What is the Snowbird Club?
We are often asked, "What is the Snowbird Club?" For those of you who are new to our Destin winter home, here is a brief history and current status.
The Beginning. During the winter of 1973-74, "Red" Lyon and his wife, Virginia, who were spending their first retirement winter in Destin, organized a small group of like-minded winter visitors for potluck dinners and other activities. They called themselves "The Snowbird Mockingbird Club". By 1978 there were 278 members and were still growing. In April of 1979, the club filed papers for incorporation as a non-profit club and officially became the Destin Snowbird Club, Inc. with a five member Board of Directors. They had many activities... card games, trips to the Dog Races, fishing, sunset cruises, parties, golf and bowling. Meetings were held on Tuesday mornings and there was entertainment. Red was the president and served in that capacity until 1986. Virginia Lyon originated the idea of soliciting meeting door prizes from the area businesses.
Growth. In 1985-86 the membership had grown to 1300 and Red stepped down as Chairman due to health reasons but remained active, serving as Chairman of Entertainment until his death in 1994. In April of 1986 a group of nine active members amended the By-Laws and a seven member board was established, the President and each VP were each responsible for a number of the activities. Membership grew rapidly and the club decided to conduct two Tuesday morning meetings in order to accommodate the growing numbers. Not only is the entertainment excellent but door prizes are valued. Destin Snowbirds return year after year; many new members join each year. We are proud to see a membership of 3000, more or less, each year.
Past Presidents. All of the Board of Directors and all of the chair people, who handle the day-to-day activities, are volunteers. These are the names of the past presidents and their terms of office. Ivan "Red" Lyon - 1979-1986; Harry "Doc" Wagner - 1986-87; Bob Nicholls - 1987-88; Bill Main - 1988-89; Smokey Callahan - 1989-90; Chris Misener - 1990-91; Leo Gryn - 1991-92; Jeanne Kowalski Boyd - 1992-93; Bob Maxwell - 1993-94; Les Miller - 1994-95; Carol Young - 1995-96; Frank Turner - 1996-97; Adeline "Addie" Selid - 1997-98; Tom Van Krevelen - 1998-99; Frank Cassin - 1999-2000; Fred Bussa - 2000-01; Lise Walsh - 2001-02; Ken Yee - 2002-03; Grace Fostmeier - 2003-04; Brian Walsh -2004-05; Don Cooksey- 2005-06; Jan Werner - 2006-07; Ford Sims - 2007-08; Jack Ballinger - 2008-2009; Marge Marcella - 2009-2010; Paul Hewitt 2010-2011; Bill Pasel - 2011-2012; Timi Millar - 2012-2013; George Olson - 2013-2014.
Elections. Our current Board is listed below. Each year a nominating committee nominates the members of the Board. To achieve the nomination to become president, we have found that a system of progression works very well, giving the nominee the experience of learning the ropes from 2nd VP up to president. The skills of new volunteers are always welcome. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the meeting when they are announced. Our election is held at the last general meeting of the year with all members voting.
Historians. Our Snowbird Club has a great history. The records of the early days and each president's term of duty are documented; "The History of Destin Snowbirds" was first published in 1998. This document has been updated annually by our former Club Historian, Addie Selid who originated the project, and our current Historian, Gail Carson. It represents years of voluntary endeavors by hundreds of people to guarantee the success of our winter activities and community involvement. If you are interested in reading this document, please contact Gail or a member of the Board of Directors for details.
2014 - 2015 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President ~ Nancy Hewitt 850-424-7379
1st V.P. ~ Tom Franklin 218-230-3212
2nd V.P. ~ Dean Harper 270-316-9497
Treasurer ~ Ken Lemire 850-351-0672
Secretary ~ Mary Pierce 419-250-9377
Publicity Director ~ Sigrid Aeschleman 309-824-0626
Member at Large ~ Linda Zukonik 850-650-7150
Member at Large ~ David Douglas 850-654-1425 ext 61005
Webmaster ~ Bob Baker 850-837-3904, firstname.lastname@example.org
Past President's Dinner, December 2014
Back Row - Bill Pasel, Paul Hewitt, Don Cooksey, George Olson
Front Row - Ken Yee, Addie Selid, Tom Van Krevelen