Attendance at the Tuesday morning meetings has been phenomenal this season. President Jackie Roberson’s leadership has a lot to do with it, no doubt, and the prizes given away have been plentiful. But another motivating factor has to be the amazing performances by our entertainers. And just when we think it couldn’t possibly get any better, we have Todd Herendeen on Tuesday’s docket.
Todd likes to say that his loves include God, veterans and country, in that order. He puts veterans before country, he says, because “ ... without them, we have no country.” Todd’s musical accomplishments are too numerous to list here, but the fact that he now has his own five-star, 10,000 square foot, 300-seat, dinner theater in Panama City Beach, speaks volumes about his amazing success. Fortunately, we will have him for both meetings next Tuesday morning and for the T.G.I.T. party Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Seascape Conference Center. You won’t want to miss this one!
Speaking of not missing things, snowbirds who skip the Tuesday morning meetings risk losing out on some incredible opportunities. Event chairpersons are doing everything they can to accommodate our February latecomers, but it has become a challenge. Don Collins reports that a third bus has been added for the Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans on Feb. 24, but the waiting list may exceed the newly-attained seating capacity. Tickets for each Harbor Party boat cruise go on sale only after the previously scheduled cruise has sold out. To date, the first two cruises have sold out and tickets for the Feb. 11 cruise won’t last long. Fashion Show Luncheon chairpersons Mary Ellen Franklin and Sigrid Aeschleman are reserving some tickets for the February flock but they presume those tickets will vanish quickly at the first February meeting. Unfortunately, the Valentine Dinner Dance is always one of the first events to sell out. However, there are still tickets available for the Soundsations Benefit Concert on Feb. 17 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College. This performance raises money for scholarships and financial aid for the performing arts program at Northwest Florida State College. More than a fundraiser, however, it is a spectacular production and the talent exhibited will blow you away. Be sure to attend the Feb. 5 snowbird meeting to enjoy a sample of what you can expect.
Unlike the events, most of the activities are still open to participants. For example, poker players meet every Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Seascape Conference Center, Euchre players meet Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. at Uncle Buck’s, and spots are possibly still open for both pool shooters and fishing enthusiasts. Singles are always welcome to join the Friendship Club that meets for lunch every Tuesday. The next venue will be at Osaka’s after the 11 a.m. meeting.
All activity information — days, times, locations and who to contact — can be found on the activity sheet that you received when you registered and on the website at www.destinsnowbirds.org.
One activity that does tend to fill-up quickly every year is the writers group. Pat Hager of North Dakota initiated this activity in 2014 and has been chairing it ever since. Due to limited space at the Destin Library, Pat has had to turn applicants away. However, she is very happy with the caliber of the 14 members who are involved this season. “Most of our writers are published,” she said, “and we also have an artist/sculptor, a photographer and a songwriter in our midst.”
One of those published writers is Patricia Stott Prince. Prince had previously authored children’s books and poetry, but when she learned that no history of her childhood village, Muskoka Falls, Ontario, existed, she decided to write one herself. Her father owned the General Store in the remote little village that lies just two hours north of Toronto, so Pat knew just who to contact and where to gather the information she would need to supplement her vivid memories. The story has all the charm of a Laura Ingalls narrative.
Snowbirds and local Destin residents will have the opportunity to experience Pat’s works along with the talents of her creative colleagues for a special presentation and reception at 1 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Destin Public Library. Hope to see you there!
Mary Pierce, publicity director, is from Toledo, Ohio, and can be reached at 419-250-9377or email@example.com. She will be writing the weekly column for the papers, so if you have something to share contact her.