LAS VEGAS – The winners in this year’s Bowl for the Cure® Fabulous Four essay contest may have had their five-day journey conclude after competing this weekend at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships, but the bond created and memories made surely will not be forgotten.
After spending time at the Susan G. Komen® headquarters in Dallas and the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, Annissa Grooms of Manchester, Ohio, Marisol Guerrero of Rosenberg, Texas, Joyce Harris of Kokomo, Indiana, and Katie Pogue of Saginaw, Texas, were ready to head to Las Vegas and help kick off the 2016 USBC Women’s Championships, which started its 94-day runSaturday at the South Point Bowling Plaza.
“This experience has just been one amazing blessing after another,” Harris said. “From the relationships formed, to the experiences and different ways we were spoiled, it’s just been the coolest thing. To finish the trip here, is just amazing.”
The Fabulous Four had the opportunity to mingle with local and bowling dignitaries prior to the hitting the lanes, and they were front and center during the tournament’s opening ceremonies.
After each team member was introduced and a short video was played showcasing their time in Dallas and Arlington, it was time for the four to lace up their bowling shoes and help get the 2016 tournament started the right way by rolling the tournament’s ceremonial opening balls.
“It was a little scary, since I usually don’t do really well in front of a big group of people,” Pogue said. “I figured I could throw a ball and not fall. We decided that if one of us fell, we would all do it and make it look like part of the plan, but luckily, that didn’t happen, and it went well. There have been so many nice surprises and friendships made, and today was a lot of fun.”
The Fabulous Four competed in team competition Saturday and returned to the Bowling Plaza for doubles and singles Sunday before it was time to say goodbye and return home, but the bond formed from the once-in-a-lifetime experience is something the four will share well beyond the five-day adventure. There already were talks of a reunion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2017.
The 2017 Women’s Championships will be held in Baton Rouge at the Baton Rouge River Center.
“There was a strong bond created within the first 24 hours of meeting each other,” Guerrero said. “I feel like they’re my sisters, and I couldn’t imagine being with anybody else for this experience. They inspired me with their stories, and I’m so glad to have met them, but our experience is not going to end here. It’s just beginning.”
The Fabulous Four essay contest debuted in 2014 to raise awareness about breast cancer and honor four remarkable women who have dealt with a breast cancer diagnosis. The contest is part of Bowl for the Cure, the year-round fundraising initiative sponsored by USBC in partnership with Susan G. Komen®.
“It’s a huge honor to join the rest of those who have been a part of the Fabulous Four,” Grooms said. “It’s like a sisterhood, and I hope it continues to raise more awareness and research in hopes of finding a cure. We’ve come a long way but still have a long way to go. It takes partners like USBC and Susan G. Komen to raise the awareness to get us there.”
To enter the contest, women who have been impacted by breast cancer and/or have been involved in supporting the fight against breast cancer were encouraged to submit an essay about their experience. Essays were reviewed by a special selection panel, including previous Fabulous Four winners along with Susan G. Komen® and USBC staff, to determine the Fabulous Four.
Please visit BOWL.com/FabulousFour to learn more about the Fabulous Four contest.
For more information on the Women’s Championships, visit BOWL.com/WomensChamp.
Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open/Women's Championships page.