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September 27, 2022

SVSU continues Battle of the Valleys tradition with pride

group of students raising giant check overhead

One of Saginaw Valley State University's proudest traditions - Battle of the Valley - will commence with a week of fundraising activities to support a local nonprofit organization. Events begin Sunday, Sept. 25.

SVSU has raised over $500,000 since 2003 during Battle of the Valleys, historically a fundraising competition between the students of SVSU and Grand Valley State University.

This year, SVSU will raise funds alone, as Grand Valley students withdrew from the competition, but SVSU Student Association representative and "Battle" co-chair, Madison Pignatelli, feels more hopeful than ever.

“BOV has given me a better understanding of the impact that you can do in someone's life by volunteering. It has made me grow to be a more selfless person and give back to my community” said Pignatelli, an early childhood education major from Saginaw.

“With GV dropping out, we need to show them that it isn't about the competition. It's about partnering the community to help non-profits in the area. By getting involved, we are making a difference in someone's life.”

This year, SVSU students will be raising funds for Self Love Beauty, a non-profit organization created by Lisa Thompson.

“Self Love Beauty represents empowering people so they have a more confident tomorrow," Thompson said. "We represent words and behaviors like support, confidence, self-love, wellbeing and just helping individuals know they are worthy, they can reach their potential and that they are not alone.”

With many college students and others struggling with their mental health in recent years, Pignatelli sees the importance of the cause.

“I wanted to help spread awareness about how important mental health is and what Self Love Beauty is doing for those in the community,” Pignatelli said.

Thompson explained that Self Love Beauty will use the funds raised to support programs such as  confidence-focused workshops and family programs, as well as opportunities to expand programs and services to more individuals."

The week of Battle of the Valley fundraising events will start with a color un on Sunday, Sept. 25th at 1 p.m. Other activities held during the week will include: pie a professor, an ice cream social, a dunk tank and a silent auction. The week concludes with the football game between SVSU and GVSU on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., hosted by GVSU.

“I have always loved the week of BOV,” Pignatelli said. “It is a chance to participate and give back to the community. BOV means creating a campus family that helps support the cause of giving back to our community and non-profits in the community.”

To learn more and to donate, please visit