ATLANTA - Today, Georgia’s annual Red Ribbon Campaign concluded its weeklong statewide Red Ribbon activities, which kicked off at Centennial Park’s Southern Co. Amphitheater on Thursday, October 18. More than 1500 students gathered, showing unity through song, dance, art and poetry in their pledge to lead a drug free life.
The kick-off featured guest speaker Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy, who told students he has seen many great athletes lose their careers to drugs, but he chose to make smarter decisions by staying drug free. He was also joined by Frank Berry, Commissioner for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, who greeted students and commended their commitment to live drug free.
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 and his body guard were 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 Nathan Deal is the Honorary Chair. Red Ribbon week activities around the state have grown steadily each year. For more information regarding Red Ribbon activities, please visit: http://dbhdd.georgia.gov/prevention; or http://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaRedRibbon.