Come join the fun by registering from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at Faith Assembly Hall, 306 S Geronimo St. in Miramar Beach. A membership fee of $10 per person buys you friendship, special offers and a chance at doorprizes. Dozens of activities, most of them free to members, offer something for everyone. But even better are the new friends you’ll make here in your winter nesting place. Full information can be found at waltoncountysnowbirds.com

The next members’ general meeting is at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive. Entertainment provided by soulful singer Sputzy, a local favorite who performs regularly at Cabana Café and other restaurants in the area.

The snowbirds’ annual blood drive this year will be Jan. 31, the last Wednesday in January, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Members can sign up with Karen Moosekian at 2destinkaren@gmail.com.

Meet Our Snowbirds

Walton County Snowbirds come from all over. This year we are featuring some of these interesting and diverse people. To meet more — come join us.

Canadians Rayne and Rick Bryla have been making the long trek from Ontario to Walton County for eight years, and don’t miss the wintry weather back home one bit. “We love the location, lots to do, everything you need is right here … and of course, there’s all the American friends we have made,” Rayne said.

Right now, their favorite snowbird activity is pickleball.

“A co-worker of mine used to come home from Florida every year talking about pickleball. … I thought ‘What’s pickleball?” Rayne said. “Well, now I know and both Rick and I are addicted, even playing in tournaments now.”

They agree that one of the benefits of the snowbirds group is the many activities offered because it gives people a chance to try new things in a low-risk, friendly environment (most activities are free to members). They have also participated in aerobics, bowling and golf, and have enjoyed working as volunteers during registrations each year. Rick, a retired police officer, often helps out with “crowd control” at the registrations, mostly helping people find the places to go to sign up for various activities.

Their advice to anyone interested in joining?

“I would tell them to go onto the website and get involved in some of the activities,” Rayne said. “And the people are great.”

Dinah Keefe, from St. Paul, Minn., is the Walton County Snowbirds information officer. She can be reached atdinah_keefe@yahoo.com.