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Be A Part Of The 9th Annual Red Ribbon Day Celebration
Release Date: October 27, 2009

Be A Part Of The 9th Annual Red Ribbon Day Celebration

Sunday, November 15, 2009 from
12:30-4:30PM at the McNeice Auditorium
at Sussex Tech, Sparta

Red Ribbon Day honors Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent who lost his life in the line of duty.

He believed a child could become anything he wanted to, if given the chance.

Come together and show your support for a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.


Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States.

Red Ribbon Week began after the kidnapping, torture and brutal murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985. Agent Camarena had been working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico for over four years. His efforts led to a tip that resulted in the discovery of a multimillion 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, on February 7, 1985, they kidnapped Agent Camarena and his pilot Captain Alfredo Zavala-Avelar (taken separately on the same day). After DEA Agent Camarena and Captain Zavala-Avelar were kidnapped, the DEA launched a massive investigation.

After he and his pilot were found murdered, citizens in his hometown of Calexico, California donned red ribbons in his honor. The red ribbon became their symbol for prevention in order to reduce the demand of illegal drugs. Congressman Duncan Hunter and teacher David Dhillon launched "Camarena Clubs" in California high schools and in 1986 club members presented a proclamation to Nancy Reagan. The following year, parent teacher organizations in California, Illinois and Virginia wore red ribbons during late October. In 1988, the first National Red Ribbon Week was proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by Nancy Reagan.

Today, the Red Ribbon Celebration 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. It is the largest, most visible prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States. Listed are some statistics of school students exposed to Prevention Messages (Office of Applied Studies (2005). Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.).

  • Rates of past-year alcohol and illicit drug use were lower for youths who had seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages at school in the past year than youths who had not seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages at school.
  • Among youths aged 12 to 17 who were enrolled in school during the past 12 months, 78.2 percent reported having seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages in school during that period. Of those indicating they had seen or heard these messages, the rate of past-month marijuana use was 7.1 percent compared with 10.6 percent for the remaining youths.

This year join the Sussex County Municipal Alliances along with the Center For Prevention and Counseling to celebrate the 9th Annual Red Ribbon Day.

A program of the
135 Morris Turnpike, Newton, N.J. 07860
Office Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Phone 973-948-6000 Fax 973-948-6664

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