SNOWBIRD NEWS: 2,176 visitors joined Destin Snowbird Club

Mary Pierce
Mary Pierce

Expectations are always high for Crystal Gage when she comes to entertain the Destin Snowbirds, and she never disappoints. This past Tuesday she delighted the crowd by introducing her twin daughters, six-month old Emily and Daisy. The little sweethearts nearly stole mama’s show. In fact, the girls were such a hit that Crystal brought them to the T.G.I.T. (Thank Goodness It’s Tuesday) party for an encore. How will snowbird favorites Jabbo and the Boys compete with that? We’ll find out come Tuesday.

Registrations for the 2017-2018 Destin Snowbird season are closed. Congratulations to Linda Zukonik and her team who enrolled 2,176 snowbirds, a gain of 128 over last season. Nearly 650 enrollees signed up for the first time. Many are already making their plans to return next season.

Part of those plans include purchasing storage locker tickets to store items that won’t be needed until they return. For $8, snowbirds can store their belongings in a box as big as 18-by-18-by-16 or, for the same price, they can store their spare set of golf clubs. For $20, bicycles can be stored. Tickets are being sold between the 8:30 and 11 a.m. meetings Feb. 20 and 27. Ken Yee will also be available to answer any questions.

Registration may have ended but activities are still in full swing. Some that were once considered obscure such as pickleball, skeet shooting and billiards, are gaining in popularity. You may want to check them out.

Pickleball is offered at The Roost four days a week. Sessions are as follows: Mondays, 12:30 to 2 and 2 to 3:30 p.m., Tuesdays, 2 to 3:30 p.m., and Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to noon and noon-1:30 p.m. Lessons are offered on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. Those interested must call in advance because sessions are often filled with rotating players and standbys. The number to call is 850-654-5184. Please don’t call the number listed on the activity sheet.

Skeet shooting is held every Saturday morning at Hurlburt Field at 10 a.m. Chairman Denny Kugler of Minnesota said that there are usually six to eight snowbird members who show up but there is always room for more. Shooters rotate around eight stations and take aim at the clay pigeons that are discharged simultaneously or consecutively (shooter’s choice) at their “pull” command. There are two clay pigeon towers, a high tower on their left and a low tower on their right. Participants need to bring their own guns.

Chairman Tom Willie of Wisconsin is in the process of rebuilding the level of interest in billiards that was lost due to the closing of Emerald Coast Billiards where the activity had initiated. Pool shooters now meet every Sunday at Hurricane Lanes at 2 p.m. to play 8-ball or 9-ball. Tom looks forward to scheduling some tournament play as soon as more players join in. Right now, five tables are available to snowbirds at no cost. This activity will continue as long as Tom is in the area, and he doesn’t plan to leave until March 10.

Tom Willie also chairs the fishing expeditions for the snowbirds. Thursday, Jan. 31, about eight snowbirds joined him on the Destin Princess. He said they caught a near record-breaking number of fish that included white snapper, amberline and small amberjacks. They also caught red snapper, triggerfish and larger amberjack but had to throw them back because they were out of season. Two tidbits that snowbirds might not know: first, you don’t need a fishing license to join these outings and also, you can have whatever you caught cleaned and filleted at the pier for nothing more than a gratuity. Another trip is in the works for a Tuesday or Thursday in later February. Tom will be at the Tuesday morning meetings with more information and a sign-up sheet.

Mark your calendars:

The Singles Friendship Club will meet at the Aegean Greek Restaurant in Miramar Beach on Tuesday immediately after the 11 a.m. meeting. The last T.G.I.T. party will be Tuesday, Feb. 20. David Hall will be the entertainer. Tickets for the Ladies Scrambles on Feb. 23 are still available. Contact me for more information.

Mary Pierce, publicity director, is from Toledo, Ohio, and can be reached at 419-250-9377or She will be writing the weekly column for the papers, so if you have something to share contact her.