July 16, 2009
Mississippi State senior running back Anthony Dixon will return home today for a few hours.
Dixon will be one of the Bulldogs who will attend the Central Mississippi Alumni Association "Summer Extravaganza" in Jackson.
Since he was born in Jackson and played in the Hinds-Rankin County area at Terry High School, Dixon said "it''s always good to go back home."
Prior to the Extravaganza, selected MSU football players will visit the Bair E. Batson Hospital for Children.
Dixon said that''s one of the highlights of the trip for him.
Usually, Dixon is the one making people laugh, but he knows the children will probably do something to humor him.
"Half of the time, it''s going to be entertaining because they are kind of funny," Dixon said. "They''ve got some nice personalities. It will cause us to appreciate what we''ve got more."
The hospital is for children faced with life''s toughest challenges, so the Bulldogs jump at the chance to make the childrens'' day a little brighter.
MSU senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, always enjoys talking with children and looks forward to visiting the hospital.
"Hopefully, we''ll go down there, have some fun and, as coach (Dan Mullen) says, make them feel like a million dollars," Lee said. "They are our No. 1 fans and love to watch us play. We''re blessed to go out there, talk to them, encourage them, and let them know we love them."
The scene will shift from the hospital to the Jackson Convention Complex for the Extravaganza. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and a program featuring MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum, athletic director Greg Byrne, and Mullen begins at 7 p.m.
Byrne anticipates a record turnout for the event.
"I was talking with our alumni director Jimmy Abraham this week and he believes it can be the largest we''ve ever had, so that''s saying something," Byrne said. "We hope it will be several thousand strong."
Men''s and women''s basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and volleyball will be some of the sports that will show off new adidas uniforms. An autograph session also will be scheduled.
Seeing the fans will cause Lee''s competitive juices to start flowing as he and his teammates continue preparations for the Sept. 5 opener against Jackson State.
"We love the support they''ve given so far, and we want to let them know how much we appreciate their continued support during the season," Lee said.
Tickets for the event are $10 for adults. Children and students are free.
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