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The City Journals

Riverton High students raising money for charity with Silver Rush season

Dec 03, 2018 11:38AM ● By Jet Burnham

Riverton High School students ask community members to donate to a good cause. (Larsen Williams/RHS student)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Riverton High School student body officers are inviting students and community members to participate in a month of activities that will help earn money for charity during the school’s annual Silver Rush charity drive.

“It’s really refreshing to set all of your troubles aside and not worry about what you need to do but worry about what you can do for somebody else,” said SBO Brevin Ashby. 

Dec. 7

RHS has several student bands whose talents will be showcased in the annual Battle of the Bands. Admission fee goes toward the charity. 

Dec. 11

The ASL (American Sign Language) Club will be holding a silent auction in the Tech Atrium starting at 3 p.m. Anyone is welcome to bid on items as long as they stay silent—it’s a “voice-off” function. Becky Tueller, club adviser, said those who don't know sign language can still easily write down their bid to compete for big prizes such as drones and gift cards. Hot cocoa will be served and all proceeds go to Silver Rush.

This is also the night to mark your calendars to see the boys of RHS strut their stuff in the Mr. Silver Rush Pageant.

“That’s a lot of fun; we always have a ton of people come out to that one,” said Danny Brown, a student officer who was a contestant his sophomore year. 

In addition to performing a talent (he did a ribbon dance), contestants respond to interview questions, pose in formal wear and show off their legs. 

“For the legs portion, I walked out in heels, a tutu and fishnet tights,” Brown said.

As if that weren’t entertaining enough, the audience can also pay to influence the outcome of the contest. Last year’s pageant was one of the top money earners for the charity.

Dec. 12

Parents and students look forward to the Silver Swap, a highly entertaining basketball game where members of the boys basketball team become the cheerleaders, while the cheer squad plays a basketball game against the drill team. The girls basketball team takes on the role of performing the halftime routine. 

What makes the game fun—and profitable—is that the spectators can influence the game.

“You can change the rules as you go,” said Katie Borgmeier, SBO adviser. “Anyone in the crowd can do it.” 

By flashing some cash, parents and students can add time to the clock, substitute in a star basketball player, send someone to the penalty box, etc. 

Dec. 15

SBOs are selling tickets donated by the Utah Grizzlies for the Dec. 15 hockey game. A portion of the night’s ticket sales will also be donated to Silver Rush.

Dec. 18

The holiday band and orchestra concert begins at 6:30 p.m.. Jason Weimer, band director, promises a great show highlighting the music of Leonard Bernstein for his 100th Birthday. 

Dec. 19

The Campout is a 20-year tradition at RHS. Students “camp out” along 2700 West with tents and campfires, collecting donations from passing drivers from late afternoon until midnight. 

While students hope for warm weather, drivers are more generous when there is bad weather.

“The years it snows, they feel sorry for us, and they’re willing to stop,” said Borgmeier.

All month long

To see which nights you don’t have to cook dinner, follow RHS on Facebook and check the schedule at for information on which restaurants are hosting spirit nights. You’ll get a hassle-free dinner, and Silver Rush will get a percentage of the night’s proceeds. 

During Silver Rush season only, Arctic Circle, at 12555 South 1300 West, is offering its exclusive Silver Rush milkshake—a purple concoction of cookies and cream with sprinkles. A portion of the sales of this unique creation will be donated to Silver Rush.

Community members can also support the charity drive by participating in Odd Jobs. From Dec. 1 to 20, Monday through Fridays 4–8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., groups of high school students will canvas the neighborhoods offering to help with any job they need done: unloading a dishwasher, helping with homework, hanging Christmas lights, shoveling walks or walking dogs. Residents are invited to donate to the charity, but it is not required. 

“What’s really cool is when you go to a house and you see they’ve been putting aside their spare change and dollars just in a jar all year,” said Brown. “You feel like people are looking forward to Silver Rush.”

Dec. 20

On the final day of the charity drive, students can buy their way out of class with in-kind donations such as canned food and toys. 

Borgmeier said it’s also the day of the closing assembly of Silver Rush. 

“Here it is 1:30, the day we get out for Christmas Break, and the gym is packed as full as we can get,” she said. “No one leaves early to go home and start their Christmas break. They’re all there to see what change they have made.”

Borgmeier said she loves to watch the reaction of the families the money goes to help.

“They are just in tears and amazed at what this tiny community can do in three weeks,” said Borgmeier.

The student leaders are always amazed at the response they get during the charity drive.

“People just go all out for Silver rush,” said Brown. “Everyone does everything they can to raise as much money as possible. It’s really cool to see how the student body comes together.” 

The student leaders said in the end, it’s not about the total money earned.

“We do as much as we can to raise money, but it’s just about the change we see in the community,” said Brown. “People start to forget about their cliques and social groups and come together for Silver Rush. I think it really changes the dynamic of Riverton throughout the rest of the year also, not just during the month of December.”