Salute to hurricane heroes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Salute to hurricane heroes

Stars lit up the Mid-South Sunday night as part of a salute to hurricane heroes.

Stars like Brittany Murphy, Chris Isaak and Lee Ann Womack converged upon Tunica to help the first responders of Hurricane Katrina get back on their feet by donating their time to the benefit concert.

Six Southaven firefighters who attended the concert were some of the first responders to the Mississippi Gulf after the hurricane. "When we pulled up down there, we saw our brothers there with nothing. Our first three days we gave our own food away to families that didn't have anything," said Lieutenant Jeff Hale of the Southaven Fire Department.

After the storm many first responders had no homes of their own, but that didn't stop them from giving. Now, the entertainment community is giving back.

Singer Wayne Newton kicked off the benefit concert at The Grand Casino that raised more than $400,000 for the cause. "We as performers owe something to the people who made us what we are," said Newton. Those who saw the devastation first-hand say this financial aid will go a long way. "This is gonna make a difference in their lives for the rest of their lives. We need this so you just can't say enough about it," said Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan.

Flanked by Neil McCoy, Newton and Bo Derek, Governor Haley Barbour held a press conference before the concert. He says the people of Mississippi need temporary housing and they have about 20 million cubic yards of debris to clear, but he's focusing on taking action. "Our people are not into whining and moaning. They're not into victimhood. Our people hitched up the bridges and went to work the day of the storm to help themselves and help their neighbors," the Governor said.

The governor says it could take months or years to restore Mississippi, but he has no doubt it will happen.

First responders say they'll be there if duty calls again.

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