Up ‘til Dawn Awake For Kids

The Up ‘til Dawn SUNY New Paltz Chapter recently met for the first time this fall to begin planning fundraising.

The club is a student-run organization that works with St. Jude’s Hospital to help raise money by putting on fun and exciting programs, according to one of the club’s co-presidents, Julia Spellman.

Up ‘til Dawn is an all-night challenge where students can participate in and raise money for the patients of St. Jude, which is shown on St. Jude’s website. A team of five people partake in all-night challenges. As the challenges occur the participants fund raise by asking family and friends to support them. St. Jude supplies the fund raising material and the event.

Spellman said that one of the main purposes of Up ‘til Dawn is to help raise funds for St. Jude’s Hospital which makes most of it’s money off of donations, to help pay for the 1.7 million dollars it takes to run per day.

St. Jude’s never turns down a patient or family away even if they do not have the insurance, which is another reason why the club wants to support the hospital.

Up ‘til Dawn is looking to create programs that will help raise money for the children at the hospital.

“We will try and plan programs that will take place in each residence hall that will allow those residents to get involved and help save a child. We are also trying to do a program that includes local schools for a letter sending event,” Spellman said.

To help spread the word about the organization, the club posted advertisements in the residence halls for other students to see. Spellman believes having posters in residence halls is a good way to inform others about the organization, even if they do decide not to come to the meetings.  Spellman also feels that if the RA’s start to get involved in an organization it might influence other residents to get involved with other programs on campus as well.

One of the big programs that the club is hosting is a letter writing event for the children’s hospital on Oct. 5 from 7 to 11 p.m. When students come to this event they help support a cause by filling out pre-written, official letters to family, friends or relatives, that ask for donations of any monetary amount. There will also be a former patient of the hospital attending the event and speaking about his experience, Spellman said.

“Even if we are allowing a child to live for one more second, one more minute, one more day, one more month, or one more year; it makes a significant difference in that child’s life and their families life,” said club member Yankeila Jerez. “Being that my mother is a breast cancer survivor I know how much cancer can destroy an individual’s life; and I think Up ‘til Dawn can help change this.”