GVL Archive 
A Laker helps selling shirts to raise money for the Battle of the Valleys

GVL Archives

GVL Archive A Laker helps selling shirts to raise money for the Battle of the Valleys

Emanuel Johnson

Saturday’s football game won’t be the only competition that Grand Valley State University and Saginaw Valley State University engage in this week as each school prepares for the ninth annual Battle of the Valleys competition.

BOTV, an annual fundraising competition between the two schools, pits the rivals against each other in a week-long race to see which school can raise the most money for select charity organizations during the week that coincides with the annual football game between the two.

The Student Senate at GVSU, the organizing body responsible for BOTV events, chose the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. The majority of the proceeds from the competition will go toward helping 9-year-old Katelyn go to Disney World.

Christine Thiele, the BOTV committee chair for Student Senate, said she hoped putting a face to the competition would help make members of the GVSU community more willing to donate, so the committee decided to put Katelyn’s face on the flyers for discounts at Peppino’s this week, which can be downloaded at

“We’ve been talking with the assistant manager [at Peppino’s], and he said that just having her picture of her in a little princess outfit and knowing that they have a face that goes with the charity is super important,” she said. “I think it motivates people, because she’s a cute little girl.”

According to a fact sheet on its website, the Michigan chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation started in 1984 and has since granted wishes to more than 6,800 Michigan children facing life-threatening medical conditions,
including 407 children so far in the 2011 fiscal year.

The average cost of a Michigan child’s wish is $7,500, but costs vary from child to child. Saginaw Valley currently holds the series advantage over GVSU, having won five BOTV competitions to GVSU’s three.

The Cardinals have also won three straight competitions, the most recent being a $40,088 to $12,500 landslide, the largest gap in competition history.

In order to help avoid such an overwhelming defeat, Student Senate has reached out to several organizations
on campus to help.

“This year, we’ve been able to work with a lot of different areas of the university,” said Natalie Cleary, Student Senate president. “We’re partnering with the Student Athletic Advisory Council, and they have helped with the planning, which has been instrumental in getting other areas of campus involved, too.”

SAAC will be responsible for organizing and running the BOTV canned goods drive. Thiele said Student Senate is also focusing on making its week of events based more on quality rather than quantity.

She added that rather than setting a goal for this year’s competition, the Student Senate will operate under the understanding that it will do everything it can to raise as much as it can.

“I plan on taking the approach of we’ve got this great charity, and we’ve got a bunch of events we’re putting on, and we’re going to do the best we can to raise the most amount of money possible for Make-A-Wish,” she said. “I don’t really have a goal that I’m shooting toward because there’s a lot of unknowns with fundraising.”

To donate online or to view a list of various ways to donate in person, visit:

[email protected]