1996 – Meritorious Service Ed Zitnik
Some people just seem to have the knack of turning what to most would be just a profession into an avocation. Ed Zitnik is one of those people. Any venture Ed pursues almost certainly will turn into an adventure.
Coming from a bowling family in the Youngstown area, it was quite natural for Ed and brother Frank to join their father in the management of Bell Wick Bowl and to enter into the bowling proprietors activities. The year 1978 saw Ed joining the Mahoning Valley Bowling Proprietors Association and becoming a founder member of the Youngstown Area Bowling Council. Ed’s support for the junior program has been one of his strong points starting with organizing the Ohio State Junior Qualifier for Team USA in 1985. His actions were instrumental in organizing the Grand Prix Scholarship program as we know it today. He served on the Ohio State YABA Board and BPAO Youth Committee from 1984 through 1992.
Ed took an active part in the BPAO and in 1990 was elected Vice President, assuming the presidency in 1992. During those years, working closely with Mike Hennessy, the duo created, nurtured and brought to fructification the Ladies First Program, a promotional program which can be credited with bringing 80,100 sanctioned bowlers into the game. The idea won national recognition first as Bowlers Journal Idea of the Month in April 1993 and the Idea of the Year and earned the Ohio WBA the BPAA –Team Award at the 1994 WIBC convention in Salt Lake City. During his presidency, Ed also instituted the Youth Seminar/Workshops for all persons interested in youth bowling in the state of Ohio.
Ed was appointed to the Ohio Bowling Council in 1993 and joined Hall of Fame Committee in 1993, both appointments he now fills. He spearheaded efforts for Youngstown hosting both the 1993 and 1995 hall of Fame dinners and was responsible for the majority of planning associated with the first Ohio Joint Jamboree last year.
Ed was elected Sergeant-at-Arms of the National Proprietors Association in 1994 and Secretary in 1996.
Not all of Ed’s accomplishments are in the administrative field. He also presents most competent picture on the lanes. Ed has a 300 to his credit along with a high series of 761 and high average of 211. He has participated in 24 Youngstown Men’s BA Tournament and Ohio State BA Tournaments as well as 13 ABC Championships.
Tonight we acknowledge Ed Zitnik for his many contributions to the game of bowling as we honor his Meritorious Service to our great sport.