Up ‘til Dawn

By Tiffany Boyd

On Friday, October 21st, ASENMU and ASAB sponsored the annual 2011 Up ‘Til Dawn cancer awareness and donation challenge.

Up ‘Til Dawn is an event where students raise awareness of cancer through various challenges, such as writing personalized letters to friends and family for donations. The money is raised for St. Jude Children’s Hospital to help children who are living with various types of cancer pay for the expenses of their condition.

According to the website, Up ‘Til Dawn participants “sacrifice a night of sleep to honor the patients and their families that have many sleepless nights.” Also, each individual had to contribute at least fifteen addresses upon entering the event.

ENMU’s Up ‘Til Dawn consisted of teams of six to eight individuals who participated in different fundraising activities, while spreading awareness to friends and family about the crucial matter of saving a child’s life.

Letter writing, song selections and performers entertained the supportive students and faculty throughout the night.

Winners and runner-ups of the 2011 Song Fest and the Talent show performed an encore presentation of their performances during Up ‘Til Dawn. There was a special appearance, by Molodi’s Jason Jayro Nious and Antwan Davis, who seemed to bring soul and urban spirit to the compassionate stage of Up ‘Til Dawn. Also, door prizes were awarded and games were played throughout the evening. Participants won various prizes such as ENMU spirit shirts, mugs, and overall ENMU essentials.

            Rosa Harper, a group member of Dougie for a Cure, stated “How important it is to help contribute money for the welfare of children who have different types of cancer and helping find a cure.” Harper added, “The child, which my team had sponsored, was named Megan. I said a little prayer for her and her family.” Harper’s suggestion, in reference to spreading the awareness of cancer was, “contribute to the active awareness groups on campus and remember that charity starts at home.” Harper’s team, Dougie for a Cure, performed their original lyrical anthem, “Teach me how to Hootie,” at Up ‘Til Dawn, which won first place at the 2011 ENMU Song Fest. Harper’s team wrote over 100 letters throughout the night.

            Rachel Whitt, a group member of Cool Kids on Da Block, stated, “We wanted to raise awareness of fund raising efforts for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.” Whitt added, “Our table did not ‘sponsor’ a particular child, but I had a personal inspiration. I worked with a young boy last summer named Lance Fletcher; Lance is currently in remission after battling Osteosarcoma at St. Jude’s.” Whitt’s suggestion, to spreading the awareness of cancer was, “Events like Up ‘Til Dawn are good because they rally college students, like myself. Any events that mobilize the college base are good.”

            Kaiwen Xu, a group member of The Crayola Box, stated “I enjoyed getting together to participate in Up ‘Til Dawn, and helping to fight childhood cancer.” Xu added, “The child that my group sponsored had retinoblastoma.” Xu’s suggestion, in reference to spreading the awareness of cancer was, “If possible, I like to make a t-shirt that has help childhood cancer on it, so when I walk around, everybody can see it. Also, I will keep those stickers, that I received at Up ‘Till Dawn, display them somewhere where people can see them, like my office or home.”

Throughout the night, footage of previous and current patients was viewed, which created a heartfelt tone among the participants. Also, a cancer survivor, Matt Hall, discussed his journey through the beginning and the ending of his recovery, concerning a cancerous tumor in his head.

At the end of the night, the 2011 Up ‘Til Dawn participants wrote a total of over 6000 letters, which were sent to family members, friends, co-workers, and citizens of the community. St. Jude Children’s Hospital conducts “groundbreaking research and pioneering care to save the lives of children in communities everywhere.”

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