A Speech Professor Speaking Out for Others


Madelyn Downey

Thomas Nuara, a public speaking professor at Brookdale Community College, knows no bounds when it comes to giving back. The 47-year-old professor discussed his hobbies outside of teaching: family work, with charity work immediately following. His nonprofit, JF Party Dragon Charity Inc., is coming up on the completion of its seventh year.

Nuara and his two partners started their charity as a true nonprofit: “The biggest and most important thing about the charity that makes us all so successful is that we’ve raised almost $800,000 in this time frame without ever keeping a penny. Everything that we do, we do for others.” Unlike other charities who take out portions of the money raised for their salaries, he wanted every single penny raised or donated to be used for a good cause.

The nonprofit was born out of an inside joke between friends. In college, Nuara would carry around a dragon stuffed animal around, even making it a mascot in one of his sports marketing class projects. As it caught on, people enjoyed it more and more and that’s when he decided to use it as a mascot for charity.

JF Party Dragon Charity Inc. has won best charity four years in a row in the Asbury Park Press. Nuara, originally from Beachwood, credits a lot of their success with their charity comedy shows to his mother’s restaurant, Shut up and Eat! in Toms River. “We went to a comedy club and wanted to do a show there.

We ended up doing the show and selling it out, and then I realized ‘Hey, I just gave this comedy club all of our money.’ We made very little.” Using Shut Up and Eat! as their venue for these events made the charity way more money and helped out the family business, too.

Every December, Nuara and his partners go Christmas shopping for their annual toy drive, this year buying around $10,000 worth of toys for less fortunate children. This is in his top two favorite things to do for his charity, his second being: “I love our upcoming event.

Every May-ish, we take about 50 kids with autism to Walmart, and we surprise them with brand new bicycles, and they get to pick out whatever one they want.” There seems to be a direct link between his hunger for helping others and his dedication for his students: “I will help anybody that I can, and it all connects.

The ability to help somebody else rather than myself, really makes a difference in how I feel at the end of the day.” He went into the teaching profession with one thing on his mind: to help students like him to conquer their fear of public speaking.

But the journey to get to where Nuara is in his career was not all smooth sailing. In college, he found himself dropping out of school because he did not want to take public speaking. When he made the decision to enroll again sometime later, it was all for his children. “As my kids were starting school, it was going to be very difficult for me as a parent to force my kids to get a college education if I didn’t have one myself.”

During his second try at a college education is when Nuara formed a bond with his professor: “The constant being there for the students, no matter what it is or when it is, where you can just feel a true bond between two human beings, not just a teacher-student relationship. It really makes the impact.” Nuara mentions that they are still friends to this day. When this professor asked Nuara to assist them in tutoring other students for a public speaking contest at Ocean County College, he jumped at the chance.

“When the two kids that we tutored won first and second place, I got that feeling that every teacher says, ‘If you could just get through to one kid and see their success, it means the world.’” Soon after this event Nuara found himself following in his professor’s direct footsteps.

Helping others is Thomas Nuara’s passion, and he’s not going to stop now. JF Party Dragon’s next event is Comedy for a Cause, which takes place on May 19 at the Beachwood Community Center.

The links to his charity and it’s Instagram page are as follows: