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"I felt really sad" - Tallahassee 9 year old working to help restore FSU Flying High Circus after tornado

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 24, 2024
  • Young neighbors in the Northeast Tallahassee neighborhood are working to restore the FSU High Flying Circus.
  • A tornado hit the circus the morning of May 10 and left behind extensive damage.
  • Watch the video above to see how children are working to move the circus beyond the storm.


After seeing devastation here at the FSU High Flying Circus, a young neighbor is taking action to help. I'm Kendall Brandt in Northeast Tallahassee. I met one 9 year old girl who has raised about $2,000 the two weeks since a tornado hit the circus.

Nine-yea-old Francesca Uanino has attended the FSU High Flying Circus camp for three summers. What she loves most: "Probably the people."

That's why she says she was devastated when she saw the circus tent was destroyed during the tornado on May 10.


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

"I felt really sad because when I first did the camp, it was like home to me almost."

So she and her younger brother set up a lemonade stand at the Killearn Ace Hardware two weekends in a row. She says it was an easy decision. "I should probably raise money to rebuild it."

So far, she has raised over $2,000, with donations coming in from across the country.

It's something director of the FSU High Flying Circus, Chad Matthews, says was heartwarming. "It's really humbling, honestly. It reinforces what we had always suspected that the people have a feel about our program."

He says the circus saw thousands of dollars in damage after losing their big top, many of the stands and equipment inside. "The amount of support has been overwhelming. With so much loss, you know you have so much support out there for us."

Uanimo says she hopes others her age know they can make a big difference during hard times like this. "See what you can do to help."

The circus also has a fund set up on their website.