Rally for Rachel's Challenge is getting bigger and better

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by LaSalle Blanks

WVEC.com

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH - Hampton Roads loves to rally around a cause.

Lots of people are saying yes to the 13News/Rachel's Challenge Anti-Bullying Rally on Saturday May 5.

Sally Epps of Gloucester County is calling on schools to adopt Rachel's Challenge. The issue of bullying is a painful one.  Last week, she says her daughter tried to commit suicide because of bullying at school.

"My heart stopped," Epps said. "I said I'm going to lose her over bullying. I want to stand up and do something."

Epps is one of the guest speakers at the rally, which will take place at the Va. Beach SportsPlex.

Congressman Scott Rigell (R-2nd D) and a national spokesman for Rachel's Challenge also will issue the challenge to turn away from violence.  

Rachel's Challege has had a positive impact  on schools - students say their classmates are kinder, schools are more positive places because youngsters are joining forces to stomp out negative behavior and attitudes that may contribute to bullying.

The Atlantic Fleet Forces Band will be there, so will the JROTC from First Colonial High School, the Hurrah Players, mascots from the Tides, Admirals, and Chick-Fil-A.

The Sportsplex is donating the stadium for free. Icon Limousines is raffling off free rides for students to and from the prom. There's a kickball tournament for the high schools involved in Rachel's Challenge after the opening ceremony, and there will be a moonwalk jumphouse for smaller kids and a dunk tank where you can splash 13News personalities.

Speaking of 13News, anchors Regina Mobley, Vanessa Coria, Sandra Parker and LaSalle Blanks will be there, so will Joe Flanagan, Craig Moeller, Cleve Bryan, and Karen Hoffman.

The famous "Right On! Band" is making an original song for the rally that will be featured in a video debuting at our rally that will be released nationally. It will feature people who stand up against bullying here in Hampton Roads and across the country.

As a communitywide act of kindness, we're asking everyone to bring a canned good for our area foodbanks.

And speaking of food, the good folks One Life Fitness gyms and at the Chick-Fil-A on Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake have already started collecting and donating food.

For Kimberly Combs of Chick-Fil-A, helping this rally is something very close to her heart.
She was a bullying victim when she was in school.

"A lot of the teasing and bullying I went through are still fresh in my mind," Combs said. "But with the help of God and other people I'm good now. I think seeing Rachel's Challenge, it all kind of brought it back to where I want to do something to help other people."

We hope many of you want to help, too.  See you at the Sportsplex on Saturday, May 5 at 8;45 a.m. for the 13News/Rachel's Challenge Anti-Bullying rally.

 

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