Local businesses and neighborhood associations, led by Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, are raising money to give a morning boost to New Orleans cops during Mardi Gras season. The program is called "Adopt A Cop Mardi Gras Breakfast" and, well, the name is pretty self-explanatory. Businesses and individuals can contribute as little as $5 toward coupons that will be used to provide hearty breakfasts to local cops on the mornings that they are called upon to work extremely long hours — most of them on their feet — during Carnival.

  Gulf Coast Bank & Trust officer Nancy Lytle launched the program after Hurricane Katrina for cops in NOPD's Third District (Lakeview and Gentilly). It expanded to other districts, and this year will help cops in special NOPD divisions as well as in the districts. It includes morning meals in district stations as well as tailgates along parade routes on Sunday ("Bacchus Day") and on Mardi Gras. Volunteers do the cooking.

  "The officers are on their feet all day, year after year, with very few breaks — rain, shine, cold, windy — and they work several straight days like this," Lytle tells Gambit. "This program gives everyone an opportunity, for a nominal donation, to say 'Thanks' to the officers."

  Coupons are available at all Gulf Coast Bank & Trust locations and at local businesses. Lists of participating businesses are available at district stations. For more information, call (504) 539-7281 or email nancylytle@gulfbank.com. — Clancy DuBos