By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
The night before the Egg Bowl, Starkville residents will be coming together to support Mississippi’s children for the second annual Egg Ball at Mississippi State University’s Hunter Henry Center.
The casual event will feature a silent and live auction that will benefit the Mississippi KIDS COUNT Foundation. The foundation is responsible for compiling a wide range of data on child welfare in Mississippi that is compiled into a yearly data book which is used by organizations and policy makers across the state when applying for grants.
There are a number of items up for auction at the event, including a basketball autographed by University of Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt, a vacation package for Crested Butte, Colo., separate cowbells signed by former President George Bush, B.B. King, Robin Roberts and Food Network star Paula Deen, dinner for two at Restaurant Tyler with MSU Athletic Director Scott Stricklin and wife Anne, MSU Football Coach Dan Mullen and wife Megan and MSU Baseball Coach John Cohen and wife Nelle, and a laboratory coat signed by the cast of the hit TV series “CSI: NY,” among other prizes.
“We just added two new items to the list that we’re really excited about. Coach John Cohen is offering the chance for someone to act as an assistant coach for a midweek home game and Coach Mullen is offering a similar opportunity for one spring practice session,” Anne Buffington of Mississippi KIDS COUNT said. “It will be a great opportunity for MSU fans to get together to support a good cause and celebrate before the upcoming football game the next day.”
Musical entertainment will be provided by The King Beez, a rhythm and blues band from Memphis. Heavy hor d’oeuvres will be served during the event.
“Putting on a great party in Starkville the night before MSU hosts the Egg Bowl is very exciting, and we’re expecting a big turnout,” said event committee member Nelle Cohen.
The proceeds will help fund the organization’s annual summit in Jackson. This year, the summit is focusing on child safety. Middle school students from across the state will be invited to participate in a discussion about bullying.
Last year, the event was attended by over 350 people and it raised $72,000 for the organization. This year, they are expecting attendance to be over 500.
“One of the things we started last year was the motto of ‘Beginning a new tradition.’ We know that MSU is full of wonderful traditions and we want the Egg Ball to be a part of that,” Linda Southward, director of Misssisippi KIDS COUNT said. “The more money we raise, the more data books that we’ll be able to produce. We run out very early every year, so we’ll be able to provide them to more organizations and policy makers across the state who help our children.”
Tickets are available for $60 at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership office or online at www.2011eggball.com .