Mississippi Rising for Katrina Victims

Sponsors of Mississippi Rising, a gala fundraising concert in support of the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund, announced that award-winning music artist Faith Hill has joined the growing list of celebrities and entertainers set to participate in the nationally televised event on Oct. 1. The event will be held live on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

The Fund is a non-profit organization established to serve as a means for corporations, organizations, and individuals to donate money, goods, and services to help Mississippians rebuild their communities.

In addition to Faith Hill, Mississippi Rising will be co-chaired by native Mississippians Morgan Freeman, Archie and Eli Manning, John Grisham, Brett Favre and Sela Ward.

The event will be broadcast live by MSNBC, WTOK-TV and other local television stations throughout Mississippi and Louisiana, Mississippi Public Television and several local and regional radio stations.

The list of confirmed entertainers continues to grow and currently includes:

Morgan Freeman
Faith Hill
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.
Steve Azar
Hugh Laurie
Bernadette Peters
Brian McKnight
Deidra Hall
Alison Sweeney
Peter Reckell
Kristian Alfonso
Greg Rikaart
Melody Thomas Scott
Michelle Stafford
Mary Ann Mobley
Gary Collins
Guy Hovis
Gary Grubbs
Jill Conner Brown
Kristian Dambrino
Gail Pittman
Cat Cora

Gov. Haley Barbour and members of the Mississippi Congressional delegation also will attend and participate in the program. The event is being produced by two native Mississippians, Sam Haskell, III, and Lanny Griffith.

Haskell, former worldwide head of television for The William Morris Agency, has produced Stars Over Mississippi in Amory, Miss., every two years to raise scholarship money in the name of his mother.

Griffith is the CEO of Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, LLC, which was founded in 1991 by Haley Barbour.

The costs of the event are being underwritten by a generous contribution to the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund by UnitedHealth Group Foundation in Minnesota.

Corporate sponsorships are being solicited by a national finance team, and all proceeds will go to the Fund (www.mississippirecovery.com) or a similar fund in Louisiana administered by Foundations for Recovery, The Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Recovery Fund (www.foundationsforrecovery.org).

Tickets are on sale through the University of Mississippi Athletics Department (888-732-8587 or 662-915-7167).