Friday, March 8, 1985
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Mark Klinger spends three
hours a day in his basement
so that B'nai B'rith bowlers
can aim for the pins.
BY LARRY PALADINO
Special to The Jewish News
BOWLING FOR "ACHES
Mark Klinger warms up for B'nai B'rith bowling league.
, ran and Mark Klinger have
been married for 25 years.
"Twelve have been good
years," Mrs. Klinger says
with a chuckle. "He has
probably spent the other 13 years in
That, of course, is an exaggera-
tion. Mark Klinger has only spent
about three years down the basement
working on his bowling paperwork.
That is if you accept his estimate of at
least three hours a day.
After .all, he hasn't always been
tournament director of the Interna-
tional B'nai B'rith Bowling Associa-
tion, and he doesn't become its
president until May. However, he has
held plenty of other positions in B'nai
B'rith bowling — as has his wife.
They've been so involved in bowl-
ing that perhaps it wouldn't be too far
out to suggest they change their name
from Klinger to Kegler. Because of
them, and others like them, metropoli-
tan Detroit may be the most solid bas-
tion of B'nai B'rith bowling.
"It's been pretty much my life for
25 years," says Mark, a licensed morti-
cian with the Ira Kaufman Chapel in
Southfield. "There was a time when we
were bowling in Livonia that we were
down to 31 men. So I look at my 112
men now and this is a great revelation.
Iwanted us to be the biggest and the
best. Finally, after 20 some years,
we've achieved that."
Klinger has been secretary of the
Brotherhood Eddie Jacobson B'nai
B'rith Bowling League for the last 10
years. He is a past president of the
league, whose parent organization is
the Metropolitan Detroit B'nai B'rith
Bowling Association. He is a past
president of the association and was
secretary for five years.
"So I've had a little bit of B'nai
B'rith bowling background," he says
with a grin.
His lodge league has been compet-
ing on Monday nights at Ark Lanes
West on Northwestern Highway for
the past 13 years. It now consists of 28
four-man teams, making it the largest
B'nai B'rith bowling league in the
United States and only second in the
International Association behind To-
ronto. Klinger says there are 140 af-
filiates in the U.S. and Canada, con-
centrated mostly in the larger cities.
As for Mrs. Klinger, long active in
B'nai B'rith women's bowling, she
bowls with the Galilee Chapter. "I al-
ready beat him to the presidency,"
Fran says, glancing teasingly at her
husband during a recent interview.
"I've been through it already. We ac-
tually met through the organization
and through bowling. I also bowled in
B'nai B'rith Young Adults (as did
Mark). I formed the first league and
was the first president."
"It's interesting that his league is
the biggest of the men and mine is
probably the biggest of the women,"
she says. "My chapter has three bowl-
ing leagues, more than any other B'nai
B'rith women's group. We just got
through with our tournament, which
was here this year. There were 420
women here from all around the coun-
For nearly six years Mark Klinger
has been International tournament
director. His induction as president
will come in May at the Michigan Inn
at one of two meetings the Interna-
tional holds annually.
"I think the job as president is
more than honor," Klinger says. "The
president is more of an organizer. I
can't remember the last time we had
an officer who was president and held
some other major office."
As tourney director, Klinger coor-
dinates with various sectional tour-
nament chairmen and their commit-
tees. "I take care of all the alley pair-
ings, all the results, which I'm respon-
sible to mail to all league secretaries.
We also have three tournaments
where guys bowl scores on their own
lanes and they mail the scores in to me.
We have an International singles
tournament, an International doubles
tournament an International four-
team geographical tournament .. .
"I had 4,000 entries in the singles
tournament, which I classify and sort
and tabulate and mail our results. I
write out all my own checks. And we
had 6,000 entries for the doubles,
which I'm still working on now. There
are about 260 teams going out of town
to these three tournaments . . . My
postage was around $900 last year."
Throw in the work Klinger must
do for the other B'nai B'rith leagues in
Detroit and it becomes clear why he
spends so much time in his basement
office. He doesn't have a personal com-
puter, "but I'm thinking about getting
"It's a good thing I'm a bowler so I
can appreciate it," Fran Klinger says
of her husband's devotion to his favo-
rite "leisure" time activity.
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