Bowling for Scholars
by Cate Murway

Maybe he can hook the ball into the pocket for a strike, sweeping the pins clean. Perhaps he can develop an accurate spare delivery.  Or possibly he is able to count on a sprint of 48 strides or so after an explosive start to secure a race in the first second. But does he have the grades to continue showing his skills in college? Plan A for Distinguished Honors Student, First in his Class, Robert W. Leonhauser, Jr., CEC ‘09 is to keep the f-u-n in learning.
For Bobby, academics and athletics are a winning team, with time to “spare”!

Leveraging the universal appeal of bowling and infusing a sense of the fun of competition, Bobby and several other athletes of the Monday night Youth Tournament League have decided to take the game to a whole new intensity. ESPN professional bowler, Levittown resident, William [Bill] David O'Neill CEC ’99/ Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI competes from the end of October to the beginning of April. Bill, who was a four-time first team All-American and the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association MVP, volunteers to assist the bowlers after their Monday league games. He earned the nickname "The Real Deal" from his college coach after he lived up to the hype that preceded him! “Bobby is one of the easiest people I’ve ever taught, he really listens. He respects me and respects what I have to say. He’s made a lot of improvement.” Honorable mention on the list of the greatest Bucks County Bowlers, regional pro Ray Mahon also assists him with his skill set in this instructional league.

USBC Senior Masters winner Levittown resident, Vince Mazzanti, Jr. guides this group of budding bowlers as well. On Thursdays, he competes on the “Teens in Jeans” League at the Penndel Bowling Center. Bobby hangs out in the “alleys” with the best of them!

NHS Bowling Hall of Fame athlete inducted in 1998, Langhorne P.O. mail carrier Robert W. Leonhauser, Sr., NHS ‘70/BCCC and fast pitch softball athlete, retired bookkeeper for Poloron and then Corell Steel, Mary Grace [Romano], BHS ‘67 are visibly proud of their son who consistently demonstrates academic excellence. Bobby was locally acknowledged and congratulated in the St. Mark Church Parish bulletin for his commendable achievements, ranking top of his Class and for earning 1st Honors.

Bob, Sr. delivers more than mail! He rolled 12 faultless ball deliveries, twice! Bobby’s sister, Ann Marie Anderson, Bensalem H.S. ’89 is the 1st female to make all the pins fall in that final box and bowl a 300 perfect game at the AMF [American Machine and Foundry] Bristol Pike Lanes in Croydon.

Bobby’s family and extended family are Dorrance Street residents. His Grandmother Mabel A. [Crossan] Romano [late grandfather, Joseph A.] resides across the street from him and his sister, Ann Marie and 2000 Pro Masters World Disc Golf Champion Joe Mela live right down the “lane” with their children, Joseph Anthony and Mikayla.  Another sister, R.N. Nicole Marie, NHS ‘95 and her paramedic husband, Ed Copper are the parents of toddler, Eddie and the late Michael Matthew, who succumbed tragically to SIDS.  His Uncle, retired Detective, BCTHS Discipline Management Assistant,
[Harry] George Leonhauser, Jr. is running for Middletown Supervisor. His late grandparents, Harry “Gig” & Lori [Paul] Leonhauser owned Penndel Auto Body.

The right-handed “Eagle” bowler competes in the Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL), long recognized as one of the finest leagues in the Commonwealth of PA, for head coach, Philadelphia resident Ronald [Ron] Patrick Cargan, DeWitt Clinton High School, Bronx, NY ’62. “Bobby is intelligent, hard working, willing to listen and he competes with great enthusiasm”. According to this coach of the royal blue & white team, “Bobby started as a JV player with a 136.8 average for 24 games 2 years ago and bettered his average to 151.2 for 22 games.” Coach Cargan is anticipating a projected goal of a 170 -175 average from his Junior kegler with his 14 # Total NV [Totally New Veneer] variegated blue swirled ball and his white Dexter bowling shoes. He is readying himself to dominate the team performance.
Bobby loves martial arts and all sports. His favorite player, named to the NL All Star Team last month, is starting left handed pitcher, Californian Colbert Richard [Cole] Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies. ESPN, "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" provides his comprehensive 24-7 sports coverage and 98.1 WOGL satiates his diet of Motown & Do-wop. Life seemed “more serene” in the 50’s & 60’s.

