Walton County Snow Birds Club Gears Up For Season

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Every November Tom Schwichtenberg and his wife travel south to escape the Minnesota winter. Tom is president of the Walton County snow birds club. He spends most of his time making sure the members of the club enjoy their stay.

"This is the big week because people will be coming in starting January first until about the fifteenth of March. Then on the fifteenth of March they all start migrating back to the North" said Schwichtenberg.

In 25-years the Walton County club has grown to nearly 17-hundred members. For snowbirds traveling South for the winter for the first time finding things to get involved in can be difficult. But thanks to the help of a new newspaper dedicated to snow birds of the gulf coast and with the help of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce new organizations are popping up all over with different activities from karate, to aerobics and even yoga.

"During the time that they stay down here we have probably forty something activities that they get to be in" said Schwichtenberg.

Canadian snowbird Jeanette Diggins says she and her husband's trips here have created countless memories.

"For my husband and i we've been coming down to this neck of the wood for over 20 years. We've made some absolutely wonderful friends and we come back every year and make new friends" said Diggins.

And the opportunity to exchange several feet of snow for a sandy beach has its own social attractions.

"I think the biggest benefit is if you come down here for your first time and you don't know anyone. Ok so you're a little hesitant about coming down here. What happens is you end up with a social bunch of people" said Schwichtenberg.

Members pay 9-dollars to joins the Walton County snowbird club, with the money going back to local scholarships and charities.


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