Freedom Fund Banquet raises money and awareness

Freedom Fund Banquet raises money and awareness

Ruth Story is a champion for a lot of issues. That's what has kept her going as president of the Gulfport chapter of the NAACP for the last six years. As long as there is an injustice, she's there to meet it head on.

"We do economic justice, we do climate justice, we do health and welfare... education. We don't just focus on one thing. We're very interested in the entire agenda that faces all of Americans, especially those who are vulnerable."

So, during the annual Freedom Fund Banquet at Hard Rock in Biloxi Sunday night, the chapter honored people like environmental attorney Robert Wiygul and Louie Miller, Mississippi State director of the Sierra Club for the last 22 years. It's an honor Wiygul thinks highly of.

"This is probably the greatest honor that I've gotten in the course of my career. And, I tell you, there's only one other thing I would say that is better than this. And that is the day that I got to sit down with the community leaders in north Gulfport and tell them that we had a guarantee that the Jack Watson Power Plant was not going to be burning coal in that community anymore."

He was referring to the Sierra Club's agreement with Mississippi Power to end litigation over construction of a coal-fired power plant in Kemper County.

Guest speaker for the evening was Hilary Shelton, director of the government affairs office, the Washington Bureau, and a senior vice president for policy and advocacy.

"I work for them," he said. "I am their lobbyist on Capitol Hill. I run their government affairs office that addresses their real concerns within our nation's capital and throughout the country. But you have a tremendous president and leadership here in Gulfport. Something that shouldn't be taken for granted."

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