The Gallo Pinto dinner, the North-South profile’s main fundraiser, will sell tickets beginning this week in the atrium. This event includes dinner, a video of the student’s trip to Nicaragua, and a discussion period about the trip.
The dinner is happening on April 18th in Conrod’s. Gallo pinto, which is rice and beans Nicaraguan style, will be served along with salad and desert. After eating, the second year North-South students will present a video they made about their experience abroad in Nicaragua. After the video, students will answer questions from the audience about their experience in North-South. Gisela Frias, a North-South teacher who is involved with organising the dinner said, “people are not coming for the food, they come to hear about the student’s experience.”
This fundraiser is organised by Gisela Frias and David Olesik, the two main teachers organizing the fundraiser, and many North-South students. They aided in selling the tickets, cooking the food, and promoting the event. Additionally, for the past two years, a Community Recreation and Leadership Training (CRLT) student has helped in the planning of the event as well. This year, David Harwood, second year CLRT student, is helping with the organization to complete the stage required for his program. “I am responsible for finding sponsors for the raffle that happens during the dinner, making the tickets, helping promote the event, and budgeting the event,” said Harwood.
The money raised from the ticket sales and the raffle all goes towards the following year’s trip to Nicaragua, helping to fund the cost of their trip as well as community development projects that they will complete. Some examples of past projects that have been completed are helping the construction of a road, providing scholarships to high school students, paying for and helping to paint a school.
The tradition of this dinner has been going on since 1995. Frederick Jones, one of the founders of the North South profile said, “We have been having an annual dinner as an opportunity for the students who travelled to Nicaragua to present their trip to their families, the college community, and the students who will enter the program the following year.” Everyone from the Dawson community is invited to come to the dinner, enjoy rice and beans, and learn about what the students from North-South are doing in Nicaragua.
Over the past 23 years, this fundraiser has stayed true to its roots. Its main goal has always been to allow students to share what they have learnt with their families and the Dawson community. However, Jones said “The food has changed. For many years we had a spaghetti dinner. Several years ago, it was changed to the current gallo pinto.” Frias explained that the change of the food served at the dinner was to be able to not only share the experience through discussion and videos, but also to share it by serving a traditional Nicaraguan dish.