Up ‘Til Dawn benefits research

Kristy Mason

The likelihood that a person will win a battle with cancer often depends on the support of friends and family.

But sometimes cancer patients benefit from the aid of strangers. Friday night, volunteers at Western will celebrate a year of fund raising for children they might never meet.

Western’s Up ‘Til Dawn, an annual fund- raiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., will be held from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the Downing University Center.

“We should be thankful that we are able to live healthy lives,” said Gary Wiser, a student center assistant who has participated with the program since 1999. “Up ‘Til Dawn makes you realize that we need to help St. Jude find a cure so these children do not have to battle cancer.”

The national program brings students, faculty, community members and sponsors together to offer financial assistance to the research hospital.

“There are students on campus that know someone or have actually been diagnosed with childhood cancer,” Wiser said. “They could be sitting beside you in class without you ever knowing it. It is amazing to see how the students have responded to the program.”

Up ‘Til Dawn is a year-long, national collegiate fund raising effort that ends in an all-night celebration. Students register in advance to participate in Friday’s event.

“Up ‘Til Dawn began at the University of Memphis in 1998 or 1999, I believe,” Wiser said. “Even though the program is very young, there are over 100 campuses nationwide participating in the Up ‘Til Dawn program.”

Harriett Fromang, a sophomore from Vero Beach, Fla., said that students don’t realize how much they can help contribute.

“With this program, I know that I am helping someone else’s family,” Fromang said. “Children need us to be there for them.”

Elizabethtown senior Joyce Duncan, McLean Hall council president, said it is important for students to help with programs such as Up ‘Til Dawn.

“Students often times neglect to get involved in community activities that can give them a broader outlook in their day-to-day lives,” Duncan said.

“Campus-sponsored fund-raisers and organizations can provide us outlets to broaden our horizons and dig in to deeper community involvement.”

Reach Kristy L. Mason at [email protected]