During the 2009 spring semester, members of Civic Engagement and Activism Headquarters (CEAH) at Alfred State College hosted the first "Fight the Yawn Up ‘til Dawn" program in support of St. Jude Children's Cancer Research Hospital. CEAH members were excited and happy to work with a national campaign supporting cancer research. St. Jude Children's Hospital offers free services to children with cancer and other terminal illnesses. The hospital functions fiscally through sponsorships and donations. CEAH also sponsored a letter-writing campaign to help gain sponsorships and donations for the hospital.
At the start of the semester, CEAH placed an ad in the student announce, an internal communication system for ASC students, to attract motivated students on campus to be a part of the executive board. The executive board is comprised of five student leaders: Keri Walp, Owego, and Ralph Stoothoff Jr., Montour Falls, co-executive directors; Amanda Laurini Churchville, assistant director; Trina Rodebaugh, Burt, and Francis Spagna, Buffalo, entertainment chairs.
The theme for the Up ‘til Dawn finale was "Heroes!" The CEAH Board wanted participants to think of themselves as heroes for the great work they were doing for cancer research. Awareness week activities scheduled one event a day to raise awareness for cancer research. Programs were educational and informational for all participants.
During the final event held on the Alfred State College campus, more than 250 participants wrote over 3,000 letters to possible contributors to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The letters requested monetary support to assist with advancing cancer research.
Three weeks after the event, CEAH members were excited to announce they raised $5,179.46 so far! The group is looking forward to a bigger event next year.