Belmont students stayed “up for good” in the Curb Event Center to celebrate the donations made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the past year.
Students stayed awake between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. Sunday morning, playing games and enjoying activities at the fifth annual Up ‘til Dawn event. At the end of the rally, students celebrated raising $134,255.90 for St. Jude patients and their families.
“Doing something like this in college, being a part of Up ‘til Dawn, is something that you don’t really understand how meaningful it is until you do it. Raising your $100, it’s a task that can be so small or so large, but it means so much to the families,” said Natalie Halloran, the executive director for Belmont Up ‘til Dawn.
The night’s participants were all students who had raised at least $100 for St. Jude, but the planning that goes into making the event possible started months earlier.
“We’ve been working for this since March of 2018,” said Sonia Mathews, the director of operations for Belmont Up ‘til Dawn.
One major change from past years that required more attention to detail was the move to a new location. In past years, the event was held in the Beaman Student Life Center, but this year it was held in the Curb Event Center.
“They did a lot of hard work to make sure we had our plan set in stone way earlier than they normally have to so that we could be in the Curb this year,” Mathews said.
The move to the Curb Event Center presented an opportunity for those in charge of Up ‘til Dawn to step up and show their leadership skills.
It is a good way for students to set aside time in their schedules to be leaders on campus by helping out families in need, said Mathews.
At the end of the event, everyone gathered to sing a song written by one of the nurses at St. Jude for kids that are cancer free. After this, the final fundraising total was revealed, sending the crowd into an excited uproar.
“I just really love the mission of Up ‘til Dawn,” said junior Allison Smith. “It’s amazing how St. Jude gives back to these families who are obviously going through a lot. The fact that they’re able to go to this hospital and not have to pay a single thing through the hardest journey of their life, I think, is really cool.”
This article written by Abigail Bowen. Video by Cole Abshier and Abigail Bowen.