Desoto County News

Mudbug Bash is set to party for the Palmer Home

Photo: Panola Street in Hernando sparkles as the Mudbug Bash fundraiser for the Palmer Home for Children is held. (Courtesy photo)

For about two decades now, a street in Hernando has been a place for a party on a springtime Saturday night, all for a great cause.  

Palmer Home for Children is hosting the popular Mudbug Bash, a night of great music, live music, a silent auction, a lot of fun, and of course, lots of crawfish, aka mudbugs.  

This year’s Bash, the 20th time for the fundraiser, is set for April 20, from 6-10 p.m. Molly Coleman, Special Events Manager for Palmer Home, said Panola Street in Hernando will become “Party Central” for the evening.  

“We block the whole street off and we serve a bunch of mudbugs,” Coleman said. “We have the Memphis Crawfish Company come out and they cook crawfish on site and we serve it to all of our guests there at the moment. It’s just a big, giant crawfish boil.” 

The Palmer Home for Children, a private, faith-based nonprofit, is centered on a campus outside Hernando, having moved from its original location in Columbus, Mississippi in 2019. Palmer Home has housed children who cannot live with their parents or guardians since 1895.  In May 2022, the Wellness Center was added to the campus, an $8 million building that houses a gym, pool, academic center, and a family counseling center.  It is at the Wellness Center that Coleman said a number of the children who live there are educated. 

“We actually have a Palmer Home school that is in our Wellness Center,” Coleman said. “We do have a full time staff teacher who teaches some of our children. When they come to us, we evaluate them or we have an educational specialist that evaluates them and determines the best route for them. Some of them do go to the local schools.”

There are about 30 youngsters who now live at the Palmer Home campus, but more than 300 who benefit from the home’s services and programs. Those programs include campus care, foster care, family care, and transitional care. Events like the Mudbug Bash help fund these programs.  

“The Palmer Home serves children, ages newborn to 24 years old,” Coleman said. “We are a nonprofit so with the Palmer Home for Children, all money raised goes to caring for the children that come to us. They’re in a family-style setting where they thrive in the family unit.”

Mudbug Bash features more than just crawfish, Coleman said, adding a popular band will feature the entertainment.  

“We will have a silent auction, a wine pool and a bourbon pool,” Coleman said. “We have a stage with a band and this year we are very excited to announce that Mustache the Band  will be live on stage this year. They’re kind of our big entertainment. They’re very involved with a crowd so we’re excited to have this band for our 20th year.”

Coleman said Mustache the Band will perform a straight set from 7-10 p.m. During the evening, Palmer Home CEO Drake Barrett will also explain the impact the home is making in the lives of children.

Those who live at the Palmer Home are typically referred from a family member or other agencies. Sometimes, an anonymous referral will come but all who come do so voluntarily in terms of custody.  

“One thing that also makes us unique is that we focus on taking an entire sibling group,” Coleman explains. “Traditionally, if a sibling group were to need a service like a home, they might be split up all over the state of Mississippi. But at the Palmer Home, we try to keep those sibling groups together on our campus.”

Coleman said DeSoto County has been very supportive of the Palmer Home over the years, including blocking off Panola Street for the Mudbug Bash. Coleman noted that the Mudbug Bash was even held during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting crawfish in a to-go that people bought as a drive-through activity. 

“The DeSoto County community has just really supported this event for 20 years,” Coleman said. “Even through a pandemic. Within the 20 years that we have been doing the Bash, it has raised nearly $2 million in those 20 years, so it’s a big deal.”

Tickets and sponsorships are now available for the April 20 event by visiting the Palmer Home website. Sky Lake Construction is the event’s presenting sponsor.  

The staff, supporters, and most of all, the children of the Palmer Home look forward to having you be a big part of the Mudbug Bash celebration!

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