Friday, October 19, 2007

Chico State Students Try for Record Fund-Raising


The 7th annual student-sponsored Up 'til Dawn event at California State University, Chico will be held Monday evening, Nov. 5. Anyone is welcome to join students in a night of letter writing, fun, live performances, time with a St. Jude patient and education on the work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in treating and researching childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

The event begins at 4 p.m. in Acker Gymnasium. Letter writing supplies and food will be available for participants to write to friends and family asking for donations for the work of St. Jude's. In addition, there will be more than $20,000 in raffle prizes, including free spring tuition, courtesy of Triple J Screenprinting and Embroidery, and a car sponsored by
CSU, Chico president Paul J. Zingg will talk to participants about the importance of the work they are doing. In the last six years, the Up 'til Dawn program in Chico has raised almost $500,000.

Last year, CSU, Chico finished first in the nation with contributions totaling just over $187,000. This was the highest amount ever raised by a university. Along with breaking the previous fundraising record of $150,000, held by Kansas State, CSU, Chico set records for both the 1,540 letter writers and the 29,500 letters they sent.

More than 1,800 students are expected to take part in Up 'til Dawn this year, with hopes of raising in excess of $200,000. The Up 'til Dawn executive board, which has grown from 12 to 53 students, has made presentations to the student community, especially in the residence halls and to fraternities and sororities. Those presentations have been met with an overwhelmingly positive response, according to Larry Bassow, Student Activities and an advisor to the event.
Although St. Jude Hospital is located in Memphis, Tenn., doctors and hospitals use its work throughout the world. The hospital, founded by entertainer Danny Thomas, is committed to treating all children, no matter what their economic situation.

"The daily operating costs of the hospital total more than $1 million a day," said Bassow. "When participants hear about Up 'til Dawn and learn about the high cost of running the hospital and the fact that patients' families never see a bill for the expensive treatments that their children receive, they get excited about helping to make a difference in these children's lives."
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