The hot fried fish, hushpuppies and side dishes were going fast as people stopped by the Biloxi Public Safety Building for lunch on Friday. Boomtown Casino's Chris Soldo and Biloxi Police Major Rodney McGilvary came up with the fundraiser to help public safety workers and their families in New York.
"That's when I contacted Mac. He said, 'Listen, let's do it, I'll help you organize it, put it together and coordinate it and support ya,'" Soldo said. Soldo and McGilvary also got a lot of support from vendors. "When we made the phone call they said, 'Hey, what can we do to help?'."
The terrorist attacks happened across the country, but despite the distance, McGilvary says the loss of police and firefighters lives hits close to home. The people who came for lunch were happy to pitch in.
"I thought that was a worthy cause. I thought everyone should come out and I'm glad to see the turnout, there's a lot of people here," Joy Kaufman said.
"Oh, I think it's great," Mildred Sullivan said. "But they do a good job everytime. Anytime they have a benefit they do a great job."
Sheriee Semski and her boys, Noah and Jacob, were going to lunch somewhere else and just stopped by.
"We saw the fire trucks and saw the sign and thought we should stop and get fish here to raise money for the police officers and the firefighters in New York."
It's money from total strangers that that will be appreciated by those who need it most. If you'd like to contribute, the Biloxi Police and Fire Departments are still accepting donations.