Destin Snowbirds are getting busy with games and trips

The Destin Log

Destin Snowbird registration chair Linda Zukonik knows what she is doing. After more than a decade at the helm, she has developed a trouble-free system to register hundreds of snowbirds in just a three-hour time span, yet she gives all the credit to those she calls her “awesome volunteers.” 

Destin snowbird activity chairpersons provide information to an overflowing crowd of newly registered snowbirds at the Jan. registration at the Destin Community Center.

The Destin Community Center, known as The Roost to snowbirds, opened its gymnasium at 1 p.m. on Jan. 3 for the annual big registration, and nearly 500 registrants moved from station to station without a hitch. 

After signing their registration cards and paying their dues, new members were free to navigate the activities side of the room where names were being taken for various clubs and sports, and ticketed events were selling like hot cakes. Any remaining tickets will continue to be sold on Tuesday mornings before the meeting. 

Friendships were forming even before paperwork was completed as prospective Destin snowbirds lined up at the Roost on Jan. 3 for the big registration.

“More than half of the available tickets for the Valentine’s Dinner Dance are already sold,” said Dean Harper, dance chair. The dance will be held at Auston’s Oyster Bar and Grill in Miramar Beach on Feb. 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. Entertainment will be performed by Jones & Company. Tickets are $35 per person. 

Patty Daun, chair for the bus trip to the Todd Herendeen Dinner Theater in Panama City, said that one busload of snowbirds has already sold out, but she is confident that another bus will be available. She will be available on Tuesday mornings to give a status report. The trip will be Feb. 9, and tickets are $65 per person. 

Golf chair Rick Mettle of Ohio brought buckets of golf balls to the registration in order to attract potential snowbird golfers.

A majority of the available tickets for the Mardi Gras trip have also been sold, according to chair Don Collins. The dates are Feb. 12 &13, and the cost is $145 per person. Price includes transportation, a night at the Beau Rivage, and $45 in free play; $25 at Beau Rivage and $20 at the IP. 

According to the Harbor Party Boat Cruise chair, Jerry Reckman, more than half the available tickets for the Monday, Jan. 30 cruise were sold at the big registration. He will continue selling them before each Tuesday morning meeting. Once that cruise is sold out, he will begin selling tickets for the Feb. 6 cruise. Tickets are $30 per person. 

Dean and Debbie Harper of Tennessee relax with Linda and Jim Studts of Arkansas at snowbird vendor O’Quigley’s after a busy day at the registration on Jan. 3.

Besides ticket sales, crowds were lined up at the tables representing card clubs, sports outings, crafts and quilting and social gatherings. 

Snowbird vendor Pizza Hut has offered to be the venue for both Euchre on Thursday evenings and Bridge on Tuesday evenings. Both games will be played from 6-9 p.m. If interested in either, or both, contact the chairs, John Lee, 573-529-2649 for Euchre, and Charles Cassell, 804-310-8619 for Bridge. 

Cheers to another successful Big Registration thanks to chair Linda Zukonik and her diligent team.

Poker and Pinochle have also been set up. Poker chair Dean Harper invites players to participate on Tuesday evenings from 6-9 p.m. at Culver’s. He can be reached at 865-336-0421 for inquiries. Pinochle players will meet every Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Roost. Interested players should contact Ed Middendorf at 513-376-2893. 

Jan Langham, chair of The Singles Friendship Club, has set the venues for this season’s luncheons. All will take place on Tuesdays immediately after the snowbird meetings. The next luncheon will be Jan. 17, at Miller’s Ale House. 

Speaking of Tuesday’s meetings, the entertainment this week will be the talented Northwest Florida State Jazz Band. They are sure to get everyone’s feet tapping and hopefully get everyone’s hands moving to their pockets as we take up our annual collection for Children in Crisis. 

Destin Snowbird volunteers replenish their energy needs at O’Quigley’s, a Destin snowbird vendor, after the Jan. 3 registration.

Snowbirds can now also register online through the website. For more information about what’s happening, check out the activity sheet on the website at

Registrations will continue to take place every Tuesday morning from 8:30-9:45 before the 10a.m. meetings. 

Andrea Spring and Marie Fellows help newcomers George and Sylvia Vailas from Alberta, Canada sign up to become Destin Snowbirds at the Jan. 3 registration.

Storage items can be picked-up on Saturday mornings from 8-9 a.m. Remember to bring your receipt with your box number on it. If you need to get into the lockers at some other time, contact Tom Franklin at 218-230-3212. 

Last, but not least, we now have nearly 2.5 thousand followers on our Facebook group page, The Destin Snowbirds. It has become a treasure trove of information and invitations. Check it out. 

Mary Pierce is the publicity person for the Destin Snowbird Club.

Mary Pierce