Student Senate prepares for Homecoming
Homecoming is soon approaching, and with it comes the Student Senate-sponsored Battle of the Valleys fundraising competition to see which school — Grand Valley State University or Saginaw Valley State University — can raise more money for a charity. This year, the donations are going to the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.
The Mental Health Foundation is a small organization in Grand Rapids that works to bring awareness about issues of mental health and provides resources to families and those affected by mental health problems.
“They really are just a wonderful organization with a ton of passion,” said Jennie Hlady, who is on the political affairs committee of Student Senate and is one of the senators helping to organize fundraising events for homecoming. “Everyone involved pours their heart and soul into their work. It hits home with the GV community.”
The organization impacts GVSU students because many students on campus have been affected by a mental health issue in some way. Hlady said one out of four people know someone who is or has been affected by a mental health disorder.
The organization does a lot of awareness activities such as the Stomp Out Stigma campaign, which aims to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. “They do a lot for families that have been affected by suicides or mental health issues,” said Sarah Hay, who is also on the political affairs committee and planning fundraising events.
The Mental Health Foundation also does a lot with suicide prevention and awareness, like going to high schools to talk to the students there, Hlady said. “They give grief counseling for families that have been affected by deaths or some sort of mental illness.”
The Foundation’s slogan is “Live Laugh Love, it’s good for your mental health,” which goes along with its Be Nice campaign.
Student Senate is hosting a 5k run on Oct. 13 to raise money for the foundation. Registration starts by the clock tower at 7:15 a.m. with a $20 registration fee, and the actual race begins at 8 a.m.
“I would just like to emphasize to the students the importance of an event such as the 5K because it reaches out into the community,” said Lindsay Viviano, vice president of the public relations committee. “Not only would students be helping the Mental Health Foundation, but so many people within our community.”
The senators are also planning Peppino’s and “Pie a Senator” fundraisers. Senate has been mentioning Battle of the Valleys in its meetings since the beginning of the semester and is determined to beat SVSU not only at the football game, but also with their fundraising.
“Get excited for Battle of the Valleys,” Hlady said. “We need all of Grand Valley to get involved and really help out this amazing organization.”