Students stay Up ’til Dawn For St. Jude


Charlie Coffey/Iowa State Daily

Brady Carnahan, one of the hosts of Up ’til Dawn, takes a selfie with the crowd. The event was a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and took place in the State Gym on the morning of Nov. 15.

Elizabeth Gray

Students are staying up ’til dawn to support St. Jude and its fight to end pediatric cancer.

The Up ’til Dawn event will take place from 11:59 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday in State Gym with constant activities to keep the participants awake and engaged.

Participants will be put into teams of six for events, games and activities. Each team has to raise $600 before attending the event, and there will be prizes throughout the event for the team who raised the most money and performed the best in the activities.

The games, however, are a secret surprise for the participants, but they have done things in the past like human foosball, “Minute to Win It” games and human Hungry Hungry Hippos.

A former patient at St. Jude and her family will be attending the event and will speak about their experience as a family. The speech will also focus on how St. Jude has affected their lives.

Riley McCloskey, junior in management information systems and co-director of Up ’til Dawn, said, “St. Jude is the last hope. … Children are fragile, children are risky.” 

Every expense for St. Jude patients is paid for by the organization. Families do not have to pay for medical bills and other expenses during their stay at the hospital.

Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said, “No child should die in the dawn of life.”

However, that money has to come from somewhere, and that’s what Up ’til Dawn helps with. 

“The event is the end celebration of a year’s worth of fundraising,” said Isidora Passalacqua, senior in finance and co-director of the event.

The planning process is a year’s worth of organization, planning, fundraising, brainstorming and community out-reach. The organization has had booths at ClubFest and a St. Jude awareness week, and it teamed with the greek community during Homecoming week to get members to send 10 non-ISU emails to ask for donations.

The committee’s goal is to raise $74,737, which is the average cost for a 13-day stay for one in-patient at St. Jude. About 1,500 people have registered for the event, and organizers are expecting somewhere between 200 and 300 people to show up, with about 30 teams to turn out.

A few organizations have attended the event in the past. The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and the Delta Delta Delta sorority both support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and are actively involved in fundraising for them.

“Everyone at the event was all happy, all passionate and all loving,” said Kevin Strohm, junior in mechanical engineering and a Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity member, in regards past events.

Other organizations that will attend include the Kinesiology Club and the Pre-Medical Club.