Bernice Hall, Coat Check Attendant

Anyone who regularly passes by coat check knows Bernice. She’s like an instant friend to all from her post at the window, dispensing good cheer, a warm smile and kind words with ease. And it’s not just visitors dropping off their coats who stop by. Regular guests go out of their way on the gaming floor to say hi to her – to share some good news or a quick laugh, or to see how her day is going. It’s as if they know that getting a little bit of Bernice in their day will make theirs just a little brighter.

“I just love people. I’m very social, and I love getting to know the guests and connecting with new people,” she says. “It’s better than sitting at home!” Bernice tried that for a bit, after retiring a few years ago from the Onondaga County Department of Social Services, where she worked as an income maintenance specialist.

But staying at home wasn’t her style. “I needed to get back out there,” she says. So when she saw the recruitment event at PPC in advance of its grand opening, she jumped at the chance to apply for a position. She was hired on the spot and has been working at coat check since the casino’s first day of business.

She says she loves pretty much everything about the job, and that her favorite time at the casino is New Year’s Eve. “It’s such a festive atmosphere. And even though we’re working, everyone is so happy and in such a good mood. It really feels like a party for all of us.”

A long-time Clay resident, Bernice also served in the US Army Reserve for 28 years, from which she retired at the rank of master sergeant. And she holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in health information administration, the other in business administration.

On her days off, she enjoys reading, as well as traveling and visiting the Nation’s casinos with her husband, Curby. They have a large family who they try to see as much as they can — five kids, 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. “I think six. I’ve lost count!” she laughs, adding, “But I feel very blessed. I really enjoy my life.”

Bernice’s outlook is a great reminder for the holiday season: Joy is a gift and one easily shared with others. Thank you, Bernice, for sharing your joy with us!