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FSU Flying High Circus receives $12,000 donation from Alumni Hall as part of tornado recovery

The circus suffered tornado damage estimated to cost $1 million to repair
FSU Flying High Circus receives $12,000 donation from Alumni Hall as part of circus recovery
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 21, 2024
  • Alumni Hall presented the FSU Flying High Circus with a donation of over $12,000 Friday.
  • The donations were all the proceeds from circus t-shirt sales after the damage suffered in the May 10 tornado.
  • Watch now to hear current circus students describe how the outpouring of community support makes them feel.


Six weeks after a tornado tore down Florida State's Flying High Circus, a community effort is giving them a big boost in recovery.

I'm your College Town neighborhood reporter, Alberto Camargo.

I'm checking back in with the circus as one local FSU store's fundraising campaign shared some good news.

Shortly after the circus shared that its big top tent was damaged beyond repair in the May 10 tornado — Alumni Hall released a t-shirt with 100% of proceeds going to circus recovery.

In just over a month, the store sold 650 shirts.

Friday, they presented circus leaders with a donation of, "$12,228.87."

"Extremely grateful."

"Excited. Lots of new possibilities."



Just some of the ways student performers describe the feeling of support the circus continues to feel from the FSU community.

It's a drop in the bucket of what I previously told you could cost over $1 million to get the circus back up and running.


Drone video shows storm damage around National MagLab, FSU Circus and Dick Howser Stadium

Circus director Chad Mathews says a new big top — and by extension, circus shows — might not be ready to go until 2025.

Mathews says keeping the community involved is just as important as the money.

"There's that piece and there's also the people piece. Particularly the support, and how do we continue that — not that we're always going to be fundraising — but how do we engage those folks to be more a part of our circus family."

Student performer Kaitlyn Givens says the student-run FSU circus club will be active on campus with free juggling lessons and other activities in the meantime.

"Just doing little small things like that, letting them know that it's not the tent that is the circus, it's us."

The circus says its committed to coming back not just as it was, but with notable improvements as well.

In College Town, I'm Alberto Camargo, ABC27.