DESTIN SNOWBIRD CLUB: Almost 1,000 snowbirds registered for fun

Mary Pierce
Membership and Tournament Director Michele Auter and Assistant Golf Professional Aaron Haugan stand ready to welcome Destin snowbird golfers to Emerald Bay Golf Club for the season’s first “Nine & Wine & Whine.” [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

The registration of nearly 1,000 snowbirds last Thursday went without a hitch. Over the years, Chairperson Linda Zukonik has developed practices and procedures that have greatly enhanced this traditionally strenuous day. Kudos to Linda and her team.

Many of the club’s chairpersons were on hand to sign people up for the various activities and events; some were performing double duties. For instance, board member Dean Harper was simultaneously signing folks up for the Valentine Dinner Dance, which will be held Feb. 16 at the Royal Palm Grille in the Surfside Resort, and inviting members to play poker every Monday night, starting this Monday, Jan. 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Seascape Conference Center.

Don Collins, another board member, was taking reservations for both the New Orleans Mardi Gras Trip and the Harbor Party Cruises. Only one bus trip to New Orleans, on Feb. 24, is planned for this year. There will be three Harbor Party Cruises, all on Mondays — Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. If openings are still available for either, he will be taking names and selling tickets at the meetings on Tuesday.

Ken Lemire was often behind the curtains on Thursday, managing the data entry staffers. At the same time, however, he had to make sure snowbirds were informed of the computer classes offered every other Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Faith Assembly Church on Geronimo Street. Classes will be Jan. 8 and 22, and Feb. 12 and 26. A March class is being considered. “The classes will cover Windows 10 and iPads,” Ken said. “So if you own an iPad, bring it to class.”

Golf chairman Joe Pierce invited many of the Destin area golf clubs to come and share information on their snowbird playdates, discounts and season specials. On Jan. 7, Emerald Bay Golf Club will host this season’s first “Nine & Wine & Whine” starting at 1 p.m. (Nine & Wine & Whine is a nine-hole golf outing that includes socializing). Michele Auter, the club’s membership and tournament director, suggested that snowbirds arrive a little early to enjoy the club’s lunch specials. After golf, discounted refreshments will be available. She asked participants to remember that proper golf attire is required (no jeans, T-shirts, cut-offs or sweats).

Shalimar Pointe Golf Club will host Destin snowbirds’ first 18-hole golf outing on Jan. 11. If you missed getting a tee-time and would like to play, contact Joe at or sign up at Tuesday morning’s meeting.

Both the “Nine & Whiners” and 18-Hole players will have opportunities to “tee-it-up” on some of Destin’s finest courses. Information will be available at the weekly meetings, in future articles and, as always, on our website. In fact, our website,, offers detailed information on all this season’s activities and events. Please be sure to check it out.

You will also find information on Destin area activities such as the 14th annual Snowbird Festival on Jan. 17 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island. Free movies will also be offered at the Destin Library at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Feb. 27.

The first general snowbird meeting of the New Year will be on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at both 8:30 and 11 a.m. Registration will be available one hour to 15 minutes before each meeting. Jabbo and Krissa will entertain. Jabbo has been entertaining the Destin snowbirds for nearly 18 years. He began with his “Banjorama” band, which he now calls “The Boys.” Jabbo and the Boys are also scheduled to perform at the Feb. 26 meeting. Krissa, who adds a soft and melodious touch to complement Jabbo’s macho, has been with him for about seven years. If this will be your first Jabbo and Krissa experience, please note that they can be enjoyed every Thursday through Saturday night from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Cabana Café in Seascape.

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