By GWEN SISSON
The Bulldogs and the Rebels are joining forces.
While they will forever be heated rivals in every sport imaginable, they are coming together for two special events to help improve the lives of Mississippi children.
But it is two separate events on the individual campuses — we can’t get too cozy!
The Egg Ball is a first-time project to help expand the reach and services of the Mississippi Kids Count program.
Event organizers have scheduled a night in the Club Level of Davis Wade Stadium filled with entertainment by The King Beez of Memphis, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and both silent and live auctions. Event time is 8 p.m. to midnight.
Individual tickets are $60 for the event or the $100 ticket offer which includes a ticket to the Egg Ball, along with a bus ticket to Oxford the next day for the Egg Bowl and a boxed lunch.
“The upcoming events to benefit KIDS COUNT (our Egg Ball and UM’s Tailgate for Kids) uniquely bring together MSU and UM fans for a common cause, and I don’t think that happens too often in these parts,” said Nelle Cohen, one of the organizers for this event. “We may not agree on much when it comes to athletics, but I know that we all can agree that a collaboration that aims to help all the children of Mississippi is a good project!”
Anne Buffington, one of the organizers for the Egg Ball, said they are hoping to create a new tradition that will benefit children throughout the state of Mississippi.
“Mississippi Kids Count strives to make the world a better place,” Buffington said. “And these events will be a lot of fun and help improve the lives of children throughout the state.”
Buffington said even though it is called a “ball,” the event will be casual. MSU fans attending the Men’s Basketball game at 6 p.m. on Nov. 26 are encouraged to come directly to the Egg Ball, as the attire for the event is casual.
“The Mississippi Kids Count Egg Ball is very dear to my heart,” said Courtney Meeks, one of the organizers for the event. “Planning this event has been rewarding because I’ve seen two towns come together to prepare bright futures for our state’s children. Citizens care about the many issues children face and their desire to help out is inspiring. One night of great fun can help an important organization present data to improve the outcomes of the many issues children face.”
Janet Mullins also serves as an organizer for this event. She said this is a “great gathering for a great cause at a great place.”
“We are hoping to make this a Thanksgiving weekend tradition,” Mullins said. “We have a great band, great food, and will have a great live and silent auctions. And we are firing everyone up for the big Egg Bowl the next day!”
And while this is a first-time fund-raiser for Mississippi Kids Count, the Egg Ball has been a fun gathering for MSU alumni and friends the night before the Egg Bowl for the past five or six years. Mullins said MSU alumni Bill Smith came up with the name “Egg BALL” and every year it has grown in attendance.
“When asked to make this a Kids Count of Mississippi fund-raiser, we jumped at the chance,” Mullins said.
The first King and Queen of the Egg Ball will be crown that night. Mullins said the crowning will be based on “whoever has the highest bid placed for them at the Live Auction.”
Celebrity items and vacation packages will be the main attraction at the silent and live auctions, according to organizers.
Going to the highest bidder will be a getaway package to Beaver Creek, Colo., a Spring break trip to Destin, Fla., plus two more beach packages. Another big auction item will be dinner with MSU coaches, and cowbells signed by a variety of MSU “stars” and national celebrities, including Robin Roberts, Gary Sinise, and Sela Ward.
Local pottery, luggage, children’s clothing, and a trip to New York to see Starkville’s own Travis Outlaw in a New Jersey Nets game are also up for grabs. An overnight adult/child quail and rabbit hunt and two tickets to the MSU bowl game will be highlights.
An online auction site featuring nine select packages has been created and will remain open for bids until 11 p.m. on Nov. 25. Go to http://www.eggballauction.com  to place bids and to purchase tickets. For more information, call 325-1590.