Up 'Til Dawn to Make a Difference

The Up 'Til Dawn logo and Breanna

Help children like Breanna here get the care they need.


For the past three years that I’ve been at Winona, I’ve been aware of the Up ‘Til Dawn fundraising event here on campus. But it wasn’t until this year when my friend dragged me out of the house to go to an informational meeting that I really learned about what the fundraiser was really for. Groups of students can make a team, and each member is responsible for raising $100 for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Not only does this money go towards paying medical bills for parents so they don’t have to pay anything for their child’s care, but it also helps to pay for toys and other essentials for the children who stay at the hospital.

After looking through the stories of the children who receive care there, I knew I wanted to be a part of this team and help to put smiles on these beautiful, brave young faces.  Since starting the fundraiser, I’ve raised $215, and raised my own fundraising goal to $300. Every dollar counts, and goes towards making each child’s stay at St. Jude’s a more enjoyable one.  As of today, there are 31 days left for my team to raise money until the Up Till Dawn event. All of the teams will come together to celebrate our combined fundraising efforts, and to find out how much we all raised at Winona State. Here is Breanna’s story, which was one among many that made me realize how important and wonderful this fundraiser is:

Breanna’s family knows she loves two things best of all: cheerleading and singing. Although the athletic 12-year-old has been cheering competitively since the age of 5, she kept her singing private. Breanna was very ill when she arrived at St. Jude, she has been responding well to treatment. She has had two rounds of chemotherapy and will soon undergo a bone marrow transplant. Having been selected for the school cheerleading squad in her upcoming seventh-grade year, Breanna hopes to be back on the field by basketball season. In the meantime, her voice is soaring: At a recent St. Jude karaoke event, Breanna brought down the house.

If you’d like to donate, donate online by credit card. If you’d like to donate by check, you can e-mail me at to send a home address, and I’ll be able to send out a letter to you.

Thank you for your support!

–Callie Gustafson

Leave a comment