The 2013 Audrain County Red Ribbon Campaign, "My Future is Bright, No Drugs in Sight," will run from Oct. 25-31 with a variety of activities geared toward urging young and old alike to be drug free.
Audrain County Sheriff Stuart Miller spoke about the effectiveness of the program. "Audrain County has been involved with the program since the mid to late 1980's and it's been highly effective. If we keep the information in front of the public, we can deter people from becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. If that works for just one person, then it has been effective."
Miller said there has been great participation by the local churches and schools in the county, along with many area business who make generous donations to help defray the costs of ribbons and events.
Several businesses even sponsor or co-sponsor a month in the Red Ribbon Campaign calendar. "People at all levels have been very supportive of the campaign" Miller said.
The traditional red ribbons are available for pick up at the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce (Oct. 25), at the Mexico Walmart (Oct. 26), and at participating local churches (Oct. 27).
Everyone is strongly encouraged to wear and/or display the red ribbons in support of this cause. On Oct. 28, families are encouraged to eat dinner together. Everyone is also encouraged to wear red on Oct. 30.
The judging of the drawings for inclusion in the Red Ribbon Calendar will also be Oct. 30. Throughout the week, area high school role models will visit their local elementary schools to talk with the younger students.
The Audrain County Sheriff's Office will be touring county schools during the week as well to view the Red Ribbon decorations and present certificates of participation. The Red Ribbon campaign began in 1985 following the murder of federal agent Enrique Camarena by drug traffickers. The Virginia Federation of Parents and the Illinois Drug Education Alliance came together to adopt the red ribbon as a symbol of intolerance to illegal drug use and to create the movement with the intention of removing the threat of drugs to society.
The Missouri Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth joined the campaign in 1988 with the express purpose of "presenting a unified and visible commitment toward a drug-free Missouri." Red Ribbon Week seeks to raise awareness of the substance abuse problem and encourages local communities to take positive action to alleviate the problem.