Football fans team up for Kids Count

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Mississippi State and Ole Miss fans can celebrate their teams and help children and families at two events.
On Nov. 20, Tailgating for Kids at the Powerhouse in Oxford will give Ole Miss fans a chance to come together and watch the LSU game as a group. On Nov. 26, the Egg Ball will give MSU fans a fun night on the eve of the game.
Both events benefit Mississippi Kids Count, which collects data on the well-being of Mississippi children and families as part of state and national efforts by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The organization also gathers success stories from around the state to share so other communities can replicate them.
“We want to raise awareness for Mississippi Kids Count and bring together wonderful traditions,” said Kids Count coordinator Linda Southward. “It’s really coming together for Mississippi’s children.”
The events aren’t a competition, but an opportunity for people at both universities to work together.
“I think this is one thing everybody can agree on,” said Nelle Cohen, who is a member of the Egg Ball organization committee. “We all want to make Mississippi a better place.”
The Oxford event Nov. 20 will give fans a chance to watch the LSU-Ole Miss game together and enjoy a catfish dinner from Taylor Grocery.
“It’s a chance to get together and have fun for a good cause,” said Kay McDuffie, one of the volunteers organizing the event.
The Nov. 26 Egg Ball, which started several years ago as an informal gathering of MSU families, is bookended by MSU sports. Bulldog faithful can start their night with the 6 p.m. men’s basketball game against Troy State and then cross to the Egg Ball at the stadium. As part of the Egg Bowl festivities, organizers also are offering transportation by bus to the Egg Bowl in Oxford on Nov. 27.
Both events are offering auctions of sports collectibles. At the Egg Ball, there are also travel packages for the beach, the slopes and more.
The money raised by the events will help provide scholarships for people to attend the Mississippi Kids Count Summit Feb. 4 in Jackson and print more copies of the Kids Count data books.
“We really feel we’ve become a leading resource for data on children and families in Mississippi,” Southward said.

Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.