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March 4, 2009
The weather was suitably wintry on Friday afternoon, Feb. 27, for the annual Up 'Til Dawn Colden Pond Plunge.
A late February warm spell gave way overnight to gray skies, and a sharp northern breeze along with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Fahrenheit greeted the four Plunge "winners" as they leaped into the frigid reservoir located behind Colden Hall.
At least, unlike last year, no one had to cut a hole in the ice.
The event raised $1,000 for Up 'Til Dawn, a student-led charity drive benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
In the days leading up to the event, students and others placed money in containers in the J.W. Jones Student Union labeled with the names of about 30 people competing for a chance to jump. The four entrants who brought in the most money earned the right to leap into the cold, still water.
Taking the Plunge were one student and three instructors from Northwest's Department of Marketing and Management. Jeff Talley, a senior theatre performance major from Kansas City, was joined by faculty members Doug Russell, Deb Toomey and Allison Strong.
As in previous years, safety was the first consideration. The bottom of Colden Pond was checked beforehand for obstructions, and the jumpers landed practically in the arms of Maryville Public Safety officers wearing insulated, waterproof suits.
Founded in 1998, Up 'Til Dawn has grown into a nationwide philanthropy with about 200 participating colleges and universities. The campaign consists of a variety of fundraisers held during the fall and spring and culminates with all-night celebrations at each institution.
Northwest's concluding all-nighter will take place Friday night, April 3, through the early morning of Saturday, April 4, in Lamkin Activity Center. The free evening, which will include live entertainment and food, is open to all Northwest students, whether or not they have participated in the campaign.
Last year, Northwest students reached their goal by raising more than $75,000 for the hospital, which was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and is famous for providing care to children with life-threatening illnesses regardless of their families' ability to pay.
For information about making a contribution to this year's Up 'Til Dawn campaign, call the Office of Campus Activities at 660.562.1226 (ext. 1226 from a campus land-line phone).
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468