GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Regardless of race, background, or uniform, the North Gulfport Civic Club invited all to their 16th annual community breakfast on Thursday.
The theme resounded through the building.
"The unity; the feeling of unity. To know that we all respect each other and we work together to make our community great. You can't do it unless you work together," said organizer, Valerie Hill.
Hill believes it all starts by simply coming together and having a discussion. People in the packed community center heard from elected officials, as they mingled with area leaders and first responders.
Civic club president Frances Fredericks says that out of all 16 years, it may have been the biggest turnout yet, with more than 130 attendees.
"We are really proud of the relationship we have with all of our first responders. We are really proud," said Fredericks.
Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson notes that's a fair statement, believes events like the breakfast prove that.
"It shows what we are on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It shows how different we are from different parts of the nation, different parts of the world," said Peterson.
According to Peterson, the job of being a law enforcer and a responder is easier when the community is so involved.
"We believe in each other and we know that our hearts are with the community and the community is with us so I think we're in a good place," said Peterson.
Those who organized the event can be partially credited with the feeling of unity; especially in times of high tensions nationwide between law enforcement and citizens.
"It's a great feeling to know that we can make a difference. The North Gulfport Civic Club can, and we will, make a difference," said Hill.