DESTIN SNOWBIRD CLUB: They won. No, they won.

Mary Pierce
Walton Sun

The Americans won the inaugural Can/Am Cup by one point! It was announced at the award ceremony immediately after play last Wednesday at the Pines Course at the Fort Walton Beach Golf Club.

There were high-fives, back slaps and rounds of drinks being bought in celebration. Canadian Elspeth Orr took honors as the low net winner and a great time was had by all.

But wait! Upon a closer look and another count, it turned out that the Canadians had actually won by a half point! The discovery was made too late to be announced at the event, but the news was leaked at the weekend’s Valentine Dinner Dance and cheers could be heard throughout the banquet hall.

Hold the press, it still wasn’t quite right. On the third and final count, it turned out that the two countries tied the tournament 12 to 12. Peter Kolobutin of Ontario and John Ardellini of Wisconsin tied with low net scores of 65, but John won the prize in a score-card play-off. Elspeth won the gratitude of everyone, especially the committee for being such a good sport. Plans are underway for next year’s exciting rematch.

While the golfers were battling it out on the links, the “pool crew” and others were gathering to pay tribute to Mary Ellen Franklin, a former snowbird “first lady” who passed away last spring. Over 50 devoted fans gathered at the Cabana Café for a buffet luncheon and recollections of happy times with their favorite mermaid. Husband Tom Franklin addressed the gathering and thanked everyone for their endearing memories.

“Homestretch.” That was the term used by President Ted Spring as he gathered board members and other volunteer guests into his home for a season’s end appreciation party. The snowbird season runs non-stop from mid-November through the first week in March, but for the board, especially the president, it is almost a year-round endeavor. A tequila toast was well deserved by all.

The glow seen over the emerald waters of Miramar Beach last weekend wasn’t just another pretty sunset. It was all the love and affection emitting from the Royal Palm Grille as snowbird lovers and friends danced to the enchanting melodies provided by David Hall. What was once billed as a “Holiday Dinner Dance” then a “Social Mixer” in years past has evolved into the immensely popular Valentine Dinner Dance. Dean and Deb Harper have successfully chaired the sell-out event for the past three years, and Hall has been their musician of choice for the last two.

Never tiring of a good thing, the snowbirds had maestro Hall back to perform at the Tuesday morning meetings at The Roost and again at the final T.G.I.T. (Thank Goodness It’s Tuesday) party Tuesday afternoon at the Seascape Conference Center.

He will be hard to beat, but if anyone is up to the challenge, it’s Jabbo and the Boys who, with their Cajun sounds, will ring in Fat Tuesday in true Mardi Gras fashion. It will be a morning you won’t want to miss.

Another successful event that many snowbirds decided not to miss was last Sunday’s Soundsations Benefit Concert put together by the performing arts students of Northwest Florida State College at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. Nearly 500 attended. Snowbird president Ted Spring presented a check for $1,000 to NWFSC President Dr. Devin Stephenson and Performing Arts Chair Dr. James “Clint” Mahle.

The remaining proceeds will be presented at the last snowbird meeting at 10 a.m. March 3 when the students of the NWFSC Jazz Band will perform.

Some post-it note reminders:

The Singles Friendship Club will meet at the Indian Bayou Golf Club after Tuesday’s 11 a.m. meeting.

Storage boxes will be sold before each meeting next Tuesday.

And the Party Bridge Club is up and running with games planned for this Monday at the Acme Oyster House in Seascape.

Be sure to check the website, www.destinsnowbirds,org, for more details on these and other happenings.

I started the article with what some might consider an embarrassing faux pas and I am ending it with another one. Last week, I said that Mary MacCuaig was the lucky winner of the beautiful lady’s golf bag at the annual Ladies Scrambles. In fact, it was Jennifer Cosgrove. Sorry ladies! Could I get away with saying that you Ontario ladies all look alike? Just kidding.

Mary Pierce, publicity director, is from Toledo, Ohio, and can be reached at 419-250-9377 or She will be writing the weekly column for the papers, so if you have something to share, contact her.