June 30, 2021
Recognizing the tremendous support the Children’s Grief Center offers grieving children and families throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, SVSU’s Student Association has selected the organization as its charitable partner for the 2021 Battle of the Valleys. The 18th annual fundraising competition, which harnesses the friendly football rivalry between SVSU and Grand Valley State University to raise funds for charitable organizations in each university’s respective community, begins Sept. 26.
“We selected the Children’s Grief Center mostly based on the services they provide to children and their families,” said Madeline Lowry, co-chair of the 2021 Battle of the Valleys. “Even through this tough time with the pandemic, they have been receiving increased participants as children and families lose loved ones.”
Lowry, a rehabilitative medicine major from Lake Orion, added that 44 organizations applied to be selected to receive funds raised by SVSU students during the competition.
Camille Gerace Nitschky, executive director of the Children’s Grief Center, said that the organization is supported solely through donations, grants, memorials and bequests. “We are so honored and so excited to be part of this wonderful event,” she said.
“The Center stood out amongst the other applicants because of its passion for helping others, its strong mission, and it is an amazing resource for those in need,” added Battle Co-Chair Josie Koenigsknecht, a communication major from Fowler.
Battle of the Valleys 2021 marks a return to its competitive roots following Grand Valley’s withdrawal from the competition in 2018. SVSU continued to raise funds in 2019 and 2020. Since 2003, the SVSU Student Association has donated more than $464,000 to Great Lakes Bay Region nonprofits. The annual fundraising competition is held the week preceding the SVSU-GVSU football game. Between 2003 and 2018, SVSU won the Battle challenge 13 out of the 16 years.
The 2021 Battle of the Valleys – the 18th – kicks off on Sept. 26 and will culminate with the presentation of a check to the selected beneficiary during the SVSU-GVSU football game on Oct. 2. This year’s game will be held at SVSU.