Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
Reporter: Robin Haislett
PORTALES--Eastern New Mexico University is rising to the challenge and staying “Up Til’ Dawn.” Teams of students, employees and the public are set to stay up all night from 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, until 5 a.m. Saturday morning in the Ballroom of the Campus Union Building on the Portales campus.
ENMU is teaming up with St. Jude’s Research Hospital for this inaugural event to raise money to further research into curing pediatric cancer. Participants will bring a list of at least 10 addresses to write letters to friends, family and acquaintances asking for their support of St. Jude’s research efforts.
Anyone can sign up a team of six to eight people at the registration table in the Campus Union Building or sign up that night. Those who still want to help but don’t have a team will be assigned one Friday night. “I have 56 tables and plan to fill every single one of them up,” says Kaylee Peterson, the teams' chairperson for Up ‘Til Dawn.
Teams will be entered in drawings for scholarships, two tickets to Disney World, an iPad, gift certificates and other prizes throughout the night. Every 50 letters written by one person will enter him or her in a $500 scholarship opportunity. The only requirement is that participants stay the entire night to take the prizes home in the morning.
Everyone in attendance will be treated to free food, games and performances by Fusion Funk Collective, Greyhound MMA, ENMU Gamers, ENMU Spirit Team, Phi Mu Alpha, the Songfest winners and others.
Pediatric cancer is not a distant concern for the Portales community. Brittany Chrisman, student body president of ENMU, says, “Every person I have talked to has known somebody or has personally been affected by cancer. Lance Fletcher, our mascot and our inspiration, is a perfect example of why the ENMU community should get involved.”
Lance Fletcher, the son of ENMU employee Carol Fletcher, stayed at St. Jude’s, along with his family, when he was being treated for cancer.
Peterson is sure Up ‘Til Dawn will be a night to remember because “it is a fun way to help raise money for St. Jude’s research for pediatric cancer. Families who have a child going through cancer treatment there have all their expenses paid.”
This allows families to have the monetary burden reduced and they can focus on what is truly important: the child.
Teams have already signed up but there is room for many more. “I have had so many teams want to sign up and it almost makes me want to cry seeing how supportive our campus has been in this first-year event,” says Peterson.
Chrisman adds, “I know everyone will rise to the challenge. We may be a small school, but we can make a difference in the lives of children everywhere.”
The Up ‘Til Dawn team is anticipating a night of “raising awareness, raising money and making new friends,” according to Chrisman. Kelly is most excited about “seeing the staff and faculty teams staying up all night with us.”
Peterson “can’t wait to see how much the night touches people.”
Up ‘Til Dawn can be found on facebook.com by searching for “Up ‘Til Dawn.”
For more information and registration, contact Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 575-703-9734. Chrisman can be reached at email@example.com or 575-562-2474.