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Satellite Hall of Fame Opens
By Mary Lynly

A bright light shone at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno on April 14 when the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame joined with the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Bureau (RSCVA) and created the best thing that has happened in bowling for a long time – they launched a satellite International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame (IBMHF) exhibit that left everyone there agog and uttering the same retort, “Beyond all expectations.”

New RSCVA CEO Chris Baum said, “I have lived and worked in 11 different cities and no place has what Reno has to offer. The Air Races, Balloon Races, Fiestas and this beautiful National Bowling Stadium hosting world class events to name a few, and now – this magnificent Hall of Fame exhibit.”

Hall of Fame Chairman Keith Hamilton soothed his nerves as he watched those in attendance peruse the 144 beautiful women hall of fame members’ portraits adorning three walls of this 7,000 square feet shrine and the same refrain floated through the exhibit area -“ Beyond all expectations.” Small exhibits were tastefully placed throughout complimented by graphically pleasing backdrops. Information on each Hall of Fame member was placed in an easy to access area in front of the portraits. Hamilton was pleased and said now they need to work on how to display the busts of the men in the Hall of Fame. Still to be addressed is five inductees who have no portraits since the paintings were stopped when the Hall moved to Arlington. Displays will continue to be updated and switched out.

The opening was attended by dignitaries from the RSCVA, Tri Properties - Eldorado Resort Casino, Circus Circus Hotel Casino and Silver Legacy, Trustees of the IBMHF, and even a few current Hall of Fame members, Elaine Hagin, Flora Mitchell, Betty Barnes and Pam Buckner. NBS Operations Manager Bob Thomas beamed as people Ohed and Ahed. All was done in grand style offering a continental breakfast for early arrivals and lunch for all as well. Observers were treated with Mimosas upon entering the room and the wonderful Carano wines were served to compliment lunch.

Adding to the joy of the moment was the Reno Silver Dollar Barbershop Quartette who serenaded throughout the room and then joined with 30 of their brothers and thrilled the opening squad of the USBC Women’s Tournament (going on upstairs) with their inspirational rendition of the National Anthem.

Credit for the creation of this wonderful Hall goes to: Keith Hamilton, Elaine Hagin, Eric Kearney, with a special mention of our curator, Keli Thomerson. From Reno, a big applause for Joe Kelley and the design team was the Worthgroup of Denver, Co.

Since the Merger of WIBC and ABC in 1999, to many, there has not been much that has gone right. Membership that was once four million strong has now dipped below two million. But – On April 14 at the opening of this IBMHF Satellite Museum and Hall of Fame and viewing pieces of history and those wonderful women who helped build bowling – one could not help but reflect on the glory days.

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