WWU Students to Stay Up ’til Dawn for a Cause

They won’t be staying “up ’til dawn” until January, but William Woods University students plan to participate in a nationwide Up ’til Dawn project Wednesday, Oct. 20, to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude, located in Memphis, Tenn., is a world-renowned hospital in the treatment and research of childhood illnesses, diseases, and cancers. This hospital is one of the forerunners in finding cures for cancers. St. Jude provides care to children without cost to families.

The two-part event at WWU begins with a letter-writing party at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 in Tucker Dining Hall. Fifteen teams of six members each will attend, and each team member will write 50 letters to family and friends requesting donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There will be food, prizes, t-shirts and St. Jude’s Nalgene bottles for everyone.

The second part of the event occurs in January with an all-night celebration of the money raised.

This benefit is unique in that it is completely student organized and led. There is a 12-person executive board, and Barbie Banks, a WWU senior from Pevely, Mo., is executive director.

Banks explained the origin of the name: “In January we have a party where we all stay ‘up ’til dawn’ in support of the parents staying ‘up ’til dawn’ at the research hospital.”

She added, “We understand the heartache of parents with children who stay awake all night wondering whether their children will see another day. Up ’til Dawn participants are willing to give a day of their lives to help ensure these children will see better days in the future. Through these efforts, we hope to help St. Jude further its role as an innovator in the fight against life-threatening childhood illnesses.”

Although the registration for the Oct. 20 letter-writing party is closed, the executive board is considering having another party in November to get even more students’ participation. All those interested should contact Barbie Banks at 592-4333 or bbanks@williamwoods.edu.