SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Dorothy Sternberg of Indianapolis received a standing ovation from her bowling peers at the Oncenter Convention Center as she was recognized for 55 years of participation at the USBC Women's Championships on Saturday.
The 90-year-old right-hander received a medallion necklace and 55-year plaque as well as a bouquet of flowers from Women's Championships Tournament Manager Eric Pierson. She is only among five women who have reached the 55-year mark in the 92-year history of the event.
In her comments during the brief ceremony, Sternberg wasn't shy when she was handed the microphone. Although she has missed five tournaments over the years, reaching 55 was an important milestone.
"Ladies, make sure you just keep bowling," Sternberg said. "It'll keep you alive. I credit it with keeping me going as I have aged, and keeping me in the shape I am in today."
Although Sternberg currently is relying on the use of a cane, she says it is due to recent hip replacement surgery. She claims the healing is progressing so well because she stayed active in bowling, currently at her home center of All-Star Bowl I in Indianapolis.
"If you can keep bowling in one or two leagues every week, it keeps you moving," Sternberg said. "I do that, and every once in a while, also slip in an extra game."
Sternberg, who launched into the sport during her 35 years of working on the parts assembly line for P.R. Mallory, joined the company team in 1938. She and her husband of 44 years, Jerome, also a bowler of merit, raised their two daughters in the bowling atmosphere and are proud of their accomplishments.
Sternberg was accompanied to Syracuse by family and friends, who were anxiously snapping her photo while in the squad room and during practice. She was accompanied by Jerome, who also stays active in the sport, and has taken part in many tournaments, too. The two worked for the tournament when it was held in Indianapolis in 1975 and travel, whenever possible, to the events together.
"I'm so glad I kept on bowling," Sternberg said. "I plan on being in Reno next year, too."
Sternberg, who bowled with the Orchid Room team in Ruby Division, finished with a 286 series in team. She did not bowl in either doubles or singles due to the hip problems, but hopes to remedy that again next year.
Ruby Team is for teams with a combined average of 750-899. Handicap is 100 percent of 900. Young's Welding Inc 1 of Chanute, Kan., leads with 2,982 total.
Sponsors for the 2011 USBC Women's Championships sponsors include Turning Stone Resort and Casino, official brackets sponsor, Humana, official registration sponsor, Miller Lite and Molson Canadian, official beer sponsors. Supporting sponsors include Storm Bowling Products, Nationwide Insurance, The Oncenter, Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau, Caz Limo & Tours, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and Brunswick, official lane provider.