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|Indiana snowbirds hear from heart doctor|
Jaunary 13, 2014 - Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) - The first meeting is always one of reunion and celebration for the Indiana faithful, a chance to greet and share with all of our friends we find here in lower Alabama from year to year.
This is the time when we find out who had to grip the steering wheel tightly as they made their way out of snowbound Indiana, and then less tightly as the climate of blue skies and sunny days met them at the Alabama state line.
The Indiana Snowbird Club saw 131 members go down the food line early Thursday morning, Jan. 9, but not before the crowd was treated to an outstanding flag presentation by the Navy Junior ROTC drill team from Gulf Shores High School who led in the pledge of allegiance, then marched out in step to retire the colors.
Commander McCandless USN (Ret) then thanked the crowd for faithfully purchasing the coupon books that all snowbirds like. The sale of these books helps to fund the activities of the ROTC. (Herb Malone of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism, pictured, right, will speak to the Indiana Snowbird Club on Jan. 23.)
Cardiologist Dr. Ralph Buckley of Cardiology Associates talked about "Blocked Arteries" with the Indiana Snowbird Club at their first breakfast meeting of the year at Lulu's on Homeport Plaza. Dr. Buckley delivered an entertaining lecture, beginning with "Why do we come down here?" (food and good times over the winter months) and moving quickly to "How does the heart work?" (It delivers blood to body organs.)
The heart can pump five liters of blood per minute around the circulatory system, and any hitch in the process has its consequences.
"There are plenty of ‘fads’ out there", Dr Buckley said, "drugs from nature and pharmaceutical mixtures that promise help for the body, but long term studies don't always show they produce the help we'd like to see. The most important couple of things we can do is exercise, and watch diet and nutrition."
And yes, that may include counting calories, to prevent obesity. He related the story of a test that was run by a man who survived on nothing more than "twinkies," and lost weight in the process by strictly controlling calories.
Bev Lockhart, club president, and club officers, in turn, went over dates of some important events coming up for the club. The next club breakfast meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 23, at Lulus. Herb Malone from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism will present the program, which will be a talk about the area, its many amenities, and what has happened here over the summer.
Before our next breakfast, we will have a club evening out at Ribs and Reds on Thursday, Jan. 16, 5 to 8 p.m. Don Hoffman is gathering interest in a golf outing for the club, at the Orange Beach Golf Center on Feb. 18.
Shirley Mowry spoke to the club about a field trip to Blakely State Park where a two-hour pontoon boat trip through some prime wetland habitats is one of Alabama's 10 natural wonders. We need 28 reservations to reserve this trip, so let Shirley know if you are interested.
Barbara Kincaid encouraged support for a program she is active in, which collects "Box Tops for Education" and pop can tabs that help local school kids. Turn in tabs to Barbara and whatever you can cut from your cereal boxes.
Doris Gammon, treasurer, reported 125 members had pre-paid dues, and Sue Bowmer, secretary, was signing up more memberships at the breakfast. Doris Gammon reported on the annual Pancake and Sausage breakfast, which will see the Indiana Club doing the "cooking" with the help of firemen on Feb. 1, at Erie Meyer civic center the day before Super Bowl.
Mike Raters is coordinating plans for the big "Brat Fest", scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15. This is a multi-club benefit for the three fire departments on the island. Indiana's job will again be running the "Drive-Through" lanes for the sale of brats.
Volunteer help for both events is encouraged, and sign-up sheets will be present at our breakfast meetings. Several shifts are offered for each event. The Low Country Boil, a benefit for the "Little Zoo that Could," will take place on Feb. 21. A small number of tickets will be available at our next meeting, Jan. 23. You may call Doris Gammon at 251-981-6901 ext. 14153 to log in a reservation. A reservation is not necessary in order to attend a breakfast, but we like to be able to advise the restaurant how many to prepare for.
You may also call Jo Strycker at 251-967-4444. The cost is $9 per person, and it includes drink, tax, and tip. It also include a small amount for club expenses. Memberships are also available at the meeting for $2.50 (per year) per person, and this money funds the traditional Indiana Club charitable donation to the community.
You don't have to be a member to enjoy the twice monthly breakfasts, but that is a good way to support the club, and the club counts on memberships to raise funds to support our projects. The Indiana Club Breakfasts have turned out to be a wonderful way to meet new friends and connect with old ones. In that spirit, we look forward to seeing you there!