St. Jude Executive Board is known on Kentucky Wesleyan’s campus for their involvement in many events throughout the year to help raise money for the Children’s Research hospital in Memphis. The events they host range from delicious cupcake wars to their annual letter writing event that in the past as featured pizza, wings, corn hole, raffles, and lots of letters. This event has had a very large Greek turn out in the past since it was part of the annual Greek Week competition.
This year, however, KWC’s executive board is changing the way they will fundraise for the cause. They, in conjunction with St. Jude, made the decision to replace the annual letter-writing event with an Up ‘Til Dawn event. This event, while just in the first stages of planning, looks to be an even better fundraising event that can involve all different kinds of participants. KWC’s St. Jude Executive Board’s own St. Jude liaison, Ventara Dillon, gave some great information to preview the upcoming event.
“In the past Kentucky Wesleyan College has supported St. Jude through a letter writing fundraiser,” Dillon explained. “We greatly appreciate all that has been raised by KWC through letter writing, but we asked ourselves, ‘why not have more fun while fundraising?’”she continued. “This year we are doing things completely different. We are planning an entire night of celebrating for those on campus who register to support the kids of St. Jude.”
“We will have guest DJ’s, awesome challenges, and tons of food,” she continued. All of the elements that made letter writing great will be continued with the Up ‘Til Dawn event. However, while the letter-writing event was fundamentally unexciting, this event will be all about having a good time for a great cause. Participants will be reminded how great that cause actually is with special guests.
“We will have patient families there so you can see who exactly it is that you have helped,” Dillon explained. “The reason our event is called Up ‘til Dawn is because the founder of St. Jude believed that no child should die in the dawn of life,” she continued. “There are also many families at St. Jude who stay up all night hoping that their child will make it until the next day. Since we are healthy and able to stay up until dawn we will… as we raise money to save lives.”
Dillion went on further to explain why St. Jude is such an incredible organization to support. “At St. Jude we handle the toughest cases of childhood cancer, catastrophic illnesses and Sickle Cell disease,” she said. “Families at St. Jude do not have to worry about the cost of treatment, travel, housing or food because all a family should have to focus on is helping their child survive. There are several local families who’ve been blessed to keep their children thanks to St. Jude and yet all of this is possible because of public support.”
Second time St. Jude Executive Board Executive Director Jordan Roberts explained why she is so passionate about the cause. “This summer I had the opportunity to attend St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn’s Collegiate Leadership seminar in Memphis, Tennesse. The event helped participants learn all about the research hospital and their mission of driving the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90% within the decade,” Roberts said. “It is truly amazing that because of donations from people all over the world, patient families at St. Jude never see a bill from treatment, housing, or even food.”
“I am so excited to be Executive Director again this year and help make Up ‘Til Dawn as successful as possible, not just in donations raised, but also spread awareness about St. Jude’s mission. Remember, sleep can wait, cures can’t,” Roberts concluded.
Executive Board member Rae Garvison summed up what helping such an incredible cause means to her. “I am just so honored to be able to be even a small part of this amazing organization,” Garvison said. “There really isn’t a better cause than helping children with cancer.”
“There are campuses around the country who participate in Up ‘til Dawn and it’s time to show everyone what KWC can do! We are looking to achieve another amazing fundraising year here at KWC for the kids of St. Jude and once we do our celebration will last from 9pm until dawn on February 6th,” Dillion concluded.
To register for Up ‘til Dawn just go to www.stjude.org/utd and register find Kentucky Wesleyan College.