University’s Up ‘Til Dawn chapter honored

Anne Salamone

After raising more than $109,000 last year for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Villanova chapter of Up ‘Til Dawn was recognized in an annual awards ceremony as the campus of the year, both for their outstanding service to the organization and for placing second in funds raised among the 110 college chapters throughout the nation.

Up ‘Til Dawn is an event the University has been participating in for the past three years. Various student teams work together to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which is based in Memphis, Tenn., and is known for being a leader in cancer research as well as being willing to treat any patient, regardless of his or her financial status.

Most of the money for the campaign is raised in letter-writing events in which participants invite their family and friends to make donations through letters.

In addition, the organization receives financial support from both national and international corporations.

Villanova’s chapter celebrates each fund-raising term with an all-night finale event sponsored by various vendors and corporations throughout the area, including Villanova Dining Services.

Chelsey Flaherty, a sophomore in charge of public relations for Villanova’s chapter, has been participating in Up ‘Til Dawn for the past two years and believes that it is among the “most dedicated and caring organizations on campus.”

Fundraising is the most critical focus for the organization. However, Flaherty emphasized that it is not the group’s most important goal. “We are committed to raising awareness for St. Jude’s and catastrophic childhood diseases,” Flaherty said.

“For every person that is aware of St. Jude’s and their mission, the better chance we have of curing childhood cancer.”

She highlighted the key role each Villanova participant has in the fundraising process. “They are not just raising money for an unaffiliated cause,” she said.

“They are saving the life of a child.”