You hear upbeat music coming from the Forum and upon entering, you can see the room is full of tables and chairs where students are sitting, busy addressing letters while talking with friends and enjoying a soda and a snack.
Tuesday, November 3, from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m, the college’s Up ’Til Dawn program had its Letter Writing Campaign in the Forum.
“The fundraiser is a college wide program designed to raise money for the children at St. Jude Children’s Hospital” said Tiffany Roberson, co-executive director of Up ’Til Dawn.
At the Letter Writing Campaign, students collected addresses of their family and friends to address and send out letters asking for donations for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Students who addressed at least 35 letters will receive free entrance to the Up ’Til Dawn Finale Event on March 26 to 27 in the Gym where the amount of money raised will be unveiled.
The college got involved with Up ’Til Dawn last year when the college adopted the program as its Inter-Greek Council philanthropy. “The fundraiser is not just for McDaniel Greeks; it is open to the entire campus” said Roberson.
There will be another mini-writing event early in the second semester. “It’s not too late to still become involved. We still have letters that can be addressed and sent out,” said Roberson. The letters can be picked up in the college activities office where students will be given instructions and then the letters can then be returned to the office to be mailed out. Also, if students are still interested they can directly contact either Tiffany Roberson or Rachel Thrasher with questions.
Another fundraiser for Up ’Til dawn is the ‘Morale Chain.’ Students can give any type of donation, anywhere from ten cents to a couple of dollars. The student’s name will then be put on a chain. Each chain for the different classes will then be hung up at the Finale Event to see which is the longest. The fundraiser will be a fun competition between classes. The students will be able to make their donations at a table that will be set up outside of GLAR on November 19 and 20.
Last year’s Finale Event had 300 to 400 people in attendance. Students who do not write at least 35 letters this year can still attend the event in the spring and pay an entrance fee of five dollars. This year, similar to last, there will be inflatables, entertainment, music, games, and free food. According to Roberson, “at the Finale Event students stay up all night playing games and raffles like a mini spring fling in the gym, and we find out how much money we raised through the Letter Writing Event.”
Rachel Sanchez was an executive board member last year and attended the Finale Event and said, “We had moon bounces last year and I really hope they have them again.” This year she also attended the Letter Writing Campaign both because it was mandatory for Greeks but also because she says “Several of my Phi Sig sisters are on the executive board and I wanted to go out and support them.”
Last year Up ’Til Dawn at McDaniel raised $34,115 and the goal for this year is $40,000. Although not many students have taken part in this new program on campus yet, it is a good way to raise money. Sanchez says, “It is important, for our age group especially, to give back to the community. The letters are really a crucial part of the event. They inform the community about St. Jude and give them a chance to be involved.”