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IMPACT Tallahassee brings The Producers to town to raise money for its mission of helping kids

Kevin and Kason Kolka smile and pose for a picture in a classroom at IMPACT Tallahassee.
Gina Jordan
Kevin and Kason Kolka at IMPACT Tallahassee.

A popular 80s band is returning to Tallahassee next week for a fundraiser.

The Producers will be at The Moon Thursday night, Oct. 20, for a concert and live auction. Proceeds will benefit IMPACT Tallahassee, a preschool, academy, and therapy clinic for students with varying cognitive and physical disabilities.

The "pact" in the name stands for Preschool, Academy, Community, and Therapy.

When we chatted recently with 20-year-old Kason Kolka and his dad, they had a busy schedule after school.

“Today is Tuesday. What do you do on Tuesday afternoons?” asked Kevin Kolka. “Oh! Gymnastics and golf and hair cut," Kason replied. Kason has Down syndrome. He participates in Special Olympics gymnastics and golf.

Students at Impact Preschool and Academy range in age from 6 weeks to 22 years old, when they age out of the program. IMPACT Tallahassee CEO Kevin Kolka says Kason just earned the title of intern. That means he’s training to be a classroom assistant.

“One of his friends has been through all the years of our school and then last year finished his first year as an actual assistant," Kolka says. "He helps kids come in, get checked in. He takes things from the teachers to some of the admin folks. So Kason is going to be kind of that next assistant in training. He was so excited about the whole thing. Weren't you, buddy?" he asks as Kason jumps out of his chair and moves swiftly toward dad. "Now comes the hug," Kolka laughs mid-embrace.

Kason Kolka poses for a picture at IMPACT Tallahassee.
Gina Jordan
Kason Kolka

In addition to reading and math, students are taught job and life skills. A community center is planned in the next few years at the property on Hermitage Blvd. The goal is to create a campus setting where students can go to class and to therapy, then walk to a coffee shop and do some banking.

"We've talked to a number of different retailers around town, and they're willing to be a part of what we're doing and open something that will allow children all the way up to age 22 to come in here and learn life skills and job skills and social skills and all the things that we take for granted," Kolka says. "It gives (students) an opportunity to do this in a non-threatening environment that is very friendly."

Kolka say they’re working on a name for the community center project, which was previously referred to as Lifetown. The school itself has also undergone a name change - it was formerly Progressive Pediatric - to better reflect the mission.

The money raised from The Producers concert and live auction will go toward the new center as well as building renovations. It will also help send students to camp.

Click here for more information about the concert and Impact Tallahassee.

Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Follow Gina: @hearyourthought on Twitter. Click below for Gina's full bio.