The Plattsburgh State chapter of Up ‘til Dawn is in the midst of fundraising for its November event, which will include games, prizes and performances.
Up ‘til Dawn is a national collegiate fundraising event that aims to raise money to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee.
After witnessing the difficulty many families had being able to afford steep hospital costs, St. Jude’s founder Danny Thomas vowed that “no child will be turned away based on a family’s ability to pay.” St. Jude’s offers life-saving treatments to children at no cost to families whose children are battling cancer.
To date, the PSUC chapter has collectively raised over $3,000 for the organization. All of the money raised goes directly to St. Jude’s, with the majority of its $2-million-a-day operating costs coming from donations from individuals and groups like Up ‘til Dawn.
PSUC student Joel Wood is the leading contributor of the chapter’s fundraising goals, having already raised $440 toward the cause at the time of reporting.
“Danny Thomas said, ‘No child should die in the dawn of life,’” Wood said. “The whole purpose of this event and the fundraising is to simulate what children at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital have to go through. Sometimes they have to go through bone marrow transplants that last all night, or go through chemotherapy treatments that last all night, so we’re just saying, ‘We’re staying up with you.’”
Wood said his efforts started in July, when he visited the Memphis hospital with two other PSUC Up ‘til Dawn members.
“We got to see firsthand the hospital, the children who are there and what our money goes to,” Wood said.
Upon hearing that he would be able to visit St. Jude’s, Wood said he prepared himself for heartbreak and sadness.
“When I arrived though, I couldn’t help but feel a warmth that you would never expect to find in any hospital. You can genuinely tell that this is a place where children go to focus solely on getting better and beating their cancer,” Wood said.
Everything in the hospital, Wood recalled, was there to make the sick children and their families comfortable, from murals on nearly every wall to the red wagons patients are brought from room to room in instead of wheelchairs.
The Up ‘til Dawn effort will culminate with an all-night event Nov. 8 for the teams who have reached their fundraising goals, starting at midnight and running until the morning.
Teams of up to six can register online and work to meet the goal of $600 per team, or just $100 for a single individual who wishes to participate.
Fundraising events across campus will be occurring in the coming weeks, including a fundraising dorm-storming event, scheduled for Oct. 14 in the non-suite residence halls.
Up ‘til Dawn team members will also be talking with students and providing information on how to join or donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
“I feel it’s so important to raise money for this cause because without donations, St. Jude’s wouldn’t exist,” Wood said. “Parents and families of children who suffer from pediatric cancers would not be able to solely worry about their children getting better, but would also be plagued and worry about the immense medical bills that are accompanied with such treatments. All a parent should have to worry about is their child beating cancer.”
Any student who would like to get involved with Up ‘til Dawn and start a fundraising team of their own, or to donate to a current team, can visit www.stjude.org/utd and search SUNY Plattsburgh, or visit Project HELP in the Center for Student Involvement in the Angell College Center.
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