Emotions ran high as Rachel’s Challenge was presented to a packed house last Wednesday night at the Grove Civic Center.

The program, aimed at bringing schools and communities together to put an end to school bullying, was funded by a grant from the Grove Educational Foundation for Excellence (GEFFE).

World’s Strongest Man, Shane Hamman, presented the program, which focused on creating a “Chain Reaction” of kindness and compassion in the schools and the larger community.

Rachel’s Challenge was conceived and begun by the family of Rachel Scott, the first student who was shot and killed at Columbine, in hopes of preventing similar tragedies.

Grove Middle School Arts and Humanities Instructor Theresa Eyres wrote the GEFFE grant and was awarded $4,795 to fund bringing Rachel’s Challenge to Grove.

“GEFFE is the biggest part of this,” said Eyres. “Without them we wouldn’t be able to have this come to our school.”

Middle school students met the program with much enthusiasm.

Twenty-seven of the students entered the “White Rose Essay Contest” and became “Friends of Rachel.”

Those students attended a special training session Wednesday and will be meeting twice a month to keep the momentum of the program alive at the middle school.

“This is a great program,” Eyres concluded. “We are really lucky to have it at our school.”