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Small town, big dreams: Rec football kicks off

Posted: August 15th, 2014, by editor


Participants in city league football get a surprise this week when recreation director Bret Bentz gave out tickets to tonight’s New Orleans Saints game.

Bentz said he received about 150 tickets for being a member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Football League, which the city joined for the first time this season.

When he began calling families with the good news, he said he got shocked and excited reactions.

Bentz shared one message with the Gazebo Gazette from a single mother with several children in the city league.

“I just want to let you know how excited I am to be able to bring my boys to the Saints game which has been a dream of theirs,” she wrote. “I would never be able to afford the such an opportunity for my boys who have been begging to go to a Saints game since they could talk. So again thank you so very much.”

The professional game will serve as inspiration for the kids before the city league season gets underway on Saturday at the third annual Pirate Day Fundamentals Camp, Bentz said.

About 80 football players and 25 cheerleaders will spend the day meeting fellow players and coaches while learning new skills, including tackling techniques which help prevent head injuries.

Bentz said each age group will have a single team to represent the city as the Pass Christian Raiders.

Each age group will have four coaches, all of who are certified to coach and have taken online safety programs.

All the age groups will play other teams in the western conference of the league which consists of Lyman, D’Iberville, Lizana, Bay St. Louis, Vancleave, St. Martin, East Central and Saucier.

Teams with the best records go on to the playoffs for the Gulf Coast Superbowl.

The first games are scheduled for September 13.

The Raiders name was chosen after talking with coaches about which professional team was closest to the Pirate mascot. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were discussed before being eliminated since they compete in the same division as the New Orleans Saints, he said.

The Raiders also has a personal connection to Bentz. As a youth, he played in a Raiders jersey on a team coached by his father and former recreation director Robbie Bentz. Several players from that team went on to compete in college, he said.

Bentz said he is excited for the program and sees future growth, especially with a new field slated for construction on Fleitas Avenue.

“When the new field is built, there won’t be another program like Pass Christian on the Coast. We’ll have our scoreboard up and our flags flying,” he said. “When I took this job, I envisioned a great program and it’ll take a lot of steps to get there. We have a motto: Small town, big dreams.”

Commercial to be filmed Saturday on Davis Avenue

Posted: August 8th, 2014, by editor


Film crews will be in Pass Christian Saturday shooting video for a new tourism advertising campaign.

Confidence Artists Productions, of Long Beach, will begin filming at 5 p.m. on Davis Avenue with crews on the streets and an aerial drone overhead.

Community members are invited to take part in the filming by walking around and visiting the local shops. Participants should arrive by 4:30 p.m.

The commercial is sponsored by Pass Christian Main Street and paid for in part with a BP grant designated to promote tourism in areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Main Street executive director Jennifer Burke said the commercials will be used primarily for social media marketing and potentially run on outside television markets.

“Sometimes it’s like a secret about how great the Pass truly is,” she said. “Whether you’re looking to come shop, dine or play, we feel like we have a great selection of things to do here in Pass Christian.”

St. Paul Chapel re-opens

Posted: August 1st, 2014, by editor


After a year of construction, St. Paul Chapel is now open on Scenic Drive and offering two masses each week.

“The chapel is a special place for prayer, meditation and worship which will provide sacramental ministry at the direction of the pastor of Holy Family Parish,” said The Most Reverend Roger Morin, Bishop of Biloxi Diocese.

The sanctuary will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for worshipers.

Masses will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

On Tuesdays, novena will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. mass.

On Thursdays, mass will be held at 8 a.m. followed by adoration.

Mass is also planned for holy days of obligation at noon.

Father Mike Austin, pastor of Holy Family Parish, said the chapel is also available for weddings and baptisms.

Austin led the first mass July 30 in the rebuilt chapel. The gospel readings and his sermon focused on unity and rebuilding during times of change.

The new chapel is based on the layout of the historic church which was destroyed in Hurricane Camille in 1969.

A redesigned structure was built in 1972 and heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was later demolished in December 2010.

Construction on the new chapel eventually began in July 2013, after years of legal wrangling between parishioners and the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi about whether St. Paul would be rebuilt.

After Hurricane Katrina, St. Paul and Our Lady of Lourdes parishes combined into Holy Family Parish. The diocese decided one church would be built in the new parish and it would be located on Menge Avenue.

A lawsuit was filed claiming that church collections for the chapel were not being used for their intended purpose.

The case eventually went to the Mississippi Supreme Court which denied the plaintiffs’ claim earlier this month.

Morin, who became Bishop of Biloxi after the lawsuit was filed, said in a statement about the court decision that he was saddened by the existence of the lawsuit.

“Litigation seems to cause the impression of an adversarial relationship,” he said.

“Let us commit to moving ahead as a community of Christian believers who are recognized by the charity we practice and the love that we show for one another.”

Mississippi sales tax holiday July 25 & 26

Posted: July 25th, 2014, by editor

As the summer break winds down and the new school year draws near, Mississippi’s annual sales tax holiday starts today and runs through midnight Saturday.

During the holiday, sales tax is not due on the sale of clothing or footwear priced less than $100 per article.

Clothing and footwear items, meant to be worn next to the body and cost less than $100 per item, are exempt from sales tax during this period. Items over $100 are taxed at the regular seven percent rate.

Accessories such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches, backpacks, and similar items do not qualify.

Cleats and items worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity are other sample items not eligible. School supplies and computers are not included.

Most municipalities statewide will participate in the 2014 tax holiday. The cities of Enterprise, Heidelberg and Crenshaw opted out. Retailers in those cities are required to charge sales tax.

PCYC summer racing series sets sail this weekend

Posted: July 25th, 2014, by editor

The Pass Christian Yacht Club will kick off it’s summer racing season this weekend with the Birthday Regatta.

The yacht club will celebrate its 165 years of yachting in Pass Christian.

The second oldest yacht club in the nation was organized in in Pass Christian on July 21, 1849 as Southern Yacht Club.

The club relocated to New Orleans in 1857 and the current Pass Christian yacht club was organized in 1893.

The Birthday Regatta is the first big regatta to kick off a series of summer regattas, said Cathy Cornett, PCYC office manager.

This weekend, the yacht club will also host the first races of the J-22 racing championships.

Next weekend, August 2 and 3, the J-22 championships will conclude. The winners of the regatta move on to compete regionally for the chance to compete in the national J-22 championship.

On the weekend of August 2, the Summer in the Pass Regatta will also be held.

The following weekend, August 9 and 10, the all female Knost Regatta will be held. It is the longest running regatta for female skippers.

The Knost Regatta was established in 1938 by commodore Bernard Knost and continues annually at PCYC.

After a week off from formal racing, the sailing resumes on August 23 and 24 for the Mississippi Coast Yachting Club Race week and Lipton Challenge warm up.

On Labor Day weekend, August 29 through September 31, the yacht club will host the Gulf Yachting Association’s Lipton Challenge, the premier yachting event in the Gulf South.

Bay-Waveland Yacht Club won the Lipton Cup in 2012 and 2013. Typically the winning club hosts the regatta, but a club cannot host two years in a row.

Since PCYC placed second in the 2013 Lipton Challenge, the club earned the right to host this year’s race.
PCYC last won the Lipton Cup in 2011.

The regatta is named for Englishman Sir Thomas Lipton of Lipton Tea fame. During his lifetime he was an avid sailor and sportsman.

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