Ross Theriot, left, McNeese executive director of Up 'til Dawn, received the Danny Thomas Leadership Award and a $500 scholarship, while Liz Sanders, multimedia specialist in the McNeese marketing department, received the Advisor of the Year Award at the St. Jude 2011 Collegiate Leadership Seminar.
McNeese State University's Up 'til Dawn program received two national awards at the annual St. Jude 2011 Collegiate Leadership Seminar recently held at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Ross Theriot, of Creole, executive director of Up 'til Dawn, was one of two students awarded the 2011 Danny Thomas Leadership Award and a $500 scholarship in recognition of his contributions to the mission of St. Jude, while Liz Sanders, multimedia specialist in the McNeese marketing department, received the 2011 Advisor of the Year Award for her leadership to the McNeese program.
Students at colleges and universities across the country host annual fundraising events for St. Jude through Up 'til Dawn, a student-led, student-run fundraiser hosted by more than 180 campuses nationwide.
The program unites students, staff and their local communities with a goal to help the children of St. Jude by educating the community about St. Jude while raising money through a variety of activities, according to Sanders.
"Up 'til Dawn is a fun team event where students raise money throughout the school year by sending letters to friends and family," said Theriot. "Universities then host an all-night event to celebrate the money raised and to honor the patient families of St. Jude."
Last year, McNeese raised $28,000 for St. Jude. "Over the past year, we have seen our organization grow tremendously," said Theriot. "We not only saw an increase in participation with our core letter writing event, but we also saw a major increase in both local and national sponsorships, special events and community participation in our Steps for St. Jude 5K run."