Bras Along the Bridge focuses on breast cancer

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Eleven years ago, Riverwalk Casino set out to help bring awareness to breast cancer by collecting bras that were strung across the Old Mississippi River Bridge.

“We started this to get attention and raise support,” general manager of Riverwalk Casino Ginny Tzotzolas said.

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For every bra received, Riverwalk donated $1 to the American Cancer Society, Tzotzolas said, where funds were then used for programs that support women who are impacted by breast cancer.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the fundraiser, and once again Riverwalk Casino will be collecting bras through the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“The first year we collected about 1,000 bras, Tzotzolas said, but last year it was just under 10,000 that were collected, so our goal this year is to exceed that number.”

Since its inception, the “Bras Along the Bridge” fundraiser has increased, and in the last 10 years Riverwalk Casino has donated $130,000 to the American Cancer Association.

“This is a pretty significant amount,” Tzotzolas said, adding, “So ladies if you have that bra that may be really cute, but is just not comfortable or if you have bras that are old and you should get rid of, this is your time to go through your stuff and gather up your bras and take them to any of our drop off locations.”

In addition to the fundraiser, Tzotzolas said, Riverwalk Casino is also dedicated to going one step further. 

“One of the things we are trying to emphasize this year is that no bra will be wasted,” Tzotzolas said.

“The impact will actually stretch beyond the $1 donation to the American Cancer Society, because any bras that we receive that are either brand new or are in like new condition, those will be set aside and donated to a network of women’s shelters in the Mississippi area,” Tzotzolas said. “And the ones that are strung on the bridge, once they are taken down they will be given to the Salvation Army because they recycle textiles. So nothing goes to waste.”

Event Nov. 3

On Friday, Nov. 2, Riverwalk Casino team members and members of the Vicksburg Bridge Commission will string the bras across the Old Mississippi River Bridge and on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. breast cancer survivors and community members are invited to walk across the bridge to view the bras of the Mississippi River, Tzotzolas said.

Last year, Tzotzolas said, bras were strung from one end of the bridge to the other multiple times.

For those interested in making donations, drop off sites in Vicksburg will include Riverwalk Casino, 1046 Warrenton Road; Atwood Chevrolet, 2339 N. Frontage Road; The Radio People, 900 Belmont St.; Caldwell Banker, 2170 S. Frontage Road; Newk’s Eatery, 3403 Pemberton Square Blvd.; Split Ends, 3412 Pemberton Square Blvd. #5; The Loft Salon and Spa, 3040 Halls Ferry Road, and Levee Street Market Place, 1001 Levee St.

The cutoff date for dropping off bras is Oct. 31.

As of 2018, it is estimated that 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women and about 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. men.

Since the mid-70s, the breast cancer survival rate has increased from 75 percent to 90 percent. Doctors suggest this is due to early detection and improved treatment options.

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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