Taco Tuesday was in full swing at the Kappa Alpha Theta house for their inaugural Queso for CASA event benefiting abused children.
“We thought we were going to have a good turn out, but we didn’t think we were going to have a line passed sigma chi,” said chief executive officer for the sorority Taylor Aldrich.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) help represent children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned and who are involved in court proceedings. Kappa Alpha Theta donated profits from Tuesday’s event to the local CASA chapter.
Guests could buy raffle tickets and enter to win prizes, chat with local vendors such as Guy Harvey and InStyle Boutique, and take funky pictures in the photo booth, all while eating tacos and queso.
The Dalton Stanley Band from Jacksonville played outside on the patio throughout the night. Guests could sit and listen as the band played everything from their own tunes to Outkast covers.
The philanthropic event hit home for one sister in particular. Aliyah Wise, a senior studying communication sciences and disorders, said she knows first hand where the fundraiser money goes.
At 9 years old, Wise was taken away from her biological parents and enrolled in the foster care system. At the age of 12, Wise was adopted by a couple who were able to provide her with a life she said she never would have dreamed of without CASA.
“When I entered the foster care system, I only had the clothes I was wearing when I was taken away. CASA, through events like these, used that money and bought me the clothes and all of the basic necessities I needed,” Wise said. “It means everything to me. I know that [the money] truly touches every child in need. I am so grateful to be able to raise money with my beautiful sisters and support such a great philanthropy.”
Jamie Corey, one of the event organizers, said she was really impressed with the out pour of support from the UCF community.
“We do our superhero 5k in fall, which is really successful, but we wanted to be known for something greater this spring,” Corey said. “We’ve seen from other chapters that they’ve done Queso for CASA, so we decided to bring it to the UCF campus.” Corey, chief marketing director for the sorority, said.
Already, she could see what to keep in mind in following years to make the event even bigger and better.
“Overall I think it was a really good success, everyone was really organized and everyone seems to be having fun,” Corey said.