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Tailgate for Palmer re-imagined for fifth-annual event due to pandemic

Tailgating in person may not be allowed in 2020, but that is not deterring supporters of the Palmer Home for Children.

The Tailgate for Palmer fifth-annual event is still taking place, but with a different twist. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been re-imagined into ‘Tailgate for Palmer — To Go.’

In a normal year, multiple television screens are set up throughout the Indoor Practice Facility at the Manning Center on the University of Mississippi campus with food curated by local chefs. In 2020, all the amenities are being packed into a convenient cooler for ticketholders to take with them for their own tailgate at home.

“While this year’s Tailgate for Palmer may look different, its purpose is the same: raise critical funds and awareness for Palmer Home for Children,” said Sarah Hollis, senior vice president of engagement for Palmer Home. “The pandemic and the pressures it’s placing upon families is dramatically increasing the need for our services, so canceling this year’s event, which raises critical funds for our mission, didn’t seem like the best course of action.”

The coolers can be picked up at the Manning Center on Nov. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. When ticket holders arrive, the coolers will be placed in their vehicles for them to help limit close contact. Coolers can be purchased for $150 at the Palmer Home website, including sponsorship levels.

Food that will be included in the coolers is provided by Taylor Grocery, Marketplace at Oxford Commons, Chick-Fil-A, Zaxby’s, Oby’s, Abner’s, Sweet Potato Sweets and Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Beverages will also be provided, ranging from sodas to beer and wine.

“We are grateful that our team was able to creatively and effectively pivot to a to-go format, and that gracious partners Gateway Tire and Ole Miss Athletics saw our vision and came on board,” Hollis said. “We are especially thankful for the Oxford community and their continued support of Tailgate for Palmer for the past five years.”

The Palmer Home, located in Columbus, serves children through residential, foster, transitional and family care from newborns to 24 years old. They are celebrating their 125th anniversary in 2020.