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August 4, 2011

Up 'til Dawn nearly doubles fundraising efforts in 2011

Up 'til Dawn, a fundraising organization at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, has earned the distinction of ranking 14th in the nation for money raised over the course of the 2010-11 academic school year.

Up 'til Dawn, an offshoot of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, raises money for cancer research and has been a prevalent force on the ULM campus since 2005.

In 2009-10, the organization raised about $19,000. In 2010-11, that amount nearly doubled to $34,833 through multiple fundraising events held by the organization.

"Although the group has done well in the past, we see this as a major improvement," said Laura Knotts, the organization's staff advisor.

"I am really proud of the students involved with this group for all the work they put into raising money for St. Jude."

All funding goes directly to the research hospital, which has world-renowned physicians and will never turn away a child because of the family's inability to pay.

The hospital itself costs more than $1.5 million per day to operate, so organizers say groups such as Up 'til Dawn are crucial.

ULM student members of Up 'til Dawn finished as the highest fundraising group in the region that includes Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and parts of Oklahoma.

The next closest fundraising school brought in about $31,000.

At ULM, the Public Relations Student Society of America was the top fundraising group for Up 'til Dawn, raising a total of $1,590.

Shelby McGaha, a member of the Kappa Delta team, was the top fundraising student after raising $1,160 for the organization.

The main fundraising event for Up 'til Dawn members is a letter writing campaign in which students are equipped with their address books and a pen, and fill out numerous letters to family members and friends asking them for donations to St. Jude.

Up 'til Dawn also sponsors some smaller events on campus.

Captured for a Cure, where students are captured at the behest of their friends and must pay to be released, raised over $2,000, while the Pay to Shave event, held during Spring Fever week, raised about $1,000.

Andres Granada, a senior marketing major, is the executive director of Up 'til Dawn for the 2011-12 school year, and is looking to make even more money for St. Jude.

"Last year was great for us being ranked 14th in the country, but for the upcoming year we will definitely be trying to make it into the top 10," Granada said.

"We are really excited about getting more people involved, raising more money and helping to save more lives."

To learn more information about how to get involved in Up 'til Dawn, contact Laura Knotts at or Andres Granada at

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