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Friends Of Rachel Give To Bright Christmas

Claire Jarolimek, Laurel Todd, Michelle Claypool, Forrest Beesley, Trevor Igel, Ashley Frederick and Jennifer Zumdome give the check to Jim and Jean Austin.   EP NEWS/ Gary Hazelton

Claire Jarolimek, Laurel Todd, Michelle Claypool, Forrest Beesley, Trevor Igel, Ashley Frederick and Jennifer Zumdome give the check to Jim and Jean Austin. EP NEWS/ Gary Hazelton

By: Kris Hazelton

This week, members of the Friends of Rachel Club at the EPMS donated a check for $500 to Jean and Jim Austin, founders of Bright Christmas for them to use to help families in need this Christmas.

The Friends of Rachel Club was formed earlier this year when students heard a very moving program by the family of Rachel Scott, the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries have become the foundation for one of the most life-changing school programs in America, Rachel’s Challenge. The program definitely made an impact here.

Rachel’s Challenge taught these students that they have the power to make permanent, positive, cultural change in our schools and community by accepting the challenge of Rachel Scott to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.

Rachel Scott was known around school for being a uniter, someone who stuck up for the bullied and included the outcast. She was killed while she ate her lunch on a grassy knoll outside the school.
There is now a middle school and a high school club who have accepted Rachel’s Challenge which is:

• Eliminate prejudice by looking for the best in others
• Dare to dream, set goals, keep a journal
• Choose your influences as input determines output
• Kind words plus small acts of kindness equal HUGE impact
• Start a chain reaction with family and friends

The students decided they wanted to raise money to help Bright Christmas this year. They raised the money by selling pies from the Estes Park Pie Company. The kids set a goal to sell 100 pies and actually exceeded their goal and sold 102 pies!

This group of students were just small children when Columbine happened and now, almost ten years later are making a difference because of Rachel Scott. These caring students really took the program to heart and are making an impact in our community because of their compassion.

Rachel Scott wrote shortly before her untimely death, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”

These Estes Park Middle School students have continued the chain reaction in our community and should be very proud of their accomplishments and continued efforts to make the world a brighter, better place for us all.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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