Crystal Ball to ROLL ON MISSISSIPPI, virtually, Jan. 16

Published 3:56 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2021

 The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi invites you to take part in its 21st annual Crystal Ball Gala, a FREE virtual event on Jan. 16,  at 6:30 p.m.

Join the Foundation in celebrating the theme, ROLL ON MISSISSIPPI, a Charley Pride hit song. Follow the link to register.

While this is the Community Foundation’s first virtual gala, due to COVID-19 precautions, it will be full of surprises and showcase the charitable works taking place in northwest Mississippi.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

You won’t want to miss special appearances by Ken Burns, Bob Pittman, Sela Ward, Archie Manning, Steve Azar, Sam and Mary Haskell, Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Marty Stuart, Bobby Rush, Oak Ridge Boys, Mickey Gilley, Lee Greenwood, and more.

You will be entertained with musical performances by Curt Chambers and Charlie Worsham. This star-filled lineup will pay their respect to the late Charley Pride, who accepted the Star of Hope honor in October and unfortunately passed away in mid-December. This will be the first time to posthumously honor a Star of Hope.

“While we are deeply saddened by Charley Pride’s passing, we want to pay tribute to the indelible mark that he has left on Mississippi, country music, and our culture. Mr. Pride was Mississippi through and through: ambitious, hardworking, trailblazing, and an endearing soul,” said Michael Bellipanni, Crystal Ball co-chair.

“My earliest memory of Charley Pride’s music and personality was his appearance on Austin City Limits. As a young child, I spent time with my grandparents in Tutwiler, Mississippi. Just outside of town on Highway 3, there was a sign recognizing the home of Charley Pride. My Paw Paw would tell me about this famous singer from the Mississippi Delta and how big of a star he had become.” Bellipanni reminisces.

“I can vividly remember sitting in my grandfather’s lap on a Saturday night watching Mr. Pride’s performance on Austin City Limits.”

The online event is FREE to view at  the websites listed above and the Community Foundation’s Facebook page (@CFNM315) or YouTube channel @CFNM_2002). It is recommended to view at the website to take advantage of the auction item bidding that promises several one-of-a-kind opportunities.

Honoring Community Stars the night of Crystal Ball has been a tradition that will continue with the online event. The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi will recognize the 2020 Community Stars and outstanding volunteers who have shown community spirit in the following categories:

Bob Dunlap, of Batesville, Dan Maddox Man of the Year

Robin Cocke, of Clarksdale, Margaret Maddox Woman of the Year

Heartland Hands Food Pantry, of Southaven, Non-Profit of the Year

Wade, Incorporated, of Greenwood, Business of the Year

The Crystal Ball virtual, world-premiere event benefits more than 800 nonprofits through the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and annually raises $195,000 in support of nonprofits in the 11-county service region. Over the past twenty years, the Crystal Ball has helped to provide over $27 million grants to benefit over 800 nonprofits and charitable causes.

The online auction offers fantastic, one-of-a-kind items and experiences only available through the Community Foundation’s Crystal Ball. The items are open for bidding at  the website. Auction items include:  

Dove hunt for four in Argentina

7-night stay in Hawaii at Hilton Resort, Waikiki Beach

Beach house in Panama City, Florida

Beach house in Watercolor, Florida

Beach house in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Intimate lunch with MTV founder Bob Pittman

Lunch with Steve Forbes in New York City or Rosedale, Mississippi

Two-day fly-fishing trip in Arkansas

Signed football by Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning

Tour of Royal Studios with “Boo” Mitchell

Guided crappie fishing on Grenada Lake

Beaver Dam Duck Hunt in Tunica

Apple Watch from C Spire

Airfare and excursion to Iceland

Tallahatchie Quail Hunt

Two professional photo sessions

Waterfront home at Lake Bruin, Louisiana

VIP passes to Memphis Grizzlies

VIP passes to Washington Football Team game

Canoe trip on Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe

Blues Tour of the Delta with hotel stay in Clarksdale

Napa Valley Wine and Food Pairing at Louis M. Martini Winery

High Roller Weekend at Gold Strike, Tunica

For more information about sponsorships and volunteer opportunities with the 2021 Crystal Ball Gala, call 662.449.5002, text 662-719-1732, or email


About the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi:
The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi manages 240 donor-established funds. Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation, the Community Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 charitable organization. The Foundation serves Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica counties.  A board of 19 volunteer civic leaders governs the Community Foundation.