Story by Sarah LeBlanc
Entering a season of thanks, it’s the perfect time for the fundraising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, “Up ‘Till Dawn.”
This event takes place on Friday.
Students who have either reached or surpassed a fundraising quota of $100 are able to attend a full night of events and surprises, secret from the public and even those involved.
Up ‘Till Dawn has undergone an extreme renovation from years past to encourage more students to participate, as well as introducing a more technologically friendly way donate online, as opposed to the letter-writing done in previous years.
Co-Director Hannah Stonewall is part of the executive board of Up ‘Till Dawn and assists in planning the events for the night.
“All the money we raise goes directly to St. Jude. Either it goes to the research done there or it goes to directly funding the hospital,” Stonewall said.
Last year, Up ‘Till Dawn made around $12,000 with writing letters to family and friends asking for donations.
With this year’s focus on social media, the total is already double that amount.
The total goal for this year is $35,000.
A philanthropy event for pharmacy fraternity Phi Delta Chi, Up ‘Till Dawn allows people to raise money “because it feels good to do something good for others, and I think that’s exciting,” Stonewall said.
“(St. Jude is) kind of unique.” Stonewall said. “First of all, the families that go there don’t pay for anything. They don’t pay for treatments, and they don’t pay for housing while they’re down there”
As opposed to the letters from last year, “There’s e-mails, there’s Facebook, there’s everything this year,” Stonewall said. “People know they’re making a difference.”
Recruitment chair Elise Damman said, “It’s different than any year before and we’re really excited about it.”
Regarding the top-secret activities the teams of six will participate in during the night, Damman said, “Throughout the night, the teams will get teaser texts about what all the different events are, so nobody knows what they’re going to be doing when they get there.”
“We’re really trying to educate campus so that way we can start it off strong and keep it going” Damman said.
As well as fun and games, “There will be St. Jude moments that we have to reflect on why we’re doing it as well,” Damman said. “Up ‘Till Dawn is staying up all night just to remember and think about the families and the kids who have to stay up all night for their treatments.”
The fundraising goal this year, while high, is not out of reach.
“Raising this money has shown me the potential that a small school like Drake has of making a huge impact,” Damman said.