VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: HEIDI KUCHENBACKER-ROBBINS By Megan Maynard
Heidi Kuchenbacker-Robbins is the STPS Volunteer Spotlight of the Month.
Heidi has a particularly touching and personal story that brought her to STPS. She originally is from Connecticut and moved to Germany but then returned to Miami where she spent her childhood. By Florida standards, she is a native. While she lived in Miami, she was an active member of the Sierra Club. One of her greatest achievements as chair was preventing the construction of an airport at the end of Biscayne Bay in close proximity to the Everglades.
Prior to her move to Melbourne Beach, she had a dear friend diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Having been actively involved with the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, the friend passed her love of sea turtles to Heidi. On the day of her passing, Heidi walked the beach and identified more than 100 turtle tracks. She decided then that she would honor her friend by “championing” for the sea turtle.
Besides volunteering for STPS as a Night Krawler, which she loves, Heidi additionally does Turtle Talk 101 and new volunteer orientation. Prior to joining, she tried to read as many books on the subject as she could and speak to the UCF students on the beach. Having become a lifetime member in 2013, she continues to expand her role and thoroughly enjoys enriching the guests’ knowledge, learning about the guests, and welcoming new volunteers. Any time she can educate a new person is a “victory.” Of course, she also loves the up-close and personal interactions with the loggerheads.
Heidi stays busy outside of STPS. She is the executive director of Hibiscus Court Assisted Living Community where her residents love hearing her turtle stories. She also competes in the Masters rowing program (Row Brevard). Being musically inclined, Heidi also sings, plays guitar, and is part of the HNJ (Holy Name of Jesus) Players Theater Group.