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About Tallahassee 25

What is the Tallahassee 25?
Tallahassee 25 is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization incorporated with the State of Florida. Our members consist of young professionals who want to create and inspire hope for children and families and improve our community's quality of life. There is no paid staff.

Our sole means of support comes from our annual event, Bids for the Kids Gala & Silent Auction. This event raises essential dollars that help us create opportunities for local children through support and hands-on involvement in programs and activities. Sponsorships, silent auction items and bids, donations, and ticket sales provide our entire budget for the year.

These funds help us organize kid's events throughout the year that allow kids to enjoy their youth, while also helping them learn principles such as responsibility, self esteem, self discipline, and teamwork.

Why 25? Twenty-five young professionals established the organization as "charter" members in March 1997. After simply collecting contributions for a little league baseball team, they realized they shared a common mission to help area children and wanted to continue that vision with a more structured commitment — hence, a nonprofit was formed and bylaws put into place. Interest took off, and regular projects started taking shape.

Awards Presented to T25:
 

2008 Constant Contact All Star

 
National Point of Light Award Recipient 1998 Non-Profit Volunteer Organization of the Year

Past Highlights of our Community Involvement:
During 2008, Tallahassee 25 was able to coordinate more than 15 events that helped local kids enjoy their youth. We renewed contact with Children's Home Society, Tree House, and the Leon County Animal Shelter; and began new relationships with Dade Street Community Center, the Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science, and the Department of Health Services Children's Division. We also continued helping organizations such as Capital City Youth Services, Hope Community, Boy's Town, Walker Ford Community Center, and WFSU Kid's Programming.

Throughout the year, the Tallahassee 25 provides volunteers to ensure that area children can enjoy field trips and other activities, such as local museums, the planetarium, Tiger Sharks and Scorpions games, outings with local Boys & Girls Clubs to the Fun Station, fun day picnics at Tom Brown Park, or on site with children-in-residence at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town, and much more.

Through the CREST tutoring programs at Raa and Cobb Middle Schools, members tutored and mentored students in need or at-risk of failing. Tallahassee 25 supplied 60 volunteers in partnership with the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative. Tallahassee 25 was also a "PERK" Newspaper in Education sponsor, supplying two classes of students with a Tallahassee Democrat once a week during the school year — teachers used those for activities that underscore class lessons.

By participating in or sponsoring Career Days at local school, members provided more than 2,500 students (over 2 years) with ideas about employment in professions such as engineering, graphic design, broadcasting, the legal arena, state government, and much more.

Focus Learning Systems of Tallahassee partnered with Tallahassee 25 to offer regular computer tutoring sessions to children in crisis and in transition residence at the Capital City Youth Shelter. In an effort to help other at-risk children, Tallahassee 25 partnered with Kids Café on Macomb Street. This partnership included tutoring, mentoring, and career day forums.

Members assisted Walker-Ford Community Center during its annual baseball and football leagues by providing uniforms for teams and cheering support. Hundreds of children benefited from these activities.

Members participated in a new program that was a site-based reading partnership with childcare centers affiliated with Kids, Inc. of the Big Bend. The program, "School Readiness Express," involved assisting 3- and 4-year-old children in reading skills at local, subsidized-care facilities across the community.

During each holiday season, members sponsored toy drives and ad hoc projects. In the past, these have been for the Children’s Home Society and the Foster Parents Association. We also were the first civic group to step up to the plate for the new "Women’s Center" at "The Shelter" downtown in 1998, by sponsoring a community-wide "Bare Essentials Drive" for homeless babies and children.

In December 1999, Tallahassee 25 began its annual "Holiday Gift Program" fulfilling the holiday "wish lists" of kids from a number of our partner organizations including Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Town, the Treehouse, and Capital City Youth Services. To cap off our holiday events with the kids, Tallahassee 25 hosted a Holiday Party where the kids joined T25 members for punch and cookies and took the city-sponsored "Tour of Lights" to admire the holiday decorations throughout Tallahassee.

Tallahassee 25 also began its annual Haunted House in 1999. The haunted house was constructed and operated by our volunteers. It was designed with kids in mind and is free to anyone 12 years of age and younger. Over the past years, more than 7,500 kids from our community had the opportunity to be scared by Tallahassee 25.

Members also participated in regular community celebration events throughout the year that benefit area children. A short list of these supporting efforts include: a bowling team during Big Brother/Big Sisters "Bowl for Kids Sake;" a children’s booth featuring crafts during Springtime Tallahassee and Celebration of Lights; participation in American Cancer Society’s Reaching Out to Cancer Kids (ROCK) Camp; a Relay-for-Life team for the American Cancer Society’s annual track event; and many more. In addition, Tallahassee 25 sponsored an award-winning float in the annual Winter Festival Parade.

In spring, 1999, Tallahassee 25 was named the overall Big Bend "Volunteer of the Year" in the Non-Profit category in the annual awards sponsored by the Tallahassee Democrat and the local United Way. (The year before, in 1998, the group was a finalist out of 25 organizations nominated, and the Founding President was selected as a finalist in the Social Service Category/Individuals.) In Fall 1999, Tallahassee 25 was named the "Best Civic Organization" among the 110+ categories in the annual community ballot contest sponsored by Tallahassee Magazine. Tallahassee 25 was also chosen for a Daily Points of Light Award for March 8, 2000 as part of the National Points of Lights Award Program. With this award, Tallahassee 25 was the first organization in the Big Bend area to receive this award.

In 1998, Tallahassee 25 formed a partnership with the Tallahassee Democrat to rejuvenate "Funders," the non-profit entity set up by the late Editor Malcolm Johnson to raise money for needy kids to attend summer camp – a luxury to some. In addition to an annual donation that underwrites "camperships" to local schoolchildren (nominated by their guidance counselors and the camp advisors), Tallahassee 25 appropriated funds to outfit the T25-sponsored students with supplies for camp. Each camper was also adopted by two T25 members, who prepared them mentally and tangibly for camp and, in many cases, drove them back and forth to the camp and helped ensure a fun experience.