Tips and Resources for Taking Care of Premature Babies from a Local Pediatrician

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November is National Prematurity Awareness Month, a time for families nationwide/in Jackson County to think about the health of expectant mothers and babies, and about how to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. 

According to the March of Dimes, Mississippi has the highest rates of premature births in the U.S. at 13.6%. March of Dimes notes Jackson County is at 10.4%, which is still higher than the national average. Having multiple births also increases the chance of prematurity. March of Dimes also mentions that close to 60 percent of all twins and more than 90 percent of triplets are born prematurely (before 37 weeks). 

Dr. Yolanda Gutierrez of Pascagoula’s Pediatric Care Center is one of the leading and most caring pediatricians on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After completing her rotations through general medicine, Dr. Gutierrez discovered her passion for working with children and thus completed her internship and residency at the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Over her 25 years in private practice, Dr. Gutierrez has worked with a number of premature babies as her patients. Gutierrez shares some helpful insights on common myths and tips she gives to parents on premature babies and their care.

Myth #1: “Premature babies are the same as average-sized ones- they’re just smaller” 

Many people believe a premature baby can behave the same way an average-sized baby can. They think because they were born early that you just have to be more gentle with them. This is not the case at all. Care for premature babies is much more precise and strict than that of a non-premature infant. 

“Premature babies are born with immature lungs and come out with a number of different problems that have to be addressed not only immediately, but also long term”, says Gutierrez. 

Premature babies are also prone to developing infections because their immune system is not fully developed. 

Myth #2: “Premature babies can be fed like an average child” 

When your baby is first born, the healthcare team may give them fluids and nutrition through an intravenous (IV line) if they are extremely premature or have breathing difficulties. Alternatively, the doctors may decide that they are mature enough to take milk through a small tube that is passed through the nose into the stomach. Breast milk is the best choice for your baby. 

It is important for milk feeds to be introduced in a timely way – not too quickly but not too slowly – and your doctor will have the expertise to decide this. This progression must be very gradual because premature babies – especially those born at 34 weeks or less – are slow to cope with milk that goes into their stomachs and have more problems with absorbing nutrients. “It’s important to advise these parents on correct feeding and determining how much is too much and what exactly is the right amount for their child”, says Dr. Gutierrez. 

Myth #3: “It’s safe for premature babies to be around other people and out in public”

Parents of premature newborns face even more worries about their baby’s health. Due to immature immune systems that haven’t completely developed, preemies have an increased risk of catching viruses that may be nothing more than a nuisance for us, but can be potentially life threatening to them. Some of these risks can be avoided by understanding when it’s safe to head out with your baby or invite visitors over, and when it’s best to stay inside and away from the crowds. 

“They can’t be around other sick kids or adults”, says Gutierrez. “Viral illnesses are a top concern with premature infants and that is one of the main reasons why our clinic has 2 waiting rooms- one for babies and one for general”, she said. “Parents can trust that they don’t have to risk their babies getting sick from other children in the clinic”, said Gutierrez. 

Overall, it’s important for women to take care of their health and nutrition while carrying their child. “Diabetes, high-blood pressure, smoking, drinking and doing drugs are all factors that increase the risk of an early delivery and premature birth”, said Gutierrez. 

The Pediatric Care Center supports local organizations and groups within the community for premature babies. Gutierrez mentions how the clinic often donates to the March of Dimes and participates in fundraising events to help spread awareness and inform the community on premature babies. 

“The care we offer for the parent and child is state of the art in terms of excellent care”, she said. “It’s given with a lot of compassion. All of our staff love these children and have a passion for helping them”, said Gutierrez. The Pediatric Care Center truly believes that it takes a village to raise a child and parents need the combined teamwork of the family and the child’s pediatric clinic. “We want our parents to trust us when it comes to helping raise their children and make them feel like we are also a part of their family”, she said. 

For more information on the Pediatric Care Center, visit their website at pediatriccarectr.net.

 

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Pascagoula-Gautier School District Receives $25,000 Grant for Bilingual Library

Families in Jackson County now have the opportunity to become more bi-literate at the Aaron Jones Family Interactive Center.

