Silver Rush legacy spans 21 years
Dec 10, 2019 03:25PM
● By Jet Burnham
2018-19 student body officers work hard and have fun raising money for their charity. (Photo courtesy of Katie Borgmeier/RHS.)
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
It’s December, and in Riverton, that means it is Silver Rush season. For 21 years, Riverton High School students have raised money for local charities during the month of December by hosting activities and requesting donations from the community.
“It's just Riverton culture,” said Student Body Officer Matthew Drachman. “It’s amazing to see what some students are willing to do. You go out in the cold for a few hours trying to raise money to do some good.”
The tradition began when Riverton High School opened in 1999. Meghann Brimhall, sophomore class president that year, remembers the very first Silver Rush.
“We used to go caroling at the grocery stores with the big Mount Olympus water jugs,” she said. “I remember being freezing, but we always made the best of it, though. It was so much fun to go out and do that with your friends.”
She remembers how heavy the jugs became when full of money they collected at basketball games and community events.
“The jugs would be totally empty when we started and completely full by the time the game was over,” Brimhall said. “The community was so excited about being able to come and watch a local high school play, and they were all very generous.”
It was a successful charity drive.
“We would sit in the student government room and count money for what seemed like eternity,” she said.
Brimhall still lives in Riverton and supports Silver Rush as a community member. However, last year she decided to do more. She rallied other RHS alumni to donate to Silver Rush through a competitive Facebook Fundraiser. Alumni from every graduating class donated, but Brimhall’s own graduating class of 2002 won the competition by donating the largest amount. The combined efforts of past students added more than $1,300 to the charity drive total.
“It's been really fun to be a part of it again and to see how many people still are so excited about Silver Rush,” Brimhall said.
She is planning to hold the competition again for this year’s charity, which will be announced Dec. 2 at the Silver Rush opening assembly.
“I hope that we can continue to do it, and as a new graduating class comes through, we just keep earning more and more because there's that many more people to be a part of it,” she said. “I hope that the kids that are getting ready to graduate are excited that they can still be part of it.”
Current SBO Maura Broadhead said everyone loves to be involved in Silver Rush.
“The more you get involved with it, the more it impacts you,” she said. “It builds the school and the community when everyone's going out to and supporting events.”
Students notice a change in the atmosphere of the school during Silver Rush season.
“We don't just change the charity or the community,” said SBO Becca Frischknecht. “There's a whole new atmosphere at the school. It just feels like such a happy time because everyone's throwing themselves at the service.”
“I think it's just so cool how passionate everyone gets for three weeks—it's insane,” said SBO Savannah Heiner.
Student government members, especially, put in a lot of work planning and running the three weeks of events, sacrificing time, energy and sleep.
“At the closing assembly, the student government is always crying,” said Broadhead, who has worked hard planning this year’s Silver Rush activities. “I thought maybe it's because they're tired; maybe because they were really connected to the cause that they probably haven't slept in three days. Or, it’s a combination of all of it.” She is counting on adrenaline to keep her going through the next few busy weeks.
Mountain Ridge and Herriman high school will also hold charity drives in December. Even though some of the neighborhoods and events overlap, Riverton High’s SBOs try not to make it a competition among the schools but to encourage students to focus on the spirit of charity.
The Silver Rush motto is: “It’s about the change, it’s not about the money.”
Brimhall said Silver Rush reminds her there is still good in the world. She is impressed with students who donate time and money for the charity. Her son, a senior at RHS, works extra hours at his job just to have money to spend on Silver Rush activities. Brimhall looks forward to having all six of her children attend RHS and participate in Silver Rush.
“It just makes me so excited that they get to be a part of that tradition,” she said. “They're going to be able to have some of those same experiences that I did.”
Community members are invited to share in Silver Rush experiences:
Dec. 2 - Opening Assembly
Dec. 3 - Silver Rush CD Concert
Dec. 5 - Improv Show
Dec. 6 - Battle of the Bands
Dec. 7 - Silver Rush Boutique and Movie Night
Dec. 10 - Mr. Silver Rush Pageant
Dec. 16 - Silver Swap basketball game
Dec. 20 - Closing Assembly and announcement of total funds earned
A portion of the purchases made on these nights will benefit Silver Rush:
Dec. 4 - Panda Express
Dec. 5 - Rock Creek
Dec. 9 - Chick Fil A
Dec. 10 - Zupas
Dec. 11 - Marcos
Dec. 17 - Wallaby's
Dec. 18 - Rock Creek
Alumni can contribute through Facebook Fundraisers at Battle of the Alumni - Silver Rush 2019 or drop off donations to the school’s front office.