More than 1,000 feet of Tallahassee's College Avenue will be turned into a gigantic water slide this Saturday, Sept. 29. It will be a Cancer Society fundraiser as well as a tribute to a local cancer victim.
Florida State University's chapter of Alpha Tau Omega is hosting the event, said Chapter President Scott Meskin.
“We are putting on this philanthropic event in honor of our late advisor and brother of Epsilon Sigma Skip Smith,” he explained. “Skip was a phenomenal impact on not only the fraternity but the Tallahassee community as a whole.”
Skip Smith succumbed to colon cancer one year ago this month. And this Saturday, Meskin said a huge length of College Avenue will be transformed into a massive water slide in Skip Smith's memory.
“The slide is about three football fields long. It will be on College Avenue starting at Duval Street all the way down to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard just next to Brickhouse. The slide is literally the width of the entire road. We’re also having Kleman Plaza open. We’ll be having a lot of entertainment, we’ll be having a DJ, arts and crafts for kids to do and lots of other activities like food trucks.”
Meskin said he and the 150 other ATO brothers felt a conventional kind of fund-raising event just wouldn't cut it.
“We wanted to do something that was off the wall. We wanted to do something that not catered to college-age kids, but kids from all across the community. We’re aiming from 5 to 85 years old. You can come and slide on this 1000-foot long water slide and have a day that is centered, not on the philanthropy itself, but also the community that is benefiting from the philanthropy and those charitable organizations we’re donating to.”
This is all to help the Tallahassee office of the American Cancer Society where Tracey Thompson is the senior manager for Community Development.
“Any money that comes in the door helps with our mission,” she explained. “Locally, we have an office that has a cancer resource center that has wigs and bras for our female cancer survivors. Of course, we have an 800 number that is staffed 365-days a year, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Anyone can call. They don’t necessarily have to be a cancer patient. It can be a caregiver or family member and they have access to information and help through that 800 number.”
The Cancer Society in Florida, added Thompson, also has Hope Lodges in Tampa and Gainesville with a third under construction in Jacksonville.
“The Hope Lodge is a place for cancer patients and one caregiver to stay while they are going through treatment. So if you live here locally in Tallahassee and you’re having to go to Tampa for treatment, it can be very expensive for a hotel.”
And then there's a free local transportation service for patients.
“’Roads to Recovery’ is where volunteers sign up to take cancer patients for their treatment,”
she said. ATO's Scott Meskin said his fraternity's website has more information and tickets.
“Or you can visit: www.tallahasseedowntown.com and click on our ticket link there to purchase tickets,” he said.
The fun happens all day this Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9:00 a.m. until