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Silver Rush fundraiser at Riverton High goes high-tech

Published: Sunday, Dec. 9 2012 4:21 p.m. MST

The Silver Rush at Riverton High is a popular fundraising event. This year, the Haley Bell Blessed Chair Foundation was chosen as the charity to receive the money collected.

Alex Cabrero, Deseret News

RIVERTON — Walk into Riverton High School any time this month, and there's a good chance senior Joshua Claflin will be roaming the halls with a large jug, asking for spare change.

"It's every day," Claflin said. "Getting up early in the morning, get to school. Then during school, we're walking around with our jugs, collecting money."

It's Silver Rush time at Riverton High, and the student body president is looking for charity money. This year, donations to one of the most popular high school fundraising events can be done through an app.

Every year, student body officers pick a charity for their donations. This year, they chose the Haley Bell Blessed Chair Foundation. The goal of the foundation to help families who are struggling to meet the basic medical needs of their disabled family members due to lack of income or lack of adequate health insurance. The money collected will go toward the purchase of wheelchairs.

"Wheelchairs are expensive. They can be a couple thousand (dollars) to $30,000 apiece," explained student body adviser Katie Borgmeier.

This year, there's something new with the Silver Rush: A student at the school developed an app to raise money for the charity.

"I thought, how nice would it be to be able to go to an app and just call that up right here?" said creator Jeff Lewis.

The Silver Rush app, which is free and available for the iPhone, gives news about the drive and how people can donate. It's been a popular download.

"We actually just broke 400 (downloads) Monday, so we're over 400 after just two days of Silver Rush," Lewis said.

During December, students participate in a various service-related activities each day to benefit the chosen charity. A basketball tournament raises some money, and so does an ugly sweater contest. Country music singer Collin Raye is even giving a concert at the school next week.

Last year, students raised more than $100,000 — a new record. But students know there's no pressure this year to beat that record.

"If we don't beat the goal, it's fine," Claflin said. "It would be awesome to, but we're not really focused on money. It's in the difference we make."

The Silver Rush has become so popular and so big, 20 charities asked for help this year. Already, Borgmeier, said she's getting requests for next year.

The closing assembly for donations is Dec. 21.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com, Twitter: ksl_alexcabrero

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