The Roundup -

Red Ribbon Week

National Red Ribbon Week Is Upon Us! October 23-27 Our Community Celebrates Living Drug Free!


October 25, 2017 | View PDF

Since its inception in 1985, Red Ribbon Week has touched the lives of millions of people around the world but few, now a days, can recall its origin and purpose. According to, “Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. "I'm only one person", he told her, "but I want to make a difference." On Feb. 7, 1985, the 37-year-old Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agent's side and shoved him in a car. One month later, Camarena's body was found. He had been tortured to death.”

“In honor of Camarena's memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, had begun forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena's memory, the red ribbon.”

“In 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families. The National Family Partnership (NFP) and its network of individuals and organizations continue to deliver his message of hope to millions of people every year, through the National Red Ribbon Campaign™.” This next week, as you see the bright red ribbons and window paints around Richland County and beyond, remember why and who this week represents.”

Continuing this tradition, many of our schools and community entities participate in some form of educational activity and prevention efforts during this time.

Lambert’s Principal Kara Triplett has a great take on using Red Ribbon Week within their mentoring efforts. “Our Pride groups are our mentoring program, where we team up a 7-12 class with an elementary class. During Red Ribbon Week “we tie it together by talking about our character trait, RESPONSIBILITY, and emphasizing to students that there are lots of fun things to do that don’t involve the irresponsible choice of doing drugs and alcohol.” Every day during Red Ribbon Week Lambert school represents pride!

Fairview, Savage, and Sidney also have a prevention filled week for students. In conjunction with Richland County Sheriff’s Department providing presentations, schools are implementing activities and banners to reinforce Red Ribbon Week.

According to Chronic Disease Prevention Specialist, Jacklyn Damm, “The Richland County Health Department (Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program) has distributed small totes that include Red Ribbon Week stickers, to several county schools where cheerleaders or other club members will pass them out to remind their peers that tobacco is also a drug.”

The Red Ribbon Week Committee, Partnership For Promise Coalition, and District II Alcohol and Drug Program have been working with these groups to promote activities throughout Richland County. The Red Ribbon Week Committee is currently fundraising for an incinerator to safely dispose of illicit drugs and paraphernalia.

If you would like more information on Red Ribbon Week in Richland County or how you can get involved, please contact District II at 406-433-4097. Donations can be made to the Red Ribbon Week Fund held at The Foundation For Community Care.


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