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October 19, 2020

SVSU student-run fundraiser launches; Bay Area Women’s Center to benefit

In a year of unknowns, one thing remained certain for Olivia Nelson and a group of her fellow student leaders at Saginaw Valley State University: their commitment to enriching the community would not be obstructed. Despite challenges presented by a global pandemic, their dedication will power SVSU's annual student-run fundraiser known as Battle of the Valley, which kicked off Sunday and concludes Saturday, Oct. 24.
“This will give a sense of normalcy that students may not get with other parts of their college experience this year,” said Nelson, the chairperson of the fundraiser organized by SVSU’s student government.
Battle of the Valley has remained a proud tradition at SVSU since students organized the first fundraiser in 2003. Each year, a student-selected nonprofit benefits from funds collected during a series of fun activities often hosted on campus. This year, Bay Area Women's Center will benefit from Battle of the Valley.
Participants can donate to the fundraiser and view the lineup of events online at
“We still plan to do all our big events — just outside and socially distanced,” said Nelson, a psychology major from Highland.
She said students this week will organize many of the beloved events that made Battle of the Valley one of SVSU’s signature traditions, including a “car smash,” ice cream social and T-shirt sales.
Bay Area Women's Center serves Bay and Arenac counties, where the nonprofit works to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault while supporting its victims. Founded in 1975, the organization provides free-of-charge crisis intervention, advocacy and safe haven to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and violence prevention education to the community.
From Battle of the Valley's conception in 2003 until 2018, the annual event was a fundraising competition between SVSU and Grand Valley State University students. The two sides raised $652,385 for various nonprofits and organizations over the years. In total, SVSU raised $445,959 of that total.
Although GVSU students backed out of the event in 2019, SVSU student leaders decided to continue the tradition minus the competition beginning last year. Battle of the Valley raised $20,302 for The Rock Center for Youth Development in Midland last year.