Dance academy dons red noses for cause

Published 10:42 am Thursday, May 21, 2015

A GOOD CAUSE: Students from the Debra Franco Preparatory School of Dance line up with their red noses before performing at a nursing home.

A GOOD CAUSE: Students from the Debra Franco Preparatory School of Dance line up with their red noses before performing at a nursing home.

Students with the Debra Franco Preparatory School of Dance have been having fun sporting big, round, red noses for the past few weeks during their performances at local nursing homes and in rehearsals. 

They have been wearing the clown-like props to support Red Nose Day, a national campaign that encourages everyone to do something fun, while also raising money and bringing attention to children and young people who are living in poverty.

“I think it is great when children can support other children,” said Debra Franco, the owner of the dance studio.

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Franco said she had seen the commercials on TV about Red Nose Day and decided it looked like something fun her students could support.

Along with traveling to the nursing homes with their red noses, the students will also be wearing them in the finale of the recital, Franco said.

“It’s going to be a funny finale,” said Sarah Jacobs Houser, one of Franco’s students.

Red Nose Day started 25 years ago in the United Kingdom and has raised more than $1 billion since its inception.

This is the first year Red Nose Day has been held in the U.S., and the event will culminate tonight with a three hour long special beginning at 7 p.m. on NBC, Michele Connelly said.

Connelly is the executive director for the United Way of West Central Mississippi.

“Red Nose Day is a new fresh exciting way to stand up for a cause for our youth,” Connelly said.

There are 12 nonprofit organizations that will benefit from the proceeds that are raised, Connelly said, with United Way World Wide as one of the recipients.

“All the money is divided by 12, and United Way agencies around the world can apply for grants,” she said.

Once the United Way of West Central Mississippi expands their LEARN program, which is focused on early education, Connelly said they would be able to apply for grants made available from Red Nose Day.

Connelly said even though the United Way of West Central Mississippi would not be able to benefit monetarily this year from Red Nose Day, the event is bringing “eye-catching” attention to children in need.

Connelly also praised Red Nose Day for its dedication to using only 10 percent of their proceeds for administrative cost and added 50 percent of the dollars raised would come directly to the U.S.

Comic Relief, which was created by British film director Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry is the charity behind Red Nose Day.

For more information on Red Nose Day, visit

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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