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Kelly Plante named Port Neches Chamber Mother of the Year

PORT NECHES — This year’s Port Neches Chamber of Commerce 2020 Mother of the Year selection comes as no surprise to the local community.

Kelly Plante is the mother of two and her accolades go above and beyond.

In the last two months alone, the Port Neches native kick started the successful Adopt-a-Senior program and dressed up as the Easter Bunny for children to drive by and wave to on Easter Sunday.

Plante is also an annual event volunteer for Riverfest, often spends time volunteering at Port Neches-Groves High School and works a full-time job in Orangefield.

Friends and family surround Port Neches Chamber Mother of the Year Kelly Plante after a surprise visit. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Port Neches Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Plaia said the choice to select Plante as Mother of the Year was an easy one.

“We weren’t going to do any events surrounded with Riverfest at first, but then someone messaged me and nominated Kelly,” Plaia said. “All that she’s doing, she’s taken on so much with no help, we realized the community needed to hear some good news.

“She always goes above and beyond, whether it’s with the school or any kind of organization. That’s just how she is. We felt she was very deserving and we needed to do something special this year.”

In a surprise visit Wednesday evening, family and friends brought flowers and gifts to the Mother of the Year before reading letters of affection and praise.

Maria Sims, right, best friend of Port Neches Chamber Mother of the Year Kelly Plante, reads her nomination letter. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Maria Sims’ letter brought tears to her best friend’s eyes as she recounted a nearly 13-year friendship.

“Kelly has the most giving heart of anyone I know and whenever I need help with something, she is always there,” Sims said. “She will stop what she is doing if I ever ask for help. I have to be careful what I say because sometimes I don’t even ask for help, I just mention something and she’s at my door and she’s like that with not just me, but with everyone.

“She truly has a servant’s heart. I am so proud of her and she is so deserving of the mother of the year honor. She goes above and beyond for everyone and I am proud to call her my best friend. God certainly blessed me when he brought me Kelly.”

Jake Plante, son of Kelly Plante, participated in a surprise Mother of the Year celebration Wednesday evening. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Plante’s son Jake described his mother as a selfless, caring and strong.

“Kelly Plante,” he started. “A supportive, loving, kind-hearted, proud, faithful, caring, compassionate and empathetic woman that I am lucky enough to call mom. Not only is she the reason I am alive, but she has truly shaped me into the person I am today.

“So to mom. I thank you for the unconditional love and friendship. You have always been my best friend through everything and always will be. Thank you for giving me grace when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you for giving me everything and most importantly thank you for believing in me.”

Port Neches Chamber Mother of the Year Kelly Plante was surprised with flowers, gifts and the reading of letters for the honor. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

After taking several photos and wiping tears, Plante said the honor was a complete shock.

“It was very sweet and very nice,” Plante said. “I don’t even know what to say. It was just really nice and I wasn’t expecting it at all. It’s amazing and I am very appreciative. It’s overwhelming and just pretty awesome.”

On May 21, the Port Neches City Council will also dub the date as Kelly Plante Day in the city.

Port Neches Chamber Mother of the Year Kelly Plante, second from right, poses with her sons Jake, left, KJ, second from left, and her husband, Jason, far right. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)