By Rob Tetro
Christine Hawksby, Doug Wallace and Dean Distin will be inducted into the Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sunday at RFH’s Hideaway outside Phoenix.
Hawksby began bowling at 13 when she joined the Junior League of the Sealright Recreation Club. She said when she first started bowling, the Sealright Recreation Club had pin setters at that time.
After competing in many Junior League tournaments, Hawksby went on to bowl throughout high school and finished in second place of the Senior Division. She bowled in numerous women’s leagues including the Whirley Bird, Tip Top, Friendly Girls, Lucky Seven, the Monday Night Women’s Classic and the Friday Night Mixed League at the Sealright Recreation Club.
For many years, Hawksby served as president of the Whirley Bird League. She has had the good fortune of bowling with many friends in local, state and national bowling tournaments. Hawksby was also an annual participant in the Elks Club New York State Tournament.
Since 1977, Hawksby has been a member of the Lock “600” Club. She took part in the Fulton Association Tournament in 1978. With a score of 1872, Hawksby earned a first place finish in the All Events category.
She bowled a 674 series with scores of 214, 226 and 234 while bowling in the Friendly Girls League in 1978. At the time, her series was the highest in Oswego County. Her highest single game was a 269 which occurred while bowling in the Tip Top League.
Hawksby won first place in the Fulton Women’s Bowling Association Tournament with a score of 1216 alongside Dot Morrison in 1982. With a 171 average, she earned the High Average Award in the Lucky Seven League during the 1983-84 season.
During the 1999-2000 season, Hawksby’s team won the Lucky Seven League. Over the years, she also has earned All Spare Game, Triple Score of 190, 200 and 250 game patches and for two consecutive years, her teams won the Budweiser No Tap Tournament.
For more than 25 years, Hawksby worked at Birdseye Food, Inc. before its closing in December 2012. Unfortunately, a knee injury and other health problems left her unable to bowl for the first time in many years. Hawksby keeps busy through involvement with the Fulton Elks Club, VFW Post 569, Fulton Moose Club #1280 and the Polish Home. Hawksby said her involvement with these organizations is something she wouldn’t trade for anything.
Doug Wallace began bowling when he was 17 years old. Bowling found its way into his life when he saw a few of his friends taking part in the sport.
He said he tried bowling and it clicked. Before he knew it, he was bowling in a league. Wallace went on to bowl in at least one league every year since then.
Wallace’s most notable earlier achievement came in 1982 when he bowled his first 300 game. During the game prior to his first 300 game, Wallace set the foundation for perfection by bowling 8 straight strikes to end the game.
Early on, he also shot an 806 series at a recreation club in Syracuse. Wallace said bowling well in that kind of environment is not easy to do. He considers that achievement to be one of his biggest.
In recent years, Wallace won the Western Central Bowling Association Tournament. He was also recognized for his success competing in Doubles Play.
It means a lot to Wallace to be inducted into the Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame. He is familiar with and has a lot of respect for many Hall of Fame members including fellow inductee, Dean Distin. At the end of the day, it’s an honor for Wallace to be associated with other impressive bowlers and their numerous accomplishments within the sport.
Distin began bowling in 1978 when he joined the Junior Bowling Program at Lakeview Lanes. Distin found himself interested in the sport when he would see his father, Milton Distin, bowl in both of Fulton’s classic leagues.
Some of Distin’s early accomplishments in bowling include being a captain of the high school varsity team for two of his three years of participation. During his senior year, Distin had the highest average in the league en route to winning the Onondaga High School League. He has bowled 52 300 games with 31 800 series and has won many city tournament titles.
His experience in bowling has also included holding many league related positions. Distin served as president of the W.F. Case League and also served as director and vice president of the Fulton Bowling Association.
More recently, Distin won the 1988 and 1989 Oswego County Masters Championship. In 1991, he won the New York State Singles Championship.
Distin has been on several successful teams as well. In 1994, he earned recognition in the National Doubles and earned Team All Events acknowledgements at The ABC Open Championship. Distin won the 1995 Van-Wie Doubles Championship. After being the runner up in the Syracuse Masters Championship in 1993, he went on to win the tournament in 2000.
Distin has been married to his wife Kathy for 24 years and they have three children — sons Thomas, 17, Andrew, 15 and daughter Katie, 12. For 20 years, Distin has been the owner of Jafco Construction.
Distin said being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an honor that allows him to come full circle. Not only are many of Distin’s friends and teammates members of the Hall of Fame, but his father is as well. Soon, he will be able to share this most impressive of achievements with the person who inspired him to bowl.