VNEA

 

2003 Hall of Fame

 

Lorna Duprel
Charter: Hills Vending – Sturgis, South Dakota

Lorna has many local accomplishments including League MVP and Team Champion as well as South Dakota State 8 & 9-Ball Titles.

Lorna has served as her team’s captain for many years as well as serving on her local VNEA Board of Directors. She has also served on the State Tournament Staff and was inducted into the South Dakota VNEA Hall of Fame in 1997.

Her International honors include having five "Top 4" finishes with her team: 4th in 1988, 3rd in 1993, 1st in 1995, 3rd in 1996, 4th in 1999.
Lorna’s most memorable moment in VNEA was placing third in her first state qualifier to play in the C Division at the state tournament 24 years ago.

"VNEA leagues involve many different people. Competition, especially team, ignores race, religion, wealth, and gender to bring people together as one unit." – Lorna Duprel

 

 

Rick Tonjum
Charter: D & R Star – Rochester, Minnesota

Rick has accrued several championships both with D & R Star’s local league events and the Minnesota State tournaments. He claimed the top spot in D & R Star’s Masters Singles event in 1989, 1996, 1999, and 2000. His team captured the Masters title in 1987 & 2001. In 1998, his team earned the title Minnesota State Masters Champion.

Serving as a local VNEA Board Member, Rick finds himself promoting VNEA through local tournaments, as Captain of numerous league teams and through the education of D & R’s youth. D & R has built an impressive Junior Program, which Rick and his family play a major part of.

Rick’s proudest moment in the VNEA was watching his daughter Dana capture her third straight VNEA International Junior Championship title.

"The VNEA has always created and promoted camaraderie among the pool players. Throughout my 23 years of international play, I’ve been blessed and fortunate to meet people from all over the world. We come together to compete but leave with new friends and memories" – Rick Tonjum

 

 

Donna Grass
Charter: G & G Enterprises – London, Ontario

Donna has accomplished many feats in her illustrious 17-year VNEA career. She has been the Captain of several teams and has been awarded many Sportsmanship Awards. She has also held benefit tournaments to raise money for cancer research, street kids, and she has been the top fundraiser for "Gene Pool" for the last two years.

Although she has numerous local league and provincial titles and top finishes, her first place finish in the Women’s Regular Team division with her team "Still Strokin’" at the 1997 VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas ranks at the top. Four years later in 2001, she finished a very respectable 3rd at the Vegas event with a new team.
Donna’s record speaks for itself making her one to watch at the table.

"From the time we get off the plane in Las Vegas to the first match of the tournament, you can feel the excitement in the air. Everyone greeting old friends and meeting new ones from all over the globe. Now that’s what great memories are made of." – Donna Grass
 

 

 

Kathy Hayes
Charter: D & R Star – Rochester, Minnesota

Kathy and her husband were among the handful of players who signed on with the VNEA when Richard Hawkins conceived and started the first pool leagues at D & R Star.

Over the years, Kathy has served on several committees, boards, as team captain and encouraged and mentored anyone who expressed an interest in pool and pool leagues. For several years, she has served on the committee for The Beighley Cup 8-Ball Tournament for Cancer Research, a cause dear to her heart.

Kathy’s team captured the International Team title in 1983 and has finished in the money on several other occasions. With the opportunity to play in the Seniors Division, Kathy still dreams of winning that singles title.

"I like pool players and pool tournaments. I like watching as much as playing, so where better to indulge myself than the VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas." – Kathy Hayes

 

 

Denise Belanger
Charter: Ontario Skill Games – Scarborough, Ontario

Denise has numerous local and provincial accomplishments, which include several 8 & 9-Ball titles as well as MVP and Sportsmanship Awards.

She has been captain of her team for the last 4 years and has led her squad to numerous Ontario Championships. She spends a lot of time promoting the game of pool and shares her knowledge of the game through lessons.

In 1998, Denise captured the Women’s 9-Ball crown at the International Championships in Las Vegas. That same year, her team finished 3rd in the Women’s Regular Team Division.
Denise has nearly 100 career pool titles, which makes her a threat every time she walks to the table.

"It is amazing that we have a pool league association for the up and coming players. Leagues improve your game, stamina, and confidence. My hats off to Ontario Skill Games and the VNEA. Keep up the great work." – Denise Belanger