Annual event to raise money for St. Jude
November 20, 2006 —
Students will be raising money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during SVSU's third-annual "Up 'til Dawn" letter-writing party next Monday from 6 p.m. until midnight in the Multi-Purpose Room.
Participants can sign up individually for $5 or in groups of six for $30, and the registration fees will go directly towards St. Jude. Participants are advised to register for the event this week in the Student Life Center, but walk-ins will be accepted right up until the event.
Each individual or group is required to bring a minimum of 50 addresses of family members and friends in order to address their letters. The letters will be pre-written for participants and all necessary mailing materials will be provided.
"When you're getting something in the mail from someone you know, you're more likely to take it seriously and respond to it," explains Jennifer Jackson, assistant director of Student Life and staff advisor to the sponsoring SVSU chapter for St. Jude.
Since its founding in 1962, St. Jude's mission has been to provide cancer research in hope of curing childhood diseases.
The Memphis, Tennessee-based hospital has a daily operating budget of $1.2 million, of which 84 percent is donated. All patients are treated free of charge.
Jackson toured the hospital in June with the organizing SVSU Executive Board, made up of 10 student volunteers and directed this year by Anita Galloway.
"St. Jude is amazing," Jackson says. "It's not like a hospital. Patients are never asked for insurance, and their family members stay in the Target House or Ronald McDonald House. They even have their own personal chefs."
There are currently 10 teams signed up for the event. Last year there were nearly 200 participants, and $22,000 was raised.
Like last year, there will be free food and performances by the SVSU Dance Team and Forte Hip Hop Dance Team. Additionally, raffle drawings of donated materials will be ongoing throughout the evening. Jackson hopes that at least $30,000 will be raised this year.
"It's just like any other community service event," Jackson says. "This is a way that gives back. A lot of people don't understand that St. Jude is not just helping children in Tennessee, but all over the world. Research is shared with research hospitals everywhere. And you never know, a kid in your family or your own child might end up benefiting from St. Jude someday.”