Fort Hays State University's chapter of Up 'til Dawn is one of 250 college organizations that help raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital for pediatric cancer patients. Directed by Kelsey Colgazier, Larned senior, the first FHSU chapter of Up 'til Dawn brought in more than $28,000 last year and is out to raise more this year.
"Our goal is $38,000," said Colglazier. "It takes $1.4 million a day to run the hospital and 85 cents of every dollar goes directly to the hospital."
St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital is located in Memphis, Tenn. It maintains 78 inpatient beds and treats upwards of 260 patients per day. The most common form of cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, had a survival rate of 4 percent when the hospital opened in 1962. Through the research of St. Jude's, today it is up to 94 percent. St. Jude's has helped in every state in the United States and in more than 70 countries through treating patients and sharing research. No one is ever turned down due to their inability to pay.
"Every 25 cents counts," said Colglazier.
Up 'til Dawn is having an all teams meeting from 7 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27, in the Black and Gold Ballroom and the Fort Hays Ballroom of the Memorial Union. Teams are made up of five or six students, and registration is $30 per team, which directly goes to St. Jude's and provides each participant with a T-shirt. The meeting will consist of a letter writing campaign where each team member will personalize 35 pre-written letters to friends and family members asking for donations. There will also be free food, free entertainment, fun games, giveaways and a visit from a patient's family. Up 'til Dawn team registration forms will be accepted until the day of the event along with individual registrations and any donations at the Center for Student Involvement in the basement of the Union.
"If you can't make this event, don't worry because we will be having two or three different events still this fall and in spring 2010," said Colglazier.
As the director of Up 'til Dawn, Colgazier has been a very dedicated volunteer. She has donated her time in various organizations since her freshman year at FHSU, by helping communities everywhere, serving as an Anderson VIP Student Ambassador, and raising money for charities.
"I really enjoy helping others," said Colglazier. "I really want to work for non-profit organizations and contribute to making a difference in the lives of others."
Colglazier has also volunteered for Tigers In Service both her freshman and junior years at FHSU and directed it during her sophomore year when she led National Youth Service Day and Make a Difference Day on the FHSU campus. She has also volunteered in communities like Gulfport, Miss., helping with Hurricane Katrina relief, in the fall of 2006; San Diego, Calif., to visit a children's homeless shelter and help with an outreach program, in the spring of 2007; Oklahoma City, Okla., to visit the Lovelink Ministry and help in its food pantry and church, in the fall of 2007; Greensburg, helping with tornado relief, in the spring of 2008; and South Padre Island, Texas, helping with Hurricane Ike relief and building reservations, in the fall of 2009. She also helps around her hometown in Larned by being an active community member and donating time to her church.
As a result of Colglazier's dedication to FHSU and community volunteering, she was awarded the Fred A. Miller Award in 2008, presented for outstanding service to FHSU and the VIP Ambassadors.
"I was really surprised and excited to accept the award. I felt very humbled," she said.
For more information on Tigers In Service or Up 'til Dawn, contact the Center for Student Involvement at (785) 628-5664.