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District received a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood grant to develop a bilingual resource library in an effort to help children and parents in the community. According to State Farm, the program “helps worthwhile nonprofit organizations across the U.S., offering $25,000 grants for neighborhood projects involved in education, safety and community development.”

Kelli McCorkle, the director of the early beginnings program, said that while the Aaron Jones Family Interactive Center also holds the Excel by 5 library, this is an opportunity for families to receive more support with bilingual needs.

“One of our main goals is bi-literacy,” McCorkle said. “We want parents to get involved with reading and use this support before their children enter school.”

McCorkle said that her time as a past school administrator made her aware of the challenges to those students who don’t speak English. She explained that a long-term goal of the library is to support graduation down the road.

“The resource library will help children prepare for kindergarten,” McCorkle said. “When children are more prepared starting at the pre-kindergarten level, you see increased graduation rates, an increase of those who own homes, and more.”

While many of the materials available at the library are in Spanish, McCorkle said there is a variety of materials in many languages, such as Vietnamese or American Sign Language. In addition, there are many different types of activities, including a listening center that incorporates new technologies.

The hours for the library vary. On Monday and Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., the library is open where students and parents can interact or checkout books, with hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. While only those in Pascagoula and Gautier will be able to checkout materials, anyone is welcome to come into the center and interact.

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Huntington Ingalls Authenticates Keel of Guided Missile Destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123)

higbee_keel_3aa0c5e7-33e9-466d-969e-f550710dc806-prv Huntington Ingalls Authenticates Keel of Guided Missile Destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123)

Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) today. The ship is named in honor of the first woman to receive the Navy Cross.

“It is always exciting to celebrate the keel authentication of another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said during a shipyard ceremony this morning. “The keel authentication is an important milestone in a ship’s life, as we lay the foundation upon which this great ship will be built. Like her namesake, DDG 123 will be strong and capable. Our men and women in the Navy—and Mrs. Higbee’s legacy—deserve nothing less.”

Louisa Dixon, Virginia Munford and Pickett Wilson are the ship’s sponsors. The three women played an important role during former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ term as governor of Mississippi.

“We want to thank Ingalls Shipbuilding, its employees and its suppliers for the high standards of design and construction and the strong and important support they give their employees and the state of Mississippi,” Dixon said. “We are thrilled and look forward to seeing everyone again at a christening in the very near future.”

C.C. Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls, welded the three sponsors’ initials onto a steel plate, signifying the keel of DDG 123 as being “truly and fairly laid.” The plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout its lifetime.

“Today marks the true start of this ship’s construction,” said Cmdr. Scott Williams, program manager representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast. “With 29 Ingalls-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently in active service and four of her sister ships also in production here at Ingalls, the mere continuity of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer over the past 25 years shows their importance to our naval forces. To the men and women of Huntington Ingalls Industries who will bring DDG 123 to life, thank you. Thank you to the shipfitters, pipefitters, electricians, welders, testers and engineers who will toil in this historic shipbuilding journey that will carry a pioneer’s name.”

DDG 123 will be the second ship named for Higbee. The first was a destroyer commissioned in 1945 and was the first U.S. Navy surface combatant named for a female member of the Navy. Higbee joined the Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as “The Sacred Twenty,” and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911.

Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) and Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121).

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Local Mayors, Chefs to Participate in Five Course Feast for Charity

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Local mayors will team up with talented chefs from their cities to participate in a Five Course Feast fundraiser to raise awareness for food insecurity.

Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson with Frog Head Grill’s Chef Devin Spayde and Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell with Singing River Yacht Club’s James White II, along with three other pairs from the Mississippi Coast, will represent their cities and work together to create one of the five courses.

Frog Head Grill’s Chef Devin Spayde said Mayor Shea Dobson asked the restaurant to partner with him for the event, and he is looking forward to participating in the event.

“It will be the first time cooking in front of so many people on a stage,” Spayde said. “But it’s a good event and will be good exposure for our restaurant that has only been around for a little more than a year.” 

