August 4, 2003
Family Weekend designed to educate, entertain
By Jim Albritton
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—As a new school year nears, families from across the state will gather at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum for the Family Weekend Celebration Aug. 9-10.
The annual event, sponsored by Pizza Hut, offers families discounted entry into the museum and two days of fun-filled activities designed to educate and entertain both children and parents.
“This event has become a tradition for many families who value it as an opportunity to be together on one of the last weekends before school starts back,” said Michael Rubenstein, executive director of the museum. “The discounted ticket prices and added attractions during Family Weekend attract more and more people every year.”
In addition to tours of the museum, children will be able to participate in safety and injury prevention programs, learn how a large hot air balloon operates and be among the first to see a new interactive exhibit about sports medicine.
Representatives from Think First, Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s statewide safety and injury prevention program, will teach children to always think first and play it safe before they get into any potentially dangerous situation. The Think First team will present programs that focus on seat belt, bicycle, fire and diving safety. Sammy Safety, a certified safety superhero, and Safety Saurus, the injury prevention dinosaur who survived extinction by playing it safe, will participate in the programs.
The Independence, Methodist’s 69,000-cubic-foot competition balloon, will be on display in front of the museum, with pilot and crew on hand to answer questions.
A new sports medicine display will be unveiled during Family Weekend. The exhibit features an interactive plasma screen and video and audio presentations that focus on sports injuries and prevention. The exhibit also features football helmets designed to prevent head and neck injuries and a scope and video monitor that offers a view what orthopedic surgeons see when they operate on a knee.
“Our new display was created to educate children and adults about the latest advances in sports medicine and ways people can recover from sports injuries,” said Mark Adams, president and CEO of Methodist. “The exhibit was designed to be interactive to appeal to children, but it also offers valuable information for adults.”
Representatives from MPACT and MACS will also be available to talk to parents interested in Mississippi’s pre-paid college savings programs.
Family Weekend visitors will be eligible to participate in several drawings. The grand prize is four free round-trip AMTRAK tickets to Memphis with free accommodations and admission to family attractions. Second prize is a complimentary weekend for two in New Orleans. Third and fourth place winners will receive school supplies from Office Depot.
The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, and from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10, for the Family Weekend Celebration. Discounted tickets for all ages 6 and up are available for $3 and children under 5 get in free.
Operated by the Mississippi Sports Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation established in June 1992, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum occupies 21,542 square feet on Lakeland Drive in Jackson. The site, donated by the City of Jackson, is adjacent to the Jim Buck Ross Agriculture and Forestry Museum and across from Smith-Wills Stadium.
The museum employs advanced media technology to create an exhilarating sensory experience for visitors, not only from Mississippi, but from across the country and around the world. And since its official opening on July 4, 1996, the museum has hosted visitors from every state in the Union and from dozens of foreign countries. Memorabilia from the former Dizzy Dean Museum is also a part of the Museum's second floor exhibit area.