Exactly 125 years ago, a young Harvard graduate penned the immortal words, “… there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out!” All eyes were on the annual President’s Cup Golf Tournament, held annually at the Fort Walton Beach Golf Club’s Pines Course, and open only to members of the Walton County Snowbirds.
Founded five years ago by Canadian snowbird Mike Serniuk, the annual event, held on Feb. 21 this year, quickly became a good-natured contest between American and Canadian snowbirds. Good-natured, or not, the Americans struck out each time they met the Canadians in match play, leaving the cup in Canadian hands for four successive years. The Americans entered the lists in 2013 as clear underdogs desperately in need of a Casey who wouldn’t strike out. They found not one, but four Caseys! They are Fred Dunlop, Tom Hobel, Bob Sabol, and Mike Maloney.The golfing quartet lifted the Americans to a hotly contested victory that was announced at the conclusion of the match to customary table-slapping, hooting, and irreverent jesting by the bi-national sportsmen.
Sue Cummins, Susan Litwiller, Sue Dickinson, and Peg Dods led the field with low scores during the Ladies Charity Scramble held concurrently with the President’s Cup. Trina MacIntyre, Ruth Rusk, Suzie Cizmar, and Karen Weber followed only one stroke behind the leaders.
The double tournament serves double duty in that it is a fundraising event for the Shelter House of Fort Walton Beach. Shelter House received $1,000. The club’s scholarship fund received an additional $200.
Golf commanded more attention in February when the Tuesday and Thursday golf leagues joined together to share lunch at the 790 on the Gulf Restaurant Feb. 20, where 108 golfers partook of good food, fellowship, a presentation to Ken Garr to acknowledge his hole-in-one during league play and lots of door prizes.
Speaking of lunch, more than 200 Walton County snowbird women enjoyed a lunch and fashion show at Embassy Suites Feb. 27 where they munched on Chicken Cordon Bleu and triple chocolate cake while enjoying a fashion show sponsored by Bealls Department Store with the assistance of 12 Walton County snowbird women who modeled two-piece casual wear.
It was standing-room-only at the Santa Rosa Community Church on Feb. 23 when the Walton County Snowbirds, under the direction of Katie Ott, performed the first of two planned concerts. Mert Thomasma accompanied on the piano. The performance, Music from Broadway & More, concluded with a reprise of The Snowbird Song composed by the Snowbird Singers co-founder, Bill Addington. The season’s final performance will take place at the Santa Rosa Community Church, 3524 U.S. 98, during the organization’s final general meeting at 10 a.m. March 6.
The Tuesday golf league turned in scores for match play held on Feb. 19. First place went to Bev Meredith’s team, second place to the team captained by John Van Dueser. Tuesday, Feb. 26, play saw team players Bob and Eunice Collins, Keith Brown and Connie Taylor take first place. Thursday golf leaders were First Place, a tie with Kay Kempf’s and Bev Ward’s teams. Second place went to Lee Garbell's team. Paul Tomlinson will coordinate for the Thursday League next year. Tom Rajnovich will cover for the Tuesday League.
Betty Martin, reporting for the bridge players, relates that the winners for Feb. 19 and 20 play were Theresa Quinn, Gene Zwickey, Betty Martin and Jerry Emholtz, Cindy Schreiner, and Kay LaBelle respectively. Feb. 26 winners were Jerry Emholtz, Ruth Towns, and Bob Shewchuck. On Feb. 27, winners were Gordon May, Ruth Price, and Ron Nicholson.
Tom Mahar writes for the Walton County Snowbirds. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For snowbird information, www.waltoncountysnowbirds.com.