Paul Boschert is a typical Walton County Snowbird activity leader. He works quietly behind the scenes without expectation of reward, and in so doing he displays a “thereness” that is essential to the success of the snowbird club. Paul recently voiced the sentiment that runs like a thread through the club’s volunteer roster when he said, “Seeing everyone’s smile is reward enough for the work.”

Club president, Tom Schwichtenberg, concurs. He said his role is to attract people of Paul Boschert’s caliber to the club’s volunteer ranks. “These skilled individuals make a difference in people’s lives,” he said.

Schwichtenberg may have been talking about volunteers like Paul Smithers. He gathers people who forego rocking chairs and guides them to a basketball court where they show they still have moves. In July, Paul and fellow snowbird, Phil Ashley, will compete in the National Senior Olympics.

Schwichtenberg could also have been describing Judy Kremers. She takes more than 80 snowbirds bowling every week. Those balls don’t wobble down the alley either. They fly! If you want to live, you’ve got to move. Eight more volunteers will show you exactly how. Diane Likhite, Julie Flynn, Connie Sutherland, and Sarah Vaillancourt teach line dancing and senior aerobics. Len and Jan Hoover and Dave and Gail Tudman will help you glide across the ballroom à la Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Dancers put the instruction to good use during the annual dinner dance organized by Eva Mae Rice and Paul Boschert. All this and no one will ask for your Master Card … and we aren’t done. There’s more to tell.

Debra Bailey and Jan Young help us develop our inner artist with watercolors, oils, and acrylics. Karen Moosekian and Dee Trolian guide crafters who in a short time learn to produce professional crafts for the home or person. Bob Algie will draw you into exploration of sundry topics in a discussion group setting. Dee Trolian and Valerie Beall invite you to discuss books. Want to write? Tom Mahar takes the mystery out of it in a free workshop. Dave Peterson will take you fishing; Barbara Kimball will give you a two-wheeled tour of the area if you can keep up. Bob and Eunice Collins prefer the four-wheeled variety and will use it to convey you to Biloxi, Miss., should you care to risk some cash.

And golf! Leagues, play dates, scrambles, and tournaments all run by top organizers Barbara Breeman, Mike Callan, Beth Sargent, Bonnie Schwichtenberg, Dom Trolian, and Mike Whitton. Games, too! Bridge under the care of Pierce and Betty Martin and Pat and Ruth Towns, Euchre led by Bob and Eunice Collins and Lew and Connie Haines, Mah Jongg by Carol Baumann, more cards with Bill and Marie Nusbaum, and of course, tennis. Vivek Likhite and Joe Wolschlag will see that you get time on the courts, and singers by the dozen lift our spirits with the help of director, Katie Ott, business manager, Mary Serniuk, and pianist, Mert Thomasma.

There are others — too many to name. People like Connie Taylor who oversees the annual blood drive or Al Francis who finds all that cool entertainment for the general meetings. Ken Lemire who helps people figure out their computers, Bob Bailey who handles outreach projects, Vivian Neidel who organizes the ladies luncheon, or Vivek Likhite who does a grand job of gathering support for the club’s scholarship program, and Jane Chadderdon and Lillie Radmer who organize activities for singles. New volunteers add new activities every year. This year Heather Armstrong brought Taoist Tai Chi, Dinah Keefe introduced Zumba, Vivica Kiger brought Pilates, and Bonnie Schwichtenberg added another golf league.

We haven’t room to name more volunteers, each one as vital as the next, the greeters, and others who help at registration, the officers, the prize committee, storage volunteers, those who set up chairs for the general meetings, and others who do so much to keep the organization’s wheels greased.  

The final general meeting of the year takes place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, at Santa Rosa Beach Community Church, 3524 West U.S. 98. In addition to some important business that includes the election of officers for the 2013/2014 season, the Snowbird Singers will perform under the direction of Katie Ott, the club’s youngest volunteer. The performance follows close on the heels of a successful debut that took place Feb. 23 at the Santa Rosa Beach Community Church.

Tom Mahar writes for the Walton County Snowbirds. Reach him at