By Heather Ludegna
The Greek community cherishes their principles of giving back to the community by fundraising once again for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
The Greek community leads this fundraiser annually and members from each Greek letter organization on campus come together to enjoy their success for an over-night event called ‘Up ‘Til Dawn’.
On Saturday evening, Jan. 27, Cal Poly Pomona Greek life joined in the Bronco Student Center for the event.
‘Up Til Dawn’ is not an event where members only go to mingle with their friends, but rather where they all join as a family to remember those children and families who have sleepless nights because of childhood cancer.
“This event speaks volumes to all the families and children who have suffered through the wrath of cancer,” said Michael Sakhel, a third-year communication student and member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
“Being here shows that we will not accept cancer as something that will take over lives and happiness and it shows that we will continue to thrive to find new methods for a cure.”
Many students at this event where touched due to personal connections or loved ones being affected and shared stories on their experience.
Every year there are new goals to be met for every team, and this year the rules were changed and the expectancy for every group lessened which led them to fall shorter than previous years.
Each chapter breaks its members up into teams and each team is responsible for raising money.
Teams are assigned captains to lead them in fundraising efforts in addition to being the representatives of their respective chapters on the night of the event.
“I decided to become a team captain because St. Jude is an amazing organization that touches thousands of lives,” said Stephanie Lo, a second-year international business marketing student and member of Kappa Delta Sorority.
“Fundraising together with my team and getting excited for the event was an amazing bonding experience. Bonding through philanthropy is such a unique way to connect to your fellow Greeks and give back to something that does so much good.”
The fundraiser not only benefits the hospitals but also those people who participate in the event every year.
“It’s not so much about being in the fundraiser for the organization, it feels like we are the fundraiser, groups like us are the backbone to Up ‘Til Dawn,” said Brian Ortega, a fourth-year construction engineering student and President of Gamma Zeta Alpha.
“It all starts with events like these that make ‘Up Til Dawn’ a good support system for these children. I’m very glad to be here.”
CPP is not the only school that contributes but this event is known to be a nationwide student-led, student-run program in which college students raise funds.
Greek life fundraises throughout the year and joins it all into one check for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
“This event is to bring organizations together to recognize all St. Jude’s patients and what they go through for one night, we go through what they do,” said Jessica Savarese, a third-year kinesiology student and member of Alpha Pi Sigma.
“It’s empowering and humbling, this event makes us realize how lucky we are to experience life compared to those that have to fight for every single day.”
This event opens the eyes and teaches leadership amongst every participant who contributes to the cause.
CPP students worked hard throughout the whole academic year and raised a total amount of $18,347 by the end of the 2018 Up ‘Til Dawn event.
It was a joyous moment for all of Greek life to hear the final number and celebrate the year’s accomplishments.
“The St. Jude’s hospitals run solely on donations and all the kids and families don’t ever receive a bill for treatment, food, lodging or travels. It’s all thanks to these donations,” said Executive Director of Cal Poly Pomona’s Up ‘Til Dawn Melissa Dominguez, a fourth-year international business student and member of Zeta Tau Alpha.
“Tonight was overwhelming because it’s been something we’ve been planning for months and it was kind of a mixture of being nervous and excited, just so many emotions.”
Dominguez took a trip in July to Memphis to see the works of the hospital and how impactful the donation is to every hospital.
The events usually take place every January to start off the year with a big donation to the hospital.
Over the past few years, Cal Poly Pomona has raised over $175,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
According to the CPP St. Jude fundraising page, the treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago.
CPP will be back to raise funds for next year in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, never backing down until no child dies from cancer.
Albert Muro / The Poly Post
Members of Sigma Chi fraternity gathered for a photo with the symbolic check at the end of the event
Albert Muro / The Poly Post
The Greek community at Cal Poly Pomona consists of 29 chapters from the Interfraternity, Panhellenic, National Pan-Hellenic and Multicultural Greek councils
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