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Bea Bennie played a major role in establishing the sport of tenpin bowling in the Washington, D.C., area. In 1945, Bea and her husband, Matt, helped create what would become the Washington D.C. Area Women's Bowling Association and the Washington City Tenpin Bowling Association. In those days, duckpin bowling prevailed in the area. In 1947, the Bennies purchased the area's first certified tenpin bowling center in Alexandria, Va. Over the next few years, many of the area’s duckpin bowling center owners began to see the popularity of tenpins, and the area boomed with new bowling centers and sanctioned bowlers.
Bea served bowling at every level, including as a league secretary. In 1953, she accepted a position as secretary of WDCAWBA. During her time as secretary, membership in her association skyrocketed from 278 members to more than 15,000 members in 1963. In 1957, she helped form the Virginia State Women's Bowling Association. Her work in bowling directly resulted in hundreds of thousands of women in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia becoming members of WIBC.
In 1963, she accepted a position on the WIBC board of directors, which she fulfilled for more than 15 years. In 1979, Bea was named a WIBC member emerita. At the national level, she also served as a director of the American Junior Bowling Congress (later the Young American Bowling Alliance). Regionally, she helped form what became the Vir-Mar District YABA. Her local and state accomplishments include positions as a founder, director, and secretary/treasurer of WDCAWBA as well as a founder and vice president of the Virginia State WBA.
For her role in establishing tenpin bowling in this area as well as her many years of outstanding service to the game and to those sanctioned bowlers who participate in it, an honored position has been reserved for Bea Bennie in the Washington, D.C. Area Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame.