Plans birthday party for community

Capt. Ben Marler, the man on the bridge, a longtime Destin fisherman and “fisher of men,” will celebrate his 75th birthday next week.

All members of the community are invited to celebrate with cake, coffee and soft drinks, on his birthday, July 5, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive.

Out of nine children born in Destin in 1938, only one was a boy.

That child, Capt. Ben, would grow up to become one of Destin's most well-known boat captains. His life is a living monument to God and the World's Luckiest Fishing Village.

To RSVP, visit the birthday page at or email

Capt. Ben doesn't want any presents. He said the people's "presence" is all the "presents" he needs.

However, if you so desire, feel free to bring a canned good donation for Capt. Ben's charity, Old Destin Fund, which distributes food to those in need.