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Nov. 4, 2016
Five Northwest Missouri State University students on Friday took turns jumping into Colden Pond under the cover of unseasonably warm temperatures and a brightly lit blue sky to raise awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“We were anticipating it being maybe a little bit colder than it is, but it’s not,” Elizabeth Geier said with a laugh. Geier, a sophomore organizational communication major from Council Bluffs, Iowa, serves as the side events chair on Northwest Up ‘til Dawn’s executive board.
The executive board of the Northwest Up ‘til Dawn chapter in recent years has alternated the timing of its annual Colden Pond Plunge from fall to winter and returned to a November date this year with plans to host its Big Event in January.
The Colden Pond Plunge raised $133.85 this fall during a penny war among Northwest students and is one of multiple fundraising events the chapter organizes each year to support St. Jude. The chapter has raised $7,802 already during its 2016-17 campaign with a goal of $30,000 by its end.
“It’s for a great organization and it helps fight childhood cancer and support research,” Geier said. “It’s just a good way to bring together people from a bunch of different backgrounds for one cause. Hopefully each of the participants will keep on fundraising for our Big Event.”
Northwest’s Up ‘til Dawn executive board identified seven student leaders on the campus and placed their names on containers in the J.W. Jones Student Union. The five students with the highest totals at the conclusion of the penny war were allowed to participate in the Colden Pond Plunge.
This year, Hannah Woodson, a senior art education major from Kansas City, Missouri, led the way by raising $38.08. Woodson, who served as Northwest Up ‘til Dawn’s executive director last year, is its vice president this year and has raised a total of $560 for St. Jude this fall.
Joining Woodson for the Colden Pond Plunge were Tyler Kirkegaard, a senior animal science major from Hastings, Nebraska ($37.10); Kristy Briggs, a sophomore advertising major from Omaha, Nebraska ($32.62); Miranda Foster, a senior public relations major from Parker, Colorado ($8.47); and Elizabeth Brown, a junior medicinal chemistry major from Kansas City, Kansas ($6.22).
St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. The hospital’s efforts have helped push overall survival rates from childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today. While its daily operating costs reach $1.7 million, an average of 7,800 active patients visit the hospital every year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis.
Northwest’s Up ‘til Dawn chapter hosts its Big Event Friday, Jan. 27. The event challenges students to secure donations and stay up through the night to represent the children and families receiving care at St. Jude. The night includes games, music and other activities with a breakfast to cap the event in the morning.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
email@example.com | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468