September 1, 2014

Two inducted into Ogemaw County Bowling Hall of Fame

Courtesy Photo
Vince Pavlick and Renee Keppen hold up a cake to commemorate their induction into the Ogemaw County Bowling Hall of Fame.
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OGEMAW COUNTY — Two area residents recently joined 29 others as the newest inductees into the Ogemaw County Bowling Hall of Fame.

Vince Pavlick of Sterling and Renee Keppen of St. Helen were the 2012 inductees in the Hall of Fame.

Pavlick said it felt “great” to be inducted.

“Better than I thought it would feel,” he said.

Pavlick said this is his 57th year bowling.

“I just love it,” he said. “I got pretty good at it and fell in love with it.”

He said the appeal of bowling to him is that it is anybody’s sport.

“It’s a sport anyone can do,” he said. “You can be 300 pounds or 100 pounds. It doesn’t matter. Anyone can do it.”

According to Secretary for the Ogemaw County Bowling Hall of Fame Joyce Allen, Pavlick is a certified coach for the youth bowling league.

“He’s gone to nationals for 29 years, which is a lot of times going around to everywhere in the United States,” Allen said. “He’s won a lot of tournaments.”

She said Pavlick has also been a sponsor of a team for more than 35 years.

“He owned a pro shop in the Standish area,” she said. “It means a lot when you have someone that’s willing to pay to sponsor a team. Vince has been very helpful.”

She added that Pavlick has also bowled a 300.

“His career high was a 300 and series high was a 792,” she said. “That means he didn’t make the 800, but he was close.”

Keppen said she was proud to have been inducted in this year’s Hall of Fame.

“It was a great honor,” she said. “I was raised and grew up in St. Helen, but was gone for 39 years, so most people think of me as a downstater. I retired here in ’98 and started bowling. So for someone who didn’t grow up bowling here, it was a huge honor.”

But Keppen said her bowling experience isn’t just from her time here — she started bowling downstate in 1963.

“So I’ve been bowling 50 years,” she said.

She added that she enjoys bowling because it gives her a chance to gather with others.

“My husband passed away two years ago,” Keppen said. “Until then, we bowled together. It was a night out for us. After we retired, it was something we could do in the afternoon. I’ve always enjoyed it. Now that I’m by myself, it’s good to get out and be with other people.”

Allen said Keppen held the highest senior women’s average in West Branch for at least 12 years.

“That falls under the ‘superior performance’ category,” Allen said.

Keppen said bowling is a good sport for seniors.

“For us senior citizens, it’s a great activity,” she said. “It’s great exercise. It gets you out of the house in the wintertime to interact with others your own age. You’ve got to stay active when you get our age.”

Allen said the Ogemaw County Bowling Hall of Fame began 13 years ago as a way to honor bowlers in the Ogemaw County USBC Bowling Association “who have done meritorious service or superior performance.”

“We’ve lumped them together and made it somebody who has volunteered their services and has been very active in the bowling community — secretary, sponsor — someone who bowls very well but is also involved at the ground level of taking care of the league,” Allen said.

The only stipulation, she said, is the person has to have bowled in the association for 10 years or more.

“Almost everyone we’ve honored so far has been bowling for a lot of years,” she said.

Allen said inductees are nominated by others in the association, and a committee looks over the nominees. She said at least two people are typically inducted each year.

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