Destin History and Fishing Museum adds new board members
The Destin History and Fishing Museum welcomed four new board members at its monthly meeting Jan. 13.
The new members are Jason Belcher, Tarra Wixom Destin, Charlie Noonan and Matthew Sweetser.
“I’m looking forward to working with our 2021 board,” said Kathy Marler-Blue, executive director of the museum. “Each one has strengths to bring to the group and desire to grow the museum.”
Others serving on the board are Lloyd Taylor, president; Norm Hall, vice president; Dennis Liberatore, treasurer; Terry Long, secretary; Terri Hensley, Tina Harbuck, Denver McCormick and Richard Derek.
The museum, located at 108 Stahlman Ave. across from the Destin Community Center, is packed with historical artifacts, photos, fish wall mounts and more of what has made Destin Destin over the years.
Some of the new board members have ties to Destin and are looking forward to serving.
"I’m looking forward to assisting the museum in growing their programing and membership to bring the history of Destin and the fishing industry to more visitors and locals alike,” said Wixom Destin, who is married to Parker Destin. “It’s an honor to serve on the board of one of Destin’s oldest cultural and scientific institutions.”
Sweetser, a fifth-generation Destinite, is glad to serve on the board as well.
“I’m most looking forward to helping preserve Destin’s rich history and traditions for the future generations to come,” Sweetser said. “I try very hard to share as many stories as possible with my nieces, nephews and younger cousins about our family's heritage and history in old Destin.”
Sweetser is the grandson of the late Capt. Harold Walters of Destin.
As for Noonan, he visited here in the 1970s but has called Destin home since 2003 and also is excited to serve.
“I like helping in the community as much as I can,” he said.
And as part of the museum board, Noonan said he hopes to “help expand the exposure of the history and fishing museum to the community.”
"I feel honored,” Noonan said of the opportunity to serve.
Belcher, who has volunteered at the museum in the past and helped on projects such as the restoration of the Primrose and the old Post Office, is more than happy to serve.
The Primrose is one of Destin’s oldest fishing boats, built in 1925 and is on display at the museum.
By working on those projects, Belcher said he “developed an appreciation” for Destin’s efforts to preserve so many artifacts.
However, Belcher said he’s mostly motivated to serve by his love for his wife, Christina, and her family.
“My in-laws dropped anchor in Destin some 60 odd years ago,” he said. “My wife and brother-in-law grew up loving their hometown and it has rubbed off on me, though I am not a native to Destin.
“Coming on the board and any volunteering I did previously is just a natural extension of my love for my wife and her family and their love for Destin,” Belcher added.
If you’ve never been to the museum and would like visit, in lieu of the general membership meeting this year, the museum will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 10 with free admission.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.