Cruisin should top 6,000 cars today

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Cruisin the Coast is in uncharted territory.  At some point Friday, the classic car showcase will welcome its 6,000th car owner.  Never before in the 16 year history of Cruisin the Coast have that may cars buffs registered to be part of the action.

The action on Thursday night was in Bay St. Louis.  Cruisers rolled into the bay for a good cause.  The hot rods and classic car owners showed they care about more than just their expensive automobiles.  They opened their hearts and wallets to support a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity Bay-Waveland.

It was the Big Easy in the Bay. The Habitat fundraiser brought hundreds of cruisers to town.

"We are the Little Easy we're so close to New Orleans we're a laid back fun town cruisers love coming to the Bay we know that we're just wanted to give them that New Orleans Bay St. Louis flavor. It's a big night in the little easy," said Hancock County Habitat Executive Director Wendy McDonald.

Through all of the food, fun and entertainment, money was being raised for an organization started in Hancock County after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.

Since the inception Habitat Bay-Waveland has put more than 200 families into homes.  "They done a lot for the community after Katrina they helped out a lot of people and they haven't left. They are still here and for an organization to come in and do that you have to support them, " said Waveland resident and cruiser Mark Dubuisson.

One of the car owners in the Bay on Thursday was Thelma Gunn.  She cruised into town from Little Rock, Arkansas. She says when she heard about a chance to help the organizer she jumped at the opportunity. "You just feel for the people down here that have lost their homes and Habitat For Humanity they just do a wonderful job. It's just amazing," said Gunn.

As did Jesse Tanner from Galveston, Texas.  "I think that it's the right thing to do if you're blessed enough to have an abundance you should share it with those who don't have as much especially people in need." said Tanner.

Habitat Bay-Waveland hopes to raise $25,000 during this event.  Habitat administrators plan to use the funds to improve the energy efficiency of some of the homes they've already built.

McDonald said, "If you do critical home repair, $25,000 will go a long way. So we figure we can do more than five families.  We think we can do 10 or 15."

Gunn said, "Hopefully they will have this event again, hopefully they will. In fact I think they should charge us more than five dollars . I think they could charge us a little more and we'd be happy to donate that."

There were a number of fund-raising opportunities during the event, including a best looking car contest, raffles and a huge drawdown.

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