Foster Sanders held a book-signing soiree at Tuscany Italian Bistro last Wednesday night that included a meet-and-greet for the characters in his book "Almost to Destin." Alabama Charlie, Scott Jackson, Jim Anders, Harriet Crommelin, Rebecca Ames, and Meg Warrington attended.

Demetria McNeese, who is a very busy lady, kicked off the upcoming Wine, Women & Shoes event last Thursday night at The Beach Club at Sandestin with a signup meeting for volunteers to hear about the event and choose a spot to pitch in. Jennifer Howard, Lorre James, Gena Bolton, Betty White, Demetria and Richard McNeese were there and enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and the McNeese wines.

The next night was the kickoff for St. Rita's annual season of Friday night fish fries. Bob Johnson, Patti Johnson, Keith and RoseAnn Knight braved the misty rain to get out and enjoy. Grayton Beer will be available at the next one Jan. 24.

Saturday night, the McNeeses took center stage at a Sanglier Cellars wine dinner, along with Todd Reber, at Vin'tij, as they hosted Sanglier Cellars' owners Glenn and Melissa Alexander and their wines to a sold-out crowd. Chef John Jacobs did a great job pairing the wines with his creative dishes. His citrus grilled shrimp and scallops, and his berry barbecued roast lamb rack was over-the-top divine. Jennifer and Blevins Howard, Shane and Dana Hicks, Ed and Dana Ash, and John Stasko were some who enjoyed.

 The weather finally cleared and warmed up on Sunday and we were all able to get outdoors again and into the sun. I took a walk on the beach and met Sharon and Bob Lock. Also ran into Janice and Carl Fedkenheur. Good to see folks getting out.

Some congratulations are in order.

The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is the proud recipient of the 2013 ConventionSouthReaders’ Choice Award for the sixth time.

Karen Kolenberg proudly announces that she has a granddaughter. Isabelle Anne was born Jan. 8 at 2 a.m., weighing in at 8 pounds. Isabelle and her parents live in Annapolis, Md.

Mara Viksnins also has a new addition to her family. Julia Gray Snowden was born Jan. 2 in Silver Springs, Md., and weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces. "We braved the cold, snowy weather to be there for this wonderful occasion," said Mara. "Mama and baby doing well!" 

Jeff and Sheila Wachsman celebrated a milestone last week with 43 years of wedded bliss.

In local travels, Leslie and Scott Provow visited Snowmass, Colo.

Charles and Robin Wiesneth also sought snow in Sun Valley.

Tom and Michelle Fillingim enjoyed the warm sun of Aruba.

Carlton Ragsdale and three of his classmates have left for the remote coffee-growing villages near San Cristóbal, Mexico. Last semester, they raised more than $15,000 selling coffee to help provide clean water systems to the villages there. Now they get to see the result of their work first-hand. The students attend Ohana Institute.

Wish a "happy birthday" Saturday to Nancy Norris, jewelry-artist Diane Grey Page, Howard Group's Myra Williams, and Realtor Lynn Richardson.

Sunday to Brenda Radtke, Pam Sibley, and Sandy Weiner.

Wednesday to Marge Hoover, and Realtor Bert Summerville-Kain.

Thursday to Sherri McCarty, Mike Ragsdale, Margie Dumler, Bill Dawson, and Joan Carter.

And Friday to Ron Romano, Chef Tim Creehan, and numbers-man Brad Congleton.

Sympathy is expressed to Hardy Jackson in the death of his mom, and to Sharon Jenkins in the loss of Ed.


Deborah Wheeler is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Walton Sun. She may be reached at 654-8443 or email Her Party Line column appears weekly in The Sun. Contributions are accepted.