Northwest students were able to give back in a night filled with games and no sleep as they attempted to stay Up 'Til Dawn in an effort to raise awareness and money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Feb. 9.
In 2007, 10,400 children under the age of 15 were diagnosed with cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
For more than five years, Northwest has been a part of this movement to support research and healthcare for cancer patients. Up 'Til Dawn is a student-run organization where more than 200 colleges and universities, nationwide, participate in campaigning and fundraising for St. Jude.
Established in 1998, the name was derived from the celebration event teams across the nation partake in each year as they sacrifice a night's sleep to honor patients and family members who experience many sleepless nights.
Carina Harding, a public relations senior, was the executive director of the event and said she believes that this type of event is important for all students at Northwest.
“We need to stand behind something so great as Northwest students, and I think events like this do exactly that,” Harding said. “It is great to stand behind something so amazing like St. Jude and bring all of campus together from a variety of organizations that are Greek and non-Greek, and it brings all of us together to help some amazing kids.”
Harding has been involved with this organization since her freshman year, and it was exciting for her to reflect on her journey.
“When I came to Northwest, I did not know a whole lot about St. Jude, and as a freshman, I helped fundraise but was not able to make it to the event,” Harding said. “Sophomore year, I raised enough to attend, and last year, I got to host this event. So, it has been a continuous journey of wanting to help St. Jude.”
Biomedical science junior Miranda Ruth was the events and logistics assistant for the event.
“The big planning really started over Christmas break, and I took advantage of my time at home and used it to start planning for this event,” Ruth said. “When we got back for this semester, we really hounded out the details. But in the past three weeks, I have spent about two to three hours a day working on this event.”
Connor Thompson, a political science freshman, was on one of the teams from Tau Kappa Epsilon.
“The fundraising portion prior to this event went really well for me and the rest of my team,” Thompson said. “We were able to share our donation site all over social media, and it was nice to see the involvement of not only our families but also a number of our friends as well.”
The overall fundraising goal for this academic year is $40,000, this is double the amount they raised last year. Upon publication, they have raised $34,384 to help fund research and support families all around the country.