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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : sports : local April 15, 2014

2/4/2013 10:24:00 PM
My Point
Column: Prescott tennis community in great hands with new leadership

Chris Howard
Courier Columnist

We have a truly remarkable set of women who were recently elected to lead the Prescott Area Tennis Association for the next two years. They are Co-Presidents Liz Murrieta and Patty Bessey, Vice President (and mother of Liz) Cheryl Murietta.

Their lifelong work as volunteers and interesting work careers have been all about making peoples' lives better and improving their communities.

Helping to build our local tennis contingency is right in line with the community work they do, as well as enjoying a tennis player's passion. We are lucky to have a leadership group so generous with their time and energies to take the reins at this important time.

Liz was born and raised in Prescott Valley and graduated from Bradshaw Mountain High School in 2003. She played softball (catcher) and graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2007 with a BA in psychology. She currently works for AHCCS where she's a medical assessor. For three years she worked as the residential program director for the Stepping Stones domestic violence shelter in Prescott.

Her mom and dad introduced her to the game of tennis as a junior, and now Liz is involved with the PATA, Northern Arizona Tennis Association's Vice President, is captain of a 4.0 USTA league team in Phoenix, and has aspirations of taking a team to the national level in the near future.

Personally I find her one of the sharpest young women around - as a person, athlete, worker, organizer and friend, at all levels. Liz has her act together.

Patty Bessey is active on many fronts in Prescott. After she moved here five years ago, she got involved with Habitat for Humanity where she serves on the Family Partnership Committee to identify families who are good candidates for Habitat homes and to work with them throughout the process. She and her husband, Bob, have also taken their turn swinging hammers at the building sites. She is active as well in the community at the Unity, as well as a board member for Adult Care Services.

Patty is a lifelong tennis player and has been a Quick Start teacher. She was raised in Connecticut, spent 29 years in Aspen, Colo., where she raised her daughter and managed an orthopedic group, and is a skier and hiker. Patty's knowledge of how volunteer organizations and nonprofits work, and how to work with other volunteers to get things done, will be tremendously valuable to the Prescott Area Tennis Association.

Cheryl Murrieta brings to PATA a long resume in community-building by helping other people. She worked in the early days of the Head Start program in Gila and Pinal counties to help give kids a better start in life.

For several years, she and her family organized and conducted mission work through their church to help families in remote border towns in Mexico. They brought medical care to isolated villages, brought food, clothing, and supplies, and helped build homes.

In the Prescott area, Cheryl has been an Adult Day Care volunteer and with her husband, Roy, has assisted with Meals on Wheels, served as a Stepping Stones volunteer, and helped to support the Crisis Pregnancy Center, along with teaching and youth group work in their church and working with various youth sports programs.

Cheryl is a passionate tennis player who wants to bring more people together to enjoy this great sport.

These three new people, plus past-president Lisa Cook, treasurer Robin Fox, secretary Tom Sullivan, 10 and Under director Barbara Briseno, advisors Karen Spear, George Reynolds, Susan Korte, Cecilia McGuire, Terri Abady and a whole gang of committee members and volunteers, are the glue that help make tennis a little better in the area.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry.  He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@q.com.

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