Gridiron fundraiser to benefit tornado relief

football_icon_greenBy Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

It won’t be long until Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans are pushing and pulling in opposite directions. Saturday, they’re teaming up for Touchdowns for Tornado Relief.

“There’s so much animosity between us,” said organizer Kim Dill. “This is a good way to come together to help.”

The football camp fundraiser hosted at Tupelo Sportsplex is a who’s who of former in-state SEC rivals and NFL players, who will be coaching the one-day event.

Camp begins at 9 a.m. The list of coaches includes the Jaguars’ Chad Bumphis, who Dill said played a major role in forming the idea to help his hometown, more former Mississippi State Bulldogs in Eric Moulds and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Johnthan Banks, and former Ole Miss Rebels Ken Lucas and Romaro Miller.

Former Saints wide receiver and four-time Pro Bowler Joe Horn is a special guest, and Dill said Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon has just been added.

Registration is scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m., drills at 9:30. There will be an autograph session from 12:30 p.m. until camp adjourns at 1:30.

Camp age groups are 7-12 and 13-18. The fee is $30 per camper. Registration can be done at touchdownsfortornadorelief.com. The fee covers a T-shirt, lunch and refreshments. Sponsors have furnished the shirts, leaving 100 percent of the profits going to CREATE Foundation for distribution for tornado relief.

There will also be an auction, open to the public for any donation amount.

Dill said more than 100 kids are already signed up and there is room for plenty more. It’s not the first tornado relief effort, but it is a unique idea.

“Nobody was really doing anything for the kids,” Dill said. “Everybody has said it was awesome.”

brandon.speck@journalinc.com