The semester is over halfway through and the 14th annual Battle of the Valleys is set to begin Oct. 30. Since its creation in 2003, SVSU and GVSU have raised $508,819 total, with SVSU winning the event every year since 2008. Each year, the two universities battle it out on the football field, as well as competing for the highest donation amount to win the famed Victoria trophy.
GVSU’s football team has had a significant advantage, winning 10 of the 13 Battle of the Valleys games, but SVSU has plans to change that streak Saturday.
In terms of the donation competition, the donation amounts and winners are kept a secret until their announcement by Student Association (SA) President Cody McKay and Philanthropy Chair Emma Eldred at halftime of the game.
“Our students do a really good job of rallying behind the charity aspect of it, it’s one of the cool culture aspects that we have here at SVSU, and I just love how everybody gets behind something for a common cause,” McKay said.
He and Eldred have been working tirelessly on fundraising ideas and event management.
After an application process and two rounds of committee evaluations, Hidden Harvest, a local nonprofit food rescue, has been chosen as the 2016 benefactor of the BOV donations. They operate within the Bay City, Midland and Saginaw area by collecting surplus food and redistributing it to families and individuals in need.
Last year, SVSU raised approximately $24,500, but this year the goal has been bumped to an optimistic $30,000, according to McKay.
There are events planned for each day of the week, all consistent with the late night talk show theme chosen for the year. One creative way that SA found to raise funds is by selling leftover t-shirts from previous BOV years. Both the throwback and new t-shirts will go on sale on Halloween morning and will be available throughout the week for people to buy. The proceeds will all go toward the donation funds.
As Philanthropy Chair, Eldred coordinates the events throughout the week as well as volunteer students and had a hand in choosing the benefactor.
“From the activities this week I am anticipating a high level of involvement,” she said. “We increased the amount of events that happen each day in hopes of reaching more of our student population.”
SA is hosting many traditional and new events throughout the week such as a kickoff party Sunday night, a food drive, an RSO performance showcase, The Price is Right a tailgate party before the game, and others events for students to participate in and enjoy.
Both Eldred and McKay agreed that they are most excited to bring back a game of The Price is Right. It was a hit in past years, and they’ve upgraded it with amazing prizes that have been bought or donated for students to win. Sidney Childs, associate provost for student affairs, has agreed to be the show host.
Battle of the Valleys remains a highly anticipated event each year for both the Cardinals and Lakers. The donations every year will continue to greatly benefit charities and the hosting universities.