Rooted in the area for the past 45 years, the Tempe Diablos are hosting their annual charity game this weekend to benefit the school program Rachel’s Challenge.

Since the program was started in Kyrene School District middle schools, as well as Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools, in Ahwatukee this year, Rachel’s Challenge has trained students how to battle bullying with chain reactions of kindness.

The charity game will be hosted at Diablo Stadium, played by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland A’s, this Sunday, Feb. 24. Proceeds from the game will go to schools to support Rachel’s Challenge.

In memory of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim in the Columbine High School shooting of 1999 in Colorado, the nation-wide program was started with the idea that small, chain reactions of kindness could change the world, as Scott penned in her personal journal before the tragic shooting.

Greg Stainton, president of Tempe Diablos, said his hope is to raise upwards of $150,000 for the program in surrounding schools.

“We thought it was not only a benefit to the Diablos, but it showed a great act of kindness to help our community grow,” Stainton said.

Aiming to keep the program running, Stainton said sustainability is key for the Diablos when giving to local programs and outreach efforts.

Funds raised through the charity game will provide half the cost of running and operating Rachel’s Challenge in schools.

Though the Diablos had just heard of the anti-bullying program, Stainton said he was moved and touched by the mission and the cause.

“It’s really powerful,” he said. “And it’s proactive, not reactive.”

Tickets for the Diablos charity game will be available at the Diablos Stadium box office, 2200 W. Alameda Drive in Tempe, or in advance at or by calling (480) 858-7580.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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