Saginaw Valley raise almost $25,000 to the Lakers’ $12,381 in annual fundraising competition

By Emanuel Johnson | 11/13/11 10:34pm


GVL/ Rane Martin
Senior Nick Girimont pies junior Student Senate representative Greg King during the Pie-A-Senator fundraiser, held in the Kirkhof Center to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. GVSU raised $12,381, bringing its BOTV record to 3-6.

by Rane Martin / Grand Valley Lanthorn

For the fourth year in a row, Saginaw Valley State University managed to down Grand Valley State University in the fundraising portion of the Battle of the Valleys competition.

Saginaw Valley raised almost $25,000 for the Underground Railroad, an organization designed to aid victims of domestic abuse,
while GVSU garnered $12,381 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Of the total amount, about $6,000 came through T-shirt sales and general donations while another $5,000 came through donations through student transactions with Campus Dining.

GVSU will be able to donate the entire amount raised to the Make- A-Wish Foundation.

Christine Thiele, the BOTV chair for GVSU Student Senate, said although GVSU could not manage to outgain Saginaw Valley this year, she is still happy to be able to offer a sizeable donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“It’s such a great organization that’s touched my life personally,” she said. “$12,000 is beyond what I was expecting. Regardless of whether or not we raised more than Saginaw, both schools did such a great job raising money, and I’m proud of both of us.”

This year’s outcome gives Saginaw Valley a commanding 6-3 lead in BOTV competition history; GVSU has not won the competition since raising $31,082 for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in 2007.

Thiele said one of the major challenges in trying to return to higher numbers in recent years has been covering the costs of various fundraisers, such as T-shirt sales.

“Some years, they’ve gotten sponsors for the T-shirts and it just depends on how well the committee that’s working on it does,” said Bob Stoll, director of Student Life and Event Services. “The more you can underwrite the costs of the T-shirts, the more you have to give to charity.”

Laker for a Lifetime sponsored this year’s brand of T-shirts with $500 and the Student Senate ordered 1,000 shirts. The total cost of the order and the total numbers of T-shirts sold were unavailable at press time, but Thiele estimated the total cost to be between $3,000 and $4,000 and total sells to be more than 500.

Thiele said other challenges included motivating people to get excited for the competition more than a week prior to it and balancing time between Student Senate, BOTV, class and other responsibilities. She said she would suggest turning
her position as BOTV chair into a three-credit internship next year in order to allow the BOTV chair to dedicate more time and thought toward making the competition more of a success.

“The entire system needs to be revamped,” she said. “I’m a student – I take 15 credits, I do stuff on top of Student Senate and Battle of the Valleys, and on top of my classes – so it’s hard for me to commit everything I have into Battle of the Valleys without those other areas suffering. I think if we were to turn it into a three-credit internship so people can reduce the number of credits they take while still having this internship.”

As for this year’s competition, Student Senate President Natalie Cleary said it is important to remember that the biggest winners are the organizations that benefited from it.

“This year, we went into Battle of the Valleys looking to raise as much money as we could, and I’m really proud of everyone on Senate and everyone on the Student Athlete Advisory Council,” she said.

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