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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
October 11, 2005

Federal Funds Flow for Anchorage Anti-Drug Efforts
Red Ribbon Coalition Receives Federal Prevention Funds

ANCHORAGE - On October 11, 2005, the Alaska Red Ribbon Coalition, in partnership with Boys & Girls Club of Alaska, will announce the receipt of a five-year grant to deliver anti-drug messages to youth and encourage and expand drug-free initiatives. The grant provides $100,000 per year to develop a strategic plan, organize community resources, and outreach to a generation of drug-free citizens – youth. Announcement of the award will be made at 10:30 a.m. at the Woodland Park Boys & Girls Club in Anchorage.

Community leaders established the Alaska Red Ribbon Coalition in 2004. They were led by a belief that the torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985 provided a powerful message of purpose to Alaska’s youth. The steering committee included U.S. Attorney for Alaska Tim Burgess, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Harvey Goehring, Colonel Thomas Katkus of the Alaska National Guard, Colonel Julia Grimes of the Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau, and John Oates and Noelle Hardt with Boys & Girls Clubs of Alaska. Soon into their efforts, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich and a dozen other representatives joined the Alaska Red Ribbon Coalition to encourage drug-free activities.

U.S. Attorney Tim Burgess acknowledged, “We’re fortunate to have a Coalition that is enthusiastically leveraging influence and resources to this effort. There is no greater use of our time than encouraging and empowering young people to stay drug-free.”

Alaska is plagued with the highest rate of illegal drug use in the nation1. Tomorrow’s announcement by community leaders will launch a new era - and federally funded effort - to discourage drug use in Anchorage. U.S. Attorney for Alaska Tim Burgess, Alaska Attorney General David Marquez, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Harvey Goehring, Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Alaska Vice President Noelle Hardt are participating in Tuesday’s announcement, along with their fellow Coalition members.

The grant award comes just days before National Red Ribbon Week 2005. Alaskans will join others across the nation to raise awareness about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and encourage healthy choices October 23 through 30, 2005.

Contact: Noelle Hardt, Vice President Boys & Girls Clubs Alaska 770-7335
Jimmy Hillig, Communications Coordinator Boys & Girls Clubs Alaska 249-5417

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1SAMHSA Office of Applied Studies, State Estimates of Substance Use from 2002-2003, release on February 14, 2005 on World Web Web at http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/


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