By Miller Hollingsworth, sophomore IMC major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media
After a long week of classes and homework, there is almost nothing students look forward to more than a game of Rebel football. But what about rebel football that also raises money for a great cause?
Sigma Nu Charity Bowl does just that. The event, which took place on March 22, is not only full of entertainment with a cheerleading competition and a football game, but it also gives all proceeds to those who really need it.
Each year, Sigma Nu alumnae nominates someone to receive the money raised by Charity Bowl, and this year’s recipient was Barkley Jenkins. Barkley is a seven-year-old boy paralyzed from the waste down as a result of car accidents. Though his life has not been easy, he was the picture of joy on the field that night as head Ole Miss football Coach Hugh Freeze handed him a check of $75,000.
“Barkley was smiling from ear to ear and cracking jokes the entire time,” Philanthropy co-chairman Griffin Wilson said. “His courage and determination is an inspiration to everyone around him, and we were very blessed to be able to make a difference in his life.”
The night only got better as the cheer competition between sororities started. Each sorority came up with a cheer and dance routine to perform in front of the large crowd of students watching attentively in the stands. When the winner was announced, the girls of Delta Gamma ran to the field with glee to pick up their trophy.
After the competiton was over, a football game between Sigma Nu and Phi Delt fraternity began. After a long game and a lot of fouls, the final score was 21-14 Sigma Nu.
Next up came the presentation and announcement of the Charity Bowl Queen. Each sorority picks a young woman to represent them on the field at the event, and the active members of Sigma Nu fraternity choose a lucky winner. This year’s Charity Bowl Queen was Tri Delta Merry Grace Coffin.
And at the end of the night, after all was said and done, Barkley could still be seen grinning as he talked to Coach Freeze and everyone else who was inspired by his story.
“The success of this event has become a tradition through the hard work that everyone puts in it,” Wilson said. “In the end, it’s all about the recipient, and this year we had a really awesome kid.”