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Another Wednesday has passed, and here we are to give you another Courtside Chat.

We proudly introduce Avery Smith!

Name: Avery

AKA: Lil Becs

Age: 18

How long have you worked at CCRC? We have been members for 12 years, but I started working at CCRC when I was 15, so this is my 4th year.

Favorite Thing to Eat at CCRC: I am a sucker for a good turkey sandwich…so my favorite was the CC club sandwich, but the turkey wrap is a close second.

Best Part of Working at CCRC: I love that I get to spend my summers at CCRC. I loved being up there with my family when I was a kid, and the fact that I’m now paid to be/work there is the best. I love the people I work for, the people I work with, and the people I get to see every day.

Worst Part of Working at CCRC: I’m tempted to say the scorching St. Louis sun, but considering I can jump in the pool at any time, I guess it’s not too bad. So, I would have to say doing the trash. The amount of liquids that have spilled on me is absurd, but I always get a good workout carrying all those trash bags!

Do you play tennis? For how long? Did you play at CCRC? Do you or did you play any other sports? Sadly, I do not play tennis. I did some CCRC tennis camps when I was younger, and quickly realized I preferred the swimming pool over the tennis courts. Thanks to Coach Ann and the CCRC Summer Swim Team, I found my love for swimming. I’ve been a competitive swimmer since I was 8 years old, swimming for both Parkway Swim Club and St. Joseph’s Academy.

Are you still in school? What are you studying? I just graduated from St. Joseph's Academy and am going to Indiana University Bloomington in the Fall. I will be majoring in business management at the Kelley School of Business. I am sure many of you have seen me wearing my IU hat when I work, so I just wanted to clarify that it is Indiana University and not Illinois or Iowa.

Most amount of racquets you've strung in a day? I have never ever strung a racquet in my life. There was one year where Mr. Dan tried to get me to start working at the pro shop and I couldn't figure it out nonetheless string a racquet and that is why I now stick to working at the pool.

What is it like to work for a family business? I love every part of it. I have especially loved working for and getting to know Dan, Deb, and Dani over the years. Believe it or not, my favorite part was during the summer of 2020. While the pandemic was certainly a difficult time for everyone, I loved how CCRC worked together to be as open and “normal” as possible for their members. All the staff wore many hats to make sure we could accommodate everyone the best we could. I think only a family business could come together like that.

Weirdest thing that has ever happened to you working here (or been asked to you on the phone): I can't remember how many years ago this was but the weirdest thing I ever saw was when a member brought their ferret to the pool. I was walking around the pool, per usual, when all of a sudden I heard an animal noise and turned to see a ferret in a backpack. That honestly might have been the first time I ever saw a ferret so safe to say I was a little freaked out!

Favorite Member to see walk thru the doors: Now this is hard because I have so many favorites! I always enjoy seeing the Holst, McNulty, Shak, and Sanders clan walk through the door. I would also have to say the Mitchell family, as George, Annie, and Charlie remind me of me and my brothers and I always enjoy seeing them. I also adore the Saladin family. I’ve known them (ALL of them!) for many years but spending my mornings and days with the “Littles” has been so much fun for me.

Tennis Pro or employee you most admire: While I know our Tennis Pros are awesome, I love working with and for Katie Puricelli. She’s a great person and an awesome boss. I also love working with Coach Ann on the swim team…not only did she teach me how to swim, but she has taught me how to be a good teacher and coach.

What is something that you want members to know about you that they don't? I used to live in Australia when I was 6 years old. It was such a different and cool experience, and it sparked my love to travel. Luckily I was old enough to remember it.

Which would you rather win: Stanley Cup, World Series, World Cup, Rider Cup, Superbowl, NBA Championship,PGA Tour event, etc, Wimbledon, US Open, French Open, Australian Open.I am going to change it up a little bit and say that I would rather get the chance to swim in the Olympics. I have never really played any other sport besides swimming and would love to get the chance to swim with the fastest swimmers in the world. I have been to the Olympic Trials and loved the atmosphere so I think that would be really cool.

What song would you want played when you walk out onto the court or field? I would have to say “Stronger” by Kanye West.

What racquet do you play with? Racquet? Hmmm…how about my favorite swimsuit?! I love my Jolyns…practical for work and practice, but also cute.

What is your happiest memory at CCRC? My happiest memory at CCRC would be swimming on the swim team and becoming the assistant coach. Although being a swim coach was tougher than I imagined, nothing makes me happier than when I see the kids improve on their strokes and drop time in meets. They always know how to get on my nerves but make me smile at the same time.

Note from Dani -

Ms. Avery is going off to college, making me feel 1, 347 billion years old.

Avery was in my "first-class" so to speak at CCRC. She suffered my growing pains of CCRC summer camp, learning to face paint (I still practice on her actually), and pool parties.

Always polite, always smiling and always willing to listen to me when I ask, "Do you think anyone will like this game/party/t-shirt/drink?*

She is also one heck of an athlete. A talented swimmer, she's helped the CCRC Crocs win MANY a swim meet. I wish her all the luck in the world at Indiana and hope she comes back to CCRC for many more summers to come.

Love ya girl.


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