Up ’til dawn looks to raise money for cancer research

By Laura Grandt

For the first time ever, students can join NIU’s Up ’til Dawn, a fundraising effort benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Up ’til Dawn is a year-long fund-raising effort utilizing teams. Fund-raising teams of six or eight will be recruited in early October, said Crystal Hoppe, NIU Up ’til Dawn’s public relations director, and a junior communication and journalism major.

Each team member is expected to send out about 50 letters requesting donations for the hospital.

The NIU Up ’til Dawn camp hopes to recruit about 50 teams, said Amber Bindgen, director of NIU Up ’til Dawn and a junior psychology and English major.

Brooke Weberling, event marketing representative for ALSAC/St. Jude, said in the 2002-2003 school year, $1.89 million was raised nationally for the hospital. The goal this year is $3 million, with 110 participating campuses.

No specific goal was set for NIU because this is the first year the event will be held on campus, Weberling said.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital conducts research and treats children with devastating diseases from around the country, whether they can pay for the treatment or not.

“It’s the premier center in the U.S. for research and treatment of childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases,” Weberling said.

Weberling said St. Jude shares the outcome of its research with doctors worldwide.

Everything necessary for the campaign will be provided by the hospital, and letter-writing parties will take place throughout the campaign. Patients from the hospital will speak to participants at these parties, Hoppe said.

Fund-raising efforts will end in January or February, and a finale event will be held to thank participants, with prizes awarded to the most successful teams.

Currently, Up ”til Dawn is looking for executive board members. The executive board is responsible for planning team events and the final event after the fund-raiser is over.

The board consists of 12 members, and seven of the positions are unfilled, Hoppe said. Each position has individual responsibilities, which are outlined ahead of time.

“We’re looking for people who are motivated, who have good ideas,” Bindgen said.

Hoppe said board membership provides a good opportunity to be in a position of leadership.

Those interested in applying for an executive board position must fill out an application, available at the Campus Life Building Suite 150, or by e-mail NIUuptildawn@hotmail.com.

The application asks for applicants’ background information and desired position. There also are questions asking applicants about experience and motivations.

“Everyone’s got a pretty good chance of getting in because it’s new,” Bindgen said.

Applications for the executive board are due by Tuesday.