Each year, the Marist College student body engages in a three night event called “Up ‘til Dawn” during which participants address letters requesting donations to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Sodexo Dining Services, the school’s food service provider, is an on-going sponsor of the event, providing nourishment and support for the late night letter writers.
The letters generate donations to support St. Jude, an organization that treats children suffering from catastrophic diseases and works to find cures for these ailments, at no cost to patients or their families. Marist College is the highest grossing school in its region for donations to St. Jude, and nationally recognized as a top fundraiser.
“We've been able to raise well over $100,000 for the kids of St. Jude since starting this program a few years ago,” says Michael Johnson, Class of 2013, Senate Speaker for the Marist College Student Government Association and member of The St. Jude Fundraising Committee. “Our fundraising is done mainly through our three nights of Up 'til Dawn. On each of these nights, we provide live entertainment, exciting raffles, and free food made possible by donors like Sodexo.”
Marist’s involvement with the St. Jude foundation started in 2008 when Steve Townsend, a former student body president, started the event.
“It is just a great cause, and we have been doing it ever since!” says Maryellen Conway, the Advisor of the St. Jude Executive Board Committee. Since 2008 through 2011, Marist has raised $42,000, $29,000, $32,000 and $36,000 in each year respectively.
This year, over 1,500 letters were written to family and friends by Marist students and faculty asking them to donate to the cause.