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GospelPalooza brings joyful noise to the historic Bay St. Louis Depot
By Geoff Belcher
Apr 8, 2014, 19:30

PNEUMA Winds of Hope and Starfish Café founder “Lady” Di Fillhart with Brett Hynes, the latest graduate of the Starfish program.

PNEUMA Winds of Hope and the Starfish Café will host their 3rd annual GospelPalooza this Saturday, April 12, at the Bay St. Louis Depot.
"This year's going to be bigger, badder and better than ever," PNEUMA founder and Starfish owner "Lady" Di Fillhart said Tuesday.
"We have a lot more kids activities this year," Melinda Boudreaux, PNEUMA and Starfish program assistant, said. "We'll have a kiddie train and a jumpy house. There will also be more food options. and different music groups from around the Coast. We'll also have a car show and a marketplace with arts & crafts."
The day's activities will begin at at 7 a.m. with the Mary Kay Deen Hope (Walk) Run.
The music starts at noon, and Fillhart promises a bigger, more varied line-up than in the past two years.
Performers scheduled for the event include Wake the Kings at noon; Hanover Drive at 1:30; Tonya Boyd-Cannon at 3 p.m.; Sherri Hill at 4:30 p.m.; Godspeed 3 at 6 p.m.; and Rochelle Harper at 8 p.m. A live auction is scheduled for 7 p.m. and includes a $2,000 drawdown.
Food vendors for the event include the Starfish Café, Fat Sumo Sushi and Williams Pit Bar-B-Que.
GospelPalooza benefits Starfish Cafe's Job and Life skills Training Program. The Mary Kay Deen Hope Walk/Run benefits PNEUMA's Ray of Hope Fund that supports families of people with life-altering diseases.
Starfish Cafe is owned and operated by the non-profit organization PNEUMA Winds of Hope.
Incorporated in 1998, PNEUMA began in Brooklyn, N.Y., aiding those in need of food, clothing, resources and training.
Since Hurricane Katrina, "we have been working towards a full and complete recovery for Bay St. Louis," Fillhart said.
The cafe offers a 20-week experiential restaurant learning program for students ages 18-30.
"The students cook, serve, cashier and help maintain the cafe," Fillhart said.
Students are also educated on "life coaching, anger management, financial literacy and writing workshops."
"Our name comes from Loren Easley's 1978 short story,'The Star Thrower,' Fillhart said. "The man in the story encounters beached starfish and returns the fighting starfish back to the sea."
"We help young adults washed up on the shore of life become productive and successful members of the community."
Brett Hynes last week became the third person to graduate from the program with full honors.
"Three other people have withdrawn from our program and gone into college and one has gone into the military," Boudreaux said. "So whether they complete the program or not, they get back on their feet."
Starfish Cafe is located at 211 Main St. in Bay St. Louis. For more information, call 228-229-3503.


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