ARLINGTON, Texas - Donna Conners of Houston and Sue Hunter of Alamo, Texas, have been selected to receive 2012 United States Bowling Congress Recognition Awards.
Conners is the Joyce Deitch Unity Award winner and Hunter has been named the Helen Baker Outstanding Association Service Award recipient. The selections were made by the USBC Board of Directors and the winners will be formally recognized at the 2012 USBC Convention in Arlington, Texas, in April.
Conners started the Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament in 2000 and it has been a sellout each year. The tournament benefits the Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research and has raised more than $300,000. The tournament, which has grown to 84 doubles team and three pro-am squads, annually brings in top competitors and many well-know professional bowlers.
Conners said her focus for the tournament always will be on the players first, because "without the players there would be no pro-am; without the pro-am, we would have no money for charity."
She also created a youth scholarship tournament that ran from 2005-2008. The event featured a difficult Sport shot and strict dress code to help prepare the bowlers for higher levels of competition.
"I had never given it much thought about winning an award for something that I have such a passion for doing," said Conners, a USBC Silver coach who has been named to the Bowlers Journal Top Coaches list for the last six years. "I'm so honored to be thought of and chosen for this award, and to be amongst all those before and who will be coming in after me."
Hunter started bowling in a league in 1966 and was asked to attend an association meeting. She was elected association secretary and has been involved with the sport since.
She would eventually serve as president of the Hidalgo County Association for 18 years and president of the Texas Women's Bowling Association for five years. She was the first and second vice president, treasurer and director on the Texas Women's BA.
Hunter currently serves as president of the Texas State USBC, a position she has held since the association merged five years ago. David Fields, president of the Greater Pasadena (Texas) USBC, said Hunter has provided calm leadership and set a high standard for all future leaders.
"This is my last year as president of the Texas USBC so this is icing on my cake," Hunter said. "I will still be involved because I love this game. Bowling has given me so many friends."
Hunter has competed in 31 national tournaments and served as a delegate to 27 national meetings. She is a Texas State USBC Hall of Fame member.
The Joyce Deitch Unity Award is named for the seventh president of the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) to recognize organizations and individuals who have made important contributions to bowling by being motivators, visionaries, leaders and innovators.
The Helen Baker Outstanding Association Service Award is named for the former WIBC's fifth president. It annually recognizes an outstanding bowling leader who has made invaluable contributions to local and state associations as an innovator, creator and mentor of adult programs.