Local bowling: Dues increase to enhance awards program

It’s all about the bowlers.

“Everything we get in goes back to our bowlers,” Greater Dayton United States Bowling Congress president Latrise Lawson said. “Our goal is to give the bowlers what they want.”

What Lawson and other GDUSBC board members have heard in recent years is that many local bowlers want a better awards program. Implementing such a program, however, would not come without a price, so an amendment was proposed to increase local annual dues from $8 to $10 effective during the 2016-17 season.

Because a dues increase is a by-law amendment, the entire membership — numbering more than 5,000 — was eligible to vote. The amendment passed by a vote of 26-9 at the annual meeting in mid-May, marking the first dues increase since the local organizations merged in 2009.

“It was close, we kept the ballots and triple checked membership for those who voted,” Lawson said.

With the increase, annual dues will now be $20 — $10 local and $10 for USBC standard membership. Women add an additional $3 for state membership, bringing their total to $23.

The USBC offers awards to local associations but Lawson describes them as being somewhat generic.

“We will now have the ability to create our own awards based on what our bowlers want,” she said. “It will take a couple years to get the awards program where we want it to be but we’ll get there.”

Among the accomplishments that will now be eligible for local awards are 300 games, 11-in-a-row and 800 series. The USBC offers a ring for perfect games but only one per bowler, per lifetime, is awarded.

“A 300 is a 300 no matter how many you throw and it should be rewarded,” Lawson said.

Prior to voting on the amendment, the GDUSBC released its income and expenses for 2015-16 with income totaling $153,704.55 and expenses coming in at $162,674.02, with the deficit coming from the association’s savings. The largest portion of the expenses — 31 percent or $51,075 — covered USBC membership fees.

“We wanted to explain where the money is and what it’s used for,” Lawson said. “We give all of our income and more back to the bowlers.”

Beyond raising dues, the local association is determined to do more to meet the needs of its members.

“We’re talking about working with local businesses,” Lawson said, “trying to get sponsors and branding ourselves.”