Museum to hold benefit for African-American education


The John G. Riley House and Museum is calling for student organizations to participate in the 13th Annual Rock-A-Thon on Dec. 1, an event that will raise money for African-American education programs.


The Riley Center and Museum will attempt to raise $20,000 to benefit the maintenance cost of the museum and educational outreach programs. The funds are raised through a rocking chair marathon. Organizations that register for the event will keep their team in a chair, rocking for six hours with a minimum sponsorship of $100 per organization.


The Riley Center and Museum is asking that each group participating group raise a minimum of $500. At the end of the event, the top three organization that have raised the most money will be recognized with a cash prize to support a charity of their choice.


“It is important during this time of year to bring people together in an atmosphere of family and celebration to take time to relax and fellowship and meet new people,” said Althemese Barnes, director of the Riley Center and Museum.


The Rock-A-Thon is also part of the City of Tallahassee’s Winter Festival. The event will have food, games, music, prizes and vendors so people can get some holiday shopping done.


“This is an experience for various cultures to come together and share through the different performances that will take place,” Barnes said. “It’s a feel-good time to transition to the monthlong festive occasions to celebrate the holidays.”


The Riley Center and Museum is excited for college students to participate in the event more so than ever this year.


“I am looking forward to this opportunity to fundraise for a great cause and mingle with the community,” said Ursula Ible, a senior environmental science student. “The entertainment and vendors that will be present is a sure bet for a wonderful time.”


The Riley Museum pays tribute to the history of John G. Riley, who was born enslaved and died a millionaire, educated himself and became the principal of the Lincoln High School, which provided secondary education for former slaves. The Riley Museum, which is located downtown, is a testament to Tallahassee’s rich African-American history. The home is the last piece of evidence of a once-thriving middle class community located in Tallahassee called Smokey Hollow.


To register an organization to participate in the Rock-A-Thon, please email