Lopez-Quave to host fish fry to benefit Special Olympics

The Olympics in Greece aren’t until August, but law enforcement officers in Biloxi and throughout the state are gearing up for the upcoming state Special Olympics in Biloxi.

An annual fish fry to benefit athletes of Special Olympics of Mississippi will be Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center in Biloxi.

Lunch plates — which include fried catfish, bread, potato salad and baked beans — will be $5 per person, and orders can be made at the Porter Avenue center that day or deliveries can be scheduled in advance by calling 435-6124. To e-mail orders (include your name and phone number), click here (rmcgilvary@biloxi.ms.us).

The fish fry, which this year will include a drawing for a Patti Bannister “Swan Lake” print, has become an annual affair at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center and helps pay the costs of Special Olympics athletes to participate in state Games in Biloxi May 21-22, and, possibly, international Games.

“The fish fry is here at our public safety center,” said Biloxi Patrolman Louis Beck, “but this is a Coastwide effort to help these special athletes, and there are about 13,000 athletes statewide.”

About 1,000 of those athletes will be in Biloxi the weekend of May 21 for the state Special Olympics, which are at Keesler Air Force Base.

On Monday, the Mississippi Law Enforcement Torch Run will begin its five-day trek from the north Mississippi city of Southhaven to Keesler. Officers from law enforcement agencies across the state will carry it through their jurisdictions before it arrives in Biloxi on Friday, May 21.

“We’re proud of how the Torch Run has grown,” said Biloxi Assistant Police Chief Rodney McGilvary, who is state director of the Torch Run and serves on the Special Olympics board. “In Madison, it’s like Mardi Gras. They almost shut down. In fact, I think schools close there that day. Hattiesburg is on board this year.

“And when it gets to the Harrison County line, the sheriff picks it up. Then it goes to Gulfport Police, and we even have a DEA agent this year who wants to run. Of course, we take it over in Biloxi and hand it off to Keesler around Veterans Avenue.

“But you can set your clock and you can count on that torch going into the gate at Keesler on Friday, May 21 at 12:30.

“And then the Olympic ceremonies are going to begin that night with plenty of proud athletes getting ready for a full day of competition on that Saturday at Keesler.”