VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Dave and Sherrie Williams
By Megan Maynard
This month’s STPS Volunteer Spotlight features Dave and Sherrie Williams.
Dave moved to Florida in 1992 to start working, whereas his wife, Sherrie, moved to Jacksonville when her father relocated there with the Coast Guard in 1972. Dave is an electrical engineer with Harris Corp. and Sherrie is a human resources manager with Animal Medical Clinic. They both met through a mutual hobby: racing.
Both Sherrie and Dave were, and still are, actively engaged in the racing community. In their earlier years, Sherrie raced with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and Dave raced go-karts with the World Karting Association. Since Dave often worked SCCA events, he soon met Sherrie. Later in 2009, they met again and eventually married in 2010.
Although they no longer race, they are both still highly active in race groups. Dave manages timing and scoring for SCCA events, and Sherrie handles administration. They both manage events for the Southern Kart Club. This year they even did the timing and scoring for Daytona Kart Week.
Other hobbies include being members of the Grant Community Club in which they put in many Saturdays to prepare for the Grant Seafood Festival. When they can manage to find some spare time, they also love kayaking. They paddle with the Space Coast Paddling Society.
In 2014, Sherrie walked the Turtle Krawl 5K after seeing an advertisement. Together they went to the STPS Turtle House, and as they say, “the rest is history.” They officially became members in 2016 and hit the ground running. Working full-time jobs, they cannot always do as much as they’d like; however, they are listed volunteers on the nesting survey permit, do the guided night walks, and participate in STERP. With both working full time, they often find it tricky to juggle it all. Lastly, they help with the Turtle Krawl and in educational roles. At the end of the day, they say their efforts are “all for the turtles.”
Some of their fondest memories include their experience during the 2017 STERP emergency. Collectively, they gathered a large number of washbacks and were able to educate many locals at the beach. At one point they had 20 people following them hoping to help in their efforts. On two occasions, they have transported washback turtles to the Sea Turtle Healing Center at Brevard Zoo.
Though they are not complaining (because it’s all for the turtles), they relate that their greatest struggle was probably lack of sleep during nesting/night walk season. Just as an example, they would get up at 5 a.m. for nest surveys, go to work, then complete a night walk afterward. Sometimes they wouldn’t be in bed again until 1 a.m.
Dave and Sherrie feel truly blessed to be witness to these turtles, from watching a mother nest to seeing the hatchlings make their way to the ocean. You meet wonderful people and any chance to spread the word or educate others about sea turtles is well worth it, they say.