Eli Manning, BankPlus and the Friends of Children’s Hospital have joined forces to raise money for the new Eli Manning Children’s Clinics at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
The inaugural fund raising event in this five-year $2.5 million campaign was held on June 23, 2007 at the Mississippi Museum of Art. An Evening with the Mannings was a huge success, raising over $400,000 for the new clinics. The event featured Eli against his father, Archie Manning, former University of Mississippi and New Orleans Saints quarterback, in Grid Iron Chef Cook-off.
“During a visit to Jackson, my father and I toured Blair E. Batson Hospital and met several children and physicians,” said Eli Manning, who graduated from Ole Miss in 2003 with a degree in business administration and is starting quarterback for the New York Giants. “With their care and dedication, the doctors, nurses and staff of Children’s Hospital truly change the lives of so many Mississippi children. I am humbled by the work they do and am honored to make this five-year commitment to help raise funds to build this state-of-the-art clinic that will serve Mississippi families for years to come.”
Children from all of the state’s 82 counties come to Children’s Hospital each year. The spectrum of care ranges from well-child care for healthy newborns to care for cancer, birth defects, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, trauma, sickle cell anemia, neurological disorders, pulmonary disease, allergies, diabetes and numerous other childhood illnesses.
“We are so pleased Eli continues his dedication to helping his adopted home state with this important project and are grateful that BankPlus has agreed to sponsor the campaign,” said Dr. Daniel W. Jones, vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
As the state’s only Level I emergency room designed specifically for children, the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children provides services unavailable anywhere else in Mississippi.
Since the hospital was built more that 20 years ago, the number of patients it treats has more than doubled. Plans are underway to relocate the children’s clinics, expand and renovate the emergency department, and build a family resource center to meet patient growth.
“Every year more than 90,000 children from across the state come to Children’s Hospital for outpatient visits, and they deserve a facility designed exclusively for their needs,” said Suzan Thames, chairman of Friends of Children’s Hospital. “With the help of Eli Manning and generous donations from Mississippians, we will be able to ensure a world-class facility for children.”