Chili's Hosts ISA Benefit Dinner

Misha Khan

Photo courtesy of Ninoska Nunez

The atmosphere was warm and welcoming yet loud and proud as Chili’s hosted a give-back dinner for the International Student Association of Jacksonville University last Tuesday, Feb. 7 at their Atlantic Blvd. location.

ISA is one of the largest groups on the JU campus consisting of more than 100 students from over 40 different countries. The give-back dinner was a fundraising event that was intended to help the organization cover some of its costs.

Ninoska Nunez, sophomore, is the president of ISA and explained how the dinner helped ISA.

“We get a limited budget and we are one of the biggest student organizations on campus,” she said. “We try to do activities that are free to the students so they can bond with other international students to get involved in activities and make friends. Our biggest problem is paying for these activities, especially for transportation.”

ISA is often allowed to use the JU vans, but sometimes renting them can cost up to $300 for a few hours. Nunez said that the money gathered from the fundraiser will not only help the organization cover transportation costs but also help with the costs of ISA’s upcoming cooking night.

The event may not have brought together as many people as ISA had hoped, but no one was complaining at the end of the night.

Tulsi Patel, junior, is the secretary for ISA. She said the event was fun for all involved.

“I think the Chili’s dinner went well,” she said. “We got a lot of help from Student life who attended, and Ms. Linda, from honors program, also came to support us.

Chili’s is a regular fund-raising spot for JU students and the restaurant has even hosted a give-back dinner for the Women in Aviation program. The give-back dinner consists of handing out a flyer with the bill. This flyer donates 10 percent of the bill towards the organization, in this case ISA, and no extra payment is required from the customer.

The flyer was put together by a Chili’s associate and ISA distributed them all over campus. Nunez said she wished more students had shown up to the event.

“The fundraiser was fairly good,” she said. “We had a lot of faculty show up, very few students. It was fun to see JU people come together for a nice cause.”

ISA representatives said they would not put aside the idea for another fundraiser event but perhaps one at the closer location so it is easier for people to come by on a weekday. Overall, ISA felt content with what they had accomplished and Patel was “surely happy with the results.”

“The international students had a chance to get together and enjoy a meal,” she said. “So it was fun.”