The Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency and Tulare County Office of Education are taking a stand against alcohol and drug use during Red Ribbon Week by hosting the 4th annual Red Ribbon Week Celebration on October 26 from noon to 4 p.m. at the International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare. Students and their families are invited to attend the free event featuring urban graffiti artist Eric Gonzales along with other local performers, games, hands-on activities, and snacks.
“Families are encouraged to visit the Red Ribbon Event with their student,” said County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. “We hope visitors will come away from the event with the courage and resources to stay drug and alcohol-free.”
Community businesses, residents, educators and organizations are encouraged to take up the theme “A Healthy Me Is Drug-Free” and promote drug-free lifestyles while collaborating on vocal and visible efforts toward achieving a drug-free community.
Red Ribbon Week was established by the United States Congress to commemorate Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique S. “Kiki” Camarena. After serving in the military, Camarena became a police officer aspiring to work for the DEA. Amid protests from family, he declared, “I am only one person, but I want to make a difference.” he was hired on with the DEA as an undercover agent in Mexico investigating drug cartels. On February 7, 1985, Officer Camarena was abducted and subsequently killed by drug traffickers.
His friends and family members wore badges of red cloth to honor him, and anti- drug coalitions began to form and take his story as motivation that one person can make a difference. Red Ribbon Week is now a nationally recognized weeklong event, taking place October 23-31 to promote and celebrate a sober and healthy lifestyle. The Tulare County Red Ribbon Week Committee is a collaboration of community partners including the County of Tulare and Tulare County Office of Education. Visit www.redribbon.org for more information and to take the Red Ribbon pledge to help children grow up safe, healthy and drug-free.