Fundraiser Brings in Big Money, Big Opportunity.
Late nights are not that uncommon for your average college student, but the results of one particular long night in October are still being paid forward. The Greek Council of Emory & Henry College sponsored an Up ‘til Dawn fundraiser for St. Jude’s that, as of February, has raised more than $20,000 toward cancer research and treatment.
Up 'til Dawn is a student-led, student-run, philanthropic program hosted by colleges and universities nationwide to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. For the project, the E&H Greek Council partnered with St. Jude to help recruit teams of five or more to participate in the 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. event Oct 22 at the College. Students sacrificed a night of sleep in honor of the patients and their families who have many sleepless nights at the hospital.
Pledges to student participants in the event have now been paid and have totaled $20,442.29.
St. Jude provided all promotional materials for the event, including posters, mailbox stuffers, advertisements placed on dining tables and 500 magnets that the Greek Council was able to distribute to students on move-in day.
E&H student chair Libby Hurley directed E&H preparations for the event. She attended numerous training events, including a three day conference in Memphis where she was able to meet some of the millions of people who have been touched by St. Jude’s Hospital. “You get to see the emotion and thankfulness that the parents and children feel towards St. Jude's,” said Hurley. “It brings a personal side to the cause that I wish everyone could see.”
Participation on the day of the event wildly exceeded expectation. The expected crowd of slightly more than 100 students quickly doubled as numerous campus groups began forming teams and challenging others to participate.
The event included several activities to keep individuals busy over the long night. Sodexo, the E&H food provider, donated pizza and ice cream. When they were not engaging in the activities, students sent electronic messages to friends requesting financial support of St. Jude. More than 5,600 letters were written that evening.
Event staff advisor Jimmy Whited says that St. Jude’s guidance and the hard work of the student volunteers helped make the Up ‘til Dawn event a great success and “one of the most organized fundraisers we’ve ever had.”
“I’m amazed,” he added. “It shows the commitment that this community has towards service.”
As a result of her hard work, Hurley was selected in January for a summer academic internship with the St. Jude’s office in Arlington, Va. The junior from Winston Salem, N.C. said the opportunity will better prepare her, and the college, for what she hopes will be another successful event next year.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Ranked the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital by Parents magazine and the No. 1 children’s cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.