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Missing bedtime pays off during record-breaking Up ‘Til Dawn fundraiser

Hundreds of Belmont students skipped sleep on Jan. 27 and raised more than $110,000 for Belmont’s third annual St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn event.

Participating students raised $110,530.70 for the fundraiser, an increase from last year’s event by about $25,000.

The money raised will go toward funding St. Jude Children’s Research Center, a nonprofit children’s hospital specializing in the research and treatment of childhood illnesses like leukemia.

Mare Rote, the executive director of the Up ‘Til Dawn board, was excited by this year’s turnout.

“We had 700 participants signed up, and over 500 of those participants were actively fundraising,” Rote said. “Up ‘Til Dawn is also typically a Greek life event, but we are so proud to say that Greek life only took up 36 percent of the participants this year, meaning we were able to engage people from all different aspects of Belmont.”

Leading up to the event, participants were asked to raise $100 each for entry. Once each participant met the goal, they were invited to attend the 24-hour event and celebrate the fundraiser with games, contests, inflatables and a silent disco.

“We stay up all night to symbolize the parents and children who don’t get to sleep through the night because of the various treatments they have to go through,” said Rote.

Sophomore Dylan Arndt attended the event and was blown away by its success.

“Thanks to an incredible executive board and many morale captains, Up ‘Til Dawn managed to bring hundreds of students together for the purpose of helping cure childhood cancer and inspiring the rest of the Nashville community in the process,” Arndt said. “My experience was one full of joy and pride in my school for raising such a large amount of money for an important cause.”

Photo courtesy of Erika Gray.

Sara Scannell contributed.

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