organization spotlight: Up 'til Dawn

This week’s organization spotlight is on the student organization Up ‘til Dawn.
Greg Anderson is the current president among the five-member executive board. Anderson said, “Up ‘til Dawn is a fun team challenge where students compete in an all-night challenge for the patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org).”  The organization meets bi-weekly on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm and is open to anyone wanting to participate.
The annual fundraising letter-writing event will take place Monday, November 7, 2011 from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am. Participants are asked to bring addresses. The letters will be sent to those addresses to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. The goal is for each person to write 50 letters.
The fundraising night will include free food, raffles with great prizes and a free t-shirt for those who reach the goal of 50 quality letters. Registration prior to the event is encouraged, and this can be done individually or in teams of no more than five. Registration takes place online at www.stjude.org/utd.  The link to register using a cell phone is www.stjude.org/utdreg.  Last year, Up ‘til Dawn raised $16,000. The organizations goal for this year is to raise $20,000.
St. Jude’s website explains, “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened on February 4, 1962 and was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.”
The daily cost of operation is around $1.7 million, and children are never turned away if the family cannot afford to pay for treatment not covered by insurance. A large amount of funds are from public contributions. According to the St. Jude’s website, they are “the first institution established for the sole purpose of conducting basic and clinical research and treatment into catastrophic childhood diseases, mainly cancer.”
Ashlie Rubrecht, a junior here at Mercer, holds the fundraising chair on the executive board for Up ‘til Dawn. She has been a part of this organization for the past two years. Rubrecht said, “This organization is very close to my heart. If you had the opportunity to save a child, why wouldn’t you? It is a great cause and a great way to meet people who care about the same things that you do.”
This is a cause that many people from all walks of life can relate to. This is also a great way for the college students to bond with the Macon community.
The organization’s faculty advisor, Megan DeLong, stated, “I think it’s really important to get involved in student organizations.  It is a great way for us to stay connected to the students and foster that personal relationship the Mercer encourages.”