BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The seventh annual Christmas in the 'Bouffa Saturday night doubled as a fundraiser for Crusaders for Veterans.
The annual boat parade and party brightened up the backwaters and warmed up the hearts of event attendees.
Kevin Cuttill with Crusaders for Veterans has been organizing events for years to support veterans.
This event that supports him.
"When we do and we help someone out, you get a really good feeling," he said. "But when you see someone supporting you and your cause, it's even another warmer feeling. It's great to see patriots coming together for the same cause we're out here working to help our veterans."
Your Mamaz House on Cedar Lake Road is the event organizer.
"It's one of our biggest parties of the year, and it's the time when we can do the most for them," said co-owner Andrea Borst. "Every person that comes out does a little bit, whether you enter your boat or buy a T-shirt, that's all helping them."
There was plenty of fun while supporting a serious cause.
About 10 lighted boats launched from the bar and grill. Each completed a tour of the Tchoutacabouffa river before coming back for judging.
Steve Pierce decked out his 42-foot yacht for the occasion.
"It's a real good purpose behind this, we hope to collect a lot of money for it," he said. "I think it's a wonderful cause."
Rocky Ramon brought his favorite holiday hat and patriotic flair.
"Everybody in my family's been a vet," he said. "So, we've all done service. So, we enjoy doing it."
In the end, it helps veterans like Kevin Willett.
"They actually gave money this year to help out with Christmas stuff," he said. "And my family actually decided to pay it forward and we bought some stuff for other organization things."
With that money comes an added bonus.
"I know that I've been part of this for a little while - and dealing with everything we do – it's interesting to see the light it's brought to other families that are less fortunate than others."