Staying up until dawn is a common task for the average college student, whether it may be for studying, partying or Netflix. Saturday, about 120 college students stayed up from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. to help fundraise and increase awareness to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
According to their website, Up ‘Til Dawn is a nationwide student-led organization where college students raise awareness and funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Students participate in fundraising events throughout the year that lead up to their final Up ‘Til Dawn celebration event.
“The goal for the final main event was to have fun and celebrate all the fundraising that has been done,” said Lauren Ankarlo, the staff advisor for the Up ‘Til Dawn student organization. “The day before the event we had already raised $17,000 for St. Jude.”
After the final Up ‘Til Dawn event, the organization raised a grand total of $20,070.
“We got to stay up all night playing games and fundraising so we could help find a cure for cancer,” Ankarlo said. “St. Jude treats kids with cancer at no cost and no family who goes to St. Jude for treatment has to spend one dime. So if we can help by staying up for one night, why wouldn’t we do that?”
According to Ankarlo, over 100 universities throughout the country participate in the Up ‘Til Dawn program, and CSU used to be one of the top fundraisers for St. Jude.
“I had a dear friend who spent a couple of months at St. Jude, so I spent a lot of time there and I just want to raise awareness and money for St. Jude, so the patients could have the same experience there as my friend did,” said Madison Young, the executive director for Up ‘Til Dawn and human development and family studies sophomore at CSU.
According to Young, the Up ‘Til Dawn event and student organization represent the children who stay up all night due to chronic illnesses, and their families that stay up with them.
“It’s amazing that just a few passionate students can come together to participate in an event actually saves kids’ lives,” said Samantha Bush, a human development and family studies major at CSU. “I have a big place in my heart for St. Jude, especially after visiting the hospital myself last year and seeing firsthand the impact it makes on these kids’ lives.”
Collegian Reporter Amanda Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @amanduhh3003.