It’s Always Darkest Before the Break of Dawn

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The annual letter writing party usually held each fall by Up ‘Til Dawn is no more.

Instead, the club,  a nationwide student-led philanthropic program that raises funds for and awareness of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will hold a different kind of fundraiser this year, fourth-year communications major and co-president of Up ‘Til Dawn Stephen Lawrence said.

While the event will still provide food and entertainment, the strategy used to fundraise has changed.In the past, the majority of funds were raised at the fundraiser itself in. This year’s participants will raise money prior to the event, Lawrence said.

According to the Up ‘Til Dawn website, “students participate in a year of fundraising that culminates with the Up ’til Dawn all-night challenge.”

The event itself will serve as a form of celebration of all the money raised.

Participants will receive text messages on Friday letting them know when and where to show up and will continue receiving texts informing them of activities going on throughout the night. The idea is a fun surprise to keep it interesting for the participants, Lawrence said.

“These kids [in the hospital] don’t sleep at night, whether its because they don’t know what’s going to happen in the morning, or they are too afraid, or sick,” Lawrence said. “We as college students are gonna sacrifice one of our nights and stay up all night.”

Participants are encouraged to sign up online prior to the event in teams of six.  Through the website, participants can contact friends and family asking them for donations. The goal set for each participant is $100.

Those who sign up online will automatically be invited to the event, Lawrence said. Students can still show up the night of the event and sign up right then and there, but signing up beforehand is encouraged.

Lawrence said this new fundraising technique is in conjunction with the national organization’s goal of abandoning the letter-sending party in favor of this more effective method of fundraising.

The event will start at midnight on Friday Nov. 15 and will continue until 6 a.m. the following morning.