Red Ribbon Week coming
H.G. Olsen Elementary and Brundrett Middle School will celebrate Red Ribbon Week, Monday, Oct. 26, through Friday, Oct. 30, with a variety of activities.
This year’s theme is “Dream, Believe, Achieve, Succeed,” and it will kick off at 8:30 a.m. at the elementary gym. A poster contest sponsored by the Port Aransas Police Department will be explained during the kick-off.
Monday’s theme is “Turn Your Back on Drugs,” and students will wear clothes backwards. Tuesday is “Wear Red Day,” when students and teachers will wear at least on item of red clothing. An ice cream social is planned for Tuesday night in the elementary cafeteria from 6:30-7:30.
Wednesday’s theme is “Give Drugs the Slip” when students will wear house slippers and pajamas to school. Also, the police department will provide snow cones to elementary school students after lunch on Wednesday.
Middle School will have their snow cones on Thursday, which will be “50’s Day.” Friday, pep rallies will be held on each campus. Middle school will have its pep rally between lunch periods in the gym from 11:40 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Elementary students will have their pep rally from 2:40 to 3 p.m. when the cheerleaders present a program for the students.
“Red Ribbon Week reminds us to keep our children informed about the importance of keeping our bodies healthy and staying drug-free,” said counselor Jeri Franco.
The city council, at its meeting Thursday, Oct. 15, declared Oct. 23-31 at Red Ribbon Week in Port Aransas.
Red Ribbon Week began after the kidnapping, torture and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Camarena had been working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico for more than four years. His efforts led to a tip that resulted in the discovery of a multi-million dollar narcotics manufacturing operation in Chihuahua, Mexico. The successful eradication of this and other drug production operations angered leaders of several drug cartels who sought revenge. As a result, they murdered key informants and then kidnapped Camarena and his pilot Capt. Alfredo Zavala-Avelar, who was taken separately on the same day.
In Camarena’s home town, Calexico, Calif., the public outpouring of support turned into an organized community response in which citizens wore red ribbons. They became a voice for prevention in order to reduce the demand for illegal drugs and illegal use of legal drugs in America. The following year, the California State PTA adopted the Red Ribbon Week campaign. Then, in 1988, Red Ribbon Week was recognized nationally with President Ronald and First Lady Nancy Reagan serving as the first honorary chairs.
Today, the Red Ribbon Week brings millions of people together to raise awareness regarding the need for alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention, early intervention and treatment services.