Spayde added that both he and Mayor Dobson are pretty young and new to the scene, making them a bit like underdogs in the event.

The Ocean Springs team drew the dessert course for the event, and Spayde explained they will feature Frog Head Grill’s bread pudding.

“We already have a great bread pudding,” Spayde said. “So we did not choose to do something new. We will put a little twist on it.”

All proceeds will benefit Extra Table, an organization that purchases and delivers healthy food in bulk to Mississippi food pantries and soup kitchens each month. One hundred percent of donations received through Extra Table are used specifically for its mission to purchase food and end hunger.

“Last year’s Five Course Feast raised enough money to feed 30,000 families in South Mississippi,” said Extra Table founder Robert St. John. “At a time of year when many are in the giving spirit, we hope to feed the hungry and raise top-of-mind awareness for those less fortunate along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Hosted by Robert St. John and presented by Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, the Nov. 16 fundraiser will feature live cooking demonstrations in addition to the five course meal. Tickets are $100 each or a pair for $175. Tables of 10 are $1,000 without wine pairings, $1,500 with wine pairings and $2,500 with wine pairings and a VIP meet/greet reception with Robert St. John. In addition, a limited number of VIP seats are available at the Chef’s Table on stage.

To purchase tickets, visit www.fivecoursefeast.com or call 601.434.1680 with questions. Cocktail attire is recommended.

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It’s All About That BAND in Pascagoula!

Friday night, November 3rd, was Pascagoula High School Panthers’ final home game as they hosted the Hancock High Hawks.  The theme was designated “Senior Night” for football athletes and cheerleaders. The pregame celebrations were beautiful and etched in Pascagoula’s memories.

But, at halftime, it was ALL about that BAND!

IMG_4578-300x159 It's All About That BAND in Pascagoula!

Pascagoula Band Night 2017 at War Memorial Stadium Pascagoula

IMG_4578-300x159 It's All About That BAND in Pascagoula!

Director Zachary Rose assists Trent Lott Academy band students with positions for Halftime Show

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Trent Lott Academy and Colmer Middle School Band students warmup before Halftime show

For nearly 15-minutes of Halftime showcase festivities, the PHS Panther Pride Band served as Host and “backup band” for more than 200 additional up-and-coming Band students from Trent Lott Academy and Colmer Middle School.

The entire group of band and color guard students ranging from 5th Graders to Seniors played several favorite “stands tunes” as we refer to them, and wowed the Home crowd with the huge sound of hundreds of horns, winds, and percussionists.  PHS Drum Major Jordy Herndon directed his small army of band mates with passion and energy as this would be his final Friday Night Halftime assignment.

Director of Bands John Taylor and Assistant Director Zachary Rose, walked the gridiron coaching and inspiring the Academy and Middle School students to give it their best as they wowed all the mamas, daddies, grandparents, and extended family and friends who attended … just for the Halftime showcase.  Assisting with the production were band directors, Taylor Pierson, Casey Caviness, and Color Guard Instructor Sharon Adcock.

Third Quarter “Mingle” was filled with hearty helpings of pizza, light snacks, and chilled bottled waters as PHS Panther Pride Band and Hancock High Hawks Band members enjoyed meeting-and-greeting each other in the South perimeter of the stadium grounds.

We applaud ALL our amazing Band Parent Association volunteers and supporters who make the Pascagoula Band programs work flawlessly for these hundreds of gifted and talented students.   The PHS Band Parent Association specifically works tirelessly throughout the year to organize fundraisers, rally volunteer support, schedule workers for the many fundraising events and community service events, and offers high energy mentoring and encouragement to all band students.

IMG_4578-300x159 It's All About That BAND in Pascagoula!

3rd Quarter Mingle, Nov 3, 2017

IMG_4578-300x159 It's All About That BAND in Pascagoula!

With 5:00 minutes to go until 4th Quarter, as is local band tradition, both bands retreated to their respective bandstands to showcase their favorite tunes for their fans as each team battled out the competition to the final buzzer.  And, this particular matchup was a nail-biter down to the final few seconds!!

