Sixth annual Up 'til Dawn® National Awareness Week unites college campuses for St. Jude

More than 40,000 college students across the country will host a week of activities and help their peers get involved for a great cause


Memphis, Tennessee (September 26, 2011)—College students across the country will join together September 26 – October 2 during Childhood Cancer Awareness month to participate in “Unite to Fight Childhood Cancer,” the national theme of Up 'til Dawn for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases.

Up 'til Dawn is a student-led, student-run program that is hosted by 235 colleges and universities across the country. The program unites faculty, staff and students in the fight against childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Throughout the week, students come up with fun and creative activities like letter-writing campaigns, bake-off contests and social media “text-to-donate” campaigns aimed at helping raise awareness about St. Jude. They also distribute information to encourage their peers to support the hospital’s mission of finding cures and saving children.

As part of last year's fundraising week, Sandra Torres, a student at California State University (Chico State) -- one of the top fundraising schools having raised more than $1 million to date -- shaved her head to honor St. Jude patients. Torres was the only woman to shave her head at Chico State’s fundraising event.

“I did it because I felt if there were no girls, we would have sent an incomplete message to the children at St. Jude,” Torres said. “I hope that I was able to inspire the students at Chico State and that there will be a huge turnout this year so that we can help even more kids battling cancer at St. Jude.”

Up 'til Dawn has raised more than $32 million for St. Jude since the program began in 1999. For information about St. Jude or Up 'til Dawn National Awareness Week, ‘Like’ Up 'til Dawn on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stjudeUTD or visit www.stjude.org.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital’s research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.