Chuck Drazenovich used his celebrity status as a former Washington Redskin to introduce and promote the sport of tenpin bowling in Northern Virginia. He loved bowling because, as he said many times, "It's something everyone can do. It doesn't matter if you are old, male, female or even unable to see, you can still have fun rolling that ball." In this spirit, Chuck dedicated a portion of his time to bring bowling to all. He spearheaded innovative programs, including:Back to Hall of Fame
- A program for the physically handicapped. Long before the Special Olympics, Chuck invited bowlers to work together to compensate for their individual and varied physical challenges to improve their coordination and dexterity, and to feel for the first time like athletes. These bowlers always were given special shirts, patches and trophies.
- A program for juvenile delinquents. Due to Chuck's deep belief that teamwork makes communities, he instituted a program for juvenile delinquents. The positive effect of league bowling encouraged teamwork, responsibility and a greater sense of community -- a feeling lost by many of its members.
- "Kids Can": Over the years, Chuck designed many programs for children of all ages. Saturdays bristled with classes and laughter as junior rollers, teens and even tiny tots took to the lanes. They not only mastered a great sport, they learned the more important lessons of working together and leadership while gaining a sense of pride and accomplishment. Many of these junior bowlers have stayed with the sport and are celebrating 35 years or more as regular bowlers. Several of the graduates even returned to teach new groups of students.
Chuck's association with seniors is too lengthy to list program by program. He established many different leagues for seniors of all backgrounds. Their Friday morning sessions featured a free breakfast and refreshments and were always a full-house affair. Bowling was a perfect non-impact aerobic sport and a vital social outlet. Soon these groups grew to morning, evening and weekend leagues, full of loyal, enthusiastic and healthier groups of new friends.
Whether it was Annandale Bowl or Bowl America Fairfax, Chuck took the term "center" seriously. Over the years, he hosted many blood drives, food drives, charity events and socials. He believed that America's No. 1 sport could and should be the focal point for recreation and community, and that "fun" was spelled family, unity, and neighborhood.
For his many years of dedication to the promotion of bowling, an honored position in the NCABA Hall of Fame has been reserved for the late Chuck Drazenovich.