OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It took two years of planning, and the results were exactly what organizers were hoping for.
The reunion included all Ocean Springs residents to celebrate the city and revisit old school friendships.
The Ocean Springs Mega Reunion brought in almost 700 people during the three-day event that included a cruise along front beach and a battle of the bands.
Sunday drew about 40 people for a memorial service and bonfire on front beach across from Fort Maurepas Park.
The heat postponed the bonfire until later in the evening, but it didn't stop the memorial service off the pier.
The service, led by James Lewis, was to memorialize friends and family members lost among the Ocean Springs community, but it took on additional significance in light of the Charleston tragedy.
Founder and director Joel Embry Jr. says the event had support from Ocean Springs businesses and about 100 volunteers.
"They came from everywhere, helpers, neighbors, friends," he said. "They came down and wanted to be involved. They never stopped helping. They volunteered from daylight to dark to make sure everything went well."
Twenty percent of reunion donations will go to Disability Connection, to support its mission of helping people with disabilities, seniors, veterans and the homeless.