The Northwest Florida Jazz Band entertained the crowds gathered for the last double meetings of the season this past Tuesday. Destin Snowbirds really appreciate the talents of these young performers! A large crowd supported the 24th annual Soundsations concert held at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center on the Niceville campus three weeks ago. Chairperson Elise Eggert presented the proceeds from that concert, $9,150, to Dr. C. Herron, dean of the Fine & Performing Arts program at the NWFSC. Snowbird donations are now in excess of $200,000, providing funding for scholarships and musical equipment at the college.

The Snowbird Chorus, under the direction of past-president Marge Marcella opened the 11 a.m. meeting singing the national anthems and two additional numbers. Shane Moody, president & CEO of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, was also in attendance, wishing all the members a safe journey home and thanking them for coming to spend the winter here in Destin. The business community welcomes the economic impact of winter tourism on the Emerald Coast.

Although membership in the club was down slightly this year from last year, a record number of new members joined the ranks. A breakdown of the numbers has 77.37 percent American citizens, 22.83 percent Canadian. Why then does it seem that license plates from Ontario outnumber those of the northern American States? Because of the 441 Canadians, 402 are from Ontario, far outnumbering those registered from seven other Canadian provinces and all the 40 states represented in the membership. Two hundred thirty-nine members hailed from Michigan, followed by Minnesota, a close second at 228. Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri each had more than100 members. There are members from as far away as the state of Alaska!

Next week a single meeting will be held at 10 a.m. The nominating committee will announce a slate of officers for next year's board of directors, and the Friendship Club will meet for lunch at Mullhollow's Bistro in Fort Walton Beach following the meeting.

Plans are starting to take shape for next year's programs. Incoming president George Olson announced the return of the popular Mardi Gras New Orleans trip for Feb. 21-23 2014. Chairman Don Cooksey will have pricing and details posted soon on the website,

The prize committee still has a large number of prizes to be awarded at each of the two remaining meetings. Once again we thank all our sponsors for their generosity this past season. A full listing of all who contributed to the door prizes is on the website.

All members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the Community Center for the local food bank. Please deposit your plastic membership badge holders in the box at the front of the auditorium as you leave for the final time this season. All the treasures boxed and ready to spend the summer in Destin can be deposited in the storage locker each Saturday from 8-9 a.m. until March 23.

Nancy Hewitt, publicity director, can be reached at