Academics are always first for this National Honor Society high-potential learner. His litany of scholarship awards includes the Mother Katharine Drexel Award, Knights of Columbus Award and the Mother’s Association [LACE- The Ladies Association of Conwell-Egan] Award, as well as the CEC Entrance Exam scholarship. Bobby was nominated and accepted to the National Society of High School Scholars. Claes Nobel, NSHSS Chairman and Founder, who’s great-uncle Alfred established the world-renowned Nobel Prizes, states “Young people are 50% of the population and 100% of the future. The young scholars of this generation are future world leaders.” 

Bobby’s DNA also includes philanthropic ventures. His Serra Club certificate, an international Catholic lay organization, is a citation for his altar service and training the altar servers. He and many other students, primarily male, joined the St. Mark Rosary Club run by his mom in making colored bead rosaries to send to the troops. His favorite color is red, so there was a number of red rosaries created, including a “Phillies” red and white one! 3,000 black plastic bead rosaries were distributed to the U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. “A Strong Rosary Helps Give Soldiers Strength.”
Bobby took part in the CEC assembly line, dishing out mashed potatoes and vegetables for 5 hours as part of the “Hibernian Hunger Project”, a nationwide community service program that feeds thousands of needy people through a series of events that run throughout the year. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an international Irish Catholic fraternal organization dedicated to “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.”  The portioned packaged meals were delivered and distributed to local food banks, senior centers, churches and homeless shelters by the social service agency, Aid for Friends. He and his mom sponsor a Bogotá, the largest and most populous city in Columbia, youth through the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging [CFCA]. The heart of the sponsorship is the relationship that is formed between the sponsors and the child that includes a fiscal monthly commitment for nutritious food provisions and meals, school supplies, medical and dental care and clothing, shoes and school uniforms.  They give Sergio renewed hope of overcoming the obstacles of poverty and living with dignity through their personalized letters and the encouragement of knowing that someone cares.

Bobby is becoming a well-rounded student- athlete. The Distinguished Scholar is on a quest to find something that he loves doing, becoming a leader in that area and maintaining excellence. His rigorous academic schedule course load, guaranteeing he will study subjects in greater depth and detail, will include AP British Lit and U.S. History courses and a hefty dose of Mathlete material Pre- Calculus and trigonometric functions, formulas, and vectors.
He is coming prepared with the requirements of a strong curiosity about the subjects he plans to study and the willingness to work hard. Balance is the key.

His college goal choices include the Ivy League Universities, the “Ivies” Princeton “Tigers”  and the University of PA “Quakers”.

Academic requirements for prospective college athletes has gotten increasingly more demanding but Robert W. Leonhaser, Jr. is determined to make a “striking” appearance.

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Mable A. Romano
Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014 4:00 am
Mable A. (Crossan) Romano passed away at home after a short illness with her family by her side Friday, March 21, 2014. She was 86.
Born in Morrisville, Pa., daughter of the late James J. and Elsie Mae Crossan, she had been a Bristol Borough resident most of her life. Mrs. Romano was a member of St. Mark Church.
Wife of the late Joseph A. Romano, she is survived by her daughter, Mary Grace Leonhauser and her husband, Bob Sr.; two grandchildren, Bobby Leonhauser and Ann Marie Anderson (Joe Mela); one great-grandson, Joey Mela; her special niece and travel companion, Mary Lou Fusco, along with many more nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her great-grandson, Michael Mela; three brothers, James W., John and Louis Crossan; and three sisters, Betty Crossan, Martha Jobson, and Mary Gordon.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 26, at St. Mark Church, Bristol Borough. Interment will be in St. Mark Cemetery. Friends may call Wednesday from 8:45 to 10:45 a.m. at the Wade Funeral Home, 1002 Radcliffe Street, Bristol Borough.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mark Church, 1025 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA 19007. Wade Funeral Home Bristol

Robert W. Leonhauser, Jr.
Bob's parents
Saint Timothy Award Winner -
highest form of recognition given to youth at the diocesan level,
sponsored by the US National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
for demonstrating the Gospel through service to others.