Samantha Schnur's connection to bowling led to a rare honor this spring.
The 20-year-old Bel Air resident made a trip to Reno, Nev., to accept the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Youth Ambassador of the Year award at the organization's annual convention in May.
"I've played other sports and things like that, but bowling is really the only thing I have a true connection to," Schnur said.
The award annually recognizes one male and one female USBC bowler in the country for exemplary contributions to the sport of bowling, academic accomplishments and community involvement.
"I was surprised," Schnur said about winning the award. "I never in a million years thought that I would get chosen, never."
For winning, Schnur said she received a $1,500 scholarship, the trip to Nevada, $500 spending money while on the trip and a crystal award for display. She also was invited to attend all meetings and dinners at the convention.
"I volunteer as much as I can. I help and I love bowling, but I never would have thought that I would get chosen for this," Schnur said.
Schnur, who first bowled at age 6, finished her second year at Harford Community College last spring and said she'll transfer to Towson University this fall to continue pursuing a degree in nursing.
Schnur started her service to the sport in 2003 when her mother, Michelle Schnur, became a member of the Harford County Women's Bowling Association. The younger Schnur attended board meetings along with her mother and helped her with the association.
"I think, just, I have a passion for it," Schnur said. "It's all I ever wanted to do. Just be involved in it and keep it going."
Schnur started the bowling team at Patterson Mill during her freshman year, and she served as the captain during all four years of high school. As a senior, she received the Jerry Farro Youth Scholarship from the Cecil-Harford USBC Youth Association for outstanding performance in the sport of 10-pin bowling, scholastic achievement and civic endeavors.
At Patterson Mill, Schnur also participated in track and field. She graduated in 2011 and is now the bowling coach at the school.
Last September, Schnur received the Maryland State USBC Association's Youth Star of Tomorrow award for meritorious service. The honor is the equivalent of a Hall of Fame induction for adults. Schnur was the first female to win the award since its inception in 2009.
"It's a family thing for me. I have a love for it," Schnur said about bowling.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun