• Victoria Nix

Red Ribbon Week contest for students ends Thursday

Red Ribbon Week, the largest drug-abuse prevention campaign in the United States, is being recognized locally October 26-30. Part of the celebration includes a contest for Grady County Students, sponsored by local non-profit Drug Free Grady.

Typically, a community-wide Red Ribbon Rally is organized to commemorate this annual campaign, in addition to assemblies at each of the schools (Click here to view the Red & Black's coverage of last year's assembly). However, a ban on gatherings larger than 50 people unless participants maintain social distancing has cancelled many of these events, and "items promoting Red Ribbon Week will not be distributed to Grady County schools due to COVID-19 pandemic," The Cairo Messenger reports.

Instead, a prayer service was held at the Grady County Courthouse on Wednesday, October 28, from noon to 12:30 p.m., The Messenger says.

This year, Drug Free Grady is sponsoring student contests on this year's Red Ribbon Week theme, "Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.’’ Cash prizes will be given out to elementary, middle, and high school students.

The Cairo Messenger stated, "Pre-K through second grade can be a part of an art contest by drawing their favorite heroes using the week's theme." Third grade can also participate by writing a 500 word essay or submitting a photo around the theme.

The elementary and middle schools will be handing out $20 for the first place winners; second place will be getting $15 and for third place $10

High school students may write a 500-word essay or record a two-minute video for the chance to earn the first place prize of $30 or second place prize of $20.

CHS students that are participating must deliver their submissions to the front office no later than Thursday, October 29, according to Mr. Lokey; submissions must be labeled with the student's name and grade level.

Cairo Mayor Howard Thrower and Grady County Commission Chairman Keith Moye will be judging students' submissions.

The Georgia Office of Behavioral Health Prevention Prevention and Federal Grants organizes the Governor's statewide Red Ribbon Campaign. Its statewide kickoff, a Facebook live watch party, was held last Thursday, October 22, and marked official start of Governor's Red Ribbon Campaign for Georgia students

The National Family Partnership was founded in 1980, and it sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration eight years later. According to the Red Ribbon Campaign website, "Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. In honor of Kiki's memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin."

See the video below about the history of Red Ribbon Week:

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