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Up 'Til Dawn to generate funds for St. Jude hospital

Oct. 19, 2005

by LAUREN BURRIS, reporter

One million dollars a day.

This is the approximate daily operating cost of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is a children's hospital that offers free treatment to roughly 4,500 patients with catastrophic childhood diseases.

For the second year in a row, Baylor students have an opportunity to get involved by participating in the Up 'Til Dawn fundraising campaign.

Courtesy photo
For the second year in a row, students can help raise money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through the Up 'Til Dawn campaign. Teams of participants have two weeks to gather 50 names of possible donors.

"It's really open to anybody with a heart for kids," assistant director for the executive board Stefani Hawbaker said. "If you're willing to serve, it'd definitely be a great opportunity for you."

Up 'Til Dawn is a program intended to create awareness of the Memphis hospital's mission and raise funds for the center, which is the largest childhood cancer research center in the United States in terms of patient enrollment and number successfully treated.

"You're providing financially, and that's what they need," Hawbaker said. "(The children) walk in and they're treated."

According to an information sheet about the event, the first year of treatment for a child with standard-risk acute lymphocytic leukemia is $278,000, and the standard procedure is two and a half years of treatment.

"It's absolutely insane," Palm Beach, Fla., sophomore Phil Anderson said.

Anderson said it's a lot of money, and the average worker doesn't make that much.

Coordinator for Fraternities Kevin McCord is the adviser for Up 'Til Dawn and he said that students' desire to help in such a "big-picture" way is exciting.

"We try and do a lot of other fun things around it, but getting to find out how much we've raised to help these kids is what I enjoy the most," McCord said.

St. Jude treats children age 18 and under. However, McCord said "once a St. Jude patient, always a St. Jude patient."

He said if a child is treated and goes into remission, but has a relapse after age 18, the hospital will still treat them.

"The ability to help sick children is something that certainly resonates with me and with most students I think," McCord said.

Hawbaker said the hospital, which is also a research facility, is completely funded by donations and therefore student fundraising is essential.

To participate, students need to form a six-member team and register in the office of student activities by Thursday. Registration includes a $30 fee, but Hawbaker said it's only $5 per team member.

By Nov. 3, teams must compile a list of 50 names and addresses. Then they write letters to them at the letter-writing party.

"It's totally doable," Hawbaker said. "You have two weeks to get together 50 names and addresses. It's really a lot more time than people realize."

The letter writing party will feature free food, games, prizes and karaoke.

McCord said that last year's initial effort raised $40,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The executive board visited the hospital this summer, and Hawbaker said her life was impacted.

"To actually see the kids and actually be in that presence has effected me so much," Hawbaker said. "It's such a happy place, so loving. The doctors are amazing, and they just have the best attitude for service."