Snowbirds say, 'There's no place like Destin, Florida'

The Destin Log

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

- Winnie the Pooh 

The bitterness of saying goodbye to a wonderful Destin snowbird season is softened by the sweetness of our heartfelt appreciation. At the risk of forgetting someone, I’d like to express some of that gratitude.

Thank you, Mayor Bobby Wagner, the Destin City Council, and City Manager Lance Johnson, for welcoming us to your beautiful emerald coast. We have felt, and enjoyed your warmth even when the temperatures were on the cool side. 

Many supporting vendors showed up at every weekly meeting to welcome the snowbirds and hand out samples and treats.

Thank you, Destin Chamber of Commerce, especially President and CEO Shane Moody, for your participation in our opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, and for all the valuable resources and relationships that you have provided throughout our visit. 

I would like to list each and every vendor that has supported our club, but the list is much too long. However, there were some who showed up at nearly every weekly meeting with a welcoming smile and, often, a treat or two to hand out. They include Avon, Good Time Tours, Dairy Queen, Sugar Land Candy, Ice Cream, & Coffee, Tammy’s Journeys, Emerald Coast Permanent Makeup, Lee Spa & Nails, and Hot Nails & Spa. As always, snowbirds are encouraged to go to our website,, and click on the three little black bars in the upper right corner of the main page. Then, click on the “Our Supporters” link where nearly 100 businesses, organizations, and community services are listed. Each entry on the list is connected to the vendor’s webpage. Snowbirds can now patronize many of our supporters all year long. 

Snowbird president Ruth Ann Beckett, left, presents a check for nearly $1,140 from the Destin snowbirds to Melanie Row, senior development manager for the local chapter of The American Cancer Society.

We could never even have had a snowbird season if we didn’t have a Roost in which to gather. Lisa Firth, Teresa Howard, and the entire staff of the Destin Community Center have exceeded all expectations for making us feel welcomed and comfortable. And, of course, Sergeant Kyle Corbitt of the Okaloosa County Sherriff’s Office added to our comfort by keeping us safe and secure. Thanks to all of you. 

We were blown away by the caliber of entertainment offered at our weekly meetings. Considering that most entertainers are not “morning people,” only intensified our gratefulness. 

Snowbird president Ruth Ann Beckett presents a check for $250 to Sergeant Kyle Corbitt to benefit the Sheriff’s Youth Ranch.

There is no place like Destin, Florida. So many beautiful accommodations to choose from, so many restaurants, a medical community second to none to take care of our health needs, and a plethora of churches to care for our spiritual needs. It’s no wonder that every season sees some snowbirds convert to residents. 

We are truly thankful, and we try to express our appreciation with more than just words. This past season, the Destin snowbirds collected and contributed over $3,000 to local charities that included Children in Crisis, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, Harvest House, and the Sherriff Department’s Youth Ranch. Many snowbirds also volunteered countless hours to the area’s various non-profit organizations. 

Renee and Larry Green performed double duty as both vendors and snowbird members. Not only did they welcome the snowbirds to each weekly meeting with warm smiles and free samples, but they also donated several gift packages as door prizes.

I would like to add my personal “thank you” to Tina Harbuck, editor of The Destin Log, and to Destin snowbird webmaster Jack Krasky. They honed my weekly submissions in a way that had readers believing I was more talented than I actually am. And, thanks, of course, to our photographer, Duane Hall, who has created an album on our group Facebook page so that all those wonderful photos that don’t find space in the paper or on the website, can be viewed and enjoyed. 

Finally, a huge debt of gratitude goes to former snowbird president Ted Spring, who allowed his name to be submitted, and was then elected as our new publicity director. I feel blessed to have paved the way for him these past six years, and I will miss the special camaraderie and relationships that were perks of this position. 

Spring will join the 2023/2024 Board of Directors which will also include Ken Campbell as president, Jerry Reckman as 1st vice president, Steve Ericson as 2nd vice president, Ruth Ann Beckett as past-president advisor, Cindy Varnell as secretary, Pete Sikkenga as treasurer, Jack Krasky as Webmaster, Linda Zukonik as registration chair, Gene Holzer as prize committee chair, Dean Harper as member-at-large and Brenda Murphy as member-at-large. 

Ted Spring, with the help of his wife Andrea, prepares to accept the position of publicity director for the Destin Snowbird Club beginning with the 2023/2024 season.

Instead of saying goodbye, let’s say, “Until we meet again, let’s stay connected on the Destin Snowbird Group Facebook Page.” 

Safe travel. 

Mary Pierce is the Publicity Director for the Destin Snowbird Club. 

Mary Pierce