On a beautiful October morning, across Highway 90 from Biloxi Beach, more than 20 Mississippi Power employees participated in the United Way’s “Day of Caring.” The group, led by District Manager Stephen Schruff, planted five live oaks on the grounds of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art.

Hurricane Katrina destroyed 18 of the 36 live oaks on the Ohr-O’Keefe campus. Today’s tree planting was called another step in the recovery efforts for the City of Biloxi.

“The oak trees that line Beach Boulevard are icons of South Mississippi,” Schruff said. “To be a part of today’s planting and know that these trees may be around for hundreds of years is quite remarkable. Getting our employees to volunteer for this event wasn’t difficult at all.”

The volunteers, members of the Coast chapter of Community Connection, Mississippi Power’s employee-based service organization, planted five-foot tall oak trees, tilled a flower bed and picked up trash around the museum’s buildings.

“This is another milestone for the museum and the greater Biloxi community,” said Carol Meeser, assistant museum director. “We truly appreciate the spirit of these volunteers who are trying to make this part of east Biloxi more beautiful than it was yesterday.”

Today’s volunteer effort is the 70th of 2014 for the Coast chapter of Community Connection. These employees have already registered more than 1,700 volunteer hours this year.

“Mississippi Power believes in strengthening the communities we serve,” Schruff said. “This is an effort that will be recognized by generations to come and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum opened at its current location on the beach in east Biloxi in November 2010.