It was the spring of 1970 that I first met Sheryl Lynn Clark, later to be known as Sherry. Her eagerness and enthusiasm to do a great job as recreation trainee III at the 20th Street Gym for Denver Parks and Recreation was unparalleled.
She could hardly wait to get started in that 1908 swimming pool, helping people learn how to swim in that Roman-styled emporium. Upon graduation from high school she left the gym and went to work at the new Washington Recreation Center in Denver with its ultra-modern swimming pool. Talk about being in Heaven!
Eventually Sherry became the supervisor of all 27 Denver Parks and Recreation swimming pools. During that time Sherry worked closely with the American Red Cross, volunteering over 6,000 hours. During that time she taught 320 classes and chaired their Health and Safety Committee. Sherry also was awarded the Certificate of Merit for selfless and humane action in saving a human life by the American Red Cross in 1985.
Virtually thousands of lifeguards and pool managers can thank Sherry for their aquatic educations in life guarding, Water Safety Instruction and AED.
Sherry had said, “My top priority is safety for patrons, lifeguards and co-workers. I also want my employees to enjoy their jobs communicating with kids and adults. Their CPR/PR-First Aid training enables them to deal with anything from a minor scrape to a heart attack.”
She personally went to each of the 27 pools to observe rescue simulations and let her staff know that she cared. Sherry developed a warning system that saves Denver Parks and Recreation $20,000 a year. This system allows a lifeguard to work alone by sounding a remote control alarm before entering the pool to rescue a swimmer.
Sherry was admired by her peers throughout the aquatic industry and amazed still by her continual caring of others. She once said, “I am a little bit more old school; I tend to blow my whistle a little bit more.”
Sherry’s smile, her enduring love for her family and peers, the continual quest for more knowledge in aquatics (especially in safety) and the general persona that made people of all races and ages want to be around her will never be forgotten. We will miss you, Sherry.
–Lee Ragon, Denver Aquatics
I enjoyed the bamboo article about your son (Parks & Rec Business, September 2004, Preface). It made me long for the days when my son was that age.
My greatest professional challenge came when our city purchased a rundown golf course three years ago. We are still hard at work trying to make it successful.
Despite old push-up greens that needed replacement, a total irrigation system failure, the market drop in golf, 9/11, staff issues, and most recently Hurricane Francis, we have yet to be open for a complete year.
I am still confident that the course will become a success through hard work, support from elected officials, a core staff that works smart and tirelessly, plus the odds that sooner or later we will get a break keeps me hopeful and confident. It certainly makes the job interesting.
>Chuck Proulx, CPRP
Parks & Recreation Director
Port St. Lucie, Fla.