All in all, a tremendously entertaining night for everyone!  And though the scoreboard did not favor the Mighty Panthers on this glorious evening, we all still prepare for next season’s favorite Friday Night pastime in the deep South — high school football with those super talented band and color guard musicians!

For more information about Panther Pride Band programs, please contact Mr. John Taylor at (228) 938-6460.  Or you can search the PHS Panther Pride Band on Facebook for a timeline of activities, photos, and favorite memories as these talented students develop into tomorrow’s great leaders!

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Huntington Ingalls Industries Christens Destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119)

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PASCAGOULA, Miss., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division celebrated the christening of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) on November 4th with approximately 1,200 guests in attendance.

“This ship is a fitting tribute to the master chief who set the tone for all of us to follow as authentic, competent and courageous leaders,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano, who served as keynote speaker. “This ship represents the enlisted force perhaps more than any other ship in the Navy.”

The ship is named in honor of Delbert D. Black, who served as a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB 46) during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Delbert D. Black is the first ship built to honor the man appointed in 1967 as the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “Black enlisted in the Navy in March of 1941, and over the years, he served in three wars and on nearly a dozen ships, spending 21 of his 30 in the Navy at sea. Ingalls’ ships are built for men and women like Master Chief Black with one goal in mind: to protect the brave Americans who protect our freedom.”

Ima J. Black, Delbert’s widow and a World War II veteran of Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), is the ship’s sponsor. She and Delbert were married for 50 years until he died in 2000. She officially christened the ship by successfully breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow.

“This is a ceremony that we’ve all been looking forward to for a long time,” Black said. “My message to the shipbuilders has always been, ‘Hurry up! I’m running out of time.’ Well, look at me. I made it! I made it! I made it! Today I’m thinking of my husband. I’m wishing that he was standing here instead of me. However, I know that his spirit is anchored in the hull of this ship. Now let us christen this ship and get her ready to join the fleet, where she belongs.”

Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) and Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123).

“Defending our country has not gotten any easier,” said Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss. “We are confronted in many ways, but we are comforted as we visit this exceptional shipyard. Brian Cuccias and his team are building 10 or 11 ships right now representing four classes, and even with all that, it’s not at full capacity. Ingalls shipyard is well positioned to provide additional ship production to support a U.S. Navy force structure of 355 ships.”

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. DDGs are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Mission Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 37,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

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You’re Going To Love This Pascagoula!

IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!Get ready Jackson County! “The Menagerie on Market” is now open for business and just in time for the holidays. Tina Thames and her son Brent renovated the old, long time saloon Johnny Joes and created a wonderful hometown emporium featuring local known artists, craftsmen, cooks, and more. “This is not a flea market, this is not an antique mall, this is an emporium. It’s inviting, warm, and it is going to be great for Jackson County,” says Thames. The Menagerie holds 44 spaces for local unique vendors which 42 of them are already taken. You can find clothing, sports, children’s accessories, cooking, and so much more, that you couldn’t find in other stores because of the overhead associated with starting a small business. The city of Pascagoula has stepped in to help get the idea off the ground and according to Thames, they have been more than helpful, “Absolutely wonderful, they have been phenomenal helping me get in here. I could not have done this without them.”

Future plans for The Menagerie include a coffee shop in the rear which is almost complete and an outside sitting area. Locals may notice some of the old remnants of Johnny Joes,

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and enjoy the unique styling of each micro store. “The Menagerie is going to be a great concept when we get everyone in here, filled with all types of unique items. What excites me is that small businesses will be able to broaden their perspectives and be able to sell some of their items without quitting their day jobs so to speak,” says Chelsea Thames, owner of “Fabricology.”

The Menagerie promises to be good for the economy in Pascagoula, and help add to the revitalization of the Market Street area. It will also offer it’s own brand of jams, jelly’s, and other goodies.

Check it out at 2302 Market Street in Pascagoula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
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Chevron Achieves Gold Recognition for Workplace Health from American Heart Association

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Scientific, evidenced-based instrument rates, recognizes workplace health programs and workforce heart health

(PASCAGOULA, MS) – The 2017 results of the American Heart Association Workplace Health Achievement Index were announced on October 20th. In Jackson County, MS, the Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula was recognized with the Index’s highest rating (Gold) for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, created the Index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 30 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health. 

