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November 09, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 9

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Campus to be up 'til dawn

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has been working since 1962 to provide terminally-ill children and their families with the care they need for free.

Thanks to St. Jude, the survival rate in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of blood cancer in children, has leapt from four percent in the early 1960s to 94 percent today, according to their official website. The research center and hospital runs on a budget of $1.8 million a day, according to the foundation's website.

The funding for St. Jude comes completely from donations and public support. Fundraisers, like this year's Up 'til Dawn, are crucial to St. Jude and the lives of the patients.

On Nov. 30, from 8 p.m. to midnight, join fellow classmates in the field house of the sports complex for games, entertainment and fundraising. Greek Life Coordinator Joseph Thompson said: "What defines the event is that it is a letter-writing campaign. Instead of students just going to their families and friends asking for money up front, we ask students to come up with names and address of about 30 to 50 people they know."

He added: "We want students to register and come to the event. They just have to show up and put the name and address on the envelope, put in the letter and they are done. We are still asking people we know for money, but it is done in a very different way than what people normally do."

The executive board, chosen by St. Jude representative Taylor Kuhn, consists of students dedicated to making this fundraising campaign a success. Junior Hunter Hoffman, advocacy chair on the executive board, said, "Up 'til Dawn is a letter-writing fundraiser where we try to create teams of students and together try to find at least 50 addresses of people they know where we can send letters to these people and ask for donations."

Teams of students will consist of about five members, but students are welcomed and encouraged to have more. There is a $5 charge for each student, but this covers the cost of the event, as well as a T-shirt for each student who attends. "There are going to be DJs, live performances and some families who are part of St. Jude will be there to talk about how it changed their lives. It's going to be more of a fun atmosphere and feel more social. We want to make a fun thing that people will really enjoy doing," Hoffman said.

"It is my mission as an administrator and advisor at Susquehanna to help students think outside the box. I'm asking students to not write letters to their parents or close relatives. Find out your high school softball coach's address. Step outside the box and send a high school teacher a letter or somebody they know from Boy Scouts or Youth Group. That's the one thing I'm trying to accomplish," Thompson said.

This is the first year Up 'til Dawn will happen at Susquehanna. Those running the event plan on making it an annual event, specifically in the fall.

For more information on how to sign up for the Up 'til Dawn event or if you have any questions, feel free to email Hunter Hoffman. Students are also welcome to attend the executive board meetings, which occur every Tuesday evening from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Fisher Room 317.

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