"I have to say I was really surprised when asked if I wanted to be one of the people covered here. I don't consider myself any different than anyone else or deserving of special recognition of any sort. We all have amazing stories. But I do have a message to share, so not only am I humbled to have been asked, but I'm proud to be able to say just a few words that might make a difference.
I came here to Key Largo full time in 2005. Some of you know me as the person who volunteered with Harbor Branch Oceanographic and The Marine Mammal Conservancy helping to care for and save whales and dolphins for many, many years. Some know me as the woman who was a professional makeup artist for The Tonight Show. Some know me as the lady who did sea turtle research with Ross Witham way back in the day, and then again at The Loggerhead Marine life Center. Maybe some of you are familiar with me because I work in the Entertainment Industry as a Talent Agent and Assistant Casting Director, working on shows like our beloved "Bloodline", filmed here in the Keys. Most of you know me as Mom to Miles, my amazing 16 y/o son, who is following in my footsteps and has a deep love for all animals and a passion for the ocean and all of her wonders. He is, and always will be, my greatest pride and joy.
Beyond that, I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect my environment. My parents took me deep sea fishing from the time I was able to stand. We rehabbed everything from raccoons, skunks, baby birds and fawns, to name just a few. Our house was always a nursery for the sick or abandoned. I carried those lessons with me throughout life, and no matter where I was living, I found myself helping animals, whether it be working at Zoos and Aquaria or in wildlife rehabilitative settings. I also worked with FWC to reinstate the Monofilament Recycling and Reuse Programs in Monroe and Martin Counties. I feel like I have been blessed with a life full of amazing opportunities and experiences, and to not spread the knowledge I have learned from others that guided me would be selfish of me. I spend hours out around our islands wandering the mangroves and shoreline exploring, and I always pick up so much trash left behind from others who don't respect the beauty of this big blue marble we are fortunate enough to call home. I've taught all of the neighborhood kids and their friends to do the same over the years. If I'm snorkeling, I always wind up coming out with bottles, fishing line, bottle caps, bait boxes. If I can carry it, it comes out with me. So I guess the thing I'd like to be remembered for (besides being a great Mom to my son, and a safe ear for lots of other young people who have trusted me to be there for them over the years), is a person who cares deeply about the planet and her health. We all have a responsibility to make things better for our future generations, and they learn by example. I hope my examples have been noble and I've made my son and my late parents proud. "
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."~ Mahatma Gandhi