Rockin’ for a Good Cause

Mike Yakes Maddy Guenther

Michael J. Yakes Foundation co-founders Maddy Guenther and former Gulfport Mayor Michael Yakes.

About 300 people danced the night away Saturday at the Gulfport Casino and raised more than $6,000 for the city’s underprivileged children and seniors.

The Rockin’ at the Casino event was the first big fundraiser sponsored by the recently formed Michael J. Yakes Foundation.

“You look around,” former Gulfport Mayor Michael Yakes said Saturday night surveying the crowd. “Everyone joining in for such a great effort. It’s just cool.”

Foundation co-founder Maddy Guenther agreed. “It was wonderful,” she said after the event. “It was very diverse, just like Gulfport.”

The foundation was officially launched last fall with the goal of identifying and addressing problems in Gulfport internally, said Guenther, owner of the Botiki store on Beach Boulevard. “If we see a need that’s not being filled, we want to be able to take care of it in Gulfport,” she said.

The event, which featured the music of The Impacs rock and roll band and a theme of vintage cars, is likely to become an annual one, the two co-founders said.

“She does such a good job,” Yakes said of Guenther’s work on the fundraiser, “that I don’t even have to be here.”



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