Student Senate fundraising for Battle of the Valleys


GVL / Meghan Landgren

Steven Lawrence, Staff Writer

Battle of the Valleys is back on and in full swing this year at Grand Valley State University. The Student Senate has already started fundraising for the event. This will be the first year since 2018 that the Battle of the Valleys will be held.

Battle of the Valleys is a two-part competition between GVSU and Saginaw Valley State University, there is a week of competitive fundraising and a football game, both vs. SVSU. These two weeks will be filled with games and events to help gain money for this year’s beneficiary, a non-profit organization called I Understand-Love Heals.

I Understand-Love Heals is a Grand Rapids-based non-profit seeking to create support and community for those who have been impacted by mental health issues or suicide. The organization was founded by Vonnie Woodrick after she lost her husband to suicide. 

“When the Student Senate was looking for a beneficiary, we wanted to find an organization whose mission and vision aligned with the values and virtues we uphold as an organization,” said Eldon Pearson, the Vice President of Public Relations for Student Senate. “We wanted to support an organization that was making a direct impact on the Grand Rapids area and its surrounding communities, and one that would work closely alongside us for Battle of the Valleys.”

These events are a great way for students to get involved with the Battle of the Valleys as well as to help out Grand Rapids-based non-profits, especially in recent years with the rise of mental illness. This is a great way to not only have fun, but to also give back to the community of Grand Rapids, and even Grand Valley. 

“The mission, I understand, as a non-profit was near and dear to many of our hearts as both students and Senators,” Pearson said. “Over the last few months, has been an amazing, welcoming, and engaged partner for Battle of the Valleys. This fundraising competition to us is more than a competition, it is us working to bring the vision to fruition. We believe so strongly in their mission and the future they believe in–one where mental health issues and suicide are eradicated from our community.” 

Interested students can participate in events all over campus this week. For those who can donate or want to learn more about Student Senate at Those interested in learning more about I Understand-Love Heals at The actual Battle of the Valleys football game is going to be Oct. 2, at 7pm at Saginaw Valley.