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Jenna Lee-Johnson jumps into Colden Pond Wednesday afternoon during Up ’til Dawn's annual Colden Pond Plunge. Students raised $203.56 for the initiative during a Penny War. (Photo by Amanda Wistuba/Northwest Missouri State University)

Jenna Lee-Johnson jumps into Colden Pond Wednesday afternoon during Up ’til Dawn's annual Colden Pond Plunge. Students raised $203.56 for the initiative during a Penny War. (Photo by Amanda Wistuba/Northwest Missouri State University)

Nov. 22, 2019

Students plunge into Colden Pond for St. Jude Hospital


Seven Northwest Missouri State University students took their turns Wednesday afternoon jumping into the chilly water of Colden Pond to raise awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Northwest’s Up ’til Dawn chapter annually sponsors the Colden Pond Plunge to raise awareness for the hospital.

Sneha Ojha, a sophomore computer science major from Kathmandu, Nepal, was among this year’s jumpers. Representing Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, Ojha said her roommates chipped in to ensure she was part of the lineup.

“It was refreshing,” Ojha said afterward while she wrapped herself in a warm towel. “I think I’m wide awake right now, and I’m glad I did it for the kids. This was fun. I will remember this forever.”

James Palmer, a sophomore political science major from Kansas City, Missouri, who represented Student Senate, said he was thankful the pond was not covered with ice, as it has been during previous jumps.

“It’s for a good reason, and these kids (at St. Jude) have to deal with a lot more than cold water, so I wasn’t going to back out because I had to support them,” Palmer said.

Jumping with Ojha and Palmer for this year’s event were Michael Haman, representing Pi Kappa Alpha; Kylie Hill, representing Alpha Delta Pi; Jenna Lee-Johnson, representing Alpha Sigma Alpha; Mary Muir, representing Sigma Sigma Sigma; and Morgan Picht, representing Alpha Delta Pi.

The students were picked to jump in the annual event after winning a penny war last week. Students raised $203.56 during the Colden Pond Plunge initiative and have raised about $18,000 during Up ’til Dawn events so far this fall. The organization’s campaign goal this year is $50,000.

Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude is a major health care center for children and is funded almost entirely through private donations. Both a treatment center and research facility, the hospital is traditionally associated with the fight against pediatric cancer. In recent years, St. Jude scientists and physicians also have focused on genetic disorders and the development of a vaccine for pediatric AIDS.

Up ’til Dawn is a national philanthropy involving students at more than 200 colleges and universities to honor the patients of St. Jude who bravely fight cancer. With money raised by the Northwest chapter, University students help advance the mission of finding cures so St. Jude patients can grow up and go to college, too.

For more information about Northwest’s Up ’til Dawn chapter and its fundraising events, contact Up ’til Dawn Public Relations Director Patrick Baker at S526442@nwmissouri.edu.


Media contact:

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