Up ’til Dawn, a collegiate fundraising program already run at 77 college campuses, has found its way to UR, with the purpose of raising money to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The newly established Up ’til Dawn committee will spearhead the fundraising efforts by encouraging student teams, groups and businesses to raise money. A fundraising chair will sit in on meetings of student teams planning different activities to raise money.

The committee also runs its own side activities and raises awareness about St. Jude Hospital. The year-long fundraising efforts will culminate in a 12-hour celebration where the parties that are most spirited and raise the most money will win prizes.

“Up ’til Dawn is an event where U of R students will enjoy music, food, free prizes and much more,” senior and Executive Director Sarah Vaughn said.

Vaughn is an intern at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She traveled to Memphis, Tenn., where the program originated, for an orientation seminar in order to begin the program at UR.

Up ’til Dawn has already raised $900 in its first month and a half through various efforts. A student organization may choose to do its own event and give proceeds to Up ’til Dawn. Some student groups have already donated money to the cause. Last week, Sigma Psi Zeta, Lambda Pi Chi and Omega Phi Beta donated $100 from the money earned at their Synergy party.

“Our goal is $30,000, with a majority of that amount coming from local and corporate sponsors from the community,” Vaughn said.

Currently, Up ’til Dawn is using resources of the Community Service Network to publicize because the program itself has a limited budget.

“Everyone on campus is a little wary of new programs, especially when we already have so many wonderful community service programs on campus,” Vaughn said. “Some people are all for the program and others aren’t sure what to expect,” Vaughn continued.

The non-profit hospital functions primarily on donations made by outside sources. The program was created by the University of Memphis to unite the campus and provide funds to save lives of St. Jude children.

“The kids of St. Jude Hospital are accepted to a treatment protocol solely based on their diagnosis with a catastrophic illness currently being researched by the hospital,” Vaughn said.

“This is regardless of race, religion or ability to pay. The hospital costs about $606,000 a day currently and that cost is moving up to a million dollars a day,” Vaughn continued.

Students at UR can help either by joining the Up ’til Dawn committee or by registering teams to fundraise. The next meeting will be in the Hirst Lounge on Sunday at 3 p.m. Once student teams are formed, those teams will also meet with the fundraising chair to discuss and implement ideas.

Desai can be reached at mdesai@campustimes.org.

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