ATLANTA - Georgia’s Red Ribbon Campaign will take over Centennial Park’s Southern Co. Amphitheater on Thursday, October 20, 2011 for its statewide kick-off event. This year’s attendance is expected to double with more than 1200 students participating from across the state. The festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. The Red Ribbon Campaign kick-off signals the start of Red Ribbon activities held October 23 - 31. All are invited to participate.
"The Red Ribbon campaign creates a platform for schools, parents, students and community leaders to talk about the importance of living a drug-free life," said Travis Fretwell, Assistant 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."
The kick-off will feature elementary, middle and high school students, as well as Georgia colleges and 20 community-based organizations showcasing their talents with the objective of highlighting positive alternatives to substance abuse. There will also be exhibits from various community substance abuse prevention and treatment organizations displayed with useful information and some give-aways.
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 Nathan Deal is the Honorary Chair. Red Ribbon week activities around the state have grown steadily each year. For more information regarding a Facebook contest to name the new mascot, or regarding various Red Ribbon activities, please visit: http://dbhdd.georgia.gov or http://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaRedRibbon.