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Bowling: Tears galore at LakeShore Association hall of fame banquet

Faye Thomas accepts her hall fame plaque from Lakeshore Bowling Associatipresident Ken Laviolette Sunday association's annual banquet. | Anthony Nasella/For

Faye Thomas accepts her hall of fame plaque from Lakeshore Bowling Association president Ken Laviolette on Sunday at the association's annual banquet. | Anthony Nasella/For the Post-Tribune

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Updated: December 12, 2013 12:39PM



BURNS HARBOR — While there may be no crying in baseball, that phrase certainly didn’t apply to several of the inductees at Sunday’s LakeShore Bowling Association Hall of Fame banquet at Duneland Falls.

Already an emotional day when votes were cast back in November, Faye Thomas, Fred Nystrom and Jeff Snuffer each had to regain their composure more than once as each reflected back on their respective careers and also took quality time to acknowledge the friends and loved ones who impacted their careers the most.

In addition, Chesterton’s Kelly Gough and long-time youth director Marilyn Nelson were also formally inducted at the ceremony.

“I want to thank everyone for their prayers, as I faced my battle with cancer,” said Thomas, who was also awarded the senior division female bowler of the year. “I’m grateful to the many loved ones in my bowling family who carried me through that tough time in my life.”

Nystrom, who was inducted by longtime friend Jack McWhirter, was handed a box of tissues as he took to the podium. He immediately confessed that he had brought his own. He offered a moment of humor by apologizing to his wife for being his sounding board in the low points of his career.

“Any bowler who has participated as long as I have is going to have some bad games,” Nystrom admitted. “My wife took the brunt of those hard nights — and I love her very much. To the bowlers of today, I tell you come into the game with an open heart and an open mind.”

The most emotional of all the inductees was Snuffer, who took time to acknowledge many friends and family members — then presenting roses at the podium to his wife April and daughter Addison for their sacrifices.

“Bowling is more than a game to me — it’s my life,” Snuffer said. “And my life in bowling wouldn’t have been meaningful without all of you. And when someone’s game has been impacted due to something you’ve done for them, that’s priceless.”

Nelson acknowledged the numerous bowlers present on Sunday who bowled in the Rays Lanes’ youth program — specifically association high-average (238) award winner Billy Robinson.

“When I walked in here today, Billy Robinson greeted me,” she said. “I knew Billy when he had hair.”

Gough, who was also honored as the open division female bowler of the year and high average (233) recipient, expressed her gratitude for the many hall-of-famers who came before her.

“I try to keep up with the many great bowlers who have preceded me,” she said. “I look up to them; they’ve helped me become a better bowler.”



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