The Marist community came together last Saturday night with one goal in mind: fight cancer. Roughly one hundred students raised money and donated their time for the annual St. Jude: Up ‘til Dawn event. By the end of the night, nearly $30,000 had been raised for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, a pediatric treatment and research center which cares for patients free of charge.
The event’s premise stems from a quotation by St. Jude’s founder, Danny Thomas. He said that, “No child should die in the dawn of their life.” To honor this, students from thousands of colleges across the country sacrifice one night of their life so children with cancer can have another day to live.
Marist students gathered in the McCann Arena and stayed up until 6:00 a.m. Teams of students competed in several events including a trivia contest, a dance contest, musical chairs, an obstacle course and creating a costume out of duct tape.
“The Up ‘til Dawn event allows all these different people to feel a certain bond together by sacrificing their night for the kids of St. Jude,” said Summer Bourlier, the event and logistics coordinator. “It might seem like a daunting night, but everyone bands together to have a really fun time. Personally, I’m just glad that giving anything and everything I have can make a difference somehow.”
I’ve participated in the event the last two years and look forward to doing it next year as well. There is an ineffable sense of camaraderie not only with your teammates, but with everyone there. Although we may leave exhausted, we leave with a sense of fulfillment and happiness knowing how many lives we have helped save.