BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - Crawfish may be the entrée for the day, however, in the spotlight is a man of honor, Lt. Michael Boutte, the Hancock County Deputy who died in the line of duty Feb. 1.
The first Lt. Michael Boutte Scholarship Crawfish Boil brought in people and money Sunday in Bay St. Louis. However, the fundraising event was designed to have far-reaching effects in shaping young minds, and it’s built to last.
“Boutte was a good guy, straight up,” said Sheriff Ricky Adam. “He treated everybody with respect, and always had that infectious smile. So, he’s sorely missed.”
The Historic Depot Grounds were filled with people for the celebration, and of course, there was plenty of crawfish to keep them fed.
There was also plenty to keep the kids busy, and plenty of money coming in to support scholarships for students going into law or law enforcement.
“We’ve got people coming up here not even asking what it’s for, just dropping money off for the scholarship fund,” said organizer Lonnie Falgout, Director of the Alice Moseley Museum. “It came together so many people. We’ve gotten calls from all over the country and this is just a good thing. And this is going to be something we’re going to be doing every year.”
In fact, Falgout said the event is engineered to go on for a long time.
“This is not just about Michael,” said Falgout. “What we’ve set up is Michael Boutte Scholarship Fund. But, if we want to include other fallen people, we can do it because it’s set up that way. We’re going to make this stay.”
Mississippi Heroes is a co-sponsor.
“When you have events like this, it brings the community together,” said Director Katherine Sutton. “There’s a lot of mistrust between officers and the community. So, this helps build that trust. It’s just a great, event and we’re honoring such a great officer that was loved by so many.”
Candace Labat agreed.
“How we can show them in a positive light is very important because we have so much negativity going on in the world today,” said Labat. “This is just a good positive where everybody comes together.”
And she along with her cousin Janita Cole said this event is a celebration of life.
“We always have fun, no matter where we go or what we’re doing,” Cole said. “This is what life is all about. This is what our Hancock County is about. Coming together, just having fun. We do it on a daily basis.”
The sponsors plan to offer two events a year for the Boutte scholarship fund.
The next scheduled event is a 5-K run on Nov. 6.