In keeping with tradition since the year the school opened in 1999, the students at Riverton High School are gearing up for their annual holiday charity drive known as Silver Rush. From year to year, the student body officers choose a charity or organization that can teach them something about a significant social issue. The theme this year is on “Strengthening the Family” and the organization chosen is the Family Support Center in Midvale.
The Silver Rush has become more than a fundraiser and enlists the help of the community to raise awareness while raising money. The Family Support Center is a place for families in crisis to begin down a road to a new life. Their goal is to protect children, strengthen families and prevent child abuse. From the single mother, to the recovering addict, the Center is a safe haven for those motivated to change their circumstances.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Silver Rush this year has already touched my heart and will many times during the grueling month of December,” said Sam Butterfield, student body president. “It does get rough sometimes during Silver Rush from going out after school from 4-8 but it is the most rewarding thing we could ever do. There is no other center I would rather be doing it for and no other issue. It’s a wonderful place that teaches parents and children how to strengthen their families and gives them a place to stay.”
The SBOs will be learning how to educate fellow students on what things to stay away from and also how to build people up by not putting them down. They will also learn how important taking responsibility is and owning your part when things go wrong as a skill needed on the road to success and independence. The Center teaches a simple but profound message: Family is the basic and, during the next three weeks, the SBOs will learn even more ways they can help the center and their own families.
“Our main goal this year is to teach the student body and the community about the issue of strengthening families and how they can strengthen their own families at home,” Sam said. “Also, to let them know that if they feel they can’t lean on their family or they’re not close to their family or come from a broken family and they don’t feel like they can go to them, that everyone has a family, whether it be in your friends, actual family, teachers, peers, teammates, etc. We want everyone to realize that they have some where to go if they need help, that everyone is loved. Honestly, if we can help at least one student to realize how to strengthen their own family and in turn strengthening their future family, that is worth way more than any dollar amount.”
Like years past, the students will be turning to the community for help and support. Last year they were able to raise more than $80,000 for their charity of choice, the Center for Children and Women in Crisis, by doing odd jobs such as shoveling driveways, putting up Christmas lights and having a dating auction. And although they hope to raise as much money, if not more, this year, their mantra is “It’s not about the money, it’s about change.”
Also this year, they will also be hosting the annual charity concert by Jon Schmidt on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for a $10 donation. On Dec. 6 the students will have a Stomp. Tickets are $5 at the door. Dec. 12 there will be a Battle of the Bands event. Tickets are $5. And on Dec. 16 the students will host the all night “campout” in front of the school to gather donations.
Other Silver Rush activities will include a Dec. 8 movie night, with a 7 p.m. showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in the Riverton High School auditorium. Admission is $3 for ages 13 and up and $2 for ages 5 to 12; ages 4 and under are free. All proceeds will be donated to Silver Rush. On Dec. 15 is a Strengthening Families night at 6 p.m. in the Riverton High School Tech Atrium. This nigh will include guest speakers and an open house for a hall decorating contest. There is no admission to this event.
For more information or to make arrangements to “hire” a student to help out during Silver Rush, please call the school at 256-5800.