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DECK THE HALL: Holiday Cheer Comes Early For Five Elected To USBC Hall of Fame

For those whose passion is bowling and who have excelled as either a participant or an administrator — or both — can anything be more rewarding than a phone call confirming election into the USBC Hall of Fame?

“I’m totally blown away at this honor,” admitted wheelchair bowler Al Uttecht of Anaheim, Calif., who, along with four others, received just such news from the USBC Hall of Fame Committee in November. “I had just gotten out of bed when I got the phone call with the news I had been selected,” echoed Joan Feinblum of Santa Rosa, Calif., an indefatigable promoter of the game for nearly 50 years. “I thought maybe I was dreaming.”

Uttecht, the first person chosen in the Pioneer category since 2008, and Feinblum, elected in the Meritorious Service category, will be joined in the Hall of Fame class of 2012 by the late Kerm Helmer, a longtime proponent of youth and collegiate bowling, and Open Championships titleholders Lennie Boresch of Kenosha, Wis., and Gary Daroszewski of Franklin, Wis. Helmer was selected in the Meritorious Service category, while Boresch and Daroszewski will enter the hall in Outstanding USBC Performance.

The quintet will be formally inducted on April 26 during the USBC Convention in Arlington, Texas. They will be joined by inductees in the national Superior Performance category, for which voting is still being conducted.

Uttecht, confined to a wheelchair from injuries suffered in Vietnam in 1970, blazed a trail for wheelchair bowlers, and has won the American Wheelchair Bowling Association Tournament of Champions 13 times.

Boresch and Daroszewski have been teammates on three USBC Open Championships title-winning squads, and Daroszewski has added a trio of Open titles of his own.

For Feinblum and Helmer, bowling greatness came through helping others. Feinblum has served at the national, state and local levels, and spent more than a decade on the Women’s International Bowling Congress Board of Directors. Helmer became one of the sport’s most prolific coaches, initiating the men’s and women’s bowling programs at Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y., and leading his teams to 37 National Junior College Athletic Association titles and four national titles.

Permission granted by USBC/Luby Publishing