If you want to find a jack-of-all-trades at HAC, look no further than Patty Cyrus, a 25-year veteran of the HAC staff. While you’ll find her mostly behind the wheel of a school bus these days, driving hundreds of Holland public schoolchildren to HAC for their swim lessons each year, Patty has pretty much done it all at HAC in the past: front desk staff, maintenance crew, lawn care provider, swim instructor, and meet worker.
Patty moved to Holland from Toledo, Ohio at the age of eight, the middle child in a family with seven kids. She remembers vividly her first exposure to HAC. “We moved here the same month that the Aquatic Center first opened in 1968,” she says. “I have these memories of raiding my dad’s pant pockets after he got home from work, looking for change so we could go to the pool. I think it was 25 cents (to get in) then.”
When she’s not driving a bus full of schoolchildren, Patty can most often be found on a pickleball court. Becoming a player more than 15 years ago, long before the national pickleball craze, she says she appreciates the sport because “you can play it as leisurely or as competitively as you want.”
For Patty, pickleball is played both ways. On the Moran Park courts, just around the corner from HAC, she “leisurely” and regularly plays with her long-time Holland High school doubles tennis partner, Kelli Shinabarger and other friends. “Kelli and I have played (racket sports) together for 54 years,” Patty says. Her more competitive pickleball side came out this past October. A former, two-time state tennis singles tennis champion in Class A in 1976 and 1977, Patty was a top performer again at the Huntsman World Games in Utah. There, she earned a bronze medal in women’s doubles (with Shinabarger) and a silver medal in mixed doubles (with Bill Schafer, Madison, WI) on the pickleball court.
For the many ways she cares for kids and crushes it on the court, HAC is proud to have Patty Cyrus as a member of our team!
LEARN MORE ABOUT PATTY
Favorite food: Mexican and Italian cuisine
Favorite place to visit: Utah is pretty awesome!
Best vacation: Up north (Michigan) with our kids and grandboys
Thing that brings me joy: Being active, sunshine, family, and friends
Favorite sport: Pickleball now but tennis was my first love
Best advice I ever received: Don’t believe everything you think!
Why I like working at HAC: “Over my many years here, I’ve worked with a lot of really good people who care about this place. . . These days I really enjoy driving Holland schoolkids to HAC for their swim lessons.”
They, like her, are really good people, too!