Tommies to stay 'Up 'til Dawn' Friday celebrating their work for young hospital patients

Tommies to stay ‘Up til Dawn’ Friday celebrating their work for young hospital patients

About 300 University of St. Thomas students will stay up all night this Friday, Feb. 17, for the sixth-annual philanthropic celebration known as “Up ’til Dawn.”

The event marks the end of a yearlong fund-raising effort to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The effort involved sending approximately 10,000 letters to family members, friends and businesses in the Twin Cities. Organizers expect the finally tally to exceed $50,000.

Last year Up ’til Dawn raised more than $54,000, putting it No. 1 regionally and No. 11 nationally among fund-raising efforts for St. Jude’s.

Friday night’s celebration in Coughlan Field House will include a visit from former St. Jude patient and Rosemount, Minn., native Zach Corcoran and his mother, Beri. Also joining in the celebration will be the K102 Rodeo Renegades, the Minnesota Twins’ mascot, “T.C.,” and Comedy Sports.

The celebration, which runs from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., also will feature team-spirit competitions, live music and dancing, a volleyball tournament and prizes donated by local retailers and restaurants.

Founded by Danny Thomas in 1962, St. Jude’s is known for its work to cure pediatric cancers and other childhood illnesses. It has treated more than 17,000 patients and is the largest childhood cancer center in the United States.

St. Thomas’ Up ’til Dawn executive board has 16 students and three advisers. They’ve been working over the past seven months to recruit and organize six-member teams to carry out the fund-raising projects.