Jim Russo, the long-time owner of Manor Lanes and Manor Lanes II, is the recipient of two major bowling honors for his contributions to the industry and sport.
Russo, who has been active in bowling for 35 years, will be one of five 2010 inductees into the Tonawandas USBC Association Hall of Fame. Also, he recently was named Bowling Proprietor of the Year for 2010 by the New York State BPA.
"I think that may have been a result of my being the immediate past president of the association," Russo said of the BPA honors. "We did a lot of things that the association hadn't done before."
One of the NYSPBA's accomplishments during Russo's two years in office was beating back a proposed state sales tax on bowling by the legislature. "That was a big victory for the association," said Russo.
During Russo's term the state proprietors association reversed a trend of declining memberships.
"We had a road show for recruiting new members for our association," Russo said. "We also had a strategic planning retreat, which we hadn't had in a while, to make the association a little big stronger.
"I deemed it a pretty successful presidency," Russo said with pride.
Russo took over at Manor Lanes in 1974 and has been involved ever since. Beside running two bowling houses and his work with the state BPA, Russo also coaches the Sweet Home girls varsity team, which lost only one of 12 matches this past season.
Although still very active, he is in the process of slowly turning over the Manor operations to his son, Jim Jr.
"The industry is changing, trying to figure out new ways to reinvent ourselves," Russo said. "Fortunately, I have a 35-year-old son who is taking over the business and still has got a lot of fire in his belly. He wants to do some new things.
Beside Russo, others in the Tonawandas Hall of Fame Class for 2010 include Fran Bax, Dave Miller, Tom Glass and Charles McGillicuddy.
> Delaney's back
After a year working in Albany, Ryan Delaney of Lackawanna made an impressive return to the local bowling scene with an 844 series in the Hammond Pro Shop League at Abbott Lanes last week.
Delaney, 34, is co-manager of 84 Lumber in Orchard Park. Two seasons ago, he averaged 222 in a Thursday night league at Abbott Lanes before he was transferred to the Capital District. He picked right up -- in fact he might have improved -- on his usual pace this season.
On March 19 Delaney put together games of 267-288-289 for his career-best 844. His previous best was an 815 at Recckio's. Delaney also bowls in the CarStar Collision League at Abbott on Thursdays.
"So far this year, I have three 300s and two 800s," said Delaney, who bowled at Lackawanna High and served in the Army for four years. Delaney's first 300 game -- he's had 10 or 11, he says -- was in 2001, also at Abbott.
The Hammond Pro Shop league is quite competitive. PBA pro Liz Johnson bowls when she's not off on the PBA Women's Series or entered in a major open event.
> Pin chasers
* An entry of about 80 bowlers will compete Sunday in the Kenmore Lanes Scratch Tournament with a $1,200 top prize. Qualifying times are 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Entry fee is $60 with a $50 re-entry fee. Finalists are guaranteed $100. A 1-in-5 ratio is used for squad cuts with an eliminator-style finals used for match play.
* The Eighth Annual WPIG-St. Jude Children's Research Hospital No-Tap Challenge Tournament concluded last weekend at Byllye Lanes in Bradford, Pa. The final stop on the Southern Tier-based event raised $3,400 bringing the total for the year to $8,100. Top team score was 3,953. There were several 300s, including three by Bob Kosinski. Others were by Stan Kosinski, Mark Sisson, Jud Williams, Todd Sampson and Jim Brown.