GULFPORT, MS - The food was plentiful and so was the friendship at the 13th annual North Gulfport Civic Club breakfast, Thursday. Frances Fredericks is president of the club, and says gatherings like this are important for local leaders and the people they serve.
"People in this area becoming aware of who their elected officials are and what their elected officials do and how they can help our community," Fredericks said.
Increased safety in the area received praise from Police Chief Alan Weatherford.
"Actually, North Gulfport is safer than some communities, neighborhoods in Gulfport," the chief told the crowd. "That is what you all have done. Not what the police have done, but what you all have done."
The down to earth atmosphere impressed guests like Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant.
"We just have a little camaraderie. It's not political infighting or political arguments, it's just enjoy good food and get together. It's important," Savant explained.
Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel knows the value of this event.
"Interfacing with the people who live in this community makes us understand their problems a lot better and gives them a confidence that we care about them." the mayor said.
Even though the gathering is described as informal, with no set agenda, what comes out of it is very important, according to Fredericks.
"People are used to voting for and never seeing them again, never hearing from, never really knowing who they are, just hearing a commercial. So this way they get to know them and put a face with that name," Fredericks said.
The North Gulfport Civic Club currently has more than 100 members.