Oct 102002
Authors: Linda Lechler

CSU students could help fight childhood cancer by staying up until dawn.

The fundraiser event, Up ’til Dawn, benefits the children of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a non-profit institution.

St. Jude’s Hospital is the single largest center in the United States for the treatment and research of children’s cancer.

“They treat the children at no cost to the families and they don’t discriminate on the basis of race or religion,” said Johanne Jensen, executive director of Up ’til Dawn.

There are three criteria that must be met before a child can be admitted to St. Jude’s Hospital. The child must be referred by a physician and be suffering from a disease currently under study, must be 18 years old or younger and normally patients cannot have had prior extensive treatment.

“It’s awesome,” Jensen said, “I’m convinced it’s the best non-profit out there.”

The idea behind staying up until dawn is that the 12-hour time spent awake basically represents the time a parent would stay up with a child who is fighting cancer, Jensen said.

This will be the third year Up ’til Dawn will be at CSU. The actual event, which is held at the Student Recreation Center, begins April 5, 2003 at 6 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. on April 6, 2003. Planning has already begun.

The way Up ’til Dawn prepares for the event is by getting teams of students together who try to get donations for the event, Jensen said.

Each team, which has six people and a team leader, has a goal to raise $750 by the time of the event, he said.

Last year, Up ’til Dawn raised $45,000 for St. Jude’s Hospital and this year they are expecting even more, Jensen said.

There are several ways in which the money can be raised. The goal of Up ’til Dawn is to have the teams formed and registered by Oct. 15, Jensen said. Once the teams are together, a letter writing campaign will begin around Nov. 7, where team members write letters to 50 people telling them about the cause and asking for donations. There will also be canning events, set up through the teams at grocery stores or other public areas, where they will be asking for change, he said. Corporate sponsorships are also encouraged.

“The rest [of the ways of getting money] is up to the creativity of the teams, whether they want to do carwashes, or something like that,” Jensen said.

Up ’til Dawn hopes to get more involvement from campus this year, said Jensen.

“I got involved because St. Jude’s Hospital does a lot for children and their families,” said Tiffany Poppy, a team leader for Up ’til Dawn. “I think other students should get involved because their small part can make such a big difference in saving the lives of many.”

Edited by Colleen Buhrer, Shandra Jordan and Ben Koerselman

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