BATON ROUGE, La. - What started as a five-day journey turned into an experience of a lifetime for this year’s Bowl for the Cure® Fabulous Four essay contest winners as they finished their trip at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships on Monday.
Donna Angstead of Longmont, Colorado, Jackie Cluxton of Manchester, Ohio, Regina Owens of Jacksonville, Florida, and Dawn Paolillo of Staten Island, New York, began their adventure Thursday at the Susan G. Komen® headquarters in Dallas.
“It’s been a while since I’ve gotten emotional, but I was very emotional when we walked into Komen’s headquarters,” Cluxton said. “Seeing those people with the smiles on their faces, pom-poms and signs really made us feel like true celebrities. It was great to be greeted so warmly by them.”
The Fabulous Four headed to Arlington, Texas, on Friday in preparation for their trip to the USBC Women’s Championships, visiting to the International Training and Research Center, home of Team USA, for a lesson with the Team USA coaching staff and Professional Women’s Bowling Association stars Missy Parkin and Shannon Pluhowsky. They also were equipped with new bowling equipment.
“Since I started bowling with my church group, I’ve started to watch more bowling,” Owens said. “I never thought I would be able to get a lesson from some of the players that I watched. I almost fell out when I saw Shannon and Missy. They gave us some great tips, and just to be at the Research Center and get a lesson is truly amazing.”
The final leg of the journey brought the four to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to take part in the opening-day festivities at the Women’s Championships. Not only would they compete as the Fabulous Four at the specially constructed venue inside the Raising Cane's River Center, but they also were recognized during the opening ceremony Sunday and helped kick off the 2017 event as each rolled out a ceremonial first ball.
“The facility is magnificent, and we received a wonderful tour of the venue,” Angstead said. “We’ve been treated like royalty from the very beginning, and we’re so blessed to be here and be a part of this experience.”
After competing in team, doubles and singles competition, the Fabulous Four will return home with a story and experience to tell, but, more importantly, they will be able to reflect on memories created with each other.
“We only met a few days ago, but we bonded the minute we got together,” Paolillo said. “They’re amazing women and very inspirational. Everyone has been through a different experience, and we were able to share our stories. This is something I’ll never forget. Everyone has been so supportive, warm and welcoming, and it really lifts your spirits, too. Sometimes, you can get down with this type of diagnosis, but this has been such a positive experience and we really felt the love from everyone.”
The Fabulous Four essay contest is part of Bowl for the Cure®, a year-round fundraising initiative sponsored by the USBC in partnership with Susan G. Komen®. The contest was started three years ago to raise awareness about breast cancer and to honor four women who either have gone through a breast cancer diagnosis or have been instrumental in helping support the cause and finding a cure.
Winners of the fourth installment of the Fabulous Four essay contest were determined by a special selection panel that included previous Fabulous Four winners, along with Susan G. Komen® and USBC staff.
For more information on the Women’s Championships, visit BOWL.com/WomensChamp.
To learn more about Bowl for the Cure®, visit BOWL.com/BFTC.
Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Women’s Championships page.