Hearts of Gold – A Retrospective

The end to our annual Hearts of Gold fundraiser.


The Hearts of Gold festivities concluded on December 16 with $145,496 raised by Herriman High. As discussed in the opening assembly of Hearts of Gold, all the proceeds go to Nixon Strong Foundation, an NGO dedicated to helping children with cancer. The closing assembly marked the end of the Hearts of Gold season and another successful year of fundraising.

The staff and Student Body Officers led the student body to the main gym at 8:35. As the audience settled into their seats, the SBOs announced the first challenge – $400 to wax hesitant volunteers. 

While the other volunteers from the first challenge lumbered their smooth legs back to their seats, the SBOs arranged the ingredients for a gross smoothie challenge. A blend of Vinegar and Vienna sausage awaited the unwitting participants. As expected, the volunteers heaved right into the trash cans.

Several other challenges, such as the Lego Walk, Sumo Suit Wrestling Match, and Drum Battle, emboldened camaraderie within the crowd. Many students also bought confections from the food cart circling the main gym.


Entertaining performances from the dance, drill, and cheer teams interspersed these challenges. And the vibrant routines and live music highlighted the inexhaustible talent in the student body. However, the atmosphere livened most when Carson Grundy and Trevor grappled in a special Hearts of Gold wrestling match. The opponents charged at each other with great strength. At first, the contest was mired in a stalemate. But Carson Grundy emerged victorious after pinning his opponent. The audience cheered on Carson as he left the makeshift wrestling ring.


Following the wrestling match, Herriman High prepared for the end of the assembly. The SBOs dispersed into the crowd, encouraging the students to donate money one last time. After that, the SBOs reassembled to calculate the final sum accumulated this season.

Anticipation lingered in the air as the students grew curious about the proceeds. Finally, the officers broke the tension as they lined up in front of the main gym, holding cards that revealed the final amount. 

A whopping $145,496 was collected.

The bittersweet ending of Hearts of Gold spurred nostalgia and hope in the students and faculty. Students look forward to this time of the year. Yet, the event is not devoid of criticisms. Some people believe that there is excessive dependence on money. 

“It’s mostly focused on money, not so much on the kids. It does go to a good cause and makes me feel good. But I don’t often have the money to donate.” – Alexander Maxwell.

“I think it shouldn’t just be about the money and that it should be about giving back in ways besides money.” – Hunter Pease.

“I think there is too much emphasis on the money, and at times [we] go a bit too far to earn money.” – Rachel Nelson.

Students rightfully point out the need for acts of service. Many people would like the school to provide volunteering opportunities to help their communities without giving money. Economic contractions from the pandemic still reverberate through our lives. However, a majority still favor donations.

“Donating money is easier than doing service.” – Kaylee Evans.

“No, I don’t really think there is such a big emphasis on money. It’s like 50-50 because money is a very big part of charity.” – Tyler Christian Napier.

Most high schoolers are short on time, so money provides a reprieve from the undue stress of high school. 

“I really like the concept of Hearts of Gold because it really gets us high school students involved with something important. It teaches us something we don’t often learn in class, like kindness and giving back to others. And I think it’s also really cool how [you can] participate in so many fun [activities] for a good cause. There’s so many ways to help out.” – Eli Eric Morgan.

Despite our conflicting views about donations, Hearts of Gold remains a beloved tradition that fosters compassion and solidarity among students. Students and faculty understand and appreciate the school’s efforts in orchestrating an event of this magnitude. With all experiences and fond memories of Hearts of Gold, we enter the winter break.

*Some quotes are edited for the sake of clarity.