UTM’s Up ’til Dawn raises record funds for St. Jude
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:02
On Feb. 15 at the annual Greek Week Step Show, the Up ‘til Dawn committee revealed how much the UTM campus had raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. UTM’s grand total was $39,097, breaking its previous total of $26,468.
Up ‘til Dawn is a student organization that benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by raising money and awareness. UTM is one of over 250 colleges that participate in Up ‘til Dawn, and it’s only in its second year.
Many Up ‘til Dawn members found the large amount raised an exciting accomplishment.
“The first year we raised around $26,000 and this year we raised almost $40,000. The national average that colleges raise is around $15,000. UTM tripled this amount, and we are nowhere near as big as SEC schools and others!” said Up ‘til Dawn Board Member Katie Jarvis.
Amy Dysinger, a recent UTM graduate, started the UTM chapter in the fall of 2011, and since then, the organization has grown.
“When Amy approached some of us two years ago, we never imagined that Up ‘til Dawn would take off like this,” said 2012 UTM Up ‘til Dawn Director Tori Taylor.
When Dysinger was leading the committee, Up ‘til Dawn raised $26,468 in its first year and won the Rookie of the Year Award at the St. Jude/ALSAC Collegiate Leadership Seminar for raising the most money among first-year schools.
One of Up ‘til Dawn’s signature fundraising events is the annual letter writing event. Participants bring addresses of family, friends and neighbors. At the event, pre-printed letters and envelopes are available for participants to address that ask for donations for St. Jude.
“The night of our letter-writing event went very smoothly thanks to the cooperation and teamwork from the board and to all the students who came out and wrote letters,” Jarvis said.
When Judy Rayburn, Up ‘til Dawn’s faculty advisor, told the board how much was raised, the students were shocked.
“We never imagined that we could add on to our previous total and get close to $40,000 this year alone,” Taylor said.
The board wanted to reveal the news in a big way. They thought that the Greek Week Step Show would be the ideal place to deliver the monumental news.
“The reveal at Steppin’ was a success, and I think it was good to show the student body that without their help, that much money would not have been raised,” said Up ‘til Dawn volunteer Lyndsey Jackson.
After revealing the grand total by flipping the numbers around on poster boards, plaques were awarded to Alpha Tau Omega, Chi Omega and Phi Eta Sigma on behalf of St. Jude for raising the most money in the categories of Fraternity, Sorority and campus organization for UTM.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of our board and what we accomplished. St. Jude is an amazing place, and I hope that UTM continues to support the cause,” Taylor said.
As to what is next for Up ‘til Dawn, they anticipate change.
“Our St. Jude representative has told us there will be some changes to the Up ‘til Dawn experience for next year. We are looking forward to see what these changes are and are ready to incorporate them in our own way,” Jarvis said.
If you are interested in joining Up ‘til Dawn or volunteering for events, email Judy Rayburn at firstname.lastname@example.org.