Local relief effort heads to Pensacola Thursday

Mayor A.J. Holloway will be among a local group of volunteers traveling to Pensacola, Fla., Thursday to serve hot lunches to as many as 4,000 workers helping clear Hurricane Ivan debris in that Gulf Coast community.

The Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi and its Missouri-based parent company, Prime Trucking, are providing a 53-foot refrigerated tractor-trailer to haul 1,000 pounds of fried catfish, 1,500 hamburgers, 600 pounds of potato salad, 600 pounds of baked beans, 2,000 dinner rolls, 50 gallons of gumbo and 10 pallets of bottled water.

Roy Anderson Contractors will supply trucks to transport two large grills and fryers, and Hotard Motorcoach Co. will provide a bus to transport the Coast contingent who will leave at 6 a.m. Thursday and arrive in the Pensacola area three hours later, in time to serve hot lunches before noon.

The relief effort was organized by Joe Ziegler, chief of staff of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, who contacted Escambia County (Fla.) County Administrator George Touart, a former Jackson County administrator.

Besides Holloway, the local contingent will include Frankie Duggan and the “Biloxi Mullet Brigade”; Harrison County Supervisor Bobby Eleuterius; Dr. William Walker, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources; Palace Casino Resort General Manager Keith Crosby; and Beau Rivage Resort & Casino President Jeff Dahl.

In addition to helping serve meals, Holloway said he plans to get firsthand damage assessments from Touart and Pensacola Mayor John Fogg.

Said Holloway: “I’m proud that Joe Ziegler organized this effort, and that the Palace Casino and others jumped at the opportunity to help our neighbors. This is the kind of compassion and care that Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast are known for.”