By: Megan Shadrach
The students of Mount Union came together Wednesday evening to write letters for the Up ‘til Dawn fundraiser in Campus Grounds.
The Up ‘til Dawn organization works directly with the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise funds and awareness. The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened in 1962 and has been changing lives across the world ever since.
“Up ‘til Dawn is a program, ran through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, that partners with college campuses all across the United States for research and anything else they need funds for,” said co-sponsorship chair Jessica Jamison.
This is the fifth year that Mount Union has sponsored a letter writing event on campus for the Up ‘til Dawn organization. The program works by providing letters and envelopes for students to fill out and send to friends and family members who may be willing to donate to St. Jude’s. The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $100,000. Executive Director Danielle Porter said that it is good to “shoot for the highest we can.” Last year, Mount Union raised about $54,000 for St. Jude’s.
“No family gets turned away for inability to pay,” said Jamison. “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital costs $1.8 million to run each and every day.”
Before the event began there were about 370 students registered to write letters. More students continued to sign up as the event went on. Students who wrote 25 or more letters received a free Up ‘til Dawn t-shirt.
“Even though we are a small campus, we are always ranked in the top 10 of the country because of the amount of money we raise,” said Co-Sponsor Chair Alyssa Betro. Last year, Mount Union outraised larger schools such as Akron and Ohio University. Porter said, “It is good to be competitive, yet all of the money goes to the same cause.” Porter explained that any amount of money raised is important.
“St. Jude’s Hospital is a research hospital,” said Porter. “This means that their information and research results are shared with people around the world.” The money that is raised at Mount Union goes farther than just the individuals it helps, but betters cancer research around the globe.
Junior Chris Colby wrote letters to relatives and close family friends. Colby’s personal goal is to raise $200 within the 25 letters he wrote. He wrote letters in memory of his aunt, who passed away from cancer.
For Junior Dillon Bright, writing letters also hit home. “I selected to send letters to people that I know will absolutely donate to St. Jude’s,” said Bright. “After going to St. Jude’s last year and meeting some of the children, I wanted to write as many letters as I could.”
Senior Alayna Mucci said she continues to write letters every year because she raised more than she expected during her freshman year. Mucci hopes to help raise $500 this year. Mucci said, “I think the letters give awareness of children’s cancer and the hospital.”
The letter writing event is the main event that Up ‘til Dawn holds on Mount Union’s campus. There will be an official ‘Finale Event’ in March to reveal how much money the letters raised. This event will include a picture booth, tie-dye t-shirts, a guest speaker and refreshments. To make a donation to St. Jude’s log on to www.stjude.org today!