ARLINGTON, Texas – Patty Patterson of El Paso, Texas, Kay Smith of Bryan, Texas, and Joseph Poelking of Springboro, Ohio, were selected by the United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors to receive USBC National Recognition Awards.
Patterson is the Joyce Deitch Unity Award winner, Smith is this year’s recipient of the Helen Baker Award for Outstanding Association Service and Poelking has been selected as the USBC Proprietor of the Year.
The annual awards honor outstanding bowling leaders for their contributions to the sport. Selections were made from submitted applications, and the recipients will receive their awards at the 2019 USBC Convention in Las Vegas.
In 2012, Patterson’s family started the Gibby Daniels Scholarship Foundation in memory of her brother, who passed away in 2010 at age 53. Each year, the foundation awards scholarships to high school bowlers in the El Paso area, and, while all family members are involved, Patterson handles much of the organization of events and fundraising. The foundation has awarded more than $40,000 in scholarships and assisted with funding for 2018 Junior Gold Championships qualifying events.
“I am truly honored to be nominated and selected for this award; actually, I'm still shocked,” Patterson said. “I have worked hard for many years to keep bowling going in El Paso. Since the scholarship foundation was started, I have seen more youth bowlers participating in leagues and city tournaments. I hope that what our family has started is a contributing factor.”
She also is involved with the bi-national bowling associations that bring together bowlers from Texas, New Mexico and northern Mexico every three months for competition and camaraderie. The events draw more than 250 competitors, while bringing together bowlers from each side of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Patterson and her family have been honored twice by El Paso USBC with the Gene Calabro Bowling Ambassador of the Year award, and she was inducted into the El Paso USBC Hall of Fame in 2001.
Smith, who was inducted into the Texas State USBC Hall of Fame in 2012, has more than 40 years of association service since starting as a league secretary in 1973. A year later, she became a member of the Bryan/College Station Board of Directors and has served in various roles, including president. She served as president for the first three years of the newly merged Brazos Valley USBC in 2006 and returned in 2016 to again serve in that role.
“I am very humbled and honored to be recognized for doing what I love, working for bowlers of all ages,” Smith said. “And passing on the love of the sport to our youth is my passion.”
The association manager for the Texas State USBC since 2010, Smith has extensive service on the state level for both adult and youth associations. She joined the state youth board in 1989 and has served in all capacities, including president. She formed the Bryan/College Station Youth Championships in 1977 and the association’s youth scholarship program in 1980. She helped develop the state’s youth scholarship program and youth Masters and Queens events.
She has been a certified coach for more than 40 years and a certified lane inspector for more than 30 years. On the lanes, she won singles and all-events titles in her first city tournament in 1973, and bowled in her first national event that year. She has competed in 40 Texas Women's State Tournaments.
Poelking is the owner of three centers in the Dayton, Ohio, area – Poelking Lanes South, Poelking Woodman Lanes and Poelking Lanes. His centers are home to 33 adult leagues and 11 youth leagues that support more than 1,800 USBC members.
"I am very honored to receive this award,” Poelking said. “I know this comes from those people that I work with and for, and I’m proud to serve those in the bowling industry and my community. In looking at the list of past recipients, I found I know many of them, and I feel humbled and truly honored to join this elite group of bowling proprietors.”
Named the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) Proprietor of the Year for the state of Ohio in 2013, he has served on the BPAA board, did two separate terms as president of the BPA of Greater Dayton, and currently serves on the Strike Ten Entertainment board. He has been the state president and executive board chairman of the Bowling Centers Association of Ohio (BCAO).
He was inducted into the Ohio Bowling Council Hall of Fame for meritorious service in 2017 and received the BCAO Hall of Fame Meritorious Service Medal in 2012. His centers have hosted many local and state events and will host the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships in April.
The National Recognition Awards will be presented during the 2019 USBC Convention and Annual Meeting, set for April 29-May 2 at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.