Collier named Volunteer of the Year

Robert Collier, who last year was named the city’s Father of the Year, was named the Distinguished Volunteer of the Year for his all-encompassing volunteer efforts with Biloxi Public Schools youths.

Collier was one of dozens honored during the city’s 35th annual Volunteer Recognition Awards at the Biloxi Civic Center.

He has volunteered with Biloxi schools, primarily in support of various athletic programs, for 13 years. His tasks have run the gamut, including washing towels, making trips to Sam’s several times a week to stocking concession stands, helping grill hamburgers during games and sweeping up afterward. He’s taken out the trash, helped repair scoreboards and served as a public address announcer for various sports. This year, he was instrumental in helping organize a huge baseball tournament hosted by Biloxi High School, even to the point of helping the city place signs directing visitors to the baseball diamond.

“To be serious, it is a humbling experience,” Collier said of the volunteer award. “It’s humbling because I’m being honored for something I enjoy doing, working with kids.”

Others honored by Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich and Keesler leaders were:

– Community volunteer: Danny Gwinn

– Youth volunteer: Natallie Noel

– Health volunteer: Merit Health Biloxi Auxiliary

– Arts volunteer: Corey Christy

– Sports volunteer: Tom & Deonne Linenberger

– Education/history volunteer: Lee Ann Dubaz

– Adult group volunteer: IP Casino Resort and Spa

– Youth volunteer group: St. Patrick Catholic High School National Honor Society

– City of Biloxi employee volunteer: Rodgerick Wiggins

– Business volunteer: Harrah’s Gulf Coast

– Non-profit organization: Biloxi Elks Lodge No. 606

– Military volunteer: Ernest Paul McGachey

– Military group volunteer: Fishbowl Student Ministry Center White Rope Program

– Retired volunteer citizen: Fred Thomas

– Unsung hero:  Mary Frances Ford
Gallery: See photos from the ceremony


City seeks nominees for Historic Preservation awards

The City of Biloxi is now seeking nominations for this year’s Historic Preservation Awards.

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, May 11, with awards to be presented in a ceremony at the Biloxi Visitors Center on May 22.

Said Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich: “We’re seeing individuals, businesses and groups making significant progress in helping protect, promote and restore our architectural history, our cultural history and our traditions. And we want to continue to recognize those efforts. At the same time, we’ll be encouraging others to help preserve our sense of place.”

Nominees do not have to live in Biloxi but the preservation efforts being recognized by the award should take place in Biloxi.

In past years, awards have been presented to homeowners for restoration efforts, professional preservationists, as well as individuals for volunteer work to promote our city’s diverse cultural heritage.

Those wishing to submit nominations for the preservation awards can find a form on the city’s web site (to see the form now, click here.)

For more information, contact Bill Raymond at (228) 374-3105 or at
See the nomination form for the 2018 Preservation Awards


New Freedom Trail marker highlights beach wade-ins

A host of local leaders, including some citizens who were involved in the original Biloxi Beach wade-ins, gathered Tuesday south of the Biloxi Lighthouse to dedicate a new Mississippi Freedom Trail marker that commemorates the 1960s efforts that led to the integration of Harrison County beaches.

“The Biloxi Beach Wade-In was an important chapter in the civil rights movement both in Mississippi and America,” state tourism director Craig Ray said at the ceremony. “Through more than two dozen interpretive markers, the Mississippi Freedom Trail allows us to remember these stories.”
See the story and photos from the dedication ceremony


News and notes: Council photos, a smoking text

City Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council held its last meeting of April on Tuesday afternoon at Biloxi City Hall.  Topics included a proclamation ceremony for the Month of the Young Child and a report on East Biloxi infrastructure work from Oscar Renda Contracting.  To see images from the meeting, click here.

A smoking advisory: Nearly 5,000 people received a text message earlier today notifying them of the controlled burn now taking place on Deer Island. Are you in the know? Sign up for free B-Alerts from the City of Biloxi by texting BILOXI to 888777.