The Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin (BCAW) is pleased to announce its 2023 Awards of Excellence winners.

Cary Serwe and Jim O’Reilly have been selected as this year’s recipients based on their outstanding dedication to center promotion, youth bowling, coaching and raising awareness of the sport.

The BCAW Awards of Excellence annually recognize bowling center owners, proprietors, managers and others who have made significant contributions over time to bowling in Wisconsin. This year’s awards were given out in two categories: 12 Lanes and Fewer (bowling center) and Special Awards.

The awards will be presented to the winners at the 2023 BCAW Annual Meeting, Conference, Awards Luncheon & Trade Show Oct. 2 at the Hilton Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.

Here’s a closer look at this year’s honorees:

Cary Serwe – 12 Lanes and Fewer

Cary Serwe, longtime proprietor at King Pin Lanes in Campbellsport, Wis., is this year’s BCAW Award of Excellence recipient in the “12 Lanes and Fewer” category. Serwe has demonstrated a longtime commitment and dedication to the sport of bowling as a bowling center owner, high school coach, leader and innovator. 

Cary Serwe

Serwe’s involvement in the BCAW and the national Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) reaches back to 1985 when he became proprietor of King Pin Lanes. In his 38 years at the helm of the eight-lane center, Serwe has consistently provided his bowling customers with enjoyable experiences. 

King Pin Lanes has a vibrant youth bowling program (managed by Serwe’s son, Brandon) with features such as a “Tip of the Week,” fun days during the season, Bowler of the Month awards and a scholarship program that includes fundraising opportunities as well as a Pepsi USBC qualifier. The scholarship program has raised about $250,000 over the past 30 years, Serwe said.

King Pin Lanes has been in the Serwe family for more than 60 years, with Cary’s wife, Lynn, and Brandon playing key roles in running the center and its programs.

“When you walk in (to King Pin Lanes), they welcome you by name,” said Danielle Reseburg, who nominated Serwe for the award. “The passion this family has for bowling and league bowlers is something that I’ve never been a part of before. It’s the best small town bowling alley and it’s all because of the pride they have for everything they do.”

Aside from his proprietor role, Serwe has made his mark in bowling as a leader and coach. In the 1990s, Serwe was part of a group that formed the BCAW High School Bowling Club (HSBC), which started in 1998. Serwe’s leadership in that regard was evident when he served as the HSBC Tournament Director. As a coach, Serwe has proven his skills by leading both the Campbellsport High School boys’/coed and girls’ bowling teams over the years. He coached the boys’/coed team for much of the 1990s before moving over to coach the girls’ team. Serwe led the Campbellsport High girls’ to HSBC state runner-up finishes in 2001 and 2002, then coached the Cougars girls’ club to a Division 2 state championship in 2022.

On the administrative side, Serwe has been active in bowling at the state and national levels. Currently a Director on the BCAW Board, Serwe has served on the BCAW Board for 27 years. Serwe served on the BPAA Small Centers Committee for six years and was a featured speaker at the 2003 BPAA Convention.

 

Jim O’Reilly – Special Award

Jim O’Reilly has been honored with a BCAW Award of Excellence in the “Special Award” category for his longtime dedication and passionate service to the sport of bowling throughout the past 50 years.

Jim O’Reilly

Widely known as a notable figure in bowling, O’Reilly has worn many hats in the industry. He began his career in the bowling business in 1973. Currently the proprietor of Riverboat Lanes in Wabasha, Minnesota, O’Reilly has owned four different bowling centers. In addition, he has spent 35 years as a bowling distributor salesman for Bobs’ Business in Red Wing, Minnesota, covering parts of Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa.

O’Reilly has served as President and Director for the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of Minnesota (BPAM). He’s been the BPAM High School Bowling Commissioner since 2012 and a National Director for USA Bowling in Minnesota since 2011. In addition, O’Reilly also has been active as a Board Member for the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association (IBPSIA).

Coaching has been yet another bowling endeavor for O’Reilly. The USBC Silver Level certified coach has coached high school bowling, been a USA Bowling Instructor for Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota, and an instructor for the United States Bowling Academy. O’Reilly is a Kegel Level II Technician and a certified Kegel KCMP Coach.

In 2022, O’Reilly received the Joyce Deitch Unity Award from USBC. This award, named in honor of the seventh president of the Women’s International Bowling Congress, recognizes organizations and individuals who have made important contributions to the sport of bowling by being motivators, visionaries, leaders and/or innovators. In addition, O’Reilly was inducted into the Minnesota Bowling Hall of Fame in 2019 in the Meritorious Service category.

“Jim’s involvement in local, state and national youth tournaments far exceeds most people,” said BCAW Board Member and Whitetail Lanes’ Proprietor Steve Cieslewicz, who nominated O’Reilly for the award. “The nights and weekends away from his center volunteering for the good of bowling in our state says a lot about Jim. He has been an inspiration to many young athletes and proprietors over the years. Jim has given so much to the sport of bowling in Wisconsin.”

For more information, contact BCAW Executive Director Roger Dalkin at roger.dalkin@bowlwi.com or call (262) 783-4292.