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Where the ribbon is red, hope is there

In a culture filled with multi-colored ribbons and wristbands signifying an important event or supporting a worthy cause, one of the first such programs was Red Ribbon Week, an initiative of prevention and education about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Students across the country pledge to live drug and alcohol free, generally during the final full week in October. This year’s Red Ribbon Week was celebrated Oct. 23-31.
Red Ribbon Week is the oldest, largest and most well-known drug prevention campaign in the United States and the ultimate goal is to create a drug free America.
It is estimated more than 80 million Americans participate in Red Ribbon events each year.
An organization of parents concerned about the destruction caused by alcohol and drug abuse organized the first Red Ribbon Celebration in 1986. Since that time, the U.S. Congress has officially recognized the campaign and school children are given red ribbons to wear and frequently declare a drug-free motto.
The history behind the red ribbon is it is a commemorative symbol of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who died while working undercover in Mexico investigating a major drug cartel. On Feb. 7, 1985, five men shoved the 37-year-old Camarena into a vehicle. One month later his body was found in a shallow grave and it was reported he was tortured to death.
In honor of Camarena’s memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents who were tired of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs formed coalitions and embraced Camarena as a model of one person being able to make a difference.
Schools across the country educate students on the importance of living healthy and drug free during Red Ribbon Week. Educators and parents use activities to commemorate this special week, and that includes local institutes such as Sam Houston Elementary launching red balloons Friday afternoon.

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Posted by on Oct 28 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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