Vicksburg mayor suited for the challenge

Published 11:22 am Friday, August 22, 2014


Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. participates in the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday in front of City Hall as Vicksburg Convention Center Executive Director Annette Kirklin douses him with ice water.

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. participates in the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday in front of City Hall as Vicksburg Convention Center Executive Director Annette Kirklin douses him with ice water.

Dressed in a three-piece pinstriped suit and sitting in front of City Hall, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. appeared calm and composed while being doused with a bucket of cold water.

Vicksburg’s leading official made good on a dare Thursday, when he accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge from a local disc jockey with K-Hits.

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“Chris Burks challenged me,” said Flaggs, referring to the challenge that has gone viral on social media and is sweeping across the country and abroad to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other charities.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, has included celebrities and a former president, was inspired by 29-year-old Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball star who has been living with ALS since 2012.

The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting to social media, then nominating others to do the same — all in an effort to raise awareness about ALS.

From July 29 to Aug. 14, just two weeks after the Ice Bucket Challenge began, $7.6 million was donated to the ALS Association’s various chapters, compared with $1.4 million during the same period in 2013. As of Thursday’s dousing of Flaggs, donations for ALS exceeded $31 million.

In Vicksburg, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been expanded to include local foundations, and Flaggs along with Burks pledged their donations to Jacob’s Ladder. Facebook posts from other Vicksburg residents have also included the Afton Strong Foundation — a charity raising money for a local teenager.

“I don’t take challenges lightly, and I am looking forward to other challenges,” said Flaggs before his dousing.

He also threw out the Ice Bucket Challenge to Vicksburg Warren County School Superintendent Chad Shealy, Circuit Clerk Greg Peltz, Board of Supervisors President Bill Lauderdale, Community Court Judge Mack Varner, Chancery Clerk Donna Hardy, Warren County Tax Collector Antonia Flaggs-Jones, Attorney General Jim Hood, State Senator Briggs Hopson III, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney and Gov. Phil Bryant.

Gov. Bryant has accepted the challenge and will participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at 3 p.m. today on the front steps of the Governor’s Mansion. A representative of the Louisiana-Mississippi chapter of the ALS Association will be on hand to field media questions about the association’s work.

ALS, also referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive disease that affects motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord. As these motor neurons degenerate, they are no longer able to send impulses to muscle fibers.

Patients experience muscle weakness especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing.

Once the neurons die, the brain no longer has the ability to control muscle movement, and patients become totally paralyzed.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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