Spotlight on St. Jude Up ’til Dawn


Makayla Tendall/Iowa State Daily

Event hosts for Up ’til Dawn take a selfie with attendees at Up ’til Dawn on Nov. 16, 2014, the annual event that raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Lauren Kline

Located in Memphis, Tennesee, St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital children who have been diagnosed with cancer receive treatment free of charge through the use of donations raised by both community members and other groups nationwide.

Despite being 649.1 miles from Memphis, ISU students are doing their part to help St. Jude right on campus. 

St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn is a student-led, student-run group that raises money for St. Jude’s hospitals here at Iowa State. Their group’s motto “unite to fight childhood cancer” is exactly what they try to do through hosting events around campus and getting students involved with their organization. 

The group has hosted several events to raise awareness and get the word out about St. Jude since the school year started. Fundraisers at Buffalo Wild Wings and Chipotle over the semester lead up to their “Up ‘til Dawn on the Lawn” event, which aims to recruit students for their main event, Up ’til Dawn. 

Not to be confused with Dance Marathon, which takes place in January and raises money for different hospitals varying by state, Up ‘til Dawn is St. Jude’s main event held in December, where participants stay awake all night to raise money for St. Jude. Up ’til Dawn is the main event and focus of the group.

“After checking my email and seeing a message I received from Up ‘til Dawn, the memory of my dad telling me about St. Jude flashed back, and I knew I wanted to help them and get involved,” said Brittany Sholl, marketing and public relations officer for Up ’til Dawn. 

Sholl joined the group her freshman year after receiving an email from Up ‘til Dawn. From a young age she remembers getting letters from St. Jude in the mail because her dad would donate to the hospital every month.

St. Jude is helping kids with the money they raise, and seeing their faces in person made raising money for the organization personally rewarding to Sholl.

With about 20 board members and hundreds of students and faculty raising money on campus, the group has made significant strides from where they started five years ago. They are currently on track to raise more than they did last year- $80,000. They started off this semester with $25,000 already raised toward their goal. This money had been raised from personal fundraising from their executive board and recruitment teams. Since starting fundraising for the year, the campus has raised over $54,000 toward their $125,000 goal.

Now a junior, Sholl had the opportunity to visit St. Jude’s hospital twice this last summer, and had a very positive experience while visiting.

“It’s amazing to see the accommodations that St. Jude makes for their children,” Sholl said. “There’s no other place like it. It doesn’t even look like or even smell like a hospital. Kids are running around with smiles on their faces. Just to know that these kids are being treated regardless of their race, regardless of their income and not being charged is absolutely phenomenal.”

For more information on how to get involved, visit St. Jude’s recruitment team webpage at . You can also “like” their Facebook page at for news on upcoming events on campus.