November 04, 2011

Award-winning Up til Dawn event is Nov. 19

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale students have heartily embraced the fight against childhood cancers and diseases by raising more than $100,000 in just two years for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and it’s time for the next installment of the Up ‘til Dawn event.

The University’s 2011 Up ‘til Dawn is happening Nov. 19 at the Student Recreation Center.   The doors open at 8:30 p.m.  Student volunteers will arrive with at least 20 addresses to which they will be mailing requests for donations to St. Jude.  Teams and individuals are welcome.  All students who prepare 35 or more legitimate donation request letters get entry into a drawing for a $200 Visa gift card.

After sending off the prewritten letters to family and friends, participants will enjoy a full evening of activities to celebrate the anticipated success of their donation quest.  The event includes athletic competitions, free food, giant inflatables, games, prizes, sports activities and SoundCore DJ entertainment. 

At 1 a.m., it’s time for the Third Annual Ebony and Ivory Step Show.  This performance illustrates the campus’ unity and diversity.  It features campus fraternities and sororities dancing together in the traditional “black and white dance.”

“Sports:  Team Up to Fight Childhood Cancer” is the theme for this year’s Up ‘til Dawn and the goal is to surpass the more than $56,000 raised last year.  All proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the event wraps up at 3 a.m.

Students planning to participate should register by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, by visiting the Student Life and Intercultural Relations office on the third floor of the Student Center.  You can also find the registration form online at

Up ‘til Dawn is a national, student-led philanthropic program.  The 2010 SIU Carbondale Up ‘til Dawn, with about 900 participants, won the Program of the Year Award at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 2011 Collegiate Leadership Seminar in Memphis.  Jessica Stout, a physiology/pre-medicine major from Taylorville who is again leading the event with help from a number of others, won the Executive Director of the Year Award from St. Jude’s as well.

For more information about Up ‘til Dawn 2011, email or