Hundreds wait Up ‘Til Dawn

Kimberly Larsen

Up ‘Til Dawn held its final event Sunday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. in Jake Nevin Field House in commemoration of the children and their families who fight for life at the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

The event was the conclusion of a year-long effort that raised a total of $100,471.75, placing the University second among national Up ‘Til Dawn programs in its first year of participation. Up ‘Til Dawn at Kansas State University was the only group to raise more.

Over 760 students, about 10 percent of the student body, signed up to participate in Up ‘Til Dawn, making it the largest organization on campus.

In order to qualify to attend the final event, each team of six had to raise at least $350, which was lowered from $600 in order for more teams to participate. In the end, 585 out of the original 760 people were eligible, and over half of those students came to the event during the evening.

The event, which was originally supposed to run from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., was actually shortened by three hours because the board expected 500 people to come, while slightly over a hundred stayed for the entire time.

“Considering it was our first year, I think we did an amazing job,” Eleanor Tapia, patient relations chair, said. “I think it made Villanova’s campus more aware of St. Jude’s. The campus sees who we’re raising the money for.”

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee, offers specialized care to children with various ailments, many of them life-threatening diseases. The hospital does not restrict its clientele to paying patients. St. Jude’s provides financial coverage, patient and family housing and food and transportation costs to many of the children checked into the hospital.

It costs $834,108 a day to keep the hospital open.

Kate Renna, a speaker at the event whose son received care at St. Jude’s spoke of her appreciationto the Up ‘Til Dawn program.

“Every dollar you raise helps me,” Renna said. “It helps [my son]. It helps the sick child’s family.”