Shred Red, Bleed Blue

Ellie Phillips

The 11th annual fundraising competition between Grand Valley State University and Saginaw Valley State University, known as Battle of the Valleys, provides an opportunity for individuals from both institutions to raise money for a cause.

SVSU has dominated the fundraising competition for the past five years and has taken the win seven out of the past 10 years, but those on GVSU’s newly established Laker Traditions Team are confident that the streak is about to be broken.

“My team and I have implemented a week of events to help fundraise money this year to reach our goal of $25,000,” said Alica Arnold, event coordinator of BOTV. “Last year, Grand Valley raised around $1,000 and SVSU around $30,000.”

In 2012, SVSU’s charity was the Great Lakes Bay Miracle League while GVSU raised money for the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. The year before, SVSU raised nearly $25,000 for the Underground Railroad, which was more than double GVSU’s $12,300 effort for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

This year, GVSU will donate funds to Students Providing Opportunities and Recreation Through Sports, which was founded in January 2012 by Tyler Kinch, a fellow Laker. SPORTS provides opportunities for children to play sports through a series of pay-to-play programs intended to inspire self-confidence, motivation and acceptance.

SPORTS uses high school and college students to reach out to younger participants and form close relationships with them. These relationships help provide a healthy, comfortable atmosphere where the children can learn and grow.

To motivate the GVSU community to donate to the chosen organization, the Laker Traditions Team has organized a week of events to promote fundraising. BOTV events kicked off the week last night with a 5K glow run, where participants ran through campus covered in glow sticks, but the week is just beginning.


GVSU is trying to break the current record for the number of people wearing the same t-shirt and sunglasses dancing in one room at the same time; the record is currently set at 47.

Participants must purchase and wear the official 2013 BOTV T-shirt for $10 at the University Bookstore or UBS online.The record-setting attempt will take place today at 3 p.m. in the Grand River Room of the Kirkhof Center.

“It was actually a group of fifth-graders that holds the previous record,” said Tyler Ziola, the promotion and social media coordinator for the Laker Traditions Team. “We have to film the event and submit it with the information about attendance, and (a group called Record Center) will confirm the record. The previous record was set by students from Findlay, Ohio on May 29, 2012.”


A talent and fashion show is also planned for BOTV week. It will involve a variety of performances, including singing, salsa dancing, pianists, guitarists and fashion show models. A $5 donation is requested for admission to the show, which will take place at 9 p.m. in the Pere Marquette Room of the Kirkhof Center.


Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, will speak about using the scientific process to solve problems and answer questions at the Fieldhouse. BOTV merchandise, including T-shirts and buttons, will be available for purchase at the event, which will take place at 7 p.m. There will also be a silent auction at the tables selling merchandise.


The Jail-n-Bail will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center. “Prisoners” will be held there and can be bailed out by participants purchasing a doughnut, with proceeds going to GVSU’s chosen charity. MugShots, a local restaurant off Lake Michigan Drive, is donating its jail to the cause. “Hey there Laker” Lewis Stone will be in the jail in the morning, and Louie the Laker will be in the jail later in the day.


The final event will be a co-ed volleyball tournament held in the Recreation Center’s south gym, beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting throughout the day. Rules and sign-up information are on the BOTV website.


Additionally, T-shirt sales and a photo booth sponsored by 48 West will be available in the Kirkhof Center all week. The Laker Traditions Team is also placing donation jugs in various departments on campus.

“We are able to collect donations through Friday, Nov. 15,” said Alyssa Smith, the overall chair of the Laker Traditions Team. “Our goal is to raise $25,000 this year, which is only $1 per student. The department that raises the most money will receive recognition and a trophy.”

The BOTV winner will be announced at halftime of the football game between the two universities on Saturday.

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