And the new year begins for snowbirds

Sigrid J. Aeschleman
Frosty the Sandman wishes all a Happy New Year from the Destin Snowbird Club.

Along with ringing in the new year in a few days, more Destin snowbirds will be returning (or new ones will be initially coming) to the Emerald Coast to enjoy the warmer temperatures and activities that this area has to offer. How many will be coming this year? That is a question that will soon be answered as members of the Destin Club line up to register at the BIG registration on Monday, Jan. 4, from 1-3 p.m. at the Destin Community Center.

Members of the club are ready to welcome newcomers and to greet those who are returning. Linda Zukonik, registration chairman, says that “the executive and committee chairs have planned this event in order to help snowbirds register easily and to sign up for various events in an expedient manner. All winter visitors are welcome and are urged to follow the directions of the volunteers who are working hard to make the process as easy as possible."

Volunteers will be posted along the hallway and into the gymnasium of The Roost, the snowbird home in the Destin Community Center, to assist in the registration process. Registration will begin at 1 p.m. promptly and registration cards (one to each couple or surname) will be distributed. Members will file into the gym where tables (Station 1) will be available to write the required information on both sides of the cards. Station 2 is a holding area until numbers are called to proceed to Station 3 where payment is made. Membership fee is $8 per person and members are reminded to use U.S. funds only (cash or check made payable to Destin Snowbirds, Inc.). Once payment has been made, members will move on to Station 4 where the member’s green badge card will be given to them. Station 5 will complete the badge process by putting them into a plastic sleeve.

Once the registration process is complete, members can then proceed to the activity tables where tickets are sold for the various activities and badges must be displayed in order to purchase tickets or to sign up for events. Golf courses will be present in order to provide information to members about their products, special snowbird prices and services. Tickets may be purchased for the Mixer Party to be held Jan. 30, the New Orleans Mardi Gras Trip (Jan. 29-31), the Harbor Party Cruise (for Jan. 25 only), the Soundsations Benefit Concert on Feb. 7 and the Fashion Show which will be Feb. 22.

Club activities will be represented at tables and members will have an opportunity to decide on how to spend their time while in Destin and to sign up for any of those activities. Members who have already registered are urged to come at 1 p.m. to sign up for activities, but badges must be worn or shown in order to sign up or to buy tickets. One ticket per badge will be sold (maximum of 2 per person) and a member must have both badges in hand in order to purchase 2 tickets. Tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis and will sell quickly.

Various restaurant sponsors have been invited to bring tasty samples of treats from their restaurants. Food will be available in the Food Room (near the lobby) and members must have badges in order to enter as this is for members only so visit this room on your way out of the Center.

Storage lockers will be open from 8-9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2, and from 2-3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 4. President Tom Franklin will preside over the 8:30 and 11 a.m. meetings on Jan. 5 and will welcome all to the club. David Hall, one of the favorites of the snowbirds, will be the entertainment. Vendors will be present at the back of the gym to share their wares and information will be on the tables in the foyer of the Community Center for snowbirds to take with them. The Friendship Club will meet for the first time at Harbor Docks after the 11 a.m. meeting on the 5th.

Visit our wonderful website for up to date and complete information ( and look for weekly information in the Destin Log (Saturday), the NWF Daily News (Sunday), and the Beachcomber (published fortnightly).

Frosty the Sandman and the Destin Snowbird Club wish you a very happy, prosperous, and safe New Year.

Sigrid J. Aeschleman, publicity director, is from Illinois and can be reached at