Uintah, UT -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/19/2017 -- Each December, Riverton High School experiences 'a shift' in atmosphere. This shift is not due to the changing weather in Utah nor is it because of the jolly holiday season. But rather this amazing shift in focus is founded in Riverton High Schools month-long charity drive; it's called 'Silver Rush.'
Since the school opened in 1999, the community has come together to raise a running total of $1,253,714.89 for charitable causes. Each year a new charity is selected and the students are given the opportunity to help out a different cause each time. The student body's motto is that, "It's not about the money, it's about the change."
Since 1999, Silver Rush has raised a total of over a million dollars.
Silver Rush started during Riverton High's first operating school year in 1999-2000 as a winter charity drive similar to that of other schools in the area; fundraising efforts took place entirely within the school, and a reward assembly for students was held at the end of the drive. During the next school year the focus of the drive shifted and expanded to focus more on the charity for which the money was being raised and on fundraising in local neighborhoods in addition to the school itself. Many of the fundraising activities begun during the 2000-2001 school year have become traditions that continue as a part of the drive today, including door-to-door "odd jobs" in exchange for donations and a date auction of the Student Body Officers.
The non-profit benefitting from Riverton High School's Silver Rush in 2016 is, Millie's Princess Foundation, which helps families affected by childhood cancer. Something new the Riverton High student government has added to Silver Rush this year is getting the feeder middle schools involved as well (namely South Hills and Oquirrh Middle). Three charity drives will be raising funds for the same charity. This change could be very significant because it gets the entire local community involved and fundraising for the same charity simultaneously.
Uintah Utah Riverton High School 2016-17 SBO's Invite Ellen Degeneres (@EllenReaction) to Identify a More Caring Group of Charitable Fundraisers in America than http://www.facebook.com/RivertonHighSchool
In December 2015, Silver Rush raised over $130,000 for Mitchell's Journey. HERRIMAN — A young boy's final journey that was followed by people all over the world through Facebook came to an end early Saturday. Mitchell Jones, 10, died from heart failure in his own bed surrounded by his family. Mitchell told his parents the day before he died that he didn't think he could survive. As his parents wept, he told them it would be OK. In the hours leading up to his passing, Mitchell's family spoke with him and told him how much they loved him. The 10-year-old suffered from Duchene muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease that usually results in progressive muscle deterioration and is fatal by late teens/early 20s.
A unique thing about Silver Rush is that throughout the month, aside from the fundraising, the students also get to learn all about the charity. Often the education is highly interactive. This interactive learning creates a deeper, more personal understanding of those they are serving for. The children being benefitted by the charity are very involved in what is going on during Silver Rush (i.e. they come to the assemblies, attend events, etc.). This unique opportunity is a very special situation for the students because they get to see personally who they are helping and the change that is actually occurring.
Riverton High School has come up with many tried-and-true fundraising traditions that range anywhere from selling food items during daily lunch to auctioning off spray-painted, silver and gold, carrots. These longstanding traditions breed excitement year-round because the students know what to expect. They are already looking forward to these events and activities. Additionally, many of the traditions are very unique to the school. In fact, chances are that if other high schools tried to do the same things they most likely would not be as successful. In fact, often times you will see alumni at events such as 'benefit concerts' because it was such a significant, personal experience for them during their high school years.
"One thing I love about Silver Rush is that it is full of tradition. It's a great way to bring together the school from past generations." said Finances SBO, Samuel Jessee.
One of the most significant traditions the Riverton high School student-body participates in is something called 'Odd Jobs.' During 'Odd Jobs' students march out in the fluctuating weather everyday of Silver Rush from 4:00 to 8:00pm, offering our efforts to the neighbors for a small donation. The students knock on 10,000+ doors whilst doing this rigorous task during the month of December. In rain or shine (it doesn't matter), the students of Riverton High lift up their spirits and work hard for the children in need.
When asked about Silver Rush, Communications SBO, Stratton Butterfield said, "It's a specific time of the year where all the students get rid of all their differences because everyone is a part of Silver Rush. No one cares about what you look like or what you dress like it's just a matter of helping out the families and seeing how much change we can make in their lives."
"Riverton High School's Silver Rush has always been the most wonderful time of the year here at Riverton and I've always participated as a teacher and a faculty member but my favorite memory was the first year that I took over as the SBO advisor and I got to see how close and how involved and how much work really goes into Silver Rush. It just became the greatest experience I've ever had in my working career." said Student Government advisor, Katie Borgmeier.
Adam Murray, the school's Student Body President said, "It's a life-changer, I've experienced it for three years here and every year it's unique. Not one year is the same but they're all the greatest." We cannot wait to see how much change the student body and the community are able to invoke this year.
As Riverton High School's Silver Rush has expanded, other fundraising events supporting the drive have been held, including a yearly Battle of the Bands competition, Mr. Silver Rush (a male beauty pageant), community auctions, charitable donations from the proceeds of product fundraisers held by local businesses, and benefit concerts, including several featuring Jon Schmidt, Collin Raye, Alex Boyé and David Osmond. In the last couple of years RHS has raised money for Mitchell's Journey, Intermountain Healing Hearts, Olive Osmond Hearing fund, and Haley Bell Bless a Chair Foundation. The student body and community do their best to make sure it is about the change. One of the most unique things about Silver Rush is that the Riverton Student Body Officers choose a different charity every single year. They go into a multi-month process of deciding which charity to choose by interviewing representatives from those charities.
Riverton High School (abbreviated "Riverton" or "RHS") is a public high school with a 52-acre campus located in the city of Riverton, Utah in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley. It is one of eight (8) high schools in the Jordan School District and as of 2013 served about 2,027 students from parts of Riverton and all of nearby Bluffdale. Riverton High School was proposed in the late 1990s as a necessary measure to relieve the overpopulation of schools in the rapidly growing southwest area of the Jordan School District. Once it was completed it would do so by taking in students from the cities of Riverton, Herriman, and Bluffdale.
In 1997 the building contract for the school was awarded to Union Pointe Construction Corp. and construction began. The school was constructed according to the Jordan School District's policy of basing the design of all high schools on a single, ever-developing model, and as such is architecturally similar to many other high schools in the surrounding area. The first year of school was the year of 1999-2000, during which some of its components were still being completed.
The student population in the area has continued to increase at a fast pace, and by 2009 Riverton High School was the largest school in the state of Utah. Accordingly, in 2010 students from Herriman and parts of western Riverton began to attend the newly constructed Herriman High School, which is currently Riverton's unofficial rival.