Chevron was recognized by the American Heart Association for excellence in workplace wellness at the first-ever 2017 IMIA/Craft & Technical Solutions Wellness Symposium and took place on Friday, October 27 at 9 a.m. at the Pascagoula Senior Center (1912 Live Oak Ave. Pascagoula, MS 39567). 

The Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs. A unique feature of the Index is that it calculates an average heart health score for employees of participating companies that securely submit aggregate health data.

More than 800 companies completed the Index assessment this year and, of those companies, 67% received either Gold, Silver, or Bronze recognition. Companies receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement so that they can advance their annual performance and recognition.

“The American Heart Association is building a culture of health and well-being throughout the country, and on behalf of the Association, we congratulate Chevron and thank them for their efforts in cultivating healthier workplaces and communities,” said Ashleigh Gaddy, Jackson County Director for the American Heart Association.

The Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index allows companies to measure the effectiveness of their workplace health programs, as well as the overall heart health of their employees. Unlike other existing organizational scorecards, the Index also scores companies on the heart health of their employees based on Life’s Simple 7® – the Association’s scientifically validated definition of ideal heart health. The key factors contributing to optimal heart health include smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, eating a healthy diet, managing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and keeping blood sugar at a healthy level.

Scientific research shows that improving these seven factors can lead to significant reductions in heart disease, stroke, cancer, and many other health problems. In addition, people who achieve ideal cardiovascular health by age 50 have a significantly lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and live, on average, approximately 10 years longer than people with two or more risk factors. 

The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index assessment is grounded in data-driven science, and a quality improvement framework. According to the Nielsen 2016 Employee Health Survey, robust and comprehensive strategies for well-being are associated with positive impacts on employees’ health.

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Zonta Arts and Crafts Festival Celebrates 40th Anniversary

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The Zonta Club of Pascagoula celebrated their annual Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, October 28th. The festival was a huge success and brought out the largest crowd yet, despite the morning’s slight weather issues.

Attendees offered attractions for the young and old, art and music lovers, and commercial shoppers and foodies. It’s also a great event that brings business into the downtown shops of Pascagoula. Another draw of the festival are the two stages of live entertainment that includes performance groups and regional musical acts.

Hundreds of arts and crafts vendors showcased their merchandise in booths throughout down-town plaza in Pascagoula. This year‘s festival was supposed to happen three weeks ago, but hurricane Nate’s landfall that Saturday postponed the annual event.

The festival is hosted by the Zonta Club of Pascagoula, a local chapter of the international organization working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Funds raised from the festival go to support community service projects that promote the status of women. 

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Solomon Temple Wins Gumbo Cook-Off

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Solomon Temple AME Zion Church has won the first annual JaxCoHome Gumbo Cook-Off. The church was awarded the ‘Golden Ladle’ trophy in front of the entire fairgrounds. The competition was judged by Alan Sudduth of Chevron, Cedric Sargent, owner of Mississippi Sound Seafood, and Chelsea Gee with Ad.In Advertising.

The judging criteria was based on taste, presentation and consistency. “Solomon Temple had 5/5 rankings for each category. Their gumbo had a slight kick to it, but wasn’t too spicy. It was presented in a tasteful fashion and the consistency was perfect”, says Alan Sudduth. 

It was not an easy competition to judge and several other churches came close to also taking home the prized golden ladle. Safe Harbor UMC placed 2nd and Morning Star Baptist Church followed in 3rd place. However, Safe Harbor UMC took home the ‘People’s Choice’ award for the public’s favorite gumbo. 

“We hope everyone had a great time and the churches enjoyed a little friendly competition”, says Jamey Foster,-MC of the event. “JaxCoHome is already excited for next year’s event and we hope that everyone will bring their best gumbo to win back the golden ladle for their church”, says Foster.  

JaxCoHome would like to thank everyone who came out to watch and the churches for allowing us to have fun with this. 

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