Students host benefit dinner for tsunami victims

By Jessica Schuh

Several student organizations have come together to hold a dinner to raise funds for the victims of last month’s tsunami.

The dinner will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Wesley Foundation in Urbana. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for the general public.

Sponsoring organizations include the Muslim Students Association, Engineers without Borders, Wesley Foundation, American Red Cross Club, Indonesian Students Club, Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center and the Council of Muslim Graduates.

Mona Haggag, senior in FAA, said that she and several other students decided over winter break they wanted to do something to help the tsunami victims. After deciding they wanted to hold a fund-raising dinner, they e-mailed various student organizations to ask for involvement, she said.

Money raised will be given to Islamic Relief to distribute to the victims. The groups chose this charity because it has offices in all of the countries affected, has a good reputation with the people there and has low overhead costs, Haggag said.

If the organizations sell all 400 tickets, they will raise $2,400 to $3,000, but they hope to raise more.

“We’d like to have a really effective dinner so people will donate more when they get there,” Haggag said.

Ayat Elnoory, graduate student, said she thought the dinner was a good opportunity to bring a diverse group of organizations and students together to help people.

“We’ve definitely seen a lot of interest not only from students but (from people in the community as well),” said Elnoory, who is a member of the Council of Muslim Graduates. “I would definitely encourage everyone to come out and attend.”

Haggag emphasized that the dinner is open to anyone who wants to come.

Haggag will be selling tickets in the Registered Student Organization office in the Illini Union Friday afternoon from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Those interested in buying tickets or volunteering at the dinner can call (217) 649-9295.

– Jessica Schuh