Rodeo holds annual membership meeting Jan. 25

Tina Harbuck

Although the Destin Fishing Rodeo just wrapped up a couple of months ago, plans are already being made for the 70th annual event set to take place this October.

The Destin Fishing Rodeo, Destin’s longest running tradition, will hold a general membership meeting at 5 p.m., Jan. 25 at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

“We’re looking for the 70th Rodeo to be the best ever,” said Rodeo executive director Helen Donaldson.

The Rodeo is a volunteer based non-profit organization with a three-fold purpose — promote recreational fishing within Destin, strengthen the claim of “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village," and to foster good sportsmanship and safe fishing in an organized competition for recreational fishermen.

The Rodeo takes place the entire month of October, drawing more than 35,000 anglers from all over the United States who compete for cash and prizes. The Rodeo is also the coordinating organization for the Miss Destin Pageant in April.

In the meantime, the Rodeo is seeking members. Memberships are available for $25 for individual members and $35 for family memberships. If interested, you can join online at destinfishingrodeo.org, by mail at Destin Fishing Rodeo, P.O. Box 296, Destin, FL 32540, or you can register at the annual meeting on Jan. 25.

The annual meeting will be open to all members, new and existing. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served and a cash bar will be available.

At the meeting, members will get a chance to sign up for the various committees that make the Rodeo happen, such as the Rules and Awards Committee, Sponsorship Committee and Miss Destin Pageant Committee to name a few.

Also, three new directors will be elected at the annual meeting. This year’s slate of candidates includes long-time Rodeo volunteers. They are John Brashears, past board member/chairman as well as Rodeo photographer; Curt Gwin, a charter boat captain as well as an officer with the Destin Charter Boat Association; and Chris Schofield, past Rodeo board member, charter boat captain and officer with the Destin Charter Boat Association.

Voting is limited to members in good standing. Plus there will be write-in spaces available for additional nominations.

“If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of the Rodeo, now is the time,” Donaldson said.