Adult Field Day brings back childhood favorites to support Tallahassee non-profit

By: Jacob Murphey
August 9, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, FLa. (WCTV)--The Florida heat couldn't stop a large crowd from taking part in childhood recess favorites Friday evening in Tallahassee.

The first-ever Adult Field Day benefited the Hang Tough Foundation, a group dedicated to making sure every kid can have a fulfilling childhood, even those battling an illness or have special needs.

Eighteen teams of six descended on the intramural fields at Florida State University in this 18+ event. They rotated through an intense slate of schoolyard memories: dodge ball, sack races, and kickball to name a few.

"What we're doing out here is reminding adults what it's like to be kids," said Hang Tough Executive Director Janelle Irwin.

"You all remember elementary school field day!"

The group began in 2015 when Irwin's son received a leukemia diagnosis.

"We went through a cancer journey and felt really alone," she said.

The foundation now serves more than six hundred families. The kids at the center of the program are known as "heroes."

From FSU Baseball games, to "Ninja Training," the heroes stay busy while the parents feel the love.

Patti Liedy is the mother of a girl on the Autism spectrum. She took part in Friday's festivities to support a big part of her daughter's life.

"She feels at home with Hang Tough," she said.

"All my daughters do, my hero and my sidekicks. We're all at home."

Lindsey Quaife organized a team to compete in the games. She said Field Days aren't always easy for some parents.

"A lot of our kids have a tough time when it comes to school field days. And we as parents have a lot of anxiety when it comes to field days because of how our kid will be treated."

But at this event, everyone was welcome. Skills and ability didn't matter. In the end, it's all about having fun.