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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Kristina Hagan jumps Friday afternoon into Colden Pond during Up 'til Dawn's annual Colden Pond Plunge event to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This year's plunge raised $2,673.40.

Kristina Hagan jumps Friday afternoon into Colden Pond during Up 'til Dawn's annual Colden Pond Plunge event to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This year's plunge raised $2,673.40. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Nov. 7, 2014

Students plunge into Colden Pond for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

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View more images of Northwest's annual Colden Pond plunge by clicking here.

Katie Mahoney jumps Friday afternoon into Colden Pond during Up 'til Dawn's annual Colden Pond Plunge event to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Mahoney was the top individual fundraiser, securing $1,051.94 in donations for St. Jude.
Katie Mahoney leaps into Colden Pond during Friday's Up 'til Dawn's annual Colden Pond Plunge. Mahoney was the top individual fundraiser, securing $1,051.94 in donations for St. Jude.

Five Northwest Missouri State University students jumped into the campus’ Colden Pond Friday afternoon – and considered that an honor – to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The annual Colden Pond Plunge, which has traditionally taken place at Northwest during winter months when the pond is frozen, is sponsored by the University’s chapter of Up ‘til Dawn. This year, organizers decided to move the event to the fall to serve as a kickoff and a recruiting effort for Up ‘til Dawn’s annual fundraising campaign.

The move proved to be a positive one for the chapter, which raised $2,673.40 during the weeks leading up to this year’s Colden Pond Plunge.

“It was very successful and it was more than I could have hoped for,” said Taylor Provow, a senior dietetics major from Kearney, Mo., who serves as Up 'til Dawn’s executive director.

Up ‘til Dawn members nominated 13 of their classmates to jump into Colden Pond, and the five students to secure the most donations received the opportunity to take the plunge. The top fundraisers and their totals were Katie Mahoney ($1,051.94), Jennifer O’Dell ($570), Abby Peitzmeier ($469.01), Kristina Hagan ($430), and Mike Ahlersmeyer ($67.70).

Mahoney said she was motivated to raise funds for St. Jude because of a connection she shares with her family to the research hospital. At Northwest, the junior marketing and management major from Lee’s Summit, Mo., is Alpha Sigma Alpha president, Student Senate secretary, a member of Blue Key honor society and serves as a student ambassador and peer advisor.

“St. Jude has always held a special place in my heart and that of my family,” Mahoney said. “We have supported this inspiring organization for as long as I can remember because we know what an immense impact a single monetary donation can make on a sick child and their family. It is an honor to be jumping on behalf of St. Jude.”

Hagan’s interest in St. Jude, meanwhile, began more recently, and her experience has inspired her to help increase support and awareness for St. Jude.  

“I didn’t really know much about it until one of the executive board members reached out to me, and I realized how much help they need,” said Hagan, a senior public relations major from Kansas City, Mo. “It was inspirational for me to contribute and share with my family the need to help. This fundraising process has pushed me to learn more about St. Jude and I couldn’t be more honored to raise money and awareness for these awesome kids.”

The Colden Pond Plunge is one of several events organized throughout the academic year by Up ‘Til Dawn to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since opening in 1962, research at St. Jude has increased the pediatric cancer survivor rate from 20 percent to 80 percent. The hospital costs nearly $1.8 million a day to operate and runs strictly off donations. Every child admitted into the hospital is treated, regardless of their inability to pay.

Up ‘til Dawn’s fundraising campaign culminates with its annual Big Event, beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, and ending at 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. A contribution to St. Jude of at least $100 is required to enter the event, which features food, activities and contests throughout the night.

“We stay up all night to represent the children who stay up all night because they’re sick, they have treatments and they can’t sleep,” Provow said.

Up ‘til Dawn fundraising goal is $45,000, Provow said, and the chapter already has raised nearly $18,000 during its current campaign, which exceeds last year’s fundraising total of about $16,000.

For more information about the Northwest Up ‘til Dawn campaign, email utd@nwmissouri.edu. To learn about other ways to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, visit http://www.myuptildawn.org/.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468