BPAA announces 2007 Bowling Industry Service Award Winners
John Sommer, Jr. to receive 2007 Victor Lerner Memorial Medal and BPAA Hall of Fame Induction
The Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) has announced the recipients of the 2007 Bowling Industry Service Awards, the most prestigious awards presented by the bowling industry, at its recent Town Hall Membership Meeting held in Cancun, Mexico.
John Sommer, Jr., longtime bowling industry veteran and former BPAA Board Member has been selected as the 2007 BPAA Hall of Fame Inductee and recipient of the Victor Lerner Memorial Medal. The Lerner Medal is the highest honor in the bowling business and is awarded for a lifetime of service to the bowling industry and represents the recipient's induction into BPAA's Hall of Fame located at the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis. John Sommer is currently serving on The Bowling Foundation Board of Directors as well as other BPAA committees including chair of the high school bowling committee. In the past, he served as Chairman of the Board for the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour, President of the Illinois Bowling Proprietor's Association and also been a member of various BPA committees. His vision and leadership in helping guide the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour is just one example of John's dedication to the sport and business of bowling. A bowling industry veteran of nearly 40 years, John Sommer, of Don Carter Lanes, Inc. in Rockford, Illinois put his whole heart into giving women bowlers a professional arena in which to compete. Sommer, along with others, was instrumental in revitalizing the In-School Bowling program and has also been at the forefront of high school bowling's organization and popularity as well as the Bowlers to Veterans Link's Bowlers Salute America's Troops - Portable Lane Campaign. One Bowling Summit attendee was heard to say, "John Sommer WAS professional women's bowling and IS high school bowling." In 1998, John Sommer was presented with BPAA's V. A. Wapensky award and was a 2006 USBC Hall of Fame inductee. Jack Moran, BPAA Past President and owner of Roseland Bowl in Canandaigua, N.Y., will be awarded the President's Medal for his past and current service to BPAA recognizing a body of work from his presidency to the present, including but not limited to Bowling Inc. Board, President of National Bowling Forum, USBC Board, and Rochester USBC. Dick Evans, will receive the coveted V. A. Wapensky Award, named after BPAA's long time Chief Executive Officer, "Chief" Wapensky. Mr. Evans is being recognized for his lifetime of contributions to the bowling industry through journalistic excellence. BPAA's 2007 Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award, which was unveiled in 2005 and named after the legendary bowling icon, will be presented to Helen Duval recognizing her lifetime of furthering the sport of bowling through her professional career as a pioneer of women's bowling, continued coaching and reaching out to youth sharing her enthusiasm for the future of bowling, and service to organizations such as the BVL. The Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award is given to a professional or amateur bowling athlete who has demonstrated Mr. Weber's grace on and off the lanes. The Ruben A. Dankoff Award for Public Policy and Legislative Service will be presented to BPAA Past President and BPAA Hall of Famer Rex Golobic for his many years of service on BPAA's Legislative Committee and work on BPAA's legislative efforts. This award is presented to a proprietor or bowling industry leader who, or a proprietor organization which, provides outstanding voluntary service on the Federal, state or local governmental levels in the development of legislation, public policy initiatives, or other political efforts, which benefits BPAA members, the BPAA itself or the bowling industry as a whole. C. J. Fox, of The Lighting, Karaoke Store in Everett, Wash., will receive BPAA's 2007 Special Projects Award for the creation and implementation of the successful International Bowling Karaoke SuperStar contest promotion, which is moving into its third year. This promotion has given bowling centers a new program to bring consumers into centers while also creating great publicity and ancillary revenue for bowling centers. Mr. Fox partners with BPAA to produce the finals during International Bowl Expo. BPAA's 2007 Media Award will be presented to the ABC Network's morning show, Good Morning America for all the program segments dedicated to the sport of bowling showcasing various bowling professionals during the last few years. These awards will be presented during International Bowl Expo 2007 on Monday, June 25 (Wednesday morning, June 27 for the Lerner Memorial Medal presentation) at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. "We are excited to announce this distinguished group of 2007 award recipients," noted Joe Schumacker, BPAA President. "Every one of these deserving recipients exemplifies leadership, service and dedication. We congratulate all of them on their accomplishments and contributions to BPAA and the bowling industry." Headquartered in Arlington, Texas, the 74-year-old Bowling Proprietors' Association of America represents the business interests of bowling center owners worldwide.