Saginaw Valley State University students are back on campus in full force, and one of the student body’s most meaningful traditions is gearing up to be stronger than ever, with Grand Valley State University back in the competition.
Battle of the Valleys harnesses the friendly rivalry between SVSU and GVSU to raise funds for charitable organizations in each university’s respective community. After GVSU stepped down from the competition in 2019, SVSU continued the fundraising initiative as “Battle of the Valley.” GVSU has re-joined the competition, and the friendly rivalry is back in action for 2021.
“Going forward, both schools are only counting the profit after fundraising costs toward the final total,” said SVSU Student Association Battle Co-Chair Madeline Lowry, a rehabilitative medicine major from Lake Orion. “This was done to create a level playing field for both schools.”
Battle of the Valleys, a fundraiser organized by SVSU’s student government, has remained a proud tradition at SVSU since 2003. Each year, a student-selected nonprofit benefits from funds collected during a series of fun activities often hosted on campus.
This year, proceeds from Battle will benefit the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region, whose mission is to provide a healing environment through peer support for children, teens and their families grieving a death. Money raised in this year’s competition will go toward expanding their services.
“It's fun to compete, but we're here for the fundraiser and to help our beneficiary, ultimately,” said Josie Koenigsknecht, SVSU Student Association Battle Co-Chair. Koenigsknecht, a communication major from Fowler, has been a student representative for Student Association since fall 2020.
During last year’s “Battle,” SVSU raised over $18K for Bay Area Women's Center.
“We have a small campus and we bring together so many students, faculty and alumni to raise money for this one cause every single year,” said Lowry. “In the 19 years we’ve been doing this, we’ve raised over half a million dollars for local charities, which is incredible. I just love that our community did that.”
The 2021 BOV – the 19th – kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 26 with a 5K color run/walk and will culminate with the presentation of a check to the Children’s Grief Center during the SVSU-GVSU football game on Saturday. Oct. 2. This year’s game will be held at SVSU.
The public is invited to participate in the 5K color run/walk, which will be held at the SVSU College of Health and Human Services building starting in parking lot G. Check-in begins at 12 p.m., and the race will start at 1:00 p.m. Runners must be checked in by 12:45 and at the start line by 12:50 p.m.
Participants can preregister or sign up on Sunday. The cost is $30 for a standard package, consisting of the registration fee, Battle of the Valleys t-shirt and snacks. The $50 Battle Bundle includes registration, BOV t-shirt, crewneck, sticker and snacks. Payment can be made by cash, Venmo or credit card.
The lineup for campus events this year features old favorites, such as the date auction and pie-a-professor, and new events like inflatable sports and a pageant/talent show.
“I served as Battle chair two years ago, so it’s really exciting to see people getting excited about events again,” said Lowry.
Battle of the Valleys receives sponsorship support from SVSU Support Staff Association, Jolt Credit Union, Maier & Associates and SVSU Student Life.
The public can purchase BOV apparel at on-campus table sits throughout the week and online at https://www.svsubattle.com/shop starting Sunday, Sept. 26 at 12 p.m. Participants can donate to the fundraiser and view the lineup of events online at svsubattle.com.