OXFORD, Miss. - The Magnolia Bowl battle between the Ole Miss Rebels and LSU Tigers is taking on much greater meaning, as events surrounding the Nov. 19 game will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, one of the world's premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases.
"The mission and achievements of St. Jude are positively amazing, and it's a thrill for those of us at Ole Miss to help spread their cause," said Taylor McGraw, Ole Miss Associated Student Body President. "The Magnolia Bowl represents one of college football's oldest rivalries, and it is our hope that it can also now serve as a vehicle to bring awareness to St. Jude for years to come."
St. Jude patients will begin Saturday's activities by leading the Rebels down the traditional Walk of Champions and then serving as honorary team captains. In addition, numerous visuals in the stadium will bring awareness to the hospital, including Ole Miss players wearing helmet stickers and coaches wearing St. Jude lapel pins.
"The Magnolia Bowl at Ole Miss provides us with a wonderful opportunity to share our lifesaving mission with thousands of college football fans," said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "No matter what team fans are rooting for on gameday, we hope they will join together to help St. Jude celebrate even more victories in the fight against childhood cancer and other deadly diseases."
Fans will have several donation opportunities as part of the game. OleMissSports.com is auctioning a gameday experience that includes sideline passes, a parking pass and VIP access, and proceeds will go to St. Jude. There will also be "text to donate" messages during the game and a tent in The Grove with information on the hospital and details on giving.
For Ole Miss, the festivities begin Monday when Rebel student-athletes, including the senior football players, will make the trip to Memphis to visit with hospital patients.
LSU is also spending time with patients, as Tiger football players stopped by the Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital, a St. Jude affiliate hospital, in Baton Rouge on Wednesday.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital's research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.
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