Illinois bowler happy with memories made at 50th Women's Championships Article Image
By Donovan Grubaugh
USBC Communications

- Joyce VanBuskirk of Lincoln, Illinois, became the latest bowler to reach 50 years at the 2022 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships, and she arrived at Stardust Bowl this week with many great memories from previous years.

In her hometown of Springfield, Illinois, VanBuskirk's love of the sport developed.

"I first caught the bowling bug when my gym teacher in school took all the girls to bowl," said VanBuskirk, who made her first USBC Women's Championships appearance at the 1967 event in Rochester, New York. "I joined my first league when I was 16, and the association card was 50 cents."

The rest became history for VanBuskirk, who worked for her state association taking photos, as she was inducted to the Greater Springfield (Illinois) USBC and Illinois State USBC Halls of Fame and now joins the 50-Year Club at the Women's Championships.

Over those 50 years, she now has been to 35 cities in 24 states.

VanBuskirk looks back fondly on her performance at the 1972 event in Kansas City, Missouri.

"Bowling doubles that year, at the end of the day my partner and I bowled our way to the top of the leaderboard," VanBuskirk said. "We finished up in the top five when the tournament was over."

For her, bowling has brought so many lasting memories, with each year being special in some form, and this year is no different. She felt honored to be celebrated for making it to 50 years.

"It's just been a lot of fun to bowl and make friends over the years," she said.

VanBuskirk also has no plans on stopping, and she's already planning to be in Las Vegas for her 51st appearance next year, saying, "Count me in for Vegas."

During her presentation Tuesday at Stardust Bowl, where she was awarded a plaque, chevron and necklace for her dedication, she said a few words to those in the bowling center.

"I can't thank everyone here enough, because for me, it's been all about the friendships that I've made for the past 50 years. Thank you, all," she said.

In her 50th appearance, VanBuskirk rolled sets of 446 in singles, 442 in doubles and 365 in team for a 1,253 all-events total.