ATLANTA - Georgia will kick-off its annual state-wide Red Ribbon Campaign on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at Centennial Olympic Park. Last year the event drew more than 500 students from across the state. 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. The Red Ribbon Campaign kick-off signals the start of Red Ribbon activities held October 23 - 30. All are invited to participate.
“The Red Ribbon campaign highlights the devastation drugs can bring to our communities and creates a platform for schools, parents, students and community leaders to talk about the importance of living a drug-free life,” said Travis Fretwell, Deputy Executive Director of Addictive Diseases. “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.”
This year, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities is also holding a Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest that focuses on the Red Ribbon Awareness Campaign. Participants were asked to upload their 30 second PSA videos to the Georgia Red Ribbon Facebook page. The public will decide the contest winner by voting on their favorite submission. The winner will be announced during the kick-off this Thursday.
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.