VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT:Patty Cooper
By Megan Maynard
Patty Cooper’s 35-year law career perhaps foreshadowed her volunteer work with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society since she practiced environmental law for 10 years. Born in Pennsylvania, she grew up in Western New York and landed in Ohio after getting married, eventually relocating to Florida. After vacationing in Indialantic in 2007, she discovered STPS and has been a member for six years.
Initially, like most eager volunteers, she took Turtle 101 and soon volunteered with beach cleanup. As time allowed, she trained in other areas and is active on the turtle walk team, STERP (Sea Turtle Emergency Response Program), transport, events, and fundraising. When not busy with volunteering, she enjoys scuba diving.
A motto often heard within the STPS community, “it’s all about the turtles,” is a driving factor in Patty’s efforts. Recently she and fellow volunteer Buddy Braunlich surmounted the large task of updating four years’ worth of annual reports.
She has enjoyed getting acquainted with fellow members and the shared commitment of helping sea turtles. If time allowed, she wishes she could get to know more members. Knowing that time constraints prevent some people from volunteering, she says even donations help the cause. Work and time commitments can be managed, and she hopes each volunteer can create a schedule that works for them.