St. Jude’s Brings “Kay Kafe” to UNH

February 14, 2017

The University of New Haven’s Up ‘til Dawn E-board hosted its first Kay Kafe on Thursday during dinner. The event took place in the Bartels Dining Hall, which served the favorite foods of the Children’s Hospital. Students got the chance to see what Up ‘til Dawn is all about from the information table, and a lot more teams were created for the event.

Kay Kafe is a dining hall at St. Jude’s hospital which gives patients and their families a cheerful and happy place and an “at home” atmosphere while they are staying in the hospital for long periods of time. The Kay Kafe gives normality and a way to escape the stress of hospital life for families going through hard times. There are familiar home-style meals and a beautiful space to enjoy it in, and all the food provided is grown in gardens with no preservatives or GMOs. Up ‘til Dawn’s goal was to replicate this welcoming atmosphere in the dining hall.
“We wanted to do something to raise awareness for the event and for the cause by recreating the dining experience from the hospital. The event was a success, students enjoyed themselves, and some talked to us and registered new teams,” said Penelope Lane, Awareness Director of the St Jude Up ‘til Dawn E-board.
Sodexo provided all the food that Up ’til Dawn requested for this event, and students enjoyed a change of menu with options that are typically some childhood favorites, for example, mac and cheese, and dinosaur chicken nuggets.
Bartels was packed with students for the special event, but although the lines were longer, there was still a spirit of friendliness in the air. The longest line by far was the mac and cheese bar, as students couldn’t wait to get the closest taste of a home-cooked meal they could. Students funneled out of the lines directly into the tunnel of balloons and Up ‘til Dawn members ready to answer questions and offer information.
“When I walked into Bartels I had no idea there was any special event happening, but I quickly noticed the balloons and the atmosphere. Everyone seemed happier than usual and everywhere you looked there was something related to St. Jude, it really put into perspective the importance of Kay Kafe to all of the families fighting their own battles against cancer,” said sophomore Patrick Smith.

“Unite to fight childhood cancer.” That’s the motto of St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn, a student-led, student-run, philanthropic program hosted by colleges and universities nationwide. The University of New Haven’s Up ‘til Dawn finale event takes place on February 25. The theme is Dr. Seuss, and there will be many fun decorations and activities. If you haven’t already registered a team, there is still time to gather some friends, raise money, and stay up for good.

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