Annual Up ’til Dawn event kicks off Friday, Nov. 11

Marietta College students will gather on Friday, Nov. 11, for this year’s Up ’til Dawn event to raise funds for, as well as awareness of, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay. Their mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. 


More than a million volunteers in communities all over the country support about 34,000 events that raise funds on behalf of St. Jude.


“The program is called Up ’til Dawn to symbolize the countless nights that parents stay up with their sick children at the hospital,” said Lauren Franko ’13 (Broadview Heights, Ohio), Marietta College’s Up ’til Dawn executive director.


The event is a nationwide student-led, student-run program that consists of two parts, the letter writing and the entertainment.


The program unites faculty, staff and students behind the cause of supporting St. Jude. Since Up ’til Dawn was created in 1998, students at more than 250 participating schools have raised $20.6 million.


The letter writing kicks off the day at 6 p.m. in Dyson Baudo Recreation Center as students address and send pre-written letters to friends and family in hopes of getting donations for St. Jude. Each student is asked to send at least 50 letters.


The fun begins at 8 p.m. with plenty of games and activities such as a mechanical bull, photo booth, limbo and more. There will also be a performance by the Marietta College Dance Team as well as the annual Men’s Basketball Team auction, which starts at 9:45 p.m. To end the night there will be a hypnotist at 11:30 p.m.


This year the goal is to raise more than $30,000.


“I'm looking forward to seeing if we can do that. Even if we don't raise that much, any amount we raise helps the children of St. Jude in finding cures for catastrophic childhood diseases,” said Ellen Campbell, Marietta College’s Up ‘til Dawn Advisor. “I think this is a wonderful organization and I believe in what they do, so working with this group really doesn’t seem like work.”


Franko says she is most looking forward to beating the fundraising total from last year.


“St. Jude is such an amazing place full of so much hope and love,” she said. “It’s amazing to see the College community come together for such a great cause year after year.”


To learn more and register: