This year, Grand Valley State University is taking a new approach to an old tradition. Rather than donating to just one charity during this year’s Battle of the Valleys, GVSU has created the Children’s Fund, which has the potential to benefit multiple charities or student organizations working with children.

Battle of the Valleys turns GVSU’s rivalry with Saginaw Valley State University into more than just a sporting event. It gives members of both communities the opportunity to give back to their community, something which GVSU always strives to do.

Despite the philanthropic nature of the event, it is still a competition though, and GVSU has gotten spanked by SVSU for the past six years.

In 2012, SVSU raised $30,224 for the Great Lakes Bay Miracle League. GVSU raised a whopping $1,100 for the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. In 2011, GVSU got a respectable $12,381 for Make a Wish Foundation, but SVSU still doubled that number with $26,623 for the Underground Railroad of Saginaw Valley. The same story rings true for 2008-2010.

It should be noted that Battle of the Valleys is the main fundraiser at SVSU. At GVSU, on the other hand, there are student organizations and charities asking for money almost every day in the lobby of the Kirkhof Center. At the Lanthorn, we don’t believe the reason for GVSU’s history of losing is because the community doesn’t care. The GVSU community does care, which is obvious if you walk through the Kirkhof Center at any point during the week. Our dollars are spread out to food banks, natural disaster relief and local schools in Grand Rapids.

One of the biggest problems is that no one knows about the fundraising efforts. It’s hard to raise money to donate when people on campus don’t know that the fundraising competition is going on or what the money going toward. Students need to be more engaged and involved in the fundraising competition so they are aware that Battle of the Valleys is more than a football game.

Still, we should want to win. Actually, lets get rid of that word “want.” Let’s just win. Let’s beat SVSU and do some good for our community.

Come on, Lakers. If each of us donate $1, we actually stand a chance against those Cardinals. Think of how much good $25,000 could do for our community.