Greeks stay up for charity

By Dave Gomez

A Memphis children’s hospital is getting a big boost this year from NIU Greeks who have been fundraising for months.

Up ’til Dawn is a student-run college program dedicated to raising funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and educating people about serious pediatric illnesses, said Crystal Hoppe, president of NIU’s College Panhellenic Council.

The program has been raising money since last October, and has collected more than $10,000 so far, leading its respective collegiate division, Hoppe said.

This is the program’s first year at NIU, and seven NIU chapters are helping out. Hoppe credited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital spokeswoman Brooke Weberling with bringing Up ’til Dawn to NIU after speaking with the CPC and Intrafraternity Council last year.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital specializes in finding cures for children with serious illnesses such as AIDS and cancer, according to the hospital’s Web site. Most of the hospital’s income comes from fundraising, Hoppe said.

Fundraising for Up ’til Dawn consists of several teams of participants writing letters to friends and family members asking for donations to St. Jude, Hoppe said. All proceeds go to the hospital and give the donor a chance to participate in the program’s final event at the end of the fundraising period.

The final event for program participants will start 9 p.m. Friday at the Student Recreation Center and will end at 5 a.m. Saturday. The fundraising total will be announced during the event, Hoppe said, and winners will receive prizes and certificates.

Students interested in learning more about Up ’til Dawn can call 800-822-6344, ext. 2039, or visit St. Jude’s Web site at