Students at UNK Raise $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Tracy Lungrin
Greek adviser and leadership coordinator, 308.865.8519

UNK– Students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney have raised more than $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by hosting an “Up ‘til Dawn” event.

While UNK student groups have a tradition of carrying out fund-raising for various charitable groups, this is only the second year the students have hosted an “Up ’til Dawn” event to raise money for the children’s hospital. Last year, the first UNK “Up ‘til Dawn” fund-raiser set the record for highest funds raised by a first year school by raising $40,000. This year, about 500 UNK students wrote almost 15,000 letters to family, friends and acquaintances to raise the funds.

St. Jude’s “Up ‘til Dawn” is a student-led, student-run philanthropic program hosted by colleges and universities nationwide. Students help raise awareness and support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through a variety of activities.

“We dropped the $5 fee that was charged per person last year, because we wanted to double our participants this year,” said Tracy Lungrin, UNK Greek Life coordinator. “We knew that if we could come close to doubling the number of students writing letters, we could increase our total dollar amount of funds raised, even in a hard economic time.

“I’m very proud of the UNK St. Jude executive board,” she said. “It was a very ambitious goal, and they pulled it off. Our St. Jude representatives tell us that we are a success story, because we raise more money than schools twice our size. Our students here at UNK really commit to this event, and do it well.”

UNK is one of 385 colleges and universities nationwide that participates in “Up ‘til Dawn.” The funds raised are equal to approximately one-tenth of the cost of a child’s two-and-a-half year treatment for the most common form of cancer, ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia).

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures, and saving children with cancer and other diseases. The hospital is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment that is not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. More information is available

The UNK St. Jude’s “Up ‘til Dawn” executive committee members are listed alphabetically by hometown:

Alma– Sara Sindt, logistics 
– Rachel Hall, logistics 
– Laura Matthies, teams 
– Ryan Wetovich, teams 
– Sarah Mach, logistics 
– Cory Shield, fund-raising 
– Mackenzie Bohl, public relations; Amy Kratochvil, executive director; Madeline Mawby, assistant director; and Stephanie                 Rash, advocacy. 
– Sam Post, morale 
– Katie Griffith, public relations 
– Amy Hartigan, sponsorship 
– Jordan Higgins, teams 
– Kaitlin Doty, entertainment


– Michelle Hermesch, sponsorship

– Kendra Solko, teams

West Palm Beach
– Lacy Thornsburry, morale

MINNESOTA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burnsville– Paige Wewel, entertainment

St. Joe
– Rachael Cochran, advocacy

– Taylor Boyte, fund-raising