Up 'Til Dawn--Fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau
JACKSONVILLE -- January 30, 2001 -- There's a 24-hour party coming to Jacksonville State University! This party will be complete with bands, entertainment, food and other activities. And it's all to benefit sick children.
For the first time in Alabama, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is using Up 'Til Dawn at JSU to raise much needed funds. Every day St. Jude treats over 180 patients at no cost. The cost to operate the facility for one day is $515,000.00. Funds for this come primarily from public contributions.
To help cover these costs, St. Jude uses student-led fundraisers. Recently they came up with Up 'Til Dawn, a 24-hour event. This event is completely run by students on college campuses. Students split up in teams of seven to raise a total of $750.00 per team. This equates to about $107.00 per person. So far, 20 teams have taken the challenge to help St. Jude.
Local corporations are also getting involved to sponsor JSU's Up 'Til Dawn.
As a reward to those involved, on Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, a 24-hour party will be thrown in their honor. However, the only way you can get in is by forming a team and raising $750.00, being a corporate sponsor, or you can raise $150.00 individually for St. Jude.
To keep the fun going for the entire 24 hours, comedians, bands and free food will all be raring and ready to go. Jennifer Foster, UTD morale chairperson, will lead each team in a morale dance to keep spirits high.
Seven children from St. Jude will also be present to share their testimony of a day in their shoes. "We hope the children's stories will encourage us to work harder every year," comments Lorie Ash, public relations chairperson for UTD. "Some of us have no idea what these kids go through every day. It will help us to see where our money is going."
The UTD Board has tried to get free entertainment and food so that all funds raised can go directly to St. Jude, where it is needed most. The UTD Executive Board includes:
Cara Dawn Byford, faculty advisor; Meredith Barnes, director; Deidra Tidwell, internal assistant director; Amber Burgess, external assistant director; Jennifer Foster, morale chairperson; Lorie Ash, public relations chairperson; Joy Boyd, entertainment chairperson; Christy Ramsden, fundraising chairperson; Ashely Jones, corporate chairperson; Jessica Johnson, finance chairperson; Emily Williams, on-location chairperson; Sherry Todd, patient relations chairperson.
As to a goal: "A college in Memphis, TN was the first to use Up 'Til Dawn as a fundraiser for St. Jude," states Ash. "They raised $50,000.00. We're not in competition with them, but we'd love to beat that figure."
Up 'Til Dawn will be held in Stevenson Gym at JSU. It will kick off at 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening, March 9, and end at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10.
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