February 26, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
SRU students raise record $57,070 for St. Jude's Children's Hospital
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University residence hall students proved that if you stay up until 2 a.m. on a Friday night you can raise $57,070 for St. Jude's Children Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and have fun.
The results of this year's "Up 'til 2" program brings SRU's three-year total to $96,434 given to the research hospital.
The total of this year's fund raising campaign was announced at halftime of Wednesday's men's basketball game against California University. "Up 'til 2" organizers used a "Black Out" theme as students wore black T-shirts with the St. Jude logo to reveal the drive's total.
"'Up 'til 2 for St. Jude' is a national college fundraising initiative for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Students enjoy a late night of games, entertainment, dancing, snacks and fun while addressing letters seeking contributions from their family and friends," said Heather Strong, an SRU graduate student assisting in the advisement of the University's the Living-Learning Communities program.
"Personalized letters are mailed by the hospital's fundraising arm. St. Jude's is the largest pediatric cancer treatment and research facility in the world. It treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases at no cost to their families," said Jamie Russell, assistant director of living learning community development, who helped organize the event.
More than 600 students participated in this year's late-night program hosted by the Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center. The project was initiated by SRU's Office of Residence Life.
"The campus involvement this year was phenomenal. It was very encouraging to see so many students getting excited about such a wonderful cause. We hope that even more people will attend next year and continue to make SRU one of the leading advocates for St. Jude in our region," said Whitney Prothro, regional representative from St. Jude.
More than 230 colleges and universities across the nation sponsor similar "Up 'til Dawn" programs to benefit the Memphis-based hospital founded in 1962 by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. His daughter Marlo continues the work.
More than 19,000 children from the U.S. and 70 countries have been treated for various forms of cancer, sickle cell disease and pediatric HIV-AIDS at the hospital since its founding. The current cure rate stands at more than 70 percent. While insurance payments are accepted, patients without insurance receive free medical treatment.
"The amount of money raised by Slippery Rock University students is enough to cover the cost of radiotherapy treatment for a child suffering from a brain tumor. In the three years that SRU has been hosting 'Up 'til 2,' we have become one of the regions leading fundraisers for the hospital," Strong said.
"I am extremely proud of the work and effort put into the program by Health and Jamie. Their hard work certain provided great benefits both on campus and for the hospital," said Patrick Beswick, associate director of resident life at SRU.
Those interested in being involved in the program next fall should call Russell at 724.738.4828.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.