Celebrates Red Ribbon Week
OCT 22 -- Alaskans will join others across the nation to raise awareness about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and encourage healthy choices as they kick off National Red Ribbon Week in the Anchorage Town Square. The 22 October event begins at noon and features prominent Alaskans including US Senator Lisa Murkowski, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, and AFN President Julie Kitka.
Red Ribbon Week was established by Congress in 1988 to commemorate the work of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, who was murdered in the line of duty. The Red Ribbon campaign promotes the belief that one person can make a difference in the fight against drugs while encouraging a drug-free lifestyle and involvement in drug prevention efforts. “Red Ribbon Week is just one tool in a comprehensive continuum of prevention activities and provides an excellent starting point for implementation of community-based prevention efforts,” states Col. Julia Grimes, Director of the Alaska State Troopers.
The statewide advisory committee for Alaska Red Ribbon Week represents a partnership of more than a dozen organizations and is sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Alaska and the Alaska National Guard.
One of Red Ribbon Week’s central themes is to promote activities for young people that do not involve the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. The advisory committee and its partners have planned several events to celebrate Red Ribbon Week including a battle of the bands competition, teen dances, and Halloween activities. “Red Ribbon Week will enhance community awareness and encourage participation in drug-free activities” states Harvey Goehring of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“In the last few years, we’ve seen dramatic improvements in the numbers of young Alaskans who choose not to use alcohol, tobacco,” said Carol Comeau Superintendent of the Anchorage School District. “Red Ribbon Week is a great time to celebrate those successes as we kick off a year of prevention activities.”