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Mary Jo Whidden served the WDCAWBA diligently for nine years. The first year, 1961, she served as 2nd vice president. For the next eight years, from 1962 until she decided not to seek reelection in 1970, Mary Jo served the association as president. During her reign, the association grew from 15,000 members in 1962 to over 27,000 at the end of the 1970 season. The board of directors also increased during this time, from 22 members to 32 members, adding two vice president positions and eight directors.
Mary Jo was noted for her administrative and organizational abilities. Many of the programs that were started during her administration are still in existence today. A few of the highlights of the Whidden administration are the association office, pins for the board members, the two bids for the WIBC National Tournament, institution of the “President’s Award,” the newsletter that was distributed to all league secretaries, the BVL tournament, plaques for the office which show the officers and membership by year, listing the association in the telephone directory, an administrative handbook, open meetings and match games with over 300 members in attendance, board member jackets, the industry relations committee and the ranking criteria and the lane representative program were instituted.
Upon her retirement, Mary Jo was elected the first Honorary Board Member of the WDCAWBA and the first Life Member.
Because of her outstanding efforts to further the sport of bowling in our area, Mary Jo Whidden will now deservedly gain a most honored position: a spot in the Washington, D.C. Area Women’s Bowling Association’s Hall of Fame.