WWE and The Creative Coalition spread the be a STAR message before SummerSlam

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August 17, 2012

Second stop: Whittier’s Parnell Park, where WWE and The Creative Coalition continued to spread the important be a STAR message Friday afternoon. (PHOTOS)

Sin Cara, David Otunga, Natalya, Congresswoman Sanchez, City Manager Jeff Collier, Chief of Police Jeff Piper and actor Trevor Jackson spoke to nearly 400 local campers from the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA at the be a STAR rally. Sanchez opened the rally, declaring that "bullying really is a big problem that we can't ignore," and discussed legislation that could potentially prevent the destructive practice.

She next introduced David Otunga, who recited some eye-opening statistics before eliciting the audience's participation. "Bullying is a very serious problem that affects one in four kids," the Harvard Law graduate told the assembled campers. He revealed some of his own experiences, where he was labeled a "nerd" and "dork" as a young man, before asking how many of the kids had been bullied. Almost everyone raised their hands. Otunga went on to describe that, when he confronted his own bullies, they were surprised they'd hurt his feelings in the first place. "They didn't realize that words have power," Otunga said.

Natalya was the final WWE Diva to take the stage, telling the children that many Superstars and Divas have been victims of bullying, and warned against the dangers of cyberbullying on Twitter. "Let's make this the year that stopped bullying!" she said before imploring the kids to "start over; clean slate."

Jackson was the final guest, imparting some wisdom of his own to the assembled crowd. "Don't let anyone tell you that you're not beautiful, that you're not unique." The "Eureka" actor then performed a rendition of the song "Long Time Coming" and led the kids in the be a STAR Pledge before Police Chief Piper announced the 17 lucky Axxess ticket winners.

"The event went great," Otunga told WWE.com after the proceedings concluded and the trio signed autographs for the excited campers. "The kids were very receptive to the message."

"It's so great to be able to talk to the kids," Natalya agreed. "I interviewed Triple H last night [at the be a STAR red carpet event] and he said, 'A lot of the things we were bullied for are the things that make us stars now, like Sheamus with his red hair, Mark Henry with his size and Otunga because he was so smart. The things we were made fun of when we were younger are what we need to embrace. They're what make us Superstars today.' "

It was Jackson's first be a STAR event, but the ecstatic actor insisted it wouldn't be his last. "I had so much fun. It's amazing," he said. He also offered a prediction of his own as to what would happen at WWE's summer classic in a few days' time. "Triple H has always been my favorite since I was little, so I give [Triple H vs. Lesnar] to Triple H."

Be a STAR is made up of more than 50 alliance partners including Scholastic Inc., YMCA of America, Girl Scouts of America, GLAAD, RAINN and STOMP Out Bullying. For more information, visit beastaralliance.org, the be a STAR Facebook page and on Twitter @beastaralliance. Also, log on to beastaralliance.org to take the official be a STAR pledge and to download a free be a STAR teacher’s aide and be a STAR toolkit to start your own local chapter.

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