Published: September 23, 2016

Team moms have got it going on.

Sports teams rely heavily on parent volunteers. Dawn Berryman, the sophomore team mom for girls’ junior varsity soccer, has many responsibilities–spirit wear, team dinners, coordinating snacks for away games, and working with boosters all sit on her to-do list. However, she said she enjoys being involved because she has a passion for soccer.

“It can be busy, but it is very rewarding,” Dawn said. “I’m very happy and fortunate for the all the help.”     

Dawn said her everyday job with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society helps her understand the impact of volunteers.

“We rely heavily on volunteers and we would not be as successful an organization if we did not have the support of volunteers,” Dawn said. “I know how important volunteers are, and what a difference they can make, and I like to share and give back outside of my work hours.”

Mackenzie Berryman said her mom volunteers because she enjoys committing to community activities.

“When she volunteers for something, she always goes above and beyond,” Mackenzie said. “She loves soccer and played soccer, so she’s really passionate about it.”

Sophomore junior varsity volleyball player Meghan Elko said her mother Elaine Elko volunteers with volleyball, basketball and lacrosse programs.

“I play lacrosse,” Meghan said. “She’s not on the board for lacrosse, and even though she’s president of the volleyball board, she goes to lacrosse meetings.”

Meghan said outside of her mom’s full-time job, Elaine spends hours working on projects to benefit and promote the volleyball team.

“She has a huge binder she keeps on her desk, and she’s always working on (volleyball volunteering),” Meghan said. “She does it because she played sports in high school and misses it, so she wants to be involved.”

Elaine Elko, parent volunteer and president of volleyball boosters, said she volunteers because it provides entertainment and satisfaction.

“I volunteer for the boys basketball board, I’m in charge of concessions for girls lacrosse and,  honestly, I’d be bored if I didn’t get involved,” Elaine said. “I like to be involved with what my kids are doing.”

Football parent volunteer and Touchdown Club secretary Edie Stewart said she used volunteering when she moved to Mason to meet other community members.

“(I) wanted to be involved in what my children were doing, and get to know the teachers and the other kids,” Stewart said.

According to Stewart, volunteering allows her to build relationships.

“I think you definitely get to know the players and the parents of the players, and that’s probably one of the most rewarding things,” Stewart said. “You also get to know the coaches, and it’s a great way to meet people.”

Cheerleading mom Jennifer Linne said she’s been planning for large events, like a homecoming dinner for the cheerleading team, since August, even though the event only lasts an hour.

“There is a certain theme,” Linne said. “We have to determine the menu. We go and find what the decorations need to be. It’s a lot of planning.”

Linne believes she is not a ‘helicopter mom.’

“You catch them when they fall and let them know you are there when they need you,” Linne said. “But (you) also let them experience things and go out for themselves because that is the only way they are going to learn.”

Head football coach Brian Castner said parent volunteers contribute to a team’s success.

“You have unselfish adults that give their time to a Mason Football Family, and they respect what we do,” Castner said. “I’ll be indebted to all the moms.”


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