Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program reaching millions of Americans during the last week of October each year. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena.
Special Agent Camarena was an 11-year veteran of the DEA assigned to the Guadalajara, Mexico office where he was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. On February 7, 1985, he was kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade.
RAYSAC (Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition) and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare are excited to sponsor Red Ribbon Week in the Roanoke Valley as a way to demonstrate our commitment to a safe and drug free Roanoke Valley.
All schools in our jurisdictions (Roanoke City, Salem City, Botetourt County, Craig County and Roanoke County, and all private schools in our area) are encouraged to participate in the week long (October 21-27th) drug and alcohol awareness events to promote a drug free lifestyle for our youth.
Elementary, Middle, and High Schools participate in a School Competition. Prizes are given to the school that best illustrates the spirit of Red Ribbon Week. The elementary schools participate in a poster contest. The middle and high schools participate in a media contest. This year’s theme is The Best Me is Drug Free! The week will end with a Candlelight Ceremony on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at Hotel Roanoke. The prizes are awarded at that time.
Parents talk to your children about Red Ribbon Week. Ask them what their school is doing to raise awareness about alcohol, and other drug abuse. Use your voice, they will listen!
A special thank you to our friends at WDBJ 7 for promoting Red Ribbon Week in Public Service Announcements. Watch for them in October!
Submitted by Kathy Graham Sullivan, RAYSAC Director