Hollywood joins Mississippi in storm recovery effort

From the University of Mississippi

A fundraising concert with a distinct Mississippi flavor and a heavy-hitting Hollywood lineup has been set for Oxford to help with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

The “Mississippi Rising” gala on Oct. 1 will be led by native Mississippians Morgan Freeman, Archie Manning, John Grisham and Sela Ward, who are serving as national co-chairmen.

Proceeds from the three-hour show will go to the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund, which has been established to provide for the rebuilding of storm-ravaged Mississippi.

Organized by two native Mississippians, Sam Haskell III and Lanny Griffith, the event will be at the University of Mississippi's Tad Smith Coliseum, with a 7 p.m. curtain time.

Scheduled entertainers include Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Alexander, Sela Ward, Marilu Henner, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kathy Ireland, Lance Bass, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Debbie Allen, Doris Roberts, Mary Haskell, Gary Morris, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr. and Steve Azar.

Haskell, former worldwide head of television for The William Morris Agency, has produced “Stars Over Mississippi” in Amory every two years to raise scholarship money in the name of his mother.Griffith is the chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers, LLC which was founded in 1991 by Barbour.

The event is being underwritten by United Health Foundation in Minnesota. Corporate sponsorships are being solicited by a national finance team and all proceeds will go to the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund or The Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Recovery Fund.

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