Illinois bowler reaches 50-year milestone at WC

By Wishelle Banks
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
Delphene Brands of Crete, Ill., received a standing ovation from her fellow bowlers at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center as she celebrated her 50th United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships appearance this week.

The 77-year-old right-hander started her tournament career at the 1963 event in Memphis, Tenn., and received a plaque and medallion from USBC Women's Championships Tournament Manager Eric Pierson to commemorate the achievement.

"I am very happy to participate in my 50th national tournament," said Brands, who rolled games of 187, 173 and 149 for a 509 series during her team event. "I'm thankful for my health and the opportunity to continue in the sport I so enjoy. I'm thankful to my sponsor for many years, Burr Oak Bowl, and foremost, my wonderful and dear friend, Lois King. I certainly would not have accomplished all I have in bowling if it wasn't for her."

King will follow Brands into the 50-Year Club at the Women's Championships in 2015 as the two share another memory on the championship lanes. Together, they helped Donson Inc., General Contractors of Alsip, Ill., capture the Division 1 Team title at the 1972 tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

"The national tournament we won is something I'll never forget," Brands said. "We've had some really wonderful trips and memories."

Brands' life on the lanes includes service on the board of directors for the Chicago Women's Bowling Association, where she served as a delegate to both the state and national meetings for many years. Her work to help further the sport earned her induction in the CWBA Hall of Fame in 2001 for meritorious service.

With her 50th tournament in the books, Brands now looks forward to welcoming her longtime teammate to the exclusive club.

"Reaching 50 really is a great accomplishment," Brands said. "It's something I really never thought too much about. I just kept going and going and going. Then, as I got closer, and a few of my friends became 50-year participants, I was really looking forward to it. If all things are in good order - my health and everything - I will certainly be here to support Lois."

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.