ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) will celebrate the Governor’s Red Ribbon Campaign with a statewide kick-off on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at Centennial Olympic Park. The festivities will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Centennial Park’s Southern Co. Amphitheater, across the street from the CNN Center and the Georgia World Congress Center MARTA Station. All are invited to participate.
“The Red Ribbon campaign is about promoting awareness throughout our communities that highlight positive alternatives to help youth and adults avoid the use of substances,” said Dr. Brenda Rowe, Director, Prevention Services and Programs. “We must start these conversations early and find opportunities to make this message an integral part of our daily communication – in our families, in our schools and in our businesses.”
The Red Ribbon Campaign kick-off signals the start of Red Ribbon activities held October 23 – 31. More than 500 students will kick-off the festivities with a parade around Centennial Olympic Park. There will also be performances from area school bands and Atlanta Falcon’s Cheerleaders. Area businesses and organizations will also be in attendance to bring awareness to drug and alcohol prevention.
National Red Ribbon Week began as an effort to honor Federal Drug Enforcement Agent, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was killed in the line of duty. Agent Camarena was kidnapped and brutally murdered in 1985 while working undercover investigating drug traffickers. In honor of his memory, friends and neighbors began to wear red satin badges. In 1988, the National Family Partnership organized the first Red Ribbon Campaign.
Georgia has participated since 1987, and Governor Sonny Perdue is the Honorary Chair. Red Ribbon week activities around the state have grown steadily each year.