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Phi Delta Chi raises awareness for Up ‘Til Dawn

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Phi Delta Chi began to raise awareness this week for their upcoming philanthropic event, Up ‘Til Dawn, scheduled for Nov. 5.

Through informational activities, members of the professional pharmacy fraternity sought to gather volunteers to participate in the November event, which will benefit St. Jude Children’s Cancer hospitals.

Up ‘Til Dawn is a nationwide event that brings students and groups together to write letters for friends and family members to solicit donations to St. Jude.

Advocacy Committee Co-Chair Ryan Anderson, a second-year pharmacy student, emphasized the costs incurred by this state-of-the art cancer treatment facility and the significant way in which private donations, received through ways such as the letter writing campaign, impacts the success of the organization.

“St. Jude is one of the most trustworthy charities, and is the top child cancer research hospital in the country,” Anderson said. “The cause is justified by the immense needs of the organization.”

The daily operating cost for St. Jude is $1.5 million, and the majority of this expense is covered by public contributions yielded through events like Up ‘Til Dawn.

In addition, St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families do not pay for the treatments that are not covered byinsurance, and patients are not turned away because of a family’s inability to pay.

“It’s hard to put yourself in these families’ shoes,” Anderson said. “Having a 5-year-old with a quickly advancing cancer, money is the last thing these parents want to think about. St. Jude takes care of these kids and families, ensuring they receive the most advanced treatments and ensuring care for every patient for their entire life. St. Jude is unique in that if a child is treated there and goes into remission only to relapse 20 or 30 years later, they are taken on again as a patient.”

Drake students can get involved with St. Jude’s cause by participating in the Up ‘Til Dawn event on Nov. 5 from 6-10 p.m. at the Bell Center.

During the event, students will address and personalize pre-written letters to their own friends and family members to solicit donations.

“After the letter writing portion, we’ll have games, activities, an inflatable, a comedian and food for the participants,” Anderson said.

Also, students who write and send at least 50 letters will be eligible to win an iPod Touch and T-shirt. Students can participate and send as many or as few letters as they wish, and many choose to make teams of four to six individuals to participate and make the letter-writing process fun as well as rewarding.

“It’s amazing how such little effort by students can make such an impact for St. Jude and the people that are treated there,” Anderson said. “One night of letter writing can really make a difference.”

Photo: Courtesy of Phi Delta Chi

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