Up ‘til Dawn will be hosting new competitions this year, such as a prom dress-making competition and a dodge-ball tournament.
The nationwide event will take place in multiple rooms in the Brown-Lupton University Union. Check-in will begin at 11 p.m., and the event will go from midnight to 6 a.m.
“Up ‘til Dawn is a celebration of the children at St. Jude’s research hospital, so we wanted to make more kid-oriented events,” said Elizabeth McDowell, executive director of Up ’til Dawn.
“The reason we are doing the duct tape prom dress competition is because the hospital puts on a prom every year and we are doing our version of that.”
McDowell became part of the program at the end of her freshman year and is now in her second term as executive director.
“I really believe in the mission of the hospital and their stance that, while undergoing treatment, a family should not have to worry about the financial side of the care,” McDowell said. “By providing treatment for free, families can focus on their child.”
Students have the opportunity to compete and connect with their teammates while they celebrate and help donate to the children at St. Jude, McDowell said.
“Up ’til Dawn is a lot of fun for a good cause,” said Cooper Carter, a sophomore business major who participated in last year’s event. “It was a memorable experience that simultaneously went to an amazing cause.”
McDowell said prizes will go to the first place Greek team, the first place non-Greek team and the most spirited team.
“In between the main competitions there will be break rounds,” McDowell said. “There will be a silent rave where everyone will be wearing headphones, listening to a variety of music channels.”
“People can listen to whatever they are feeling. It’s funny to watch because there will be lights and everything, just no sound.”
McDowell said individuals can start a new team or join an existing team.
“We currently have 63 people signed up with 19 teams, but that number can go up by Friday,” McDowell said.
Each individual must donate $100 or $600 per team of six to attend the event. McDowell said the event is open to TCU students, but faculty and staff are welcome to participate as well.
“The funds raised through Up ’til Dawn are donated to St. Jude to provide treatment, medicine, housing, and food for the children,” McDowell said. “The hospital provides all these services for free because they believe “No child should die in the dawn of life,” no matter their ability to pay.”
She added Up ‘til Dawn is a nationwide event at numerous colleges across the country that allows college students to get involved with a philanthropic activity.
“What starts at the college level will hopefully continue throughout the students’ lives and they will continue to give back to the community, whether it is for St. Jude or another organization,” McDowell said.
McDowell said Up ‘til Dawn raised $15,595 last year. However, not as many participants have signed up this year.
“Basically, I am hoping for a good turnout,” McDowell said. “The event is going to be really fun and we have been planning it for the last year.”
To sign up, go to www.utd.stjude.org and search for TCU. Sign-ups end Thursday.