55th Flowers Award Winner is Pat Ciniello
The Sam Levine Flowers for the Living Award is perhaps bowling’s most unique honor in that it does not belong to any particular organization. It is operated by an independent group of industry veterans from all corners of the business. It was started in 1961 by Levine and a group of his fellow newspapermen who thought that good people deserve recognition not for spectacular accomplishments, but just for having integrity, honesty, and doing things the right way for the right reasons. They were struck by the thought that great things are said after a person is gone, but why not while they are still living? The award was inspired by a poem called Flowers for the Living written by original committee member Fritz Howell. Howell was a writer and editor for the Associated Press of Ohio.
Pat Ciniello, Bonita Springs Florida is the winner of one of Bowling’s most prestigious honors, the Sam Levine Flowers for the Living Award, sponsored by International Bowling Industry Magazine. The award has been given to outstanding people in bowling since 1961.
Ciniello and his wife Lisa own and operate one of the most successful bowling center companies in the world, Bowland Centers of Southwest Florida, but Pat has taken his career in bowling to even greater heights by serving as Chairman of the Board of QubicaAMF, by leading the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum for many years during which he was instrumental in moving the facility from St. Louis to Texas to become a part of the International Bowling Campus, and by serving on numerous BPAA committees, and state and local boards and projects for decades.
“I cannot think of anyone in bowling with more integrity than Pat Ciniello,” said Flowers Award committee member Cathy DeSocio. “Pat may be the busiest man in bowling, but his calm demeanor makes it all look easy. He has a long history of doing things the right way and making friends across the globe. His honest and cheerful approach to business and life is what makes us proud to present him with this honor.”
Ciniello seems to have endless energy, and his love and enthusiasm for the bowling business and the sport of bowling is second to none. As IBMHF Chairman, he not only helped build the new museum, but he also established a committee to create the Hall of Fame Xtravaganza, a fund raising event that has sold out every year since its inception in 2012, raising significant money for the museum and hall of fame.
In 2014 and 2015, Ciniello got into the Family Entertainment Center side of the business by re-building a center in Cape Coral and building an all new state-of-the-art center in Fort Myers. The two FEC’s are named Headpinz. In Fort Myers, Ciniello incorporate his love for bowling history by putting in four old time bowling alleys – called Pinboyz Bowling Alleys. This section of the center transports guests back in time to 1908 when bowling was a much simpler game, with wood lanes, no automatic pinsetters, above ground ball returns. Employees working the special parties in this area wear 1908 costumes and provide old fashioned hospitality to guests who bowl and get a history lesson at the same time.
For many years, Ciniello has provided hands on support for the QubicaAMF World Cup Tournament, for the International Family Tournament, and the new Hall of Fame Xtravaganza Event, giving his time, and often providing his own financial support to make them as successful as possible.
Ciniello bowled in college at Monmouth University, and in 2014, donated a four lane bowling center to his alma mater. Many send checks to support their former schools; but Ciniello took it a step beyond by providing a facility that will be enjoyed by Monmouth’s bowling teams and thousands of students for years to come.
Flowers Award Winners
1961 Fritz Howell
Feb ’62 Joe Smolen
Oct ’62 Sam Weinstein
Sept ’63 John O. Martino
Feb ’64 Joe Norris
Oct ’64 Marion Ladewig
Sept ’65 Billy Sixty
Jan ’67 Tom Bolger
Oct ’67 Steve Cruchon
Dec ’68 Bruce Pluckhahn
Nov ’69 Frank Sczepanski
Apr ’71 Frank Baker
Nov ’71 Hank Marino
June ’72 Sam Levine
Jan ’73 Bill Hengen
Nov ’73 Alberta Crowe
Nov ’74 Mort Luby Jr.
Nov ’75 Fred Wolf
Nov ’76 Chuck Pezzano
Nov ’77 Eddie Elias
Nov ’78 Emma Phaler
Nov ‘79 Dick Weber
Nov ‘80 Bill Doehrman
Nov ’81 Byron Schoeman
Mar ’85 John Jowdy
Feb ’86 Don Carter
May ’87 Joe Lyou
Apr ’88 Helen Baker
Apr ’89 Pat McDonough
May ’90 Helen Duval
Nov’91 Jim Bennett
Dec ’92 Earl Anthony
Feb ’94 Millie Ignizio
Mar ’95 Augie Karcher
Mar ’96 Bob Zellner
Mar ’97 Angelo Biondo
Nov ’98 Jack Reichert
June ’99 Chris Schenkel
Mar ’00 Wayne Todd
June ’01 Tom Kouros
Mar ’02 Glenn Allison
June ’03 Dick Stoeffier
July ’04 Jeanette Robinson
Mar ’05 Pearl Keller
June ’06 Walt Steinsiek
June ’07 Lenny Nicholson
June ’08 Carmen Salvino
June ’09 Elaine Hagin
April ‘11 Paula Carter
June ‘11 Jim Dressel
April ‘12 Bill Lillard
June ‘13 John Sommer
June ‘14 Johnny Petraglia
June ’17 Pat Ciniello
Flowers for the Living
by Fritz Howell
It seems that when a fellow dies, no matter what he’s been,
A saintly chap or one whose life was darkly steeped in sin -
That folks forget the bitter words they spoke but yesterday
And seem to find a multitude of pretty things to say.
And maybe when I go to rest, someone will bring to light
Some kindly word or goodly act, long buried out of sight,
But if it’s all the same to you, just give to me instead,
The bouquets while I’m living, and the knocking when I’m dead.
Don’t save your kisses to imprint upon my noble brow,
While countless maledictions are hurled upon me now.
Just say a kindly word to me, as I mourn here alone,
And don’t save all your eulogy to carve upon a stone.
What do I care if, when I’m gone, the whole newspaper world
Gives me a glowing write-up and the nation’s flags are furled?
Why, it won’t flatter me a bit, no matter what is said,
So kindly throw your flowers now, and knock me when I’m dead.
It may be fine, when one is gone, to have folks talk so,
And have the flowers come in loads from all the guys you know.
It must be nice to have these things for those you leave behind
But, so far as I’m concerned, I really will not mind.
I’m quite alive and well today, and while I linger here,
Give me a helping hand at times, give me a word of cheer.
Let’s change the game a bit, just sorta swab the decks,
For I will be no judge of flowers, when I cash in my checks.