Once a year, the United States Bowling Congress selects just one Youth League representative from the hundreds of thousands of kids across the country who bowl to stand as embodiment of the positive influence of the sport. It's company so select that only seven previous Zeb Scholarships have been awarded. In 2013, that highest of USBC honorees isn't from some big city metropolis or traditional hot spot. Instead, you will find this year's winner rolling the alleys at the Pal Bowl in Palmyra, Missouri.
"My mom, dad and I gathered in the living room. She told me that there was a phone call that day from Texas from a lady that wanted to congratulate me on winning the Zeb Scholarship. it's the only one handed out nationwide,"
Palmyra's Dakota Fox is suddenly a memorable name in his own right, beating out thousands of other high school seniors and juniors around the country for the only Zeb Scholarship awarded in 2013. Included is $2,500 towards his tuition at Mizzou next year and an all-expenses paid trip to Detroit to be recognized at an awards banquet in his honor. It is a recognition not only of Dakota's bowling prowess, but takes into account his stellar academics and his strident commitment to volunteerism in his home town.
"I love doing service, I love bowling. When I started bowling, I never really set a goal to win scholarships or get anything out of it, I just bowled because I liked it. Its a really nice perk to win the scholarship. Being active in the community is really what keeps a town like Palmyra going. If everyone in Palmyra did their part and helped out the community there would hardly be a single problem here and it would be a nice place to live. I think it is a nice place to live and that's why I'm glad I could help,"
And in kind, it seems fitting that this Zeb scholarship will reward Dakota's activism and character with a better chance to chase down his own dreams.
"Right now I'm really looking forward to going to Mizzou and majoring in chemical engineering. I'll figure out what to do after that once I get there, after 4 years - I might become a chemical engineer but I also want to do more to help people in the community. Maybe develop products to help other people or go into medicine and help people that way,"
In this case, the alley ways have become avenues in helping to shape a dream.
"Every year I had to ask myself the question if I was going to bowl this year, and every time it was a yes. The last time I bowled for league was over by Kansas City, and I remember thinking I was done. But I changed my mind and decided there won't ever be a time in my life where I don't still enjoy bowling,"