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South Valley Riverton Journal

Riverton High School raises more than $200K during Silver Rush

Feb 03, 2023 11:23AM ● By Morgan Olsen

Riverton High School students pose with faculty, charity recipients at Silver Rush assembly Dec. 21, 2022. (Katie Borgmeier/Riverton High School)

Each December, Riverton High School celebrates the holiday season with their Silver Rush charity drive.
During the month of December, students raise money for a local charity by doing odd jobs around the community, hosting community events and asking for donations from local businesses. This year, they raised more than $200,000. 

“Silver Rush 2022 is in the books,” the Riverton High School Instagram account posted on Dec. 21, 2022. “What an amazing accomplishment this community and student body achieved. We received some last-minute donations for a total $262,229.23 for the Children’s Justice Center. Way to go Silverwolves!”

This year’s Silver Rush recipient was the Children’s Justice Center. The CJC has locations across the Wasatch Front, and the Salt Lake County CJC serves more than 3,200 children, teens and family members each year. The mission of the CJC is to provide a reliable place for children during the child abuse investigative process.

“Child abuse is a traumatic and devastating experience for both children and their families,” the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center website states. “Victims are often confused and blame themselves. The Children's Justice Center is a home-like, child-friendly facility where children receive coordinated services during the child abuse investigative process by decreasing secondary trauma that may be caused by the criminal justice and child protection systems.”

Riverton High Student Body Officers decided to donate to the CJC because of the impact they have on the local community. 

“There is quite the process when we select a charity,” said student government adviser Katie Borgmeier. “I start by having each member of student government research different charities. We like to keep the charities local so that we can see the impact. On our website, there is an application that charities fill out all year long. From the applications and the charities that the students find, we narrow down the list to 10. The SBOs invite these 10 charities in for an interview to learn more about the charity and how we can help.  From the 10, the SBOs will choose three that will be presented to the class officers as well as administrators. Feedback is provided, more discussion ensues and then a charity is chosen.”

Many local businesses and organizations apply to be considered as the Silver Rush recipient each year, and the Student Body Officers take the time needed to choose the group they feel is the best candidate.  

“This is not something that we come to lightly,” Borgmeier said. “We look at what will make the greatest impact in our community.” 

Borgmeier says that an important aspect of Silver Rush is teaching the students the importance of the issues the selected charity stands for. 

“A big part of Silver Rush is the educational aspect,” Borgmeier said. “We ask ourselves things like ‘What can we teach our student body? Our community?’ So this year with the Children's Justice Center, we were able to talk about awareness, prevention and what to do in the situation of child abuse.”

Silver Rush began when the school first opened in 1999 and has continued to be a tradition the community looks forward to each year. For Borgmeier and the student council, in particular, it is a significant time commitment that comes with an even bigger reward. 

“The hardest part of Silver Rush for me is that I still have to teach full-time, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Borgmeier said. “Most days, I work from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. during the month of December. I know for my officers, the hardest part is staying caught up in their classes. They spend four hours a day, six days a week serving our community.”

The culmination of the event is the closing assembly, where the student council invites the charity recipient to attend and announce the results of the fundraiser to the student body. 

“This assembly is at the end of the day, the day before Christmas break and the gym is packed,” Borgmeier said. “When it comes time to raise the banner, I love to watch the faces of the charity.  Seeing their reactions and the change that will happen is one of the coolest things.”

Students love to get involved with Silver Rush and Borgmeier says it’s not hard to motivate them to keep their enthusiasm up all month long.

“Quite honestly, I don't have a hard time motivating students to participate. At least once a day during the month of December, I am approached by a student with a new idea that they want to do for Silver Rush. Everyone is just so excited and wants to help out in any way that they can. Silver Rush is a magical time of year and a time that really unites the student body.”

Ultimately, the goal of Silver Rush is to bring students together and help a local charity during the holiday season. 

“My favorite part about being involved with Silver Rush is the opportunity to see my community come together to support the people around us who need the help that the Children’s Justice Center is able to provide,” Riverton High School Student Body President Skyler Anderson said. “I hope that the student body grows as people because of participating in Silver Rush and having the opportunity to be charitable at such a young age. If the students learn to work for the good of their community, Silver Rush will have accomplished one of its biggest objectives.”