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'Up 'til Dawn' raises $25,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital

After experiencing intense chest pains and bronchitis-like symptoms outside Anspach Hall, Katelyn Massaria found herself taken to McLaren Central Michigan Hospital by ambulance.

In October, the Lexington junior was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and a softball-sized tumor was compressing her airway.

Massaria spoke at the 2017 St. Jude “Up ‘til Dawn” event after spending twelve months away from school undergoing chemotherapy.

“(Although) I didn’t go to St. Jude, I know that St. Jude shares their research with hospitals all over the world, and I know that (they) had something to do with why I am standing here talking in front of you,” Massaria said.

“Up ‘til Dawn” recognized the fundraising success of individual students and organizations in a night-long event lasting from 11:45 p.m. to 6 a.m. Feb. 17-18 at the Bovee University Center.

Participants each had to raise $100 to attend the event. A combined total of $25,000 was raised by the end of the night.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Associate Director Michael Hull said “Up ‘til Dawn” is a big party for those who fundraised for the hospital.

The Royal Oak alumni organizes St. Jude events in Michigan and northern Ohio. He said “Up ‘til Dawn” is a way of honoring the patients at the hospital, a provider of renowned research and free care.

“We do it because cancer is tough and we want to show the kids at St. Jude’s that we are giving up a night of sleep to honor (them),” Hull said.

Before the event, students raised money individually online and continued to collect donations throughout the night by sharing fundraising links via social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Midland senior Amanda Walko wanted the night to be “exciting and enjoyable.” As the event and logistical director, Walko said she wanted to put on a program that got peers “Fired up” for fundraising.

“The event really is not the important part, raising money for the kids is," Walko said.

Throughout the night students took part in activities, which included  a hypnotist performance, a scavenger hunt, a newspaper fashion show and minute to win it games.

Organizations recognized at the event were the Fabiano, Emmons and Woldt Hall Councils, which raised $1,200, and the Delta-Omicron Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, which raised $1,500.

The “Up til’ Dawn” organization is a part of a fundraising initiative that features 77 schools nationwide.


About Samantha Shriber

Samantha Shriber is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life and is a Saint Clair Shores ...

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