Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Fun to kill cancer



Dancing in a flash mob, providing manicures for cures, and battling it out in an imitation gladiator ring are just some of ways the members of Up ’til Dawn have been fighting cancer.

The organization was created by students and is run nationwide to help raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In 2009, Up ’til Dawn made its way to FAU and since then has hosted an array of events.

Their first major event took place in spring 2009, when members hosted a letter-sending event. Volunteers wrote letters to children who have been hospitalized at St. Jude’s, as well as to potential sponsors to request funding for research. With that event and some others, like partial donations from Jamba Juice and Cold Stone Creamery from student purchases, they were able to raise $11,000 — which is nearly half of their annual goal of $25,000, according to executive director of Up ’til Dawn Kristina Hall-Michel.

At the letter-sending event, students got to play games like “gladiator” and raced in a bounce house. Simone Hyman, a third-year elementary education student, recalled her experience, “My favorite part was playing the games that they had, and I liked the fact that it united a variety of people that wouldn’t usually commune.”

In September, volunteers as well as members of Up ’til Dawn flash-danced to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” in the Breezeway.

Third-year nursing student Julia Baker said the group imitated the likes of television show Glee’s performances.

“This flash mob, I believe, got the most publicity for Up ’til Dawn, because students never saw this before so a lot of people wanted to know what we were doing,” Baker said. “A lot of students came up to me afterwards and asked questions about the performance. It’s always good to raise awareness for a good cause.”

This effort didn’t raise any funds, but it did get the attention of passing students who stopped to watch the performance. After the dance, the students dispersed as though nothing had happened.

They held Manicures for Cures Spa Day on the Boca campus on Sept. 23. Students, faculty and staff got to enjoy a manicure for a donation of $5. This event pushed the organization only a few steps closer to their goal, with about another $200.

In order to meet their goal for the year, they plan on hosting another letter-sending event on Nov. 17. The executive board’s plan is to register at least 174 volunteers, who will be broken up into teams. Ms. Hall said their method of recruiting members is basically leading by example.

Third-year finance student Joel Walters said he joined because “it is a great cause and it’s always good to give back.” Walters had cancer as a child and his parents didn’t know about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so for him, he said, “It is important to spread awareness and get others to do the same.” Walters now serves as the monetary donations chairperson.

If you would like to join the cause and help Up ’til Dawn, you can form a team of your own. Registration packets are located in the Office of Greek Life, on the second floor of the Boca Student Union in Room 218.


What: Up ’til Dawn Letter Sending Event

When: Wednesday, Nov. 17

Where: Grand Palm Room, Student Union,

Boca campus

How much: Free

To find out more: [email protected]

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