TCU raises money for cancer patients and their families

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Doughnuts and fanny packs might have attracted students to the Founders Statue, but those who stopped learned about a cause in need of support.

Tuesday was National Recruitment Day for the St. Jude fundraising organization Up ‘Til Dawn. The group raises money on behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Up ‘Til Dawn organizations are on campuses nationwide. Gaius George, the advisor of TCU’s Up ‘Til Dawn organization since 2005, said the campus program has been active since 1998.

“We were one of the original top 10 schools to start the Up ‘Til Dawn collaboration with St. Jude’s,” George said. “For us at TCU, it’s very important.”

Janie Perez, the bilingual regional development representative for St. Jude, said the Up ‘Til Dawn donations are integral to the hospital.

“St. Jude is publicly funded, it’s nonprofit and it takes $2 million each day to run the hospital, so these types of events are super important and every dollar makes a difference,” Perez said.

Perez said treatment, housing and transportation are just a few of the things St. Jude pays for on behalf of cancer patients and their families.

“They don’t really have to worry about anything,” Perez said. “Their main priority should be to focus on their child. We believe that no child should die at the dawn of life.”

This year the goal is to register as many people as possible on National Recruitment Day. TCU co-president Jalen Monday said this is an opportunity for the entire campus to get involved.

“Our ultimate goal is to get people to sign up, but it’s also about spreading awareness about St. Jude and about Up ‘Til Dawn,” Monday said.

By registering for Up ‘Til Dawn and raising $100, students can assist cancer patients and their families. The money is used to pay for travel, treatment and everyday care. The goal is for students to make teams of six people and donate $600 as a group, or to register individually and be placed in a group later.

Teams have until early next year to raise at least $600. The annual Up ‘Til Dawn event will take place on Feb. 12. Students will stay up all night playing games, winning prizes and celebrating their donation efforts.

Bracelets raising awareness about St. Jude and the Up ‘Til Dawn organization.
Bracelets raising awareness about St. Jude and the Up ‘Til Dawn organization.

 

Up ‘Til Dawn TCU board member Madison White, a junior political science major, said registering and raising money for the hospital is the most rewarding part of participating in the event. She said the February celebration is about more than just prizes.

“It’s about celebrating the fundraising goal, but also in honor of all the families who have had to stay up with their sick children,” White said.

Members of TCU’s Up ‘Til Dawn posing for a photo in their scrubs and shirts and donuts.
Members of TCU’s Up ‘Til Dawn posing for a photo in their scrubs and shirts with doughnuts.

 

Trumaine Thomas, the Dallas regional development manager for St. Jude, said he got his start in the organization working on the board as a student. He has worked as a regional manager for nine years.

“When you have a family or patient that tells you, ‘Thank you,’ you really know what you’re doing is making a difference,” Thomas said.

First-year student Paris Mayfield said she was happy to register for Up ‘Til Dawn and to raise money for such a worthy cause and honor the families and children who benefit from donations.

“All we have to do is get donations and then stay up and have a dance party,” Mayfield said. “That’s nothing compared to what they have to go through.”