Every year, hundreds of men, women and children gather and walk down to the Bob Sikes Bridge in Pensacola Beach carrying a long string of bras. Some wear pink or feather boas or carry flowers. When they reach the bridge, they string the bras up across the bridge as far as the eye can see.
The event, called Bras Across the Bridge, is like similar events across the country dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Money raised from registration fees, donations and corporate sponsorships goes to provide free mammograms to women who wouldn’t be able to afford the steep cost of a mammogram on their own. After the event, all the bras are donated to local women in need.
Early cancer detection facilitated by mammograms increases the chances of survival for women who may have cancer because doctors can start treatment early enough to stop cancer before it spreads and becomes fatal.
Cumulus Media, a radio broadcaster with five stations in Pensacola, first started the event. It was so successful that the local Baptist Health Care Foundation took it over to generate funds entirely for their local mammogram program. The event raised $20,000 in 2016 and $26,000 during this year’s 2017 event on October 7.
Bras Across the Bridge has helped save lives in Pensacola. The sobering numbers speak for themselves.
“Since the beginning, the money raised from Bras across the Bridge has given over 1,900 free mammograms to women who would have not been able to afford it otherwise,” reported Jessica Roth, promotions manager at Cumulus Media. “364 women required additional screening, and 18 were diagnosed with breast cancer.”
This event is just one way radio has made a difference in the lives of people who live in Pensacola, Florida in U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz’s 1st Congressional District. After the hurricanes this year, all five Cumulus Media stations in Pensacola urged listeners to donate to the American Red Cross.
The broadcaster works with other local non-profit organizations throughout the year including the American Cancer Society, the Pensacola Little Theatre, the Pensacola Humane Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, March of Dimes, the Santa Rosa County Healthy Start Coalition and more.
Every year in March, all five Cumulus Media Pensacola radio stations hold a two-day radiothon raising money for the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. Then in May, they hold a KidsFest where ticket proceeds are donated to the local Ronald McDonald House Charities. On Veterans Day each year, Cumulus hosts a Veterans Day Celebration with music, entertainment and free food and beverages for all past and present military members.
Such active community service would be a huge accomplishment for any company or organization. Cumulus Media Pensacola truly shows how radio goes above and beyond to be a bridge for people to create better communities.