Snowbird club needs its volunters

Tom Mahar
Bob and Eunice Collins volunteer their time to help others enjoy the Emerald Coast.

Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist and actress, once reminded us in poetic form that we are more alike than different, a sentiment that makes one wonder if she has met some Walton County snowbirds because their similarities far exceed their differences. Kindred spirits all, when they gather the order of the day is good cheer if not downright merriment. Maybe that is the reason participation in Walton County Snowbird activities often leads to lifetime friendships and pleasant memories.

Those searching for activities, physical or cerebral, will usually turn to for updated information. Joining the club doesn’t break the bank. A membership card is priced low enough to cause palpitations in a miser’s heart — nine bucks — about the price of a refreshment at your favorite bistro or lunch on the fly at many Emerald Coast restaurants.

The Walton County Snowbird organization plans to welcome 2013 and hundreds of new and returning snowbirds when they sign the membership rolls from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, at Faith Assembly Fellowship Hall, 306 South Geronimo Street in Miramar Beach. Open enrollment continues each Monday, same time, same place, until the snow begins to melt back home.

Tom Schwichtenberg made his first appearance as club president at the general meeting on Dec. 12. In his remarks, Schwichtenberg thanked the club’s many volunteers and encouraged others to join the volunteer ranks.

Entertainment was provided by Chuck Lawson who gave what he labeled a “Caribbeanized” version of the 60’s hit, “This Magic Moment,” followed by a rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and best of all, Neil Diamond’s soft rock, “Sweet Caroline.”

Former president Nancy Gehrke, the club’s former president, called out dozens of winning door prize draws. Mike Dougall and Richard Bryla, donned in Santa attire, assisted in delivering prizes to the lucky winners. The next general meeting occurs at 10 a.m. Jan. 9 at the Destin Life Center Building of the Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive in Destin.

Bob and Eunice Collins are Albert Schweitzer’s kind of people. He once said, “… one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." The Walton County Snowbirds is an all-volunteer not-for-profit club dedicated to serving the recreational interests of its members. That’s a mouthful that simply means the club couldn’t exist without volunteers, among them Bob and Eunice Collins of Elkhorn, Wis.

Those who take advantage of the Biloxi bus trips know them as the friendly couple who make the necessary arrangements for a pleasant and safe journey to and from the city that attracts fun spirited snowbirds. They are now busy lining up 50 or so passengers for a Jan. 16 excursion to Biloxi’s Hard Rock Café. Others recognize them as the couple who make possible the weekly euchre match that attracts 80-100 snowbirds, held this year at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at Seascape.

In addition, Eunice served as the club’s vice-president for several years while Bob lent, and continues to lend, a friendly voice and plenty of muscle to the club’s storage program. No questions about it. Bob and Eunice have found how to serve.

Tom Mahar writes for the Walton County Snowbirds and can be reached at For Snowbird information visit