Up ‘Til Dawn declares war on cancer

Last week St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital’s held its annual Up ‘Til Dawn Awareness Week.  At campuses across the country, concerned students attracted the attention of their peers to raise awareness for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Up ‘Til Dawn is a letter writing event to bring recognition for everything that St. Jude’s does and raise money to contribute to its operation. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tennessee, is entirely donations operated, and at an operating cost of $1.5 million a day, this is no small feat. Despite the fact that the average cost of treating a patient is $570,000,  anything that is not covered by the patient’s insurance is covered by the hospital. This allows children who would have no other way of affording treatment to get a chance at life.

The question certainly on some minds is how the hospital is supported.  As St. Jude’s receives a majority of its support through public donations, it comes as no surprise that there must be major fundraising involved to keep the hospital in operation. Up ‘Til Dawn, just one of the hospital’s many fundraising events, is a letter writing event in which teams of five each address pre-written letters to friends, family, and acquaintances, giving them the opportunity to help support St. Jude’s.  Last year, despite being snowed out, the event still raised $11,000.

As the name implies, Up ‘Til Dawn occurs overnight on November 3 and is an evening of letter writing, raffles, and fun activities. Some of last year’s prizes included a Nintendo Wii and a $250 Best Buy gift card, among other things. This year, the Mario Brothers-themed Up ‘Til Dawn, entitled “Game Over, Cancer,” is looking to be even more lighthearted.

To participate this year, registration is free. All that is needed is a list of addresses and a desire to give a little bit of your time (and sleep) to help brighten, and possibly save, some childrens’ lives.

So, don’t forget to save the date, November 3. If you would like more information about Up ‘Til Dawn or if you would like to participate, contact Sarah Spangler at sspangle@mines.edu. If you would like to help raise money but want to get started before November, there will be a faculty wing-eating contest at the homecoming football game. For every $5 dollars that is raised, a regular wing will be taken out and replaced with a blazing wing. Come and help support a hospital that is changing kids lives.

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