Up ‘til Dawn sets a new goal

Samantha Mathewson

The University of New Haven’s St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn has challenged themselves to raise $18,000 by Thanksgiving break after surpassing their initial goal of $16,500.

Up ‘til Dawn e-board at Zombie Prom (photo by UNH Photography Club)
Up ‘til Dawn e-board at Zombie Prom (photo by UNH Photography Club)

“We have had two major side events thus far. We have had our first annual Dodge Ball Tournament and our annual Zombie Prom. In total, both events raised over $400,” said Annamaria Primiani, St. Jude Up ’til Dawn senior vice president of recruitment and retention.

The organization currently has raised $17,010, prompting them to raise the bar.

Their overall goal for this year, to be raised by their finale event on Feb. 28, 2015, is $50,000. Last year the organization raised upwards of $33,592 by the end of their finale event held on March 2, 2014. “It may have been a little more than that with the addition of the money fundraised at our side events throughout the semester,” said Primiani.

For this year’s finale event, there are a total of 52 teams registered, three of which are made up of Up ‘til Dawn e-board members.

“In regards to logistics, our budget is clearly broken down for every aspect of the finale event and all venues are booked,” explained Primiani. “Although most of our finale event is kept a secret, we have announced that our theme this year is Disney. All of our challenges and side events during the finale event will be Disney related. We like to keep the challenges a secret to build anticipation and excitement! Being that the finale event is run on a point system, we offer point incentives throughout the school year to keep teams motivated.”

St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn was started at UNH about six years ago, when an estimated $5,000.00 was raised. In comparison to past years, Primiani believes that the organization’s new recruitment approach and personable fundraising initiative will enable them to reach their goal of $50,000.

“I am so unbelievably humbled and speechless not only because we have reached our goal of 50 teams, but because we have fundraised over $17,000 before Thanksgiving,” said Primiani. “This is my fourth year as a member and my second year on the executive board; it has been a wonderful journey. St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn has grown into something pretty amazing and I am definitely going to miss it after graduation in May.”

After becoming an organization at UNH, Up ‘til Dawn’s biggest battle was getting their name out there.

“Now, I can proudly say that everywhere I go, people are talking about St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn. Our executive board is filled with passion and dedication. It is our job to project that emotion to our campus,” said Primiani.

Zombie Prom participant (photos by UNH Photography Club)
Zombie Prom participants (photos by UNH Photography Club)

The organization has reached out to organizations this year that they haven’t in the past, including athletics and graduate students, and over the summer, their recruitment team e-mailed over 115 organizations.

Currently, all registered teams have been given a “fundraising coach.” This means that an executive board member reaches out to their assigned teams weekly with fundraising tips and support.

“I truly believe that these personal relationships will help St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn become bigger than it has ever been before,” said Primiani.