Wednesday, January 19, 2005

State's press set to "roast" governor on Feb. 5

The Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation annually sponsors a benefit "roast" of a well-known Mississippian to raise funds to provide journalism scholarships and internships for some of the state's best and brightest students.

Gov. Haley Barbour has agreed to be the main course for the 2005 Celebrity Roast. It will be held Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. The reception will begin at 6 p.m. with the dinner beginning at 7 p.m.

Roasters will include State Auditor Phil Bryant, Clarion-Ledger editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey, State Representative Steve Holland, and other surprise speakers. Clarion-Ledger perspective editor Sid Salter will again serve as roast master this year.

Over the last 15 years, the roast event has marked one evening each year when the state's politicians and the press come together for a common goal to advance journalism education.

Over $75,000 in scholarship funds has been raised over the last decade from roasting Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, and Mississippians white, black and red in an effort to help deserving young Mississippians with financial aide as they pursue journalism degrees at state universities and colleges. MPAEF also offers up to 21 internships annually to state journalism students for hands-on experience at member newspapers.

In addition, the Foundation has made substantial cash grants for services and equipment at Mississippi higher education institutions including Mississippi State, the University of Southern Mississippi, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, and several community colleges.

The MPA roasts are about having a few laughs, but the press and the pols are serious about raising money for the students. The public is invited to attend the 2005 roast on Feb. 5. Tickets are $75 each or $500 for a table of eight. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact MPA Office Manager Kimberly Haydu at or (601) 981-3060.


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