Public works employees serve up fish to help one of their own

Public works employees serve up fish to help one of their own
A benefit fish fry was held at the public works department on Pine Drive to help defray the medical expenses incurred by 52-year-old Bruce Richard. (Photo source: WLOX)
A benefit fish fry was held at the public works department on Pine Drive to help defray the medical expenses incurred by 52-year-old Bruce Richard. (Photo source: WLOX)
By the end of the afternoon, about $4,000 was raised. (Photo source: WLOX)
By the end of the afternoon, about $4,000 was raised. (Photo source: WLOX)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The frying fish looked great and tasted even better. The delivery service was just as good. All of this was to help Bruce Richard, who is now in a hospital in New Orleans.

The people who came out for a bite were glad to help. One of them was Kathy Fountain.

"Bruce is a personal friend of mine, and he's got a long recovery ahead of him. He's going to need all the help he can get, financial wise," said Fountain.

Another customer was Gary Dudiak.

"You help where you can. Everybody wants to kick in. It was an unfortunate accident. We just help ease it along a little bit," Dudiak said.

Still another was David Compton.

"We do a lot of work for Ocean Springs public works. We just love these guys, so we're going to do everything we can to help them out," said Compton.

Inside, the fish assembly line is running at full speed, as boxes are filled with tasty treats.

As for cooking up these thousands of pieces of fish, members of the Ocean Springs Poor Man's Yacht Club did the yeoman's amount of the work. They are no strangers to doing good deeds, according to member Ben Burgin.

"Well, we like to volunteer and help people out that need cooking done. We have our own cookout once a year, around Thanksgiving, to raise money to buy bicycles for needy kids. So anybody that needs help cooking, we volunteer," Burgin explained.

Bruce's brother, Michael Richard, is overwhelmed by the shot of support.

"Every day is just a surprise to me. That's about the best I can say it. They don't really know him. They don't know him like we know him, like I know him, but still they care and they show their concern. It's really nice. It really is," Michael said.

Within one hour, the fish was gone and the cleanup began. The only thing left behind was a feeling of goodwill about a job well done.

Public works officials estimate they raised about $4,000 with the fish fry. In addition, a fund has been set up at any branch of Hancock Bank under the Richard name for donations.

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