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The Ultimate back to school drive

USMC veteran Ayla Madison and The Lipstickroyalty Agency facilitated "Kids Fest Tallahassee" (“Kids Fest Tally”) a one of a kind back-to-school event that took place at FAMU’s Jake Gaither Gym.

The free community initiative consisted of a day full of giveaways, activities, and special guests. Karlos & Paisley’s Lemonade, Millie’s Cute Candles, and Primetime Athletics were just a few of businesses that took part in the family fun day as community vendors.

The varsity cheerleading squad of Florida High served as volunteers, giving a spirited welcome to families entering the Jake Gaither Gym. Guest speakers from Tallahassee Police went over bullying, gun safety, and tips for parents on how to keep their children safe from stranger danger. Artist, poet, and 99 Jamz Co-Sign Winner Tierra Traniece gave an inspiring speech about being true to yourself and reaching your goals. “I love kids, and seeing how they light up when you show them they’re important is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s amazing how inspired they can be,” said Tierra.

There were also appearances by members of the USMC and Tallahassee Fire to provide information on public safety who surprised guests with their fire truck display. Families were also exposed to resources at Kids Fest Tally including access to early sign-ups for youth athletic leagues, a mentorship program for young girls, and a support group for Black mothers interested in holistic methods.

The event receiving over 800 online RSVPs in the days leading up. Through the organizers handwork and vendors support, they were able to provide backpacks and school supplies to hundreds of children, as well as free on-site haircuts to those in need. “I never thought it would be this big, especially since this is the first year we’ve done something like this. I’m so humbled and so happy to see my vision come to life,” commented Madison. DJ Jam of 105.3 The Beat provided the tunes, and Tallahassee’s WTXL news station provided live media coverage. The attendees of Kids Fest Tally were also surprised by stellar performances by the FHS Cheer Squad and Junior Lamplighters.

With the poverty rate of Leon County being upwards of 29%, Tallahassee-native Ayla Madison understood that the need for events like Kids Fest Tally was apparent. With The Lipstickroyalty Agency’s help, she plans to take on more projects to improve the communities within Leon and Jefferson County through her philanthropy.

You can keep up with Ayla Madison and see what she accomplishes next for the city of Tallahassee by following her on social media (@aylamadisonofficial). She hopes Kids Fest Tally will be bigger and better, and leave a positive impact on even more families next year.

If you’re interested in participating donating to the cause, please email

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Written by. Al' Laiya Proff


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