful for the kids and the team.”