Busy mom is familiar face

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2004

By SUE ELLEN ROSS – Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Diana Tamplain is probably one of the most organized women in the community. As the mother of five children, and a volunteer for East St. John High School and John L. Ory Elementary School, she has to be.

Tamplain began service as a volunteer 2 1/2 years ago when her daughter Kayla was in the Sugarettes, a dance team at the high school. The dancers performed at the home football games, and supported the team in fundraising activities.

“She brought a letter home about purchasing an ad in the football program,” said the LaPlace mom. “My husband Bertis and I had previous fundraising experience, and we felt the need to offer our help.”

They went to Athletic Director Larry Dauterive, who gladly accepted their assistance.

The couple continues to sell advertisements each football season. In addition, Bertis cooks jambalya for sale at the Friday night home games. Donations for the ingredients come from individuals and local businesses and organizations, according to Diane.

After her daughter Kayla decided to play softball, Tamplain again gave of her time. “When softball games stated, there was a need for help in the concession and at the gate,” she said. “I helped out wherever I could.”

She has continued to fill those shoes.

Her biggest challenge is balancing volunteer time with family time and responsibilities, according to Tamplain. She would like to log more volunteer hours but the time is just not there.

“There is such a need for volunteers and I want to be able to do more, but I am not able to,” she said.

The rewards of her volunteer job-well-done are recognition from the students. “Having the kids express their appreciation for doing what I do, and having them call me ‘mom’.”

The only down side to her service at the athletic events is observing the circumstances in which some students live, according Tamplain. “Some of their parents have never seen them play their sport,” she said. “And many do not have a good role model in their lives.”

Tamplain feels there can never be enough volunteers.

Her advice to those considering volunteer work is to realize that it is such a rewarding experience to be able to serve. “You can touch, and be an influence in, people’s lives.”

She also feels that the volunteer’s children benefit as well.

Her children include Kayla 15, Krista, 13, Kia, 11, Kirt, 6, and Kaira, 2.

“When your involved in your child’s education and any extracurricular activities they participate in, it means so much to them, ” she said. “It shows them that you care